Reflection: Historically, at least since St Augustine in the fourth century, a distinction has been drawn between the churches ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’. The visible church comprises all people who outwardly profess belief through membership of an institutional church. The invisible church comprises a considerably smaller group: genuine, saved believers known only to God. Jesus did not use that exact terminology in the exchange recorded in this passage (see also Matt. 13:24-30), but his essential message is clear: there are a lot of “pretend Christians” – to
say nothing of complacent agnostics and hostile atheists – who stand in grave danger of receiving a terrible shock on Judgment Day. True, the saved will comprise “a great multitude” (Rev. 7:9). But an even greater multitude, it seems, will not be saved.
Question: Are you making every effort to ensure your salvation?
Prayer: Father, I long to be among the great multitude who will be saved on Judgment Day. But I realise that the only guarantee is remaining in Christ. Help me to remain in Christ and to do what I can to bring as many other people as possible to that blessed state, and to keep them in it. Amen
We’re reading the
Bible until 25th August with author Roy Williams. His most recent book is Mr Eternity: The story of Arthur Stace (2017) and has been a No. 1 best-seller in Christian bookshops across the country.