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Are You A Tare Or A Wheat?

Salvation Self-examination Evangelism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-07

Scripture: Matthew 13: ; Matthew 7:14

Author: Mitchell Dillon


Although the "tares" in Matthew thirteen are described as "the children of the wicked one," sown into the "wheat" field for nefarious reasons, they are, nevertheless, lost souls who need to be reached (v. 38). Every church has them! Some churches have a lot of them!!  As a pastor for some 30 years, I have known far too many professing Christians who were clearly missing something. Whether it was detected in an uncomfortability with worship, a lack of desire to witness to the unreached, an absence of any mention of their personal relationship with Jesus, or the absence of joy in their lives, we've all known good church going people who have left us to wonder about the true nature of their faith.

Wheat and tares can look remarkably alike. But in reality, they are nothing alike. One is a vital plant, full of nourishment. The other is a mere weed, which if left unchecked, will choke out the vitality of the harvest. This is exactly why the Lord Himself used them as an example of unbelievers blending into the body life of the Church. My pastor's heart is greatly burdened for these people. For I am convinced that, although they may be plants, most of them don't realize that about themselves.

To begin the illustration, project an image like the one below as an object lesson for how similar the two can appear.

Are you a "tare" or a "wheat?" This question is really, really important because Jesus warns us that some may genuinely think that they are “wheat,” that they possess a saving faith, when in actuality they are “tares.” It’s not that tares are bad people, in fact, they may be some of the best people any of us will ever meet. That’s the problem!

Tares may be fooled into thinking that they are genuine believers because they look like a genuine believer. After all, they do all the things that genuine believers do, they hangout in all the same places where genuine believers hangout. But just as a tare looks just like a wheat plant in the early stages of its development, these wonderful people can appear to everyone, even to themselves, to be something they’re not.


If Jesus words give you any cause for pause, then by all means take the time to reflect. Ask yourself, “Is there something missing?” Perhaps, upon reflection, you will realize that there have always been certain things that you never really understood. Perhaps you chalked these things up to meaningless “church talk.” Nevertheless, you have watched other believers get excited about things that you felt no excitement for, or be moved by things that didn’t move you.

Once again, you chalked these experiences up to a case of them being “hyper-religious.” But just because you don’t have a personal experience with something doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Could it be that they have experienced something that you have not yet experienced? Here’s the thing, we don’t know what we don’t know. So, assume you may have missed something, especially when you have the Bible describing salvation as the "narrow way" and warning you that "few will find it" (Matthew 7:14).

Know--that you know--that you know what Jesus is talking about here! I personally know what it is to have been a tare and how it’s different from being a wheat for one reason and for one reason only; I was once a tare and now I’m a wheat! Can you say that? It’s SO important that you not become defensive here. No one is judging you, or claiming to be better than you. That, by the way, is how tares often respond!

The wheat rejoice because they belong to Jesus! Do you have that joy? The wheat rest in the assurance that they are going to heaven because Jesus did all that was required of them! Do you possess that assurance? Search yourself thoroughly here. Don’t be satisfied until you can sing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see,” and really know what that means!

Prepared For What’s Coming

Self-examination God's Judgment Death

Source: "Mystery of dead man and his 1,200 guns deepens" By Sarah Parvini, Veronica Rocha and Richard Winton, LA Times, August 29th, 2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-08-30

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:2 ; Hebrews 9:27

Author: Illustration Exchange


Detectives found hundreds of firearms inside a Pacific Palisades home after responding to a report of a body in a car near the house. The body went unnoticed for two weeks in the summer heat, decomposing inside a sport utility vehicle. Police traced the dead man to the house down the street. It was there that investigators discovered more than 1,200 guns of various types along with two tons of ammunition.

The cache of firearms and ammunition was so large that it took police several truckloads and several days to remove it. Neighbors described the man, known as “Bob,” as a gun fanatic who claimed to have worked for one of the secret services.

We don't think the weapons are illegal. We are taking them for public safety,” said Sgt. David Craig of the LAPD's gang and narcotics division.

While the identity of the man remains a mystery, just as mysterious is why the man had amassed so many weapons.


It's intriguing to wonder why this mystery man had amassed enough artillery to equip a small army. But the bigger question isn’t why Bob was preparing to kill others, but rather, was he himself prepared to die?  

For just like Bob, whatever else you and I might have to face in life, one thing is certain—death is coming to all of us.

That being so, whatever it takes to settle things with God, do it. Nothing else is more important, more urgent, or more certain.  

“…Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NKJV).

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Clean Your Windows

Judging Self-examination Hypocrisy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-30

Scripture: Matthew 7:5

Author: Unknown


A cute story with a serious message:

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean; she doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments. A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband: "Look, she's finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?"

The husband replies, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows." 


And so it is with life ... What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of our own vision. That's why Jesus admonished us all to check ourselves before we seek to judge anyone else.

"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5).

Your Life Stinks

Bible Sanctification Self-examination

Contributed By: William Baker | Date Posted: 2015-06-28

Author: William Baker

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Fear and Dread of the Easter Bunny

Easter God's Accessibility Self-examination

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2015-04-01

Scripture: Hebrews 10:22

Author: Barnett Gushin

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Killer Bad Breath

Hatred Purity Self-examination

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-02-28

Scripture: Matthew 15:18

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Where Are You On The Gratitude Spectrum

Gratitude Happiness Self-examination

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-11-18

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange

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I DARE You to Come Out

Appearance Transparency Self-examination

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-22

Scripture: Psalms 139:23

Author: Newser Staff / Illustration Exchange

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How To Identify A Narcissist With One Easy Question

Narcissism Self-examination Sin Nature

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-08-18

Scripture: Romans 3:23

Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff / Illustr

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How To Survive the Bulls at Pamplona, Or Not

Arrogance Perseverance Self-examination

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-08-16

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:12

Author: Illustration Exchange

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