A Parable for a Nation

The parable on weeds fits our nation like a glove (Mt.13:24-30). Jesus had the “Kingdom of Heaven” in mind, but the facts apply to any nation that was founded doing what is right. A farmer sowed good seed, then he made the mistake of going to sleep. While he slept, his enemy sowed weeds. When the wheat began to bud, the weeds also appeared. The servants wanted to know what had gone wrong and the farmer knew exactly who was behind the fiasco. The servants wanted to go and remove the weeds and the farmer realized instantly that it was impossible to separate the weeds from the wheat without harming the crop. Only at harvest time can the two be separated.

Purpose

What am I here for? The popular view is that I am here to glorify and serve God. What kind of service does God in heaven need? The answer is, none! Instead, His creation and His image or man does. In the covenants with Adam and Noah, God commanded man to manage the earth and everything on it. The two words used to define that purpose were having dominion and replenishing. God intended man to be self-governing. The second commandment was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” God expected man to procreate and regenerate (Gen.1:28; 09:7). For that purpose God created one male and one female (Gen.1:27). When the serpent enticed Eve, the relationship with her mate was damaged. The couple began to violate the negative commandment that dealt with the desire to taste the knowledge of good and evil. Evil did triumph and man, as well as nature, began to die (Gen.2:16-17). Man began to neglect the environment and pursued selfish aims, and thereby began to dishonor God. It is a well-maintained earth and an upright human life that glorifies the Creator (Deut.10:12).

Judging

John the Elder wrote: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit; but test the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I Jn.4:1). Was the elder judging or was he discerning? To begin with, did he have the power or the means to carry out a sentence? Of course, he could not send anyone to prison or to hell. At the same time, could he stand by and let perverted ideas destroy the fellowship? We must be the judge of what is accepted in our society and not some stranger with unacceptable ideas or morals for that matter. We must live with the choices we make. And if we are being led to choices which place us outside the kingdom of God then who is going to save us? The Bible is very specific on what God expects of us (Mic.6:8). By our obedience to His Word we identify as being his disciples (Jn.14:21-24).

My Trip to Heaven

In my dream, I was privileged to travel to the Celestial World of Heaven. It was an inter-terrestrial experience that defied all human imagination. The trip itself was faster than a flash of lightning. I was traveling on the ship of Grace and was received by Gabriel in person. Gabriel had visited my world on several occasions and was familiar with what I was hoping to see in the Celestial World.

Divine Limitation

If God has all the power, why then does He limit Himself? According to our human reasoning, far too many things occur where God should intervene, halt or even alter the outcome. It is apparent that man has way too much freedom and dominion. Both were grants from the Creator (Gen.1:28; 2:16-17), and both were abused quickly and frequently throughout history. A handful of individuals have managed to rise above their fellow human beings and subdue them by coercion and other means. In the Old Testament, God would step into history to correct and punish abuses, as He did in the days of Noah and Pharaoh. During Jesus' time, the Divine Hand was visible in individual miracles like healing and supplying needs. Many Christians will testify that they too encountered God's direction and help. Most of these conclusions were reached by hindsight and not by foresight. But that still does not explain why evil continues to grow?

Jesus on Faith

Any time we are being asked to define faith, we turn to Hebrews eleven. The chapter also lists a number of heroes. It should be of interest to us that Jesus used a different criterion to define faith. He singled out people that were not regarded as examples of faith. His own disciples, in his opinion, were men of little faith (Mt.6:30; 08:26). Nicodemus, a leader of the people, was uncertain of what to believe (Jn.3:4). Jesus' town-people did not believe in him (Mk.6:6).

Conscience

One of my granddaughters complained: “Grandpa, you hurt my feelings.” What had I said that hurt her? Actually, I awakened her conscience. I merely tried to help her see that what she had said to me, in the first place, led to her hurt feelings. She learned quickly and soon reminded me of my shortcoming. It was conscience or that inner voice that began to be active. Just how alive is my conscience? It was awakened through training by god-fearing parents and people who were governed by customs and principles that helped me choose between right and wrong. Upbringing is very basic to a well-functioning conscience.