Do You Know One of the Signs of the Last Days Before Christ’s Return?
When Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed," people in His day would have understood that Jesus was comparing it to the smallest of things. A mustard seed was regarded as one of the smallest of the seeds.
But there is something we need to understand, Mustard seeds don't grow into trees, they grow into shrubs. So, for a mustard seed to grow into a tree would be an unnatural and freakish growth. Jesus was saying the kingdom of heaven is like something small that grew really big. It would be like a mouse that grew to the size of an elephant. The idea was that it is something that is not normal.
So here is a little shrub that grows into a giant tree, with birds nesting in its branches. When we look at the first parable of this series in Matthew 13, the Parable of the Sower, we see that birds were a symbol of evil. And if you look at all of the parables in this chapter, they are about God working and Satan opposing.
So, it looks to me that this is a picture of the church growing to be something freakishly huge and being invaded by impostors. I think that is exactly what we are seeing right now. The Bible says that one of the signs of the last days will be people who have a form of godliness but denying its power (see 2 Timothy 3:5). So in the church, we have both believers and non-believers with all confessing to know Christ as Savior. The birds could represent the unsaved or they could represent Satan’s ministers (demons). Either way, they represent evil and to delete the church.
What is my point? The mustard seed parable warns against growth for the sake of growth. Another way to say this is that the ends justify the means. It does not matter what methods pastor’s and church leaders use in preaching and teaching, evangelizing, and discipline if people keep coming and the church continues growing. The other thing to mention is that one might believe that sizable growth is always a sign of good, spiritual growth. From my point-of-view, the parable of the mustard seed excludes that type of thinking and method of classifying growth. Why do I say this? The presence of the birds in the parable speak to this issue. Don’t be too quick to say a certain church is doing something right because they are growing. In fact, they could be compromising the gospel.
No matter how you look at it, this is about compromise in the life of the church and follower of Jesus Christ. And one of the most effective weapons in the devil's arsenal is that of compromise. The devil knows he can't take you down at once, so he takes you a bite at a time. Little things lead to big things. That is the whole point. And this is where a lot of believers fall, through compromise. The Kingdom of heaven (CHURCH) is filled with evil and believers who have compromised their faith.
The birds are nesting in the freakish tree so that means they are multiplying. Real Christians have compromised the message for growth and acceptance. MANY will say they knew Christ as their Savior, but He will confess that He never knew them (Matthew 7:22-23). Political Correctness and Compromise has invaded the church. Confronter or Compromiser? God Bless!