_______ April 13 ______
AN ENEMY HAS DONE THIS
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?” __Matthew 13:28__
The Church of Christ on earth will be imperfect, but God does not destroy his church because of its imperfection. There have been and will be those who are filled with zeal not according to knowledge, who would purify the church, and uproot the tares from the midst of the wheat. But Christ has given special light as to how to deal with those who are erring, and with those who are unconverted in the church. There is to be no spasmodic, zealous, hasty action taken by church-members in cutting off those they may think defective in character.
Tares will appear among the wheat; but it would do more harm to weed out the tares, unless in God’s appointed way, than to leave them alone. While Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God. …
We are not to say what constitutes the wheat, and what the tares. The time of the harvest will fully determine the character of the two classes specified under the figure of the tares and the wheat. The work of separation is given to the an-gels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man.
Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world, that is pol-luted and demoralized by sin. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows his supreme regard. (The Review and Herald, September 5, 1893)
“Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heav¬en is likened unto a man which 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 blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.”
“The field,” Christ said, “is the world”. But we must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world. The parable is a description if that which pertains to the kingdom of God, His work of salvation of men; and this work is accomplished through the church. (Christ’s Object Lessons, 70)