Is it real or fake? It looks just like a real diamond. At a glance, it’s hard to tell if a beautiful, glittery gem is a true diamond or an imitation, a copy-cat of a genuine stone. There are imitation Christians out there too, and they may look very similar to the real thing. But Jesus told a parable about look-alike Believers that demonstrates that there is really only one difference between true and false Christians.
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus explained that weeds (tares) were growing among wheat stalks and He said they needed to grow together until the harvest. You see, they look so much alike that if the farmer tries to pull the weeds before harvest time, he could damage the true wheat stalks.
Sounds simple right? So the real wheat continues to co-exist with the tares. But the farmer can be counted on to harvest his crop. That’s when the truth comes out!
When the wheat and the weeds are mature, it’s easy to tell which are the real thing. The wheat is heavier and has substance because of the fruit (grain) inside. The tare is light and has no substance. The seeds that are found inside tares are small black seeds that make you sick if you eat them. How interesting! If you eat the real wheat, you are nourished. If you eat of the fakes, it’s like poison. One brings life and one brings death.
At harvest time, the farmers of that day would simply throw the wheat and tare mixture into the air and the chaff would blow away with the wind. The heavier grain would fall to the ground. Now the farmer would have only the true wheat with no false or imitation wheat mixed in with the good grain.
Just as the crops can’t avoid the harvest, our world will not avoid the day of judgment. It will be easy for God to separate those who belong to Him from copy-cats who look very much like Christians. How will He know? If the Holy Spirit is living inside of the person, he or she is a real Christian. If not, he is a tare, an empty imitation with no real fruit, only poisonous lies.
If both true and imitation Christians can look, talk and act so much alike, how can we be sure that we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us?
Important truths to remember:
- Our feelings do not determine whether we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. The Spirit does not come and go at the whim of our emotions and feelings.
- Jesus’ promises found in John 15:26 and 16:13 give us the personal assurance we need. When we believe in the Lord Jesus, He sends His Holy Spirit to live within us.
- If we believe in Jesus, we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. (1 John 5:10) The Spirit testifies that Jesus is Truth. As we study and learn God’s Word, the Spirit leads us into understanding.
- When we quench or grieve the Spirit by sinning, we must ask for forgiveness. We rely on the truth of God’s Word and choose to believe.
- The Holy Spirit seals us for eternity with a seal that will never be broken (Ephesians 1:13).
Trusting God’s Word gives us assurance that we are true Believers. The real thing!
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13