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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Removing the Tares From the Wheat, #7
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Matthew 13:40,41)
How will they be separated from us?
The Lord Jesus stated, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity" (Matthew 13:41).
The Lord's "messengers" may be holy angels, wicked angels, people, or circumstances. The Lord gave Paul "the messenger of Satan to buffet me" (II Corinthians 12:7). It was Satan who was hurting Paul but it was the Lord Jesus who was in control. The Lord Jesus was removing from Paul the last traces of Paul's tendency to trust in his own strength.
God uses many devices to remove the tares from the wheat. A major tool is fiery persecution. When we are ready to attend the assemblies of the saints at the risk of our life, or imprisonment, or torture, then we know we have been born of God. When we make a profession of Christ only when it is safe and comfortable to do so, we may be a tare and not know it.
The way of the Lord must be made straight. There is little God can do with the Christian churches of our day. They are neither hot nor cold. They are a mixture of true saints and fleshly "believers." The tares must be removed from the wheat before the righteousness of the true Church can be witnessed by the peoples of the earth.
Peter warned us about false teachers, of whom there always has been an abundance. The false teachers are covetous and seek to get money out of the Lord's flock (II Peter 2:3).
We commented previously about running greedily after the error of Balaam for reward. The love of money is the basis for a major part of the Christian ministry in the wealthy nations of the world. Money is the prime motivation. The preachers and teachers, in many instances, dilute the message of holiness and discipleship. They do so in order to make the congregation more comfortable, gaining more people and therefore more money.
In our day the churches are rated by the number of people in attendance. A little reflection will reveal that the number of people in attendance is not a true measure of the quality of an assembly of Christians.
Most of us probably would agree that measuring the worth of a church by the number of people who attend is not sound. Nevertheless we continue to regard large numbers of people as signifying that an assembly is successful and worthy. Why do we do this? It is partly because of the love of money. A large congregation ordinarily means a large cash flow and status in the eyes of people. We value popularity and material success. But the Lord Jesus does not. He is content with two or three of the faithful.
Fierce, violent persecution will help banish from us this unscriptural viewpoint and the other evidences of the lack of spiritual discipline. When it becomes dangerous for a large group of people to meet together we no longer will place such a high value on large numbers of people. At that time we will realize that our motivation in building large churches has been fleshly.
To be continued.