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Do Not Have a Defeatist Attitude

March 27, 2018

“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn,’” (Matt. 13:30, ESV).

On Sunday, as we finished out our seminar on Postmodernism, we discussed how easy it is to feel defeated when we see unbelief so rampant in our culture. We can be tempted to think that all hope is lost, and that, since Christ could come at any moment, we may as well sit back until He returns. However, it is very important, as we see evil spreading through our culture, to not have defeatist attitudes.

The passage in Matthew quoted above, is the end of the parable about a man sowing seed. He sows good seed into his field, but while sleeping, an enemy sowed weeds in the field. As they both grow, the servants ask the master if they should pull up the weeds. The master says, “No, let in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.” Then, he asserts our text for the day. Notice something important in text above. The master says, “Let both grow together until the harvest.” Very often, as we perceive the evil in our day, we focus just on the fact that the weeds are growing. Because of this, and the fact that the Bible teaches that a final rebellion against God and His people will occur (Rev. 20:7-10), Christians tend to act as if the war is over and all is lost.

However, what is often ignored is the fact that the parables says that both will grow together! It is not only the kingdom of darkness that will grow, but also the kingdom of God. In fact, the very next two parables in Matthew 13 teach this very same thing. First, Christ says that as a mustard seed is small but then grows into a large tree, so will the kingdom of God be (Mt. 13:31-32). Second, He says that as a woman takes leaven and puts a little in a lump until the whole lump is leavened (Mt. 13:33). The kingdom will continue to grow and positively affect culture until the end! The picture of a tree in the first parable comes from Daniel 4:10-12, where God shows Nebuchadnezzar the extent and influence of his kingdom. The Babylonian kingdom was large and strong. This is the same picture used to describe the kingdom of God as it grows in history. God’s kingdom will continue to grow and people will be saved. Yes, the weeds grow as well, but so does the wheat.

While it is understandable, in light of Scripture’s teaching about a final rebellion, for some to think, “it’s over,”, biblically we are to have hope and not give up. What if the Reformers looked at the evil in their culture and took a defeatist attitude to the people of their nations? What if Martin Luther saw the rampant wickedness in the world and in the church and said, “Well, Christ is coming any way, so it’s not worth the effort,”? We would not be Protestant Christians today if he thought that way. What if God has another great awakening in store before Christ returns? We cannot know that He doesn’t. We cannot sit back and let evil have it’s way in our culture. We are commanded to do otherwise. Fittingly, it is the end of Matthew where we read Christ’s command to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mt. 28:19) .This is not a command we are only to obey when we think our culture is not that evil. We are to obey this command, “to the end of the age,” (Mt. 28:20).

Christian, the kingdom will continue to grow. “That gates of hell shall not prevail against,” the church (Mt. 16:18). Christianity is a religion of hope, not defeat. Our King defeated death and all results of sin by His resurrection. That same power of His resurrection is working today (Eph. 1:18-23). The kingdom of God will continue to grow. It will be like a tree in which birds can rest, and like leaven that leavens the whole lump. We cannot live our lives in defeat of evil.

May God bless us and grant us boldness to share the truth in our day. May He grant us the hope of the blessings of His kingdom. May we trust God to build His kingdom in the face of all the weeds. May His kingdom come!

From → Theology

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