Our receptionist Carol has nice flowers in her office. Well, they're sort of flowers. It looks like a beautiful bouquet. And the other day when I walked into her office, I sniffed and said, "What's that smell, Carol? Is that flowers?" It was so nice to be greeted with this wonderful, spring-like aroma. She didn't answer me. She just reached into the top drawer in her desk and pulled out this air spray. "I sprayed it on the flowers," she told me. By now you know the truth about Carol's lovely flowers. Tthey look like they're alive, they smell like they're alive, but they're not alive!
Well, I'm, Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Illusion of Life."
Our Word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 13, it's one of those parables of Jesus. And this one has one of the most sobering conclusions of any He ever told. It's not about flowers, but it's about weeds. And the illusion of life.
In verse 24: "Jesus told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.'" Now, Jesus went on to say that the farmer's servants are concerned about this mixture of wheat and weeds so they ask, "'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' '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.'"
Now what's this all about? Jesus explained it later. The wheat is the people who really have a relationship with Him. The weeds are people who look like they have a relationship with Him, but really don't. Notice the servants couldn't tell the difference between what was real and what wasn't. We can't tell, but God can. According to Jesus, there are lots of folks who are sort of like our receptionist's artificial flowers, they look and smell and sound like they have eternal life, but the looks are deceiving somehow, they have missed Jesus. And the difference will be very clear on Judgment Day, horribly clear. The weeds, Jesus said, will be burned. The wheat will be brought to Him.
It's an unsettling thought that sitting next to each other are two people who both look like they know Jesus, talk like they know Jesus, even act like they know Jesus, but one is headed to heaven, the other is headed to hell. The difference is whether or not there was a time when they, in their heart, went to the cross of Jesus and said, "Jesus, I'm putting all my trust in You and what You did on that cross for me." It was there your sin-bill was paid. It is there that you trade in the death penalty you deserve for the eternal life you could never deserve.
Jesus told this story because He wants us to think about whether we really belong to Him. You may have a lot of Christianity but somehow you've missed Jesus. That's why God's Word says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith." Has there been a time when you gave yourself to the One who died for you? Then you are wheat. If there hasn't been a time like that, you still don't have real life, that's the weeds. This might be Jesus giving you one more chance to move from the illusion of life to the real thing. If you really don't belong to Jesus, will you tell Him that right now.
Christian answers, Christian values, Christian beliefs, a Christian image, those can be just the illusion of life. The real thing is within your reach right now knowing you belong to Jesus and you'll be with Him forever.