Instead of just being critical of the concept of "How could a loving God judge" one should at least consider the mechanisms of His judgment to perhaps see why that He might. In this account kjv@Luke:13:25 the master of the house simply shuts the door; the window of opportunity is closed. For how long a time must the master be expected to leave His door open? Is it not His to open and close as He sees fit? Has he not said to strive to enter the straight gate? And yet many have not made the effort, have rather chosen to enter however they wished whenever they wish just expecting to enter His house to do whatever they wish? What kind of master would he be towards His other more considerate guests? Are the outsiders right then to criticize His judgment and not there own judgment instead?
This exhibits a situational or adaptive wisdom, it would not work in all situations, it sought a particular character flaw from one of the women. There is a good part of wisdom that changes to the situation as well as a part the does not. There is a discernment needed between the two.
Why wouldn't a man come to the light? Because his deeds would be reproved. Why would his deeds be reproved? Because his deeds are evil. Evil in comparison to what? The Spirit. People often compare their sins to each others and thereby determine that their sins are no worse that any others. It is a trick of false logic, it is like rotten apples comparing themselves to rotten apples that will never make the cut. Who then will make the cut? Only those that are born of Spirit.
To do truth is first and foremost to come to Jesus willing to have your deeds exposed. Most would falsely approach this as coming to Jesus to prove to him of your good deeds. The message here is that there are no good deeds to prove. All have fallen short. Our righteousness is but filthy rags. Good as they might be, our deeds have been devised and implemented by the flesh and not the Spirit remaining truthfully unborn from our souls. The flesh is either unaware of things of the Spirit or at completely at odds with the things that it is aware of.
John the Baptist paints a very illustrative picture of Jesus here. Jesus is described as being from above, He is God sent, speaking that which is from above, what He has seen above He testifies, He speaks the words of God, the Spirit is not limited in measure or proportion unto Him. He that believes exactly on this description of Jesus has eternal life.
Those who believe that Jesus was just a man like us who may have received a spiritual enlightenment full or partial, that He was the first of many, or that we can receive a similar enlightenment, have much to un-explain and dilute about this clear passage from John the Baptist. Jesus being the groom, being sent, testifying what He had seen long before incarnation, having unmeasured Spirit and the seal of testimony, all suggest that there is none other like unto Jesus and that He is not the first Christ of many nor partial.
This flip flop father to son/good to evil has occurred far too many times now for us not to make a point out of. Judah has had a better history than Israel in lessening this historical tendency, but, it still has happened far too frequently. Is it leadership weakness keeping others out? Trying to be all things to all people? Is just the anti-establishment nature within us? Is it parenting? The vigor of marking ones turf with one's own scent? Yes we all have freewill, each child must make his/her own decisions. How much of this is decision though and not nature or environment or conspiracy? We are told of our warfare against spiritual powers and principalities. Is it really all of our own choosing?
Gathering together, fasting and prayer; from this stance the Holy Spirit was able to move them in the directions He saw fit. He could have told Saul and Barnabas individually "go" to the same effect. He is dealing with the Church as a body however, beginning to promote it's many gifts and unity. The work and testimony of the Church is much like the work and testimony of OT Israel, they stand together and they fall together. He is thinking in terms of Kingdom and not rugged pioneering individuals. We often fail to listen to the Spirit because we are expecting Him to move us outside/independently of the body. Not many of us would be willing to listen to Him if he decided to speak through another so called prophet or a conference of prophets.
There is something to be said about the heart of men wanting to worship something tangible that he can touch. Real or not it is there to fix his eyes upon and place his hands around. By the skill of craftsmen, these idols can be intricate and artistic. They can depict stories and triumphs and passionate emotions. What does that say about our heart though? And what does it say about our God who forbids such images to be made of Him?
From whom does the most pressure/persecution come from? Those just described as the wayside. Those here now without root expect peace and pleasantry. If the gospel is obvious to them it should be obvious to others they presume, and yet it is not obvious, ridiculed, divisive, persecuted against, even deadly. The young fledgling becomes disheartened, embarrassed, offended. A process - sunlight that is supposed to bring about growth instead kills off the plant. Though passive from ther out typically by number they are used by the wayside (therefore Satan) to increase the pressure on the remaining believers.
A believer that overcomes the first two elements must also contend with the cares of this world. It may not matter what others believe or think or behave, the believer is settled and assured in this part of his faith. However, the real issues of life and family and citizen present a constant drain on his time and energies causing anxiety and fatigue and over extension. The productive fruit of his life gets chocked out without him barely realizing it. I speak from experience.
For the few strong that remain all of this process works to produce fruit in them 30 60 100 fold; supernatural returns. Fruit like this would not be possible if it were not for the entire process the necessitated it and brought it about. We should not consider it odd that these many things go into producing spiritual fruit. It is producers like these that the Lord wants with Him in His Kingdom. These souls are basically the humble and meek He spoke of in the Beatitudes that His light and Spirit have shown through, His redemption has fashioned, branches abiding in His vine, created unto good works; they are the blessed.
The Lord sows a very particular seed expecting later a very particular fruit, a fruit worthy of the kingdom from which it was born, worthy of acceptance into the kingdom to which it is harvested. It is a supernatural fruit that comes forth in supernatural numbers; the fruit itself that bares more of this particular seed. The process it takes to produce from seed to root to a plant to fruit is deliberate and unavoidable as sunshine. Understanding this parable is to understand such spiritual process. Is this the fruit that I am producing?
This parable is to be placed beside the parable of the sower for direct comparison, one extends the other. The first is a look at the process of the individual believer and what he must overcome. The second is a picture of the field (world) of all. The enemy has come in and planted a false believer with every appearance of the true believer except in final fruit. To remove the false believer at this time would also uproot the true believer, so the two are left to grow together. Both parables work together to draw a broader and deeper picture. The Disciples will shortly ask Jesus to explain this further.
This is not to say that the Devil has created his own humans and planted them amongst God's. This is better explained by whom the God created human becomes moral agent of/to. The Kingdom of Heaven becomes firmly planted into one and the false kingdom of heaven becomes established in the other. The differences nearly indistinguishable until the fruit from each is bore out.
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