The Other Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13: 24 "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
This might be called "the other parable of the sower." The fact that we have over 300 religions in this country, all claiming to teach the doctrine of Christ, is testimony to the fact that somebody must be sowing some tares somewhere. Let’s look at some of the weeds that are being sown, and what the scriptures say about them.
I. The tare of complacency.
A. In some ways, number-wise, this may be the most dangerous tare of all. So many people believe that God is in no hurry to harvest His crop or to bring man to judgement.
1. II Peter 3: 8-13 flies right in the face of that argument.
2. See Matthew 25: 1-13–or the other two stories in the same chapter, for that matter. Heaven will be a prepared place for a prepared people. No one will stumble into it.
II. The tare of “all roads lead to Heaven.”
A. Again, this smacks of ignorance or outright rebellion to God’s scripture.
B. What did Jesus himself say in Matthew 7: 13, 14–“13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
C. Why would Jesus have prayed for unity in John 17: 11, 21, 23 if every one of every religion was already “really Christians?”
D. Why would Paul forbid the wearing of men’s names religiously in I Corinthians 1: 10-17 if it didn’t matter what kind of Christian you were?
III. The tare of “you don’t have to do anything to be pleasing to God.”
A. Question 1–who was Hell made for? Answer–the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25: 41). If there’s anybody that’s not going to Heaven, it’s the devil and his angels. The Revelation speaks of his ultimate demise ( Revelation 20: 7-10, esp. v. 10). He’ll get his before anyone else gets theirs. Now . . .
B. Even the devils believe and tremble . . . (James 2: 19). The ones that are most definitely going the wrong way believe that God exists, and tremble with fear. But they are not pleasing to God. Matthew 7: 21-27, esp 21 and 22. We will be judged by what we have DONE (Revelation 20: 12, 13)
IV The tare of “you don’t have to worship any certain way; any way will do as long as you are sincere.”
A. God has always been specific about worship, as the Old Testament shows. Why shouldn’t we read that God means what he says when he says “Sing” and doesn’t say play? We are also commanded to “Sing with the spirit and sing with the understanding” also. How much understanding does an instrument have?
B. Nadab and Abihu of Leviticus 10: 1-3 and Korah of Numbers 16 may have been sincere, but they were wrong about their worship.
V The tare that “once you are saved, you are always saved.”
A. This one almost doesn’t need answering, but for the sake of clarity, we will. The whole second chapter of II Peter was written about this possibility. Also: Luke 9: 62 --"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Why would Jesus warn about that if it was an impossible mistake to make? Why the teachings of Matt. 25?