Summary: This sermon will enable you to discover the cause of conflict in the church and show you how to deal with it in practical ways.
THE PARABLE OF THE WEEDS
July 7, 2002
Pastor Steve Dow
You don’t have to look to hard these days to discover that we are living in a world that is filled with conflict. There is conflict between nations. There is conflict in the Middle East. There is conflict in Afghanistan. There is conflicts between political parties. There is conflict between spouses. There is conflict between parents and children. And there is conflict in the church.
Conflict in the world can be understood, but conflict in the church is another story. We understand conflict between political leaders of rival parties, but why should there be conflict between church leaders? We understand sibling rivalry, but why should there be conflict between God’s children?
Jesus tells the Parable of the Weeds to explain why there is conflict in his kingdom in this present age. According to Jesus there are three reasons for conflict in the church. First, there is an enemy. Satan is the enemy of God, His children, and His church. He will stop at nothing to stir up conflict in these areas. Second, there are false Christians in the congregations. Jesus said that not every one who said, “Lord, Lord” would enter the kingdom. These wolves in sheep’s clothing operate as Satan’s undercover agents in the church. Third, these two cannot be separated until the end of the age. Jesus is telling us this is the way things are going to be until he returns to establish is physical kingdom on this earth.
A Dutch professor took time to calculate the cost of an enemy soldier’s death at different epochs in history. He estimated that during the reign of Julius Caesar, to kill an enemy soldier cost less than one dollar. At the time of Napoleon, it had considerably inflated to more than $2,000. At the end of World War I, it had multiplied several times to reach the figure of some $17,000. During World War II, it was about $40,000. And in Vietnam, in 1970, to kill an enemy soldier cost the United States $200,000. (Plain Truth, April, 1988, p.15) The point is, conflict is costly. Abigail Van Buren once said, “People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.” Therefore, it is vitally important that we learn how to deal with this tenuous situation.
How To Deal With Conflict In The Church:
1. Be Perceptive. (13:25,39)
The text tells us that the enemy, Satan, came and sowed the weeds while everyone was sound asleep. It was a common practice in ancient warfare to destroy your enemies crops. If you could destroy his agricultural base, then his military power would soon follow suit. Soldiers who can’t eat can’t fight. So step number one is to be perceptive. We must be aware of what Satan is up to. We can ill afford to fall asleep on the job. That is why the scriptures are filled with admonitions to be alert. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” And 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”