The Making of a Tare
September 2006 by Bill Gillham
I don't believe anyone intends to become a tare. I've known people who set out to go on a tear, but never one who wanted to be a tare. Jesus said tares—"grain-like weeds that grow in a grain field"—face a horrible eternity. A tare appears to be wheat until you bite into it! Jesus used tares vs. wheat as a metaphor to differentiate between "religious" folks and the real deal—spiritually reborn saints (God's holy people). Religious folks are merely members of the church organization while saints are members of the organism—the body of Christ. Tares are spiritually dead; saints are alive, spiritually alive. Saints are in God's forever family; tares won't make the cut.
Jesus' disciples wanted to go on a tear "pulling up" tares to protect the wheat. But, Jesus told them to cool it; that it was too early for that; that tares would be dealt with later (Matt. 13:24-43). We know, however, that Jesus loves tares because He died for them. So, how does a person become a tare?
I strongly suspect the fly in their anointment is that they never repented. When an unregenerate sinner recognizes and acknowledges his guilt before Holy God and his intense need for Jesus to become his personal Savior and Lord; when he desires to turn 180 degrees and trusts Christ to forgive him, enter into him and change him, God calls this repentance. You must want to become a new person before God will change you into a new person. This is mandatory to regeneration. Jesus said, "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal" (John 12:25). Did you come to hate life before you were reborn in Christ? The person who "loves his life" as is has no motivation to change. He likes things as they are. C. I. Scofield said, "Repentance is not an act separate from faith, but saving faith implies that change of mind which is called repentance." This is not simply human opinion; the Bible teaches mandatory repentance:
- John the Baptist paved the road to Jesus by preaching only one message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:2). Jesus' forerunner taught repentance as embracing our Savior.
- Jesus launched His earthly ministry, "From that time Jesus began to preach and say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand' " (Matt. 4:17). Jesus taught repentance.
- Jesus anointed Peter as "apostle to the Jews" and Peter preached, "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away" (Acts 3:19). Peter preached repentance.
- Jesus anointed Paul as "apostle to the Gentiles." Paul taught, "God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent" (Acts 17:30). Paul preached repentance.
- Everyone is either Jew or Gentile. Man must turn from "doing it his way" (repent) and come to Christ in faith to be saved.
"But, Bill, what about the thief on the cross? He didn't repent." A salvation prayer does not necessarily employ the R-word, but upon having a repentant attitude. The thief on the cross demonstrated a repentant attitude (read Lk. 23:39-42).
Jesus taught, "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27). You can be saved, but you can't be Jesus' disciple (sincere adherent) unless you agree to the terms of the cross. God says you were crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). You get a new lease on life, a new beginning by first being crucified, then spiritually reborn in Christ (1 Pet. 1:3). You don't crucify yourself any more than you saved yourself. God did both, for us to claim by faith. Appropriating this means "taking up your cross"—a moment-by-moment attitude of mind and heart. You have already been crucified in Christ, but similar to salvation, this will benefit you only as you agree with—embrace this truth, by faith.
The man who takes up his cross has no rights. His confidence and hope are in Another. The man who takes up his cross is no longer in control; how much control can you have hanging there? None; his destiny is in Another's hands. The man who takes up his cross can be unjustly humiliated by the world; the cross overrides his pride. His significance and acceptance are in Another's hands. The man who takes up his cross no longer seeks to take care of number one; he trusts Number One to take care of him. The man who takes up his cross has given up on finding meaning in the world system; he's found meaning and purpose through intimate fellowship with Jesus (Jehovah is Salvation; God in a Human Wrapper).
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The Making of a Tare
I know there are some things in me that need changing, a lot actually, like being more diligent, not being lazy, being more open to people and asking for other's advice rather than me reaching my own conclusions based on my opinion...And I believe the Lord has been breaking me down all these days, putting me through fire as to eliminate all of those "impurities" or things neither Him nor I want to see in me. But after a big "breakdown" there is always the "picking up the pieces" wether it be through some bible reading (which by the way I haven't done all these days thanks to the computer and final exams) or an article, or a devotional. Well here's the broom for today.