Since the beginning of time God has had people on the earth that are truly His people, but they are troubled by many among them who are professors, claiming to be one of the believers but are not. This problem of false believers among the true believers will continue until the Son of man sends forth His angels and gathers them out of His kingdom.
Are there unbelievers that are members of churches? Some pastors estimate that 50 percent of their congregation on the church roll are not saved and some say up to 75 percent. What are we to do with these lost church members who profess to be saved but are lost?
Satan can't uproot the true believers so he plants false believers, those who profess to be saved but are not. This causes a multitude of problems. In the book of Matthew beginning with Matthew 13:24 it is explained that the kingdom of heaven is like a man which sowed good seed in his field. Christ is planting, or sowing, true believers throughout the world. Jesus explains this in Matthew 13:38. Jesus tells us that the field is the world and the good seed are the children of the kingdom, the true believers.
Then, in Matthew 13:25 Matthew tells us that while men slept an enemy sowed tares among the wheat. Jesus tells us in Matthew 13:29-42 that this enemy that sowed the tares is the devil. Tares are weeds that look just like the wheat until harvest time. Wheat bears fruit but tares do not. Christ sows the true believers, the wheat, and then comes Satan and sows the tares, false Christians, among the believers. In Matthew 13:38-39 we see that these tares are the children of the wicked one, the devil. These are the professors of Christianity that reject the redemptive work of Christ and are lost. Satan has his false Christians, 2 Corinthians 11:26, that believe a false Gospel, Galatians 1:6-9.
In Matthew 13:30 Matthew tells us to let the false Christians grow along with the true Christians. So the task of the church is to plant true believers, not to pull up or cast out the false believers for doing so may uproot a true believer. Jesus will take care of that at the harvest, Matthew 13:41-43.
We can see this mixture of believers and professors throughout the Bible. There are many Bible references concerning this but here is a sampling:
There are many people who are formalists, hypocrites, and deceived legalists that are working for their own salvation while a true believer is working out the salvation they already have as a free gift, Philippians 2:12-13. In Ephesians 2:8-10 the aposle Paul says that we are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves but it is a gift of God. Therefore one cannot boast except for God's mercy and grace. Then in verse 10 we see that we are created unto good works.
|Believers are rewarded, Matthew 25:19-23.||Professors are punished, Matthew 25:24-30.|
|Our faith saves us, Luke 7:50||Simon said he believed and was baptized but his heart was not right, Acts 8:13; 8:21.|
|Jesus said those that came to Him He would not cast out, John 6:37; 6:38.||out, John 6:37; 6:38. Jesus said there were some among them that believed not, John 6:64; 6:66.|
|Believers will receive a reward of inheritance, Colossians 3:24.||Professors will proclaim salvation by works but Jesus says he never knew them, Matthew 7:22-23.|
|Those that received his word were baptized and continued in the apostles doctrine, Acts 2:41-42.||John says they went out from us but they were not of us, 1 John 2:19.|
|The righteousness of God, which is by faith, came upon all those that believe, Romans 3:22.||Jesus said you appear righteous unto men but are full of hypocrisy and wickedness, Matthew 23:28; 23:33.|
|Those that are saved are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb, Revelation 19:7.||Professors are cast into outer darkness, Matthew 13:-41-43; Matthew 22:11-13.|
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