Do-Gooders (Part 64)
Let Them Be
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.' '
Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)
Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.
Revelation 22:11 (NASB)
What's an active Christian missionary to do about wrong or filthy people? The Lord speaks clearly through Matthew and John: we mustn't pull them up and discard them, less we uproot some nearby believers who have been clinging to them unawares.
To young Christians, such violent actions may seem pitiless and implacable. As a result, inexperienced saints may fall with them in misplaced compassion.
Another leg of misplaced compassion emerges when we run after sinners in sincerest hope of their salvation. But consider this New Testament fact: Jesus didn't chase anybody. He knew His Father must call on them first.
'No one can come to me unless the Father Who sent me draws them' (John 6:44). Even when many disciples left Him, He understood that this, too, was God's will. 'From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more' (John 6:66).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Your growing up in Christ is crucial, so consider some maturing points:
1) Desiring everyone's salvation is good. The Lord God feels the same way.* However, we must wait on His lead in drawing truth-seekers toward us.
2) Rushing to root out evil is bad. The Lord God doesn't work in that way. He is patient in realizing some prodigals will choose to come home.
3) Only the Lord can see to the heart. Only He can divide pretenders from offenders who will turn around. Without His lead, we are judging blind.
Of the bad guys (or those we so deem), leave them in the able Hands of God.
To Be Continued...
* 'Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth' (1 Timothy 2:4), 'Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance' (1 Peter 3:9).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.