You probably did not want to know that you are going to church with people who will end up in the lake of fire. That is not the most joyful word you will hear today. But it is the word of the Lord.
Many people become disillusioned with the church because they meet those who attend yet are not living for God. To help His disciples grapple with such tensions, Jesus told a story. He told of a famer who planted a field with a grain crop. While he was sleeping, an enemy planted poisonous seeds in that field.
Jesus explained that the Kingdom of God is like that, a field of good people. However, the enemy sticks bad people in the Kingdom, too! As time goes on, you can tell those who grow to maturity and those who are poisonous.
In Jesus’s story, the workers asked, “Should we pull out the weeds?” But by that time, their roots were already entangled with the healthy plants. The famer decided to let them all grow until the harvest. At that point it would be easier to reap the good crop and burn the bad.
Jesus said, “The 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, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:41-42)
The Lord will gather these evil people from within His Kingdom! Yes there are millions of evil people outside the Kingdom. We expect that. However, there are also many within who will be gathered together and burned in hellfire.
That means you may grow in the Lord next to someone who is doomed if they do not change their ways. Yes, we want a pure church, but Jesus warned that it will never be fully perfected in this life. The church is going to have messes—you may not even be able to tell who is not godly at times. He will sort it all out later.
What we do need to know is that we can live for God even if we attend church or, worse, live with someone who is hell-bound. Life is too short to try to play God right now. Live pleasing to Him. Reach to convert those who are not. And don’t become uprooted because of those who refuse.
Just remember, you cannot judge everyone from the outside. An appointed day is coming when the Lord will handle all of this (Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 17:31).The apostle warned us not to “judge anything before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both shed light on the hidden things of darkness and will reveal the counsels of the hearts.” (I Corinthians 4:5, LITV). Until then, live for God and keep your own nose clean!