Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A man had a field and that man was industrious /and production conscious.//He sowed good seed in his field./When sowing time was ended /he took leave from his fIeld to wait for the harvest.//But one night while men slept, the good field sown in good seed

"Until the Harvest'

"Let both grow together until the harvest... " MATTHEW 13:30

A man had a field and that man was industrious /and

production conscious.//He sowed good seed in his field./When

sowing time was ended /he took leave from his field to wait

for the harvest.//But one night while men slept, the good field

sown in good seed /was visited by the man's enemy.The

enemy sowed tares among the wheat. The good seed

germinated and then blossomed./The tares acted in like

manner.//The man's servants went out to the field one day and

a marvel met their eyes. They beheld a scene of great

abundance. There was more growth than the good seed alone

could have possibly produced./They knew that something

other than wheat was alive in the field. They knew that tares

were present with the wheat. Puzzled by this development,

they went, after the manner of good servants, to the owner!

and said, "Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? Why

then does it have tares?' The owner answered -"An enemy hath

done this." Simple logic caused the servants to ask -"Do you

want us to go and gather up the tares?' The owner answered,

":'No, lest you gather up the tares you root up the wheat also,

Let both grow together until the harvest "/The owner had

reaped not only what he had sown; //He had reaped also that

which had been, sown by another, by his enemy.. He was the

victim of the malicious scheming of another. Under the cover

of darkness,! an enemy had slipped into his field and sown

tares. And Jesus said that that's what the kingdom of heaven is

like in its earthly expression. It's analogous to a good field

sown in good seed in which the enemy has also sown his

seed./The kingdom of heaven in its earthly expression is like a

field of wheat mixed with tares! Both the wheat and the tares

are alive and active. The Church is always under assault by

persons without and within.//In her case, it's always open

season." She's fair game for all kinds of sowers and all kinds

of vultures //Probably the, most regular charge/ leveled at the

Church is the charge that some church members are

hypocritical, professing one thing and practicing another.//I've

had non-believers say to me, "All churches are full of devils"

"I'd join the church if there weren't so many hypocrites.':;To

that remark I offer a standard response.."you should come on

in; there s always room for one more." they don't understand

that perfection within history is impossible/ They don't know

that being bom again/does not mean instant perfection, they

don't realize that believers have to grow in grace and in

knowledge. They're not aware/of the fact that we are in the

process of working out our soul's salvation. AndyQt, when

they claim that there are devils within the church, they are

correct. Jesus affirmed it;//we have to acknowledge it. The

enemy has sown his seed in God's field; and, while men sleep,

he keeps on sowing The field/the Church , the kingdom/in its

earthly expression/Js a mixture of good and evil. There are

both wheat and tares in the field. How some of us wish that

the situation were otherwise//We sometimes wonder why it is

that God allows such an arrangement/ Surely He could keep

the enemy and the enemy's agents out of His field/But He

doesn't and I believe I know why were not present,/we'd be

come complacent/and apethetic. We would cease to pray/We

would not experience the growth that comes only through

struggle We would no longer sing, "My soul be on thy guard;

ten thousand foes arise.' Yes, there are tares among the wheat,

but our real problem is not the presence of tares. Our problem

is the presence of those who zealously desire to root out the

tares. Across the ages (there have been those in the Church

who deemed it their God-appointed duty to clean up the

Church/ And very often because of zeal devoid of knowledge

they didj more tearing up than cleaning up. They put on the

self-righteous garb of crusaders and went forth as enforcers

And in their passion for purity, discipline often resulted in

destruction. Now, discipline is always in order,} but destruc

tion is totally out of order/Discipline is an expression of love

and the purpose of discipline is to' restore and reconcile) But

often, in the name of discipline, lives have been destroyed. In

my own lifetime I've seen Church situations where Deacon

Boards operated as law enforcement agents tracking down

member who allegedly had done wrong, behaving like

bloodhounds trying to pick up the scent of terrible gossip nif a

d if the trail did lead to some guilty person//that person,\ like

the poor adulterous woman brought before Jesus would

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