What is a tare anyways? Today the word is used as the measure of an empty container before weighing the substance of interest. In some ways this could be fitting. But, in biblical times, it is a type of young weed among grain that resembles the grain. It is an imposter. It is a weed that becomes more like a vine and wraps around the other plants and is hard to remove without hurting the grain plants. There are many people like that.
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.” ‘ “
Many churches have ‘tares.’ On the outside they appear to be Christian, but inwardly they are not. They are imposters. They get ingrained into the church, into peoples lives and are destructive. And like the plant, they are destructive.
These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
As many of us have experienced, there are those who live one life or act a certain way in church, but live a different life outside the walls of the church. Many times we may not even know it. Other times they speak gossip, complain about all kinds of things and cause division in the church. This is what Jesus (and His half-brother, Jude) was speaking about. It is often why it is said to not compare yourself to others, thinking you want to be like them. We don’t know the heart of the other person or what their motives are. Live according to the word of God and the will of God. God knows our hearts.
1 Peter 4:17
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Being a part of a church is not simply coming to church services every Sunday. We should all be involved, be part of a ministry and get to know your church family members. It is also living in a way that honors God, and most of all having faith in Jesus Christ. Any believer would have the desire to do these things (See Don’t Be a “Pew-sitter”). Also, be sure you are part of a church who believes and teaches the word of God, all of it, and does not sugar-coat it. Make sure everything they teach, say and do follows what the Bible says. Make sure they show and teach the love of Christ.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
It seems like there are so many churches that is more about the numbers and compromise the truth, sugar-coating their teachings, trying to fit in to today’s culture. God’s word does not change. Sin is still sin. Grace is still grace. Some churches overlook both of these and shy away from it. Others abuse grace saying that everything is good and no need for repentance. Others are legalistic and are going back to the law or traditions of men. Some have the philosophy that if it feels good its ok. People want to add to the gospel or take away from it, which the Bible is very clear that we cannot do that. Jesus is Lord. We are sinners in need of salvation. And, salvation is only through Jesus Christ. We show that we are His children by obeying Him, not to gain favor, but because we love Him. He died on the cross and rose from the dead. He paid for our sins. Nothing we can do can earn our salvation. Those who are saved have a new life, the Holy Spirit lives in them and they have eternal life. That is the gospel and that is great news!
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
So often people teach these scriptures separately, but you need to look at context. When Jesus says, “not everyone who says, Lord, Lord…”, he is not talking about losing your salvation. It ties in with the previous paragraph, that many come as wolves in sheep’s clothing. They infiltrate the church, teaching a false gospel, being self-righteous, much like the Pharisees. He doesn’t say, I knew you but I now cast you out, he says I never knew you from the start. These people were all about works to get into heaven. They were not saved to start with. Jesus wants to know us. He wants our heart. He wants us to believe and have faith in Him. That is the only way to salvation. And our faith in Him is like building on the rock, Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of our faith. That is God’s will.