Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a tract, month, or collection:
“Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
“Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted.”
In the Bible, our entrance into the family of God is described in many different ways. It is described as being “born again”, being “adopted”, being “translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son”, and others. In the scriptures above, we see both David and Jesus refer to it as being “planted” in God’s house. Isaiah called those whom God chose as His own “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isa. 61:3).
But Jesus’ mention of being planted also suggested that some who are in God’s house have not been planted there by God. How this can happen is a mystery, but in his famous Parable of the Tares, Jesus plainly stated that Satan really does plant some souls in the assembly of saints (Mt. 13:24–30, 36–43). Paul, Peter, and Jude spoke of men who “creep into” the assembly (Gal. 2:4; 2Pet. 2:1; Jude 1:4); so, we have to say that such a thing is a reality. And because it is true, we need, as the ancient philosopher Socrates said, to know ourselves. Or, to say it the way Paul told young Timothy, we need to “make our calling and election sure” and to “lay hold on eternal life.”
Take nothing for granted. Jesus, the righteous judge, is coming, and he knows who is his and who is not.
The first two verses quoted above speak of results of being planted by God as compared to not being planted by God. And the two results differ because the two kinds of plants have different responses to the work of God. If you are a plant that God has planted, you rejoice at whatever He does (directly or through one of His servants) and you bear the fruit of righteousness. This is what David meant by saying that God’s plants “flourish” in His courts. But if you have not been planted by God, though you may play the role of a believer for a while, somewhere down the line, God will do something that you don’t like, and you will be exposed as not belonging among the saints. This is what Jesus meant by a plant being “uprooted”. Something God does will, at some point, displease you, and afterward, you will find yourself no longer a part of the assembly of God. How that removal happens is up to God, but that it happens is a sad fact of spiritual life.
The reason there are different responses to the same works of God is that those who have been planted by God have a different nature from those planted by Satan. God’s plants love all that God does, but Satan’s plants love what God does only so long as it fits into their personal agendas.