Matthew 13:24-25: Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, 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.
The good seed (wheat) are children of faith, the children of God. The bad seed (tares) are the children of the world, of the enemy. The field is the world.
In every walk of life, there will be tares among wheat. Jesus is saying that the enemy sows his seed in the world. If you see preachers that are bad, don’t blame every preacher. What you’re seeing is the plot of the enemy; to sow tares among wheat.
The parable says that the enemy took advantage of the men who sowed good seed when they went to sleep. The enemy will go to work when you go to sleep. Thats why we are warned in the Word to be awake, to be vigilant.
In scripture, the word “sleep” not only means going to sleep, but it also refers to the believer that has passed away or died. For the believer, death is not permanent.
2 Peter 3: 3-7: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
This verse is saying that since the fathers passed away, men are willfully ignorant of, and unwilling to learn about three things:
1- Creation- That God is the creator of the heavens and the earth.
2- The Flood (the first judgement)
3- The coming judgement of God
Relate this to the society we live in. Since the forefathers fell asleep, things began to change.
In Psalms 49:11 God is saying that it is the deceptive thought to think that you house will live forever and that your dwelling place will endure to all generations. Its deceptive to not consider what will happen in the next generation. In generations past, the founding fathers of our nation came here to escape the tyranny and dictatorship of those that ruled over them and ruled over their faith. They wouldn’t even recognize it here now. We can see from the first amendment that the founding fathers thought we should be able to worship God without fear of the government.
Benjamin Franklin: “We have been assured in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.” (1787, Constitutional Convention Address.)
Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
John Quincy Adams: “The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this- that it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government and the precepts of Christianity.”
John Adams: “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love and reverence toward Almighty God…What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
The United States Supreme Court Ruling, 1892: “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It’s impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian… This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation… we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth… These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”
These are the founders of this nation. They have all “gone to sleep”… passed away. Since then, things have drastically changed because their successors didn’t have the same convictions. Eventually we will all “go to sleep”. We have to be sensitive of what will become of our legacy after we are gone.
Hebrews 11:13-(The”hall of faith”: A list of men and women of God who believed God, and had great conviction. In reference to them…): “These all died in faith having not received the promises, but having seen them afar off and were persuaded by them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
2 Kings 20:1: In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
….He was saying, “you need to get your house in order because right now there is no successor to do what you have done once you’re gone.” After Hezekiah prayed, the Lord says he would give him 15 extra years. Isaiah then prophesies to Hezekiah about an evil that was coming. Hezekiah says back to Isaiah about the coming prophesy…
v.19 Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days? (This is also recorded in Isaiah 39:8)
He was basically saying, “Wew, good! All that stuff will happen after I am gone. At least it will be good in my days.” He forgot what God had asked him to do, to prepare a people for what is coming. It was his generation that was responsible for raising up a generation of people that would be prepared for what was to come.
v.21-21:2. “And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead. Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.”
How much time did God give Hezekiah when we said, “Get things in order”? – 15 years.
How old was Manasseh when he began to reign? – 12 years.
Hezekiah knew before Manasseh was born that he had to get him ready to lead so that when he was dead, Manasseh could reign righteously. Manasseh’s 12 years would affect the next 55 years. He failed. Manasseh not only did not succeed his father, but he undid some of the victories they had already won. He built altars to false gods, he even sacrificed his own son to the fire. He did much wickedness in the sight of the Lord.
Hezekiah failed in his duty to raise up and prepare a leader for the next generation. He didn’t have his house in order. We are guilty of the same. Have we lost the conviction for the next generation? Is our house in order?
Biblically you’re either a child or an adult. There are no teenagers. God said you raise a child and he becomes a man. We’ve created a generation where men do childish things. Wives shouldn’t have to treat their husbands like they are their momma. That happens because the man’s parents didn’t raise him up to be a man.
We are raising kids, but we should be raising parents. Your kids are future parents. Don’t just raise kids, because then they will get to be 30 and they’re still kids. Don’t just catch a fish to give to your son to eat because when you sleep he’ll only have a fish. Raise him to catch a fish so that when you’re gone, he’ll be able to teach his son to catch a fish. Raise successors with the same convictions so the they can raise later generations with those convictions when you’re gone.
Psalms 71:18: Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
We have got to prepare so that when go to sleep, the enemy cannot go to work. We must invest in our successors. We have to raise up the next generation to live by conviction, by the Word of God!
Psalms 127:5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.