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God’s Remnant Church (The Remnant Church)

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    A Living Church

    Has God no living church? He has a church, but it is the church militant, not the church triumphant. We are sorry that there are defective members, that there are tares amid the wheat. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way....So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lestGRC 29.3

    while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to bum them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”GRC 30.1

    In the parable of the wheat and the tares, we see the reason why the tares were not to be plucked up; it was lest the wheat be rooted up with the tares. Human opinion and judgment would make grave mistakes. But rather than have a mistake made, and one single blade of wheat rooted up, the Master says, “Let both grow together until the harvest;” then the angels will gather out the tares, which will be appointed to destruction. Although in our churches, that claim to believe advanced truth, there are those who are faulty and erring, as tares among the wheat, God is long-suffering and patient. He reproves and warns the erring, but He does not destroy those who are long in learning the lesson He would teach them; He does not uproot the tares from the wheat. Tares and wheat are to grow together till the harvest; when the wheat comes to its full growth and development, and because of its character when ripened, it will be fully distinguished from the tares.GRC 30.2

    The church of Christ on earth will be imperfect, but God does not destroy His church because of its imperfection. There have been and will be those who are filled with zeal not according to knowledge, who would purify the church, and uproot the tares from the midst of the wheat. But Christ has given special light as to how to deal with those who are erring, and with those who are unconverted in the church. There is to be no spasmodic, zealous, hasty action taken by church members in cutting off those they may think defective in character. Tares will appear among the wheat; but it would do more harm to weed out the tares, unless in God’s appointed way, than to leave them alone. While the Lord brings into the church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed, Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God.GRC 30.3

    Jesus knew that Judas was defective in character, but notwithstanding this, He accepted him as one of the disciples, and gave him the same opportunities and privileges that He gave to the others whom He had chosen. Judas was left without excuse in the evil course he afterward pursued. Judas might have become a doer of the word, as were eventually Peter and James and John and the other disciples. Jesus gave precious lessons of instruction, so that those who were associated with Him might have been converted, and have no need of clinging to the defects that marred their characters. Review and Herald, Aug. 29, Sept. 5, 1893. Reprinted in Testimonies to Ministers, pages 41-47.GRC 30.4

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