Many of the people we may think to be tares in the church are really just immature wheat. Another word for immature is undeveloped. The Lord may still be working on that person and this is one reason that Jesus asks us not to “gather up the tares, ye may root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:29, 30.
“The Lord Jesus made clear that there are tares among the wheat, meaning that there will be unworthy ones in the church. It does not change the fact, however, that the field in which the wheat is growing is God’s field. The wheat is still God’s wheat. But He makes it clear in this parable that there will always be the insincere and the sincere, the hypocrite and the genuine, the thoughtless and the thoughtful. They will be going to church together.
“Some whom we think in our humanness to be tares are only immature wheat. They need to ‘grow in grace’ (2 Peter 3:18). Our Lord makes very clear also that no man is to judge which are tares and which are immature wheat. Mistakes and sins are committed. But He said, ‘Let both grow together until the harvest …’ (Matthew 13:30).
“If someone were to ask, How could a person who deals dishonestly be anything but a tare? Let us not forget that even if he is a tare at the moment, there is the possibility of his yet receiving the new birth.” Lovely Lord of the Lord’s Day, Glenn and Ethel Coon, 59, 60.
An example of the difficulty of determining whether or not a professed Christian is genuine is that of Judas.
“Judas, had he died before the last journey to Jerusalem, would have probably gone down in history as a great church leader, a spiritual giant for God. Yet all the while he was at heart a traitor. His real character did not surface until the last night before the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus did not expose him, however, during those three years. Yet Jesus knew, as He said, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil’ (John 6:70)?
“On the other hand, Peter, who denied his Master with cursing and swearing, came through like pure gold and preached the sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Aren’t you glad that the responsibility for judging character is not left with us?” Ibid., 119.
“Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church, but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 71.
Father: I am so thankful that You have asked me to keep my eyes stayed upon Thee and not on others. I pray for Thy wisdom and light to shine in and through me so that any immature wheat may have the opportunity to receive that light and to grow, or develop and ripen into wheat ready to be gathered into Thy barn. Amen.