In Matthew 13:24-30 we read the parable of the wheat and tears and Jesus tells us that this is likened to the Kingdom of God. A man sows good seed in his field, but an enemy comes in and sows (plants) tears (weeds). When the wheat and the tears start to grow they are very hard to tell one from the other, they look very much alike. A servant tells the master that there are tears among the wheat and the master says, “let them grow together less you uproot the young immature wheat trying to pull up the tears. But when it is harvest time then the tears will be gathered and cast into the fire and the wheat into the masters storehouse.”
Now the master in this story represents God, His servant asking Him to deal with the problem is a minister, the good seed is the Word of God, the bad seed is error/deceit/wickedness, the wheat are true Christians, and the tears are hypocrites and sinners. When they are young and immature they are sometimes hard to tell apart and easily uprooted, yet as they mature the wheat (Christian) bares fruit and the tears do not.
“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” – Matthew 7:19
This identification and separation of a true believer from the false is again exemplified in an other parable of Christ return found in Matthew 25:31-46 That of the Sheep and the Goats. Christ declares that at His coming He will separate the sheep (true Christians) from the goats (hypocrites and sinners). The sheep to eternal glory and the goats to eternal damnation. What is the deciding factor in this separating? Their fruit, which is their works and character. Those that feed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, housed the stranger, clothed the naked, and visited the sick and imprisoned were counted as sheep and those that did not where counted as goats. There fruit (works and character) was the deciding factor.
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:20-21
Now understand this. We are not saved by works, but faith alone. All the works in the world won’t save you without faith, but faith without works is nullified, or dead. So neither works alone or faith alone will get you to heaven, it takes both. We are saved by our faith but judged by our works, seeing that our works are the evidence of our faith.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” – Revelation 20:12-13
“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,” – Romans 2:5-8
Now returning to the wheat parable. Once the wheat is mature and the time of harvest comes, the wheat bows down and the tears remain standing straight making them easily identifiable, one from the other. The pridefully standing tears are cut down and cast into the fire and the bowing wheat is then gathered unto the master. However whats interesting about this is why the wheat are bowing and the tears are not. You see, the wheat bows down because of the weight of the fruit it is baring. It bows down to present it’s offering to the master, it’s fruit, it’s sacrifice. The tears stand straight because they have no fruit, no offering, no sacrifice. Nothing to present to the master. You see, our fruit (or the works of our life) is our offering of obedience that proves our selfless faith in God just as Abraham’s was. Understand that under the old covenant we presented dead sacrifices, and under the new covenant we present living ones, but they are sacrifices none the less. Christ sacrificially died for us that we might sacrificially live for Him, the cross was death to Christ, but to us it is life.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23