While Men Slept
"Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. "But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. "But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. "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?' "And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' "But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. '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."' (Matthew 13:24-30).
Our true-to-life story above indicates that while men slept, the enemy planted illegitimate seeds into a field—seeds not intended by their owner. Even today, the Enemy is still planting religions, doctrines, “social and watered down” gospels (Gal 1:6-10), traditions, personal opinions, and beliefs in place of where Scripture is and should be the authority (see Mark 7:7). Vain attempts have been made to justify their practices to draw men to their services, but John 6:44 still indicates that it is God who draws men to Him—not men being “creative” to draw to them. Further, such “enhancements” to worship are not authorized because those practices are not found in Scripture, and it is God who supplies the increase to His seeds in the harvest of righteousness according to 2 Corinthians 9:10.
As Bible-believing people, we teach and should encourage “open book (Bible) tests” in our Lord’s worship services and bible studies! The Lord’s church can fall into a similar “sleep” as mentioned in Matthew 13:24-30, if we fall into practices where we are simply sitting and listening to a fallible speaker, without requiring book, chapter, and verse for what is being spoken and following along closely within our Bibles to affirm what is being said. From our lips and hearts, we should always ask, “What do the Scriptures say?!”
“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” – Acts 17:11
— Damon Long