Sunday, November 17, 2019

Smyrna - The Wheat and The Tares - Part 1 - The Persecuted Church

Temple Baptist Church - 11-17-2019
Revelation 2:8-11; Matthew 13:24-30; 34-43


A.  The second of the seven churches of Asia was Smyrna, the Persecuted or Crushed Church.  100 A.D-312 A.D.

B.  There were problems from without and problems from within that started with the conception of the local church during the Apostolic Age that had now gradually gotten worse.

1.  The enemy from without, persecution, had escalated after the death of the apostles.  It had gone from sporadic and individual to universal.  The more Christians were persecuted from without, the more they bonded together.

2.  Though Satan had attacked the Word of God and God’s people from the beginning, his greatest ploy was to attack from within.  Infiltration, had gotten worse with the apostles now gone.  A house divided cannot stand!

3.  The churches must rely upon the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and—in the local church—the man of God.

C.  The Parabolic Interpretation deals with the infiltration that had taken place.  With indiscriminate sowing, the good seed of the gospel falls on both good and bad ground.  Therefore, you find different kinds of hearing and reception or the lack thereof of the gospel message.

1.  There are those that are Possessors of salvation and are Planted.

2.  There are those that are Pretenders of salvation that break down into two classifications, thus often making it hard to discern which:

a)  Some make a profession of faith and then fall away.

b) Some are wolves in sheep’s clothing and are Planted by Satan.

D.  The Parable of The Wheat and The Tares deals with the most dangerous, Satan’s “Planted” workers.  These also fall into two categories:

1.  Those who are deceived but follow in the footsteps of Satan’s ”wolves.  2 Timothy 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

2.  Those who know what they are doing.  Jude 4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  (This is not Calvinism, it is a choice that they make, willfully rejecting God and pretending to be on God’s side while destroying His “vineyard.”)

E.  We are to never underestimate Satan’s hate for God, the things of God, the people of God, and the house of God!

F.  Let us look at the parable.

1.  A Church That Is Sleeping – 25

Romans 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

2.  An Enemy That Is Busy - 25

1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

3.  A Tare That Is Sown - 25

Philippians 3:17-19  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (18)  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  (19)  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

4.  A Rooting That Is Dangerous - 28-29

John 10:7-10  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  (8)  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  (9)  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  (10)  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

5.  A Separation That Is Eminent - 30-31

Matthew 3:11-12  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  (12)  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

6.  A Payment That Is Just - 30-31

Jeremiah 23:1-2  Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.  (2)  Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

A.  A CHURCH THAT IS SLEEPING – “While men slept”

1.  The Sleeping Saints - Romans 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

a.  They Sleep From Lack Of Commitment.

b.  They Sleep From Lack Of Concern.

c.  They Sleep From Lack Of Character.

2.  The Sleeping Shepherds.

a.  They Fear The People – Jeremiah 1:4-9  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.  But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.  Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.  Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

b.  They Fear The Pay Check - John 10:11-13  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

c.  They Fear The Persecution - Matthew 5:11-12  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

B.  AN ENEMY THAT IS BUSY – “His enemy came and sowed”

1.  Satan Is Seeking - 1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Job 1:6-7  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

2.  Satan Is Sifting - Luke 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

3.  Satan Is Sowing - Jude 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Zechariah 3:1  And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

C.  THERE IS A TARE THAT IS SOWN – “sowed tares among the wheat”

1.  False Prophets (Bring in False Doctrine) - 1 Tim 1:18-20

a.  Jude 3-4 - Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

b.  Galatians 2:4 - And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

c.  Ephesians 4:14 - That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

d.  2 Timothy 3:6 - For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

e.  2 Peter 2:1-3 - But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

f.  Romans 16:17-18 - Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple

g.  Matthew 7:15  - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

h.  Acts 20:29 - For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

2.  False Professors (Indiscriminate Sowing in verses 19-23 brings false profession)

a.  The Problematic Kind.

1)  The Mal-content- Proverbs 6:16-19  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

2)  Lovers of pre-eminence - 3 John 9-11  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

3)  Withstand the pastor - 2 Timothy 4:14-15  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:  Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

4)  Disorderly - 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

5)  Sinful - 1Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

b.  The Pathetic Kind.

1)  Have no faithfulness

2)  Have no victory

3)  Have no faith

4)  Have no joy

D.  A ROOTING THAT IS DANGEROUS – “lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them”

1.  We Are Not A Capable Judge - 1 Corinthians 4:5  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

            2.  Good Intentions Messes Up Good Wheat!

E.  A SEPARATION THAT IS EMINENT – “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”

1.  There Will Be A Mixed Multitude In The Church.

2.  God Not Only Knows The Heart, But Will Separate The Saved From The Hypocrite.

F.  A PAYMENT THAT IS JUST – “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them” 

1.  There Will Be A Final Reckoning.

2.  Hell Will Be Hot For The Hypocrite Who Has Sat Under The Truth.

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