Separating the Tares from the Wheat
John 6:61, "When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?"
This scripture, as well as Matthew 15:12, reveals that people will be offended by the Gospel. As much as possible, however, we should make sure that it is not ourselves that are offensive. But we cannot labor under the deception that everyone will receive the Gospel, even if the truth was presented properly. We know that Jesus represented His Father perfectly and yet most people rejected His message.
In these two instances, when Jesus realized He had offended the listeners, He didn't apologize and try to make concessions to gain their acceptance. Instead, He got harder. This hard message of commitment is not only beneficial to those who receive it, but it serves a dual purpose in that it exposes the "tares among the wheat."
It is important to be aware that the children of the wicked one are placed among the true believers. We should be very careful about putting just anyone who professes Christianity into any position of authority (1 Timothy 3:10). Our best defense is to preach the Word of God without watering it down. False brethren will not endure sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3). They leave when the Word, which is sharper than any two-edged sword, begins to expose the thoughts and intents of the heart. There will still, however, be those who are deceived and unaware that they are not born again, remaining among the Church until the end of this world.
As long as Jesus was in the world in His physical body, He was lighting the way to the Father. He now shines through our lives. It is our responsibility to be a witness. The purpose of a light is to dispel the darkness. So "let your light shine before men. ... " (Matthew 5:16).
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