Good morning, Isolated Yet Free.
Song for the Day: While I Wait
Complete the Verse and Name the Book: for bodily discipline is only of little profit, . . . (completion at the end)
Yesterday Pastor Michael gave the sermon “The Parable of the Weeds” based on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. The sermon was delivered to an empty church, but the congregation watched online from home in their comfortable attire.
We are moving into a series of parables that show what the kingdom of heaven is like. Jesus wants us to know something about this kingdom. John the Baptist preached, “The kingdom of heaven has come. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Matthew 13:24-30 says,
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“ ‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“ ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’ “
Parables are extended word pictures, metaphors, to help us find one main point. In this parable there is an enemy who plants weeds right next to the grain. The intent is to diminish and destroy the good crop by choking it out. The workers are willing to pull the weeds, but the farmer tells them not to because some of the wheat will be pulled up as well. At harvest the weeds and the wheat will be separated.
Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.
“Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.
People who are following Jesus as their Lord and Savior are the good seed. They are the ones who were planted to bear fruit. These people have an enemy—Satan. Satan is an enemy of God and all God stands for. Christians are the ones who are to grow up and bear fruit by promoting the Kingdom of God. Satan comes along and plants seeds (people) who will destroy the fruit in our lives. This means there are people who will do all they can to keep you from following God. Matthew 7:15-16 says,
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
Sometimes the enemy shows up in the church. They are wolves pretending to be sheep. Wolves are not playmates of sheep. Wolves kill sheep. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 says,
Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
Satan takes people captive to do his will. He is out to diminish and destroy the fruit of Christ followers.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
The world is trying to get rid of words like sin, Satan, evil, and hell, but they are a reality. Something else that is a reality is the return of Jesus. There is going to be a harvest where some people will go to everlasting life and others will go to everlasting death. God doesn’t want anyone to perish.
And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is what Jesus was talking about. The lake of fire is hell which is eternal separation from God.
But there is also everlasting life. Revelation 21:1-7:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
This is the promise of good seed bearing good fruit. This is the promise of Jesus to those having a personal relationship with Him. It’s only a matter of time until Jesus comes.
We are in a pandemic that started in the Garden of Eden. Without the cure, there is no hope. It affects every single person who has ever lived on Earth. You don’t have to wonder if you’ve been infected with the disease; you have the disease. The disease is called sin. What are we doing about it?
With the threat of the coronavirus, we isolate ourselves. We want to protect ourselves and others from the virus. We don’t want to die or cause anyone else to die. But all of us are going to die in our sins unless we do something about it. We have the cure for sin—Jesus! Have we rushed out to give people the cure? What are we doing to tell others about Jesus? There’s something far more dangerous than COVID-19; it’s ROM-323 and ROM-623A: “For everyone has sinned; we all far short of God’s glorious standard. For the wages of sin is death.” There is no recovering from the pandemic of sin, unless you have the cure—Jesus. ROM-323 is far more dangerous than COVID-19.
The cure for ROM-323 is found in Romans 5:8 and Romans 10:9-10: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” We need to be handing out the cure to ROM-323. Who are you going to share the cure with? When are you going to share the cure?
If you have never received the cure for sin, pray this prayer:
Jesus, I recognize the sin in my life. I recognize that it’s a virus that’s going to kill me, and I don’t want eternal death. I ask you for everlasting life. Jesus, come into my life. I believe you died on the cross for me. I believe you were raised from the dead on the third day. Jesus, I invite you into my life. I receive you as my Lord and my Savior. Give me everlasting life, and help me to follow you. In your name I ask this, Jesus. Amen.
There were celebrity preachers who had developed a following in the Corinthian church. We are susceptible to this today, too. We have a tendency to follow someone we admire, and sometimes this creates division within the church. Learn what Paul has to say about this by listening to Dr. Moody’s sermon
Unity Part 1
Verse Completion: . . . but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 (NASB)
Fear of a Changing World pg1
Fear of a Changing World pg2