Connecting Champions to the Vine – C2TV

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A Mixed Body – R.C. Sproul

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C2TV ministry is designed to strengthen your spiritual walk. This ministry newsletter began in 1999, first known as the Family Tree Ministry. The goal is to be a connection builder, serving as a spiritual connection between people and matters of faith. Our mission is simple: Connecting men and women to life-changing faith in Jesus – encouraging them to impact their community with His values, ethics and love. In the age of technology the newsletter has transformed into a blog with many more features that the old paper format couldn't provide. In November 2012, The Family Tree Ministry was renamed to "Connect to the Vine - (C2TV)" based on the Book of John, Chapter 15, where we are told to remain connected to Christ. In October 2016, this blog was renamed to "Connecting Champions to the Vine - C2TV." This change came about with the adding of the ADVOCARE bar at the top of the blog site. Originally focused on a ministry outreach to family members, C2TV has expanded to reach all those whom we come into contact with. Our prayer is that this blog becomes a means of illuminating God's work in our culture and encouraging one another to stand firm in Him! At the heart of the spiritual journey is the understanding that it is a journey. None of us are perfect. Once we become believers, we are not expected to achieve instant spiritual maturity. Rather, the Christian life is a process involving both our attention (2 Corinthians 7:1) and God’s work in us (Philippians 1:6). And it has more to do with opportunity and intentionality than with age (1 Timothy 4:12).

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wheatandtaresMatthew 13:47–50 “So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous” (v. 49).

The parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43) is probably not first and foremost about the presence of people who profess the Christian faith falsely in the institutional church. However, this does not mean that Jesus has nothing to say on the subject. The parable of the net apparently deals with the fact that those who do not really know Christ will “worship” beside true believers in the visible covenant community.

Several hints in Matthew 13:47–50 indicate that the parable of the net is about the church. First among these is Jesus’ use of a fishing metaphor (v. 47). He calls His disciples to be “fishers of men” and four of the Twelve — Peter, Andrew, James, and John — were professional fishermen before our Lord made them apostles (4:18–22). Fishermen casting a net brings to mind the call of the Twelve (and all believers) to preach the Gospel and catch people for the kingdom.

Second, the indiscriminate casting of the net reminds us of the external call of the Gospel (13:47). In Jesus’ day, Jewish fishermen used a net with weights and floaters that, when pulled by rope out of the water, ensnared a multitude of various kinds of fish. Similarly, Christ calls His church to evangelize all mankind without regard to the distinctions between human beings (28:18–20).

Our Lord’s contemporaries are again familiar with the imagery in this parable. Those who had worked on the seas knew well the task of sorting out the edible fish from those not fit for consumption (13:48), which is likened to the angelic separation of the righteous from the unrighteous when the kingdom is consummated (vv. 49–50). Like a net catching fish, the church will bring in many kinds of people. Yet just as not all fish are fit for eating, so too are not all members of the visible church fit for heaven. The church we can see is a mixed body until the Savior returns. All those whom we see professing Christ (the visible church) do not necessarily have faith; some join the church for motives other than serving Jesus. These false professors are mixed with true believers in the visible church, but not forever. For on Judgment Day those who never possessed saving trust in Christ will find eternal punishment (vv. 49–50).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

When people abandon Christ, they prove that they never had faith at all, since those with true faith are preserved by God, never to fall away permanently (1 John 2:19). Still, when we see people leave Jesus, it does not necessarily mean there is no hope for them. Only God knows the state of a person’s heart, and He may be pleased to bring one who has backslidden back into His fold. That is why we must never cease praying for those who have left the church.


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