“’No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:29-30)
Oh, do we wish it were not so. If there was just a way for the Lord to separate us from the ungodly while here on earth it would be heaven on earth for us. The problem is that we cannot see the heart of a person. Try as we will to judge one another we are not able to see into a person’s life. Only God has that ability and no prophet or minister can assume to have such wisdom. So, we are stuck in this quagmire of God’s making. We must understand His wisdom in knowing that for us to judge and mess with this situation to much will cause good Christians to be offended and possibly fall away. Nothing alienates people like judgment. Especially, judgment that is wrong.
What might we do as we live in fellowship with unbelievers? Certainly, we must be careful. We must make sure they do not drag us down to their level. We must stay in God’s Word to remain strong in spirit to resist any temptation to compromise the true faith. And we must love them greatly. Maybe God knew we needed a testing ground for love. He has given it to us through life on this earth. We can be assured that as we wrestle with our faith and life here, that the day is coming when we will be through that dark valley and on the other side in Heaven. That will be a glorious day but in the meantime, we hang faithful to our Lord Jesus.
Heavenly Father, help us hang faithful to Your Son as we may be tempted by people around us. Help us discern unbelief but withhold judgment and extend love instead. Give us wisdom to continue ministering according to Your will with the blessed hope of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.