“The Church has slept, and the devil has crept”
The society in which we live places great emphasis on the fleshly aspects of our lives. It seems that everywhere one looks, whether on television, or highway billboards, nakedness and fleshly gratification is advertised. It’s become embarrassingly evident that the days of sitting with one’s children, and watching any T.V. show is a thing of the past. Even the evening news is proliferated with stories laden with sexual overtones. Cartoons have regressed to the point where nudity, and insinuations of intimate contact are the norms.
Where was the Church when these changes began to take shape? Has the Church become so oblivious to reality that the enemy has crept in, and challenged the very essence of our faith? Allow me to suggest that, as the Church has slept, the enemy has crept. While many of those who’ve been anointed with the wherewithal to affect change in homes, communities, work places, and thus in the lives of others have been lulled into a state of perpetual impotence, the enemy has wreaked havoc in our children, and the world as a whole.
In our text, JESUS spoke a parable of a man who planted good seed in his field. While those who’d been given the charge of caring for the well-being of the seed were distracted, the enemy crept in, and planted destructive weeds along side, and went his way. When the good seed grew, and began to blossom, the presence of the destructive and divisive weeds were painfully obvious.
In verses 37-40 of this 13th chapter of Matthew, JESUS explains: “He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
(1) Don’t be ignorant of your children’s involvements:
No matter how proper you’re trying to raise your children, Do
realize that you have an adversary. Many times, when a parent comes into the knowledge of their child’s errant behavior, shock and disbelief follows. Parents ask themselves: “Where did I go wrong”? or “What didn’t I do?’ The bottom line is, an enemy has done this. Just as in the text, the seed was good, and the ground was good, but the enemy has also planted his seed of discord, disobedience in an effort to prohibit the child from becoming what GOD has intended. While GOD planted the good seed to grow into abundant life, the enemy’s seed was placed right along side of it to steal it’s essence, and choke out all of it’s potential. Thus, parents must needs be knowledgeable of the involvements of their children. Parents can’t just let game stop raise their children. Often the parent has no idea what their children are being exposed to with the gadgets we allow them to posses. Recently, I was working at my computer, as my 13 year old watched television. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Allow me to confuse you for a moment: I’d never looked at “The family guy before, so pardon me for my shock and awe. This guy was beating, kicking, and dog- cussing (No pun intended) a dog. The reason? the dog had fornicated with the mans father, who was a transvestite. I guess that makes his dad his step-mother?
With what the children are exposed to, in the form of entertainment, why are we surprised when the teachers call, and says that “Tykwan” is acting out? Many times, Bart SIMPSON is raising the kids, while the parents are on the chase. What makes a father think his children are going to excel, and he’s doing his best to keep from being a part of their lives? How can a mother have the respect of her children, when she’s brought six negroes, and a Latino over for late- night entertainment- this year? Will a man be respected by his son, if he’s spending the household income, gambling, chasing, boozing, or drugging? The one incident which caused me to come back to the LORD was last year, I came home from work one day, just having missed a home invasion robbery at my house. I was livid! After the police left, I grabbed Brandon, and my .40 caliber and we rode until after dark, three consecutive days. I rode up to every guy I saw walking, with one question to my then 15 year old son, whom GOD has placed under my tutor ledge , “Is this him”? As the shock of the incident subsided, and I began to think of what I’d become, I knew it was time for me to come on back to JESUS. Not only because of what would’ve happened if he’d have said, “That’s him”, but because I suddenly realized that I was teaching my son how to deal with crises. And many times, when we look at the way we deal with matters, we should realize why the children behave the way they do. Take the time to find out what exactly your children are involving themselves with. Many times, you’ll be surprised, other times you’ll have the overwhelming sense of looking into the mirror.
(2) Be discreet as it pertains to associations:
2 COR. 6:14 says, Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? The overwhelming majority of the problems that we deal with, can be traced back to the people with whom we’ve been associated. If you’re trying to live a life that is pleasing in the sight of GOD, it’s imperative that you choose your friends from among those who are likewise driven. You’re not going to be able live right if you have the same circle of friends with whom you, at one point, did wrong with. If you used to smoke crack, you can’t not smoke crack, and hang out with crack smokers. If you were once a Lady of ill repute, you need to put as much distance as you can between yourself and the pimp stroll. If you’ve sought GOD for a new life, and a new beginning, you need new associations. 2COR. 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in CHRIST, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. One of the main reasons why many can’t stay in fellowship with GOD, is they’re reluctant to loose themselves from ties to the past. But, in order for you to go on for The LORD, those people, events, and situations of the past must be laid aside. We must lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, in order to run for The LORD. Those old friends who don’t respect the faith that you’re trying to follow, must be laid aside. You can’t go to the club, and expose yourself to the multitude of spirits therein, and expect to have peace with GOD, and peace within. Not that it’s unlawful for you to go, it’s a matter of expediency. If you can tell me what good it’ll do for you to be at “Players night at the bucket of blood“, then stop by and pick me up. 1COR 6:12 says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient”. If it doesn’t benefit you, if it doesn’t give glory to GOD, if it doesn’t help in your pressing toward the mark for the high calling of GOD, it needs to be laid aside. Furthermore, what will others think of your faith, if you’re all up in the club, doing the West Dallas stomp? We have to commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of GOD. If a thing that I wish to do, or a place that I want to go causes my brother to fall, or be offended, the bible tells me that I must refrain from that thing. Even if I know in my heart that there’s nothing wrong with it, I must not do it, or say it, or go there, so long as I live. Be discreet as it pertains to associations.
(3) Before you act, consider all possibilities:
In verse 30, JESUS instructed the keepers to allow the tares or weeds and the good seed to grow side by side, until the harvest. Lest in separating, the stately wheat be harmed. The keepers, after they’d awakened, wanted to “bull rush”, and start snatching up tares without regards to the well being of that which the sower had sewn. And we see that type of behavior in the Church today. People take it upon themselves to make decisions that affect GOD’S people without any divine guidance. Romans 8:34 asks, “Who is he that condemneth? It is CHRIST that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of GOD, who maketh intercession for us”. Only JESUS has paid the price that qualifies one to condemn. While, when we see someone at fault in a matter, we judge them unworthy, He who died, and is risen again, pleads to GOD on our behalves. Who are we to vote the Pastor out? JESUS said, at the appropriate time, at the harvest, the angels will separate the right from the wrong. When men put themselves in the seat of judgement, there are too many opportunities for flesh to rule. Could you imagine what it would be like if men were allowed to determine who went to heaven, and who’d be cast into hell? Well, we’d act just like we act in the Church: Number 1, we’d start selling it! Just like “prophesies” are sold for $100.00, we’d put a price tag on heaven. If you’re able to come up with the right amount of money, it’s on! If not, see ya! Number 2, the women who’d been deserted with children, would see to it that there would be women’s conferences exclusively throughout all eternity. No men allowed! And we all know what gets men into trouble: “What’s up, shorty”? No chance of being turned down. Thus, JESUS has not put it into the hands of men to determine who stays, and who gets put out. We need to be like minded, as we interact with our brother: Consider the possibilities, and do nothing rash. If you offend one of GOD’S children, no matter what your intentions are, you’re going to have to give an account of it to GOD. Pray for wisdom, in dealing with GOD’S chosen. Before you act, consider the possibilities.
1Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; Because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. The Church has to always make sure we’re standing at the gate, and watching over what GOD has put in our care. We cannot afford to go through the motions, and not be effective in winning souls for the Kingdom. Far too many souls are leaving this world, without knowing The LORD. GOD has given us the commission of preaching the Gospel to every creature under heaven. But, as we’ve slept, the devil has crept and sowed thorns into the lives of GOD’S people. As we’ve slept, the devil has crept, and put a chokehold on the Word of GOD. As we’ve slept, the devil has crept, and sowed discord into the Church. Let us arise from our slumber, and be what GOD has ordained. We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. There are souls that are ripe to be snatched out of the hand of the enemy, and placed into the hand of The living GOD. Each of us must inventory his/her life, to determine if we’re doing all that we can for The LORD. I guarantee the result of such examination will reveal that we’re not doing nearly enough; that our time is not wisely spent; that we’ve slept, and……………………………
Minister Robb J.K. CAGER, III