The devil may be the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), that is, over this present evil world order, but Christ is far above him. Remember that God "... set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Eph. 1:20-23.
Christ's authority over all things is "to the church," that is, God's people and their welfare are the focus of His rule. That's the same focus in the parable: He's raising a crop of wheat. He even refrains from prematurely separating the wheat from the tares lest the wheat be uprooted.
When a farmer buys land for farming he's not interested merely in owning pretty fields. His interest is in the crops he'll be able to raise in those fields. Christ has no interest in this present world, especially in the condition it's in, other than to fulfill the sovereign commission of His Father: there's a crop to plant and raise.
This parable encompasses a time frame from the beginning of the preaching of the gospel all the way to the beginning of eternity to come. It describes in simple terms the nature, purpose, and result of the reign of Christ with respect to this earth. When the parable ends, the wicked are gone and only a glorious kingdom remains.
Multitudes today have been taught a concept of a future Messianic age---a concept borrowed from apostate Judaism---in which Christ will reign bodily from Jerusalem over the nations of this world. Wicked men will be forced by various means to live in peace and righteousness. A world that has refused the gospel will supposedly then be given the opportunity to "believe" in a Christ they can see and touch who reigns in manifest glory. Don't believe it!
The only opportunity men will ever have is to repent and believe the gospel during this present age. Men must bow the knee to Christ here and now if they're to have any hope of the world to come. And what a hope it is: "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ"! Rom. 8:17.
It's difficult for one who has much exposure to the Messianic Age doctrine to conceive of the reign of Christ in any terms other than a visible and bodily reign. Consider the devil: the Bible calls him the god of this world. As such he reigns over the kingdom of darkness, yet he lives in no earthly palace and can neither be seen nor touched. He indeed rules, yet he rules from the unseen realm. His kingdom consists of the demonic host--- and the world of lost mankind who blindly cooperate with and submit to his rule.
Christ's rule is just as real. He has at his disposal "an innumerable
company of angels," "the spirits of just men made perfect," as well as "the
church which is his body." Heb. 12:22-23, Eph. 1:22-23. The kingdom Christ
is building is not for the purpose of reigning politically over the nations
of this world, but of gathering God's elect out of this world and
preparing them for eternity.
"Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me."
The missionary's one in whom the Holy Ghost has wrought this realization - "Ye are not your own." To say, "I'm not my own" is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility. The true nature of the life in the actual whirl is: the deliberate giving up of ourselves to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit expounds the nature of Jesus to us in order to make us one with our Lord, not that we might go off as a showroom exhibit. Our Lord never sent any of the disciples out on the ground of what He'd done for them. It wasn't until after the Resurrection, when the disciples had perceived by the power of the Holy Spirit Whom He was, that Jesus said "Go."
"If any man come to me and hate not . . . , he cannot be My disciple," not, he cannot be good and upright, but, he cannot be one over whom Jesus writes the word "Mine." Any one of the relationships Our Lord mentions may be a competitive relationship. We may prefer to belong to our mother, or to our spouse, or to ourselves; then, says Jesus, you can't be My disciple.
Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him. "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me." The spirit that comes in is not that of doing, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The secret of the missionary is---I am His, and He's carrying out His enterprises through me.
Let's be entirely His.
Three Little Words!
Tomorrow's always a day away, but,
Today's a gift.
That's why it's called the Present"
There's many things we can do to perk up and strengthen our interpersonal relationships. Yet the most effective involves the saying of just three words. When spoken or conveyed, these statements have the power to forge new friendships, deepen old ones and restore relationships that have cooled. The following three-word phrases can enrich every relationship.
I'll Be There:
If you've ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a sick child to the hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from home, you'll know how good it feels to hear the phrase "I'll be there." Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we're truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us. We're renewed in love and friendship. We're restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.
I Miss You:
Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other "I miss you." This powerful affirmation tells partners they're wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how ecstatic you'd feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say "I miss you."
I Respect You:
Respect is another way of showing love. Respect conveys the feeling that another person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they're adults you'll strengthen the bonds and become close friends. This applies to all inter-personal relationships.
Maybe You're Right:
This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and restoring frayed emotions. The flip side to "maybe your right" is the humility of admitting, "Maybe I'm wrong". Let's face it. When you have a heated argument with someone, all you do is cement the other person's point of view. They, or you, won't change their stance and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you. Saying "maybe you're right" can open the door to further explore the subject, in which you may then have the opportunity to get your view across in a more rational manner.
Please Forgive Me:
Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that he's been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
I Thank You:
Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends, are those who don't take daily courtesies for granted. They're quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often don't have the attitude of gratitude.
Count On Me:
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship; it's the emotional glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating you can "count on me."
Let Me Help:
The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When they spot a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they pitch in and help.
I Understand You:
People become closer and enjoy each other more if they feel the other person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know in so many little ways that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship. This applies to any relationship.
I Love You:
Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person's deepest emotional needs; the need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your family, your friends and you, all need to hear those three little words. "I love you."
And how about "God Bless You?"
Have A Blessed Day!