The Church has within its ranks double-agents, but Christ is still accomplishing His mission. They serve other motives which are not Christ-centric, but the weeding out of most of those double-agents right now would do more harm than good. Jesus taught this principle to His disciples when He spoke of the Parable of the Weeds:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.. but his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat… The servants asked the owner, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’
The owner said, ‘No,… because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest…”
~ Matthew 13:24-30
Double-agents within the church are like weeds within a wheat field. Their roots under the surface of the good soil are intertwined with the roots of the wheat. To uproot the weeds means to uproot the wheat, and if the wheat has not reached the harvest stage yet, it will be completely lost. Notice in the parable that the wheat is still able to grow and reach the harvest stage. It may not be as robust as wheat in a weedless environment, but it still reaches maturity. It also requires much more work at harvest time to finally separate the weeds from the wheat.
Similar to the servants in the parable of the weeds, we might wonder why Jesus doesn’t weed-out all the unfaithful, double-agents that have been planted within the Church and have grown deep roots. Both organizationally and spiritually they are undesirable for the Church, and they certainly shine a negative light on the reputation of the Church and its owner, Jesus Christ.
However, Christ in His wisdom has chosen the best approach for a maximum harvest. He will endure the subversive presence of most of the double-agents for now so that many in the Church who are tied closely with them will not be permanently lost in a premature clean sweep.
The Apostle Paul endured double-agents within the Church also:
“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble…
But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice….”
~ Philippians 1:15-18
If your local church or ministry has some ill-motived double-agents within it that you can’t seem to pray successfully for their removal, perhaps the Lord of the Church has some insight to share with you regarding the timing and method of His removal of them to minimize damage to the good wheat that is in close proximity to them.
In spite of the weeds, the wheat is still growing and the Lord of the Harvest, the Lord of the Church, is watching over the entire field and is preparing for the Harvest.
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