Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
Parable of the Wheat and Tares
“24Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27So the servants of the owner came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” 28He said to them, “An enemy has done this.” The servants said to him, “Do you want us then to go and gather them up?” 29But he said, “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” ’ ”
… And then Jesus explained the parable to His disciples.
Parable of the Tares Explained
“36Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.’ 37He answered and said to them: ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the Kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’ ”
Notes: Jesus again taught the multitudes with another parable and Jesus explained this parable only when He was alone with His disciples. Again Jesus uses an example from the natural to teach about the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’ explanation of the parable to His disciples pretty well explains what we need to be able see.
Words to note: “The field is the world” – Jesus is giving an overview of where the earth is now and explaining that there are two different kinds of seeds/people living side by side, and how in the end, He will have His servants (His angels) sort out those are saved from those who aren’t.
Words to note: “and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness.” – Now to fully understand what is being said here, we must understand the word lawlessness. This is how Merriam-Webster defines lawlessness: ‘1: not regulated by or based on law; 2: not restrained or controlled by law’. So, basically when we refuse to follow the Standard of rules – we are deciding what our set of rules are for ourselves – sort of, making it up as we go along. Yet, God is the one who created rules because He loves us and because He knows sin will destroy us. The problem that results from us deciding what the rules are is that when each of us starts making up our own standard of right and wrong, we (as a population) end up like the Israelites that God says this of them in Judges 17:6 - “6In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.“ and then again in Judges 21:25 - “25In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This the same thing that was happening in Noah’s day, before God decided that He had had enough, and rescued 8 people and destroyed everyone else with a flood that also changed Earth in far more ways than we know. God was tired of all of the wickedness of men and He also decided in Noah’s day that from then on, man’s lifespan would be 120 years. Though in the account of Scripture, God has allowed a very few to live beyond that, we see that God has kept that as the standard of the maximum lifespan since then, and in Genesis 6:3, He explains: “3And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” When I see words like that I shudder! I don’t ever want to get to the point that God says, ’I’m tired of fighting with him – he’s so stubborn!’ It breaks my heart, puts me back in my place - puts a good kind of fear in me. >>We must remember God’s Words in Proverbs 1:7 – ”7The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.“ And again in quite a few places that phrase is used. Proverbs 16:6 - ”6In mercy and truth, atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” Also, a passage that really explains God’s thoughts on the idea of the fear of Him is Proverbs 1:28-33 - “28Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30They would have none of My counsel and despised My every rebuke. 31Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33But whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” So, the “fear of the Lord” - That is a good kind of fear: remembering that one day, we will stand before the Supreme Creator and Judge of the Universe and give an account of every detail: every thought, word, deed, intention, motive – it’s a very healthy fear for all of us. It’s also interesting to notice that God clearly points out it’s our choice – i.e. we are deciding if we will embrace it or not. That same exact phrase (“the fear of the Lord”) is used in Acts and right around that verse are little notes that God was blessing them abundantly for it. That’s exciting! Here is a key highlight in Acts 9:31 - “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” Please note: there is a major difference between this fear and our human fears that cause us to worry. The fear of the Lord drives us to become more pure, more pleasing to God – and that does please Him! Worrying drives us to doubt God and His ability to help us, and even more – it causes us to doubt His Word. Worry is a slap in His face, as if we are saying, ‘Yeah I know you’re God and all, but I don’t think you know how to handle this one’… How that must break His heart, and yet it is something we all struggle with often. We do need to notice that there is a huge difference to Him. God recommends the “fear of the Lord” (2nd Chronicles 19:7, 9; Job 28:28; Psalm 19:9; 34:11; 111:10; Prov. 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10; 10:17; 14:26, 27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; Isaiah 11:2, 3; 33:6; and Acts 9:31). But over and again commands us to not worry (Matt. 6:25, 31, 34; 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11; and 12:22.)
It’s quite interesting to note that the angels are able to identify who is saved and who is not, and in a couple of different places, God challenges us also to learn to identify the fruit. So, we would be wise to note how God’s servants know who to sort out, and which ones are saved and which one aren’t. The key to understanding this is in the brief phrase “those who practice lawlessness.” Those who are saved, will continue to walk with Him – walking in and learning obedience. God makes this clear in 1st John. 1st John 1:7-10 - “7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” Then here is the key piece we need to catch and understand: “3Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” And then again in 1st John 2:29 - “29If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” Then again in 1st John 3:4, 7, 10, “4Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness… 7Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous… 10In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God.” That is how we check to see where we are: if we are pleasing God or not: are we practicing righteousness? Are we learning what it means to follow Christ? Are we striving to obey His commandments? Because Jesus, Himself said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) That is what it means to be saved – a follower of Christ: those who practice righteousness. Do His children still make mistakes? Yes! Will God allow His children to stay there? No, because in some way He will continue to teach His children through hard times and step-by-step growth.
Words to note: “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” – Hell is as real as Heaven. Just like God is good and loving, He’s holy and just at the same time. If we believe Jesus, then we understand that Hell is a very real place and that people are right now being tormented there – not specifically because they didn’t believe in Jesus, but because they didn’t obey the gospel of Jesus Christ – they chose to pay for their own sins. We need to not only remember, but also warn everyone we can how Jesus was describing real people who went to a real place called Hell in Luke 16:19-31. According to Jesus, Hell is a very real place and there are people already there paying for their sins because they continued their rebellion and didn’t accept God’s offer to pay their fine for them, including the unnamed rich man. Pastor John MacArthur and other Bible teachers point out that Jesus didn’t use names in His parables, so that story where He uses literal names, [like Lazarus and Abraham] is obviously different from a parable – it’s talking about a real event with real people, and a real place. Jesus also describes Hell and it’s eternal torment at the end of a number of His parables.
Words to note: “…but gather the wheat into my barn.” ~ By the way – some really good news! He builds really nice barns! J The only reason this earth is in such bad shape is because of the effects and consequences of sin. So, those of us who “confess with [our] mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in [our] hearts that God raise Him from the dead, [we] will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). And if we are saved and Jesus is our Leader and Savior, then we, like Abraham was, are waiting “for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”