The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

07/29/2010

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The Tares Of Life


"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

There is a school of thought in the religious world that espouses that suffering, hardship and tribulation in one's life is always directly attributed to sin. Jesus taught differently as he said; "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matt. 5:45). Paul taught differently when he wrote to Timothy and said; "Indeed, all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tim. 3:12). Job, Joseph, Daniel, David and Elijah in the Old Testament suffered even though they were godly. Paul, Peter, Silas and Stephen come to mind as examples in the New Testament. Jesus was the ultimate example as He suffered and we know absolutely that He was without sin. Jesus message to all of is about the need to repent, for we all sin. "but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). All of this does not preclude that some of our suffering is not the direct consequence of our sins. David suffered a lot because of some bad decisions. "For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a burden they weigh too much for me" (Ps. 38:4).

Jesus laid the blame where it often ought to be laid as He taught the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13. If you remember, tares are a weed. The farmer's enemy sowed tares among the wheat at planting time and they grew up together. When his servants discovered this and told the farmer, he told them to allow everything to grow together, lest in the weeding process the wheat would be destroyed, and that they would be separated at harvest. When asked to explain the parable, Jesus said this about the tares; "and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy that sowed them is the devil" (V 38-39). The devil introduced sin into the world and continues to be our enemy, sowing tares into our lives. We are taught that it is inevitable that there will be hardships in our lives. Peter told us that in sharing the sufferings of Christ as Christians that we would be actually rejoicing in the knowledge that it was not our sins that caused them. Through the wonderful grace of God, we will be raised with Him as we entrust our lives to His Son. If we have God's approval, little else matters....

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