Separating Ourselves from Evil

Separating Ourselves from Evil

Separating ourselves from evil is something that all true believers are to be doing, for it is a vital part of kingdom living.

Separating Ourselves from Evil

Separating Ourselves from Evil

A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church

27 July 2014

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Matthew 13:24–53

Separating ourselves from evil is something that all true believers are to be doing, for it is a vital part of kingdom living.

This may not be as simple as it sounds, because we live in a very corrupt world where the forces of evil distort and camouflage evil to either obscure it or make it seem to be good.

These same forces of evil also try to make what is good seem evil.

Thus we need to keep our eyes and ears open for the tell-tail signs of the evil that surrounds us, so we can avoid it.

And in everything, we are to always remain as peacemaking children of God, and do no intentional harm to any part of God’s creation.

In Matthew 13:24-53, beginning at verse 24 Jesus tells us a parable about this problem.

24. He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

25. “But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.

This is exactly the situation we have in the world today, and since most people are sleeping or oblivious to most of the evil around them, and afraid to speak out, the forces of evil continue to do more evil things.

It’s time we wake up and do our best to peacefully stop the evil and begin separating ourselves from the evil that surrounds us.

26. “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.

27. “And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’

28. “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ And the slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’

29. “But he said, ‘No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.

This is another way of saying that we need to be very cautious about rushing in and claiming that something in someone’s life is evil, for we could also destroy that person or their faith in the process.

But, this doesn’t mean that we are to do nothing.

We can tell the people about the evil things that surround them, such as talking about the horrible suffering that billions of animals are subjected to every year, as a way of saying that we shouldn’t participate in this evil by eating these animals or otherwise exploiting them.

We could also talk about how we are to be peacemaking children of God, and how we should be separating ourselves from the warring madness in this world and all its hype.

So Jesus goes on to tell us what we should do.

30. ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘

This is both talking about saving believers from the evil one, as well as telling us how we should be separating ourselves from evil.

If we are talking about already mature Christians, then it should be relatively easy to distinguish them from the evil in the world around them, and most mature Christians should be constantly separating themselves from the evil, all evil, especially that inflicted upon animals that is all around them and us.

But if we are talking about immature Christians, then we must first help them mature before trying to remove the evil, and hopefully as they mature, they will begin separating themselves from the evil that surrounds them.

This is why we must constantly be telling the truth about being loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God who live in the heavenly will of God.

Jesus goes on…

31. He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field;

32. and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

Jesus told this parable as an example of how the kingdom of God should be in this world and, most importantly, in the life of each one of us.

Our understanding of how the loving, compassionate and peacemaking way of the kingdom of heaven begins in our lives is like a small mustard seed that hopefully continues to grow until it becomes our whole lifestyle, and even attracts others to live in the same way.

And the more this happens, the more we are finding that we and others are separating ourselves from evil.

This is what makes us true children of God.

33. He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.”

Leaven, or yeast, is also used as an example of how evil works in the world; for as with bread, it spreads throughout the whole lump of dough.

This is also an example of how we can work for either good or evil in the world, but hopefully, we will always be conscious of separating ourselves from evil.

And our influence can spread throughout the whole world.

34. All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable,

35. so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying,

“I will open My mouth in parables;

I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

We hope and pray that we all understand the meanings of these parables as well as the Lord’s message of living as peacemaking children of God in the heavenly will of God.

36. Then He left the multitudes, and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

And as we listen to Jesus’ answers and explanations, keep in mind what we have been talking about, and the role we should be playing in the world around us.

37. And He answered and said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,

38. and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;

39. and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.

This is not yet the end of the age, and we still live in a world filled with tares; so what are we who are children of God to do?

God has given us the power to overcome the evil in the world around us, which begins with us separating ourselves from evil.

We are to recognize the evil for what it is and reject all aspects of it.

We may be in the world, but we are not a part of it.

We are to be the loving, compassionate and peacemaking children of God no matter what others do.

We are to be God’s witnesses to the world of His heavenly will for our lives.

And even if we cannot eliminate all the evil in this world, we can and should hold fast to the Lord by faith, knowing that God will one day restore His peace on earth.

40. “Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.

41. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,

42. and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Don’t be a part of, or give into, the evil and evil ways of this world; we should continue separating ourselves from evil.

43. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

And Jesus goes on with another example.

44. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.

45. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,

We don’t like the example of pearls, for the collection of pearls causes the death of oysters.

46. and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

47. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;

Again, fishing causes death, and is part of the worldly system of corrupt and evil ways; and we are to be separating ourselves from evil.

48. and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.

49. “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous,

50. and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51. “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.”

And we hope and pray that we all understand these things, too.

52. And He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

53. And it came about that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there.
NASB

Jesus may have bodily departed this world for heaven, but He has left us the Holy Spirit to comfort us and help us with separating ourselves from evil.

We don’t have to be a part of the evil ways of this world.

We can choose to be children of God.

We can do it.

Amen


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