The Treasure is in a Field
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Loyal Pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years)
Matthew 13:36-44 "Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field."
I want you to listen to me very carefully. I'm going to tell you the main cause for divorce in our country. I'm going to tell you the main cause for church splits and church troubles in your country. I'm going to tell you the main cause for broken friendships in our country, in our church, in our land, and in your family. I'm going to tell you why sometimes even families have strained relationships. I want you to listen to me. I have no desire to preach a great sermon. I have a tremendous desire to help you. I know as I speak on the subject, "The Treasure is in a Field," that the treasure is in a field. I want to read for you my text verse. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hid in a field:" notice the word hid. You've got to find it. You've got to look for it, and then it's in a field. You've got to go to a field and look for the treasure. "...in a field: the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." Now please, let me have your attention. I promise you, I can help your marriage. I can help your relationship with your friends, I speak this morning a very important message entitled, "The Treasure is in a Field."
Here is a treasure, the Bible says, found in a field. A man searches and he finds that treasure. He then says, "If I have found this treasure in that field, there no doubt must be more treasure." The Bible says he goes and sells all that he has, and he buys that field. Now suddenly he finds out some things. He finds out what he has bought. He has bought some weeds. He has bought some rocks. He has bought some spiders. Now bare in mind, there is a treasure somewhere down there in that field. He bought some ants. No doubt, he bought some mice, or maybe some rats, maybe a skunk or a raccoon, or an opossum. He bought all of these things. Perhaps he bought some garbage that was thrown there on the field, or a dead tree, or some poison ivy. He bought some lizards there on that field. He bought all of that because he wanted the treasure. Are you listening to me? He wanted the treasure.
Now let's suppose that a man starts to dig and seek his treasure, and all of a sudden he sees a lizard scampering across that field. Then maybe he discovers some poison ivy there in the field. he owns this, now. he bought this field. Maybe he smells the skunk in the field, or maybe he sees the pile of garbage that somebody has deposited there, or maybe a mouse scurries by. What does he do? Disgustedly he forsakes the treasure, because he sees the negative. Are you with me? He forsake the treasure because he sees the negative, and he goes over to another field, maybe, where there may be no treasure. The fellow buys the field. He sees some nettles, or maybe some poison ivy. Maybe he sees a serpent wiggling-that's when I'm leaving, and I'm not coming back either. Hang the treasure! But he sees a few weeds or some rocks, and so he leaves the field.
In this scenario we see many, if not most of us. Let me illustrate. We're not willing to take what we don't want to get what we do want. But the treasure is in the field. The treasure is not in any museum; the treasure is in the field. The treasure is not in the bank; the treasure is in the field. To get to that treasure you may have to get stung by a few wasps. You may have to smell the odor of a skunk, or you may have to run from a raccoon, or you may have to stumble over some garbage. But we're not willing to accept the negative to get to the treasure. Let me illustrate. We find a friend--what a treasure. We are enraptured with that friend. He appears to be nearly faultless, and then all of a sudden we see a few weeds in his life. We see a few negatives in his life, and so we turn away from the treasure. (And by the way, all friends have weeds.) All friends have negatives. What we often do is we see someone with whom we are enraptured and we like him or her. They intrigue us, and we start a friendship. But, I don't care whom you are, when you get closer to them, you are going to see a few warts. All of a sudden, we see that that friend is not perfect. We are looking for a treasure in a field, and find a little mouse scurrying across that field, or feel a little burn from a nettle or something, or some poison ivy, and so then we break up with our friend. We get mad at our friend. In some cases, we won't speak to our friend. And then we'll like him until we find out that he has a field. also. Then we'll seek a new friend, and we'll like him and be intrigued with him until we find out that he too, has a few mice in his field, and a few weeds in his field, and some garbage in his field. So we seek another friend. But ladies and gentlemen, we are human and all of us have fields. All of us have negatives. But what we do is we go and become good friends with someone until we see that they are imperfect--oh by the way, you had better pray that they don't get too close to you, either, because you have a field too. You who have fields, and rats, and mice, and nettles, and weeds, don't you be too hard on somebody else when you find a little lizard scurrying across their field.
We find a church--what a treasure. Remember the first time you came to this church and saw the invitation? Remember the first time you came here and the invitation came. You were used to standing there and singing fourteen stanzas of "Just As I Am" and one old man ninety years of age surrenders to the foreign mission field, one little child six months old gets saved, a blind man gives up movies, and a crippled man gives up dancing. Remember that? Then you came to First Baptist Church of Hammond and you saw these aisles filled and these altars filled, and you said, "Boy, this is what I've been looking for." But, I've got some news for you; we have a field here too. We're human just like everybody else. So what happens? We see a few weeds. We look at the altar. We look at the zeal. We look at the baptistry and the baptisms. We look at the positive. But after a while we see a few weeds, and maybe a little mouse scurrying across the field somewhere, or maybe some garbage in somebody's life. And so what do we do? We won't take the field with the treasure. But ladies and gentlemen, there is no treasure without the field. There is none. This fellow said, "I found a treasure. There is other treasure in the field. I'm going to buy this field. I'll put up with the scurrying mice. I'll put up with the obnoxious odor of the skunk. I'll put up with a little garbage here, because there is treasure here. And ladies and gentlemen, there is treasure in the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. But I've got news for you; there's a field here also. Most of us are human. All of us are human--including the man you are looking at right now (and by the way, I have a field too). So what happens?: One disagreement. My child is mistreated one time at the school. There is one thing said in a sermon that I don't agree with. I believe in Christmas trees, but I don't believe in having little decorations on the Christmas tree. Or I believe in Christmas trees and decorations, but I don't believe you ought to paint the little decorations on the tree. And some little something that you don't agree with, and what do you do? You'll leave the whole treasure, just because you found a mouse in the field. But the Bible said that this man had more sense than you do. This man said, "I found a treasure. There's bound to be other treasure here, and I'm willing to put up with the nettles. I'm willing to put up with the weeds, and the garbage and a lizard here or there, or a snake here or there, or maybe a raccoon or a possum, because there is treasure here. Ladies and gentlemen, any treasure that you find in any human being, there is going to be a field there. People all over the world envy your treasure. We have discovered that the church is composed--of all things--human beings! I know of college students. you were back home somewhere, and your pastor quoted me in some of his sermons--or maybe even preached some of my sermons. He quoted me, and you thought that Dr. Jack Hyles was the second coming of John The Baptist, now you think he is the second coming of Judas Iscariot. But you thought, "Wouldn't I love to hear Jack Hyles every Sunday. Wow." You came to Pastor's School and all you saw were the treasures. We didn't put out any weeds for Pastor's School. We locked up the mice in the kitchen during Pastor's School. I mean, you didn't see any lizards. We don't do that. We just show the jewels at Pastor's School. You said, "Boy, if I can just get to that church it will be the millennium." No, it won't--it will be heaven! But anyway, you said, "if I can just get there." And you came here, and the first Sunday you were here you saw the folks walk down the aisle and you said, "Glory to God. I'm finally here. I don't have to pray anymore, because that church will keep me spiritual. I don't have to read my Bible anymore, that church will keep me spiritual." And then you found out that some of the staff members have fields. You found that Johnny Colsten sleeps during the sermon. Sometimes while he's praying, he goes to sleep. You found some weeds. You found that Bro. Hyles is stubborn. You find that I'm human too, and you find that I have weaknesses too. And what do you do? Before you know it, you get upset because you see a weed or two, or a little mouse or two, and you leave the greatest soulwinning church since Jerusalem. Now I'm not trying to keep anybody here, and we haven't had anybody leave. We lettered out two members last month and they were both out of state. I'm not trying to keep you. I'm not trying to keep you coming to the greatest soulwinning church in the history of this world. I'm trying to say ladies and gentlemen, we are not perfect. We have a field. We have weeds. Somebody has thrown some garbage here. You are going to find weaknesses. You are going to find a sin or two in all of our lives, but I want to say this: Don't discard the treasure because you find out we have a field. There are weeds here. There are nettles here. There are rats here. There are snakes here. There are rocks here. There are skunks here. But I'm trying to say ladies and gentlemen, you're looking at a fellow and a church, you're looking at a college, at schools here that are sincere and no doubt, the greatest you'll ever find, but we have weeds. We have negatives. So, I'm saying where ever you go to church, if it's a good old-fashioned, soulwinning, fundamental, King James Bible, New Testament, Independent Baptist Church, you're going to find some weeds there. But for the sake of your family and for your own sake, and for the sake of the cause of the Gospel of Christ, don't leave the treasure because you find out the treasure is in a field.
We come to a school. Boy, I've heard of Hyles-Anderson College--three thousand perfect people. Boy oh boy, Hyles-Anderson College. I've heard about that college--that President Wendell Evans and that Vice President Jack Schaap, and that Executive Vice President Ray Young, and the Administrative Vice President Darrel Moore, and by all means that good looking chancellor. Boy I can't wait until I get to Hyles-Anderson College. And you come to Hyles-Anderson College and you find out that Bob Auclair has a field, and Jack Hyles has a field, and Wendell Evans has a field, and Jack Schaap has a whole ranch. And all of a sudden, you see a little mouse scurrying across the campus. All of a sudden you see a weed or two in our lives. All of a sudden you see some students that get expelled, or maybe some faculty member that goes into sin. I don't say falls into sin--goes into sin. All of a sudden you see human tendencies, and you see tendencies that folks out there are covered with flesh. And before you know it, you leave the greatest college on the face of the earth and give up the treasure because you find that the treasure is in a field. But, all the treasures are in a field. One possum runs across your path--one little disagreement, and we leave the treasure. But you can't have a great school without a field. The treasure is in the field.
You found a girl. boy, she was pretty. And you said,--here's what you guys always do: "It is the will of God for my life..." Oh, shut up...it's your will for your life. you know that. And by the way, while you're courting her, you don't see one single weed. Then you marry her and you find that not one bit of fertilizer has been in here yard. She hasn't got a blade of grass; it's all weeds. And so, what happens? You marry this poor girl and you find out that she has a field. You see a little mouse scurrying across the field, or you see a little garbage there in the field, and then you decide that you don't want the treasure after all. Ladies and gentlemen, there is not a woman in this world that doesn't have a field. And by the way, somewhere there is treasure there. You may have too look awfully hard to find it. Look at Mrs. Hyles. She is a great woman, but I've got to tell you something about her. She never screws a lid on a bottle--never. I have shaken more ketchup bottles and put ketchup on the ceiling than any man in the whole wide world. When she dies, I'm going to leave her coffin lid open just a little bit. but man, let me tell you something--do you think I'm going to bypass that because the dumb lid is not screwed on tight? That's what you do. Some of you folks right now, your marriages are having problems and the reason is that you found out that you are married to someone who has a field. But bless God, they all have fields, and to get their treasure you are going to have to put up with the field. I'm standing here trying to talk about the fields of men and their weaknesses, and I'm trying to find something about me. So, what do you do? You divorce the gal, then you come up with this other gal and you see a little sparkle of treasure in her. But then you get married to her and you find out that she has a field. Instead of mice, she has rats. Instead of lizards, she has snakes. Instead of weeds, she has poison ivy. And so, what do you do? You find that she has a field. Now listen to me carefully. I don't care who you are, if you've got any sense at all, you're going to put up with the field to get the treasure. And most of you are married to good women. Most of you have women that love God, they love this Book, they love you, they love their children, but they are not perfect. They have a field, and they have weeds, and they have possums running around, but in God's name keep them because there is treasure there.
We find a man--wow, what treasure. Boy, he's a dreamboat, but he gets so heavy that he sinks the boat! After a while you find that he has a field. you find as Mrs. Hyles found, that this treasure she has is stubborn. You find out that he has a field, he has weeds, a little garbage here and there. And before you know it, you're looking at those weeds. Ladies and gentlemen, there's treasure in there. Ladies, there's treasure in there, and most of these men are Godly men, and faithful men, and hardworking men, and they love you and deserve your love. In God's name, don't give up the treasure because you found that it has a field.
We choose a leader. Churches all across America do this. They choose a leader. The pastor comes in and takes over the church. Boy, that reception is wonderful. He is exactly what we have been looking for. He is a treasure. But you're going to find out after a while that he has a field. you're going to find out that your pastor is human. You're going to find out that sometimes, though he is trying to do what is right and just, he may do something that you feel like is unjust. He may do something with which you disagree. But bless God, if he believes that Book right there and he's after sinners, and he's living a decent kind of a life, and he's and honest man with integrity and character, don't you let that field keep you from trusting that man. Look at the men in the Bible. Moses was a great treasure, but he had a field. he was hot tempered. Noah was a great treasure, but he had a field. Paul was a great treasure, but he had a field. He took a Jewish vow one time when he shouldn't have done so. Peter was a great treasure, the greatest Christian in the entire world and the leader of all the apostles; but he was impetuous. Am I going to give up the apostle Peter because he was impetuous when he has the power to get three thousand people saved on Pentecost? Am I going to give up Noah because he found out that he was human in one instance? When he had enough faith in God to build an ark to keep them from drowning when there never had been a drop of rain to fall on the face of the earth? Am I going to give up Moses, the meekest man that ever lived and the greatest leader that ever walked on the face of the earth, because every once in awhile he would lose his temper? No sir! Moses has a treasure, but he also has a field. David has a treasure, but he also has a field. Noah has a treasure, but he also has a field. Jacob has a treasure, but he also has a field. Samson has a treasure, but he also has a field. John Mark has a treasure, but he also has a afield. James and John have a treasure, but they also have a field. Dr. John Rice was a treasure, but he also had a field. Charles Spurgeon had a treasure, but he also had a field. Lee Roberson is a treasure, but he also has a field. Tom Malone is a treasure, but he also has a field. I traveled with John Rice twenty-two years. I know something about John Rice's field. I slept in the same room with him one night. It scared the fire out of me because I didn't want to stay up and pray all night long, and I knew that was what John Rice would do. So I took a nap that afternoon so we could pray all night long. He crawls in bed. I'm in bed right next to him--not in the same bed, but the bed next to him. I get ready for an all night prayer meeting. He pulls out a Zane Gray novel. Didn't even read his Bible! I was over there reading my Bible. (I don't usually do it, but John Rice was in the bed next to me). He pulled out a Zane Gray novel and reads that Zane Gray novel, fluffs his pillow, turns off the light, and goes to sleep. I found out he had a field. I was in Indianapolis preaching and Dr. Rice was there. I found out he was in the restaurant, so I went in the restaurant and he was very quiet. I said, "Dr. Rice, what's wrong?" He said, "Women are funny, aren't they?" I said, "Dr. Rice, are you and Mrs. Rice having a little trouble?" He said, "Not bad, just a little tiff." Dr. John Rice, the greatest Christian I ever met, has a field.
Billy Sunday had a field. Dwight L. Moody had a field. Now, you are going to spend your life trotting from church to church trying to find a treasure without a field. Trotting from husband to husband trying to find a husband without a field. Trotting from wife to wife trying to find a treasure without a field. Trotting from friend to friend trying to find a treasure without a field. Calling pastor after pastor trying to find a treasure without a field. Going to preacher after preacher without a field. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you something; there is no treasure without a field.
Teenagers, look at your parents. There is treasure there, but there is a field. You say, "Bro. Hyles, my mother got me one day and she jerked me up, and bent me over her knee and let me have it." I understand. your mother has a temper too, and so does your father. But your mother also entered into the jaws of death to give you life. your mother also keeps your house clean. your mother also washes your clothes. Your mother also cooks your meals--either that or McDonalds does. Sure, your mother is not perfect, but bless God, you young people, there is a treasure inside that mother. Your dad isn't perfect. Your dad may be stubborn. He may lose his temper sometimes. He may have a field. You may see a little mouse scurrying across the field sometimes. You may see some weeds growing in his field sometimes, but he puts the bread on the table that you eat with his hard word and toil. He feeds you and clothes you and makes the house payment. In God's name, don't give up the treasure because you see a weed or two.
A pupil looks at their teacher--boy, she's hard-boiled. As I look back at my teachers now, the ones that I like the least, I like the most now. The ones that let us get by with anything, I liked them then. I don't like them now. But, you look at that teacher. There is treasure there. "She's hard boiled." There is treasure there. "She gave me some demerits." No, she didn't. You earned some demerits and she just wrote them down. There is treasure there. It is a sad thing that we are not willing to take the negative to get to the positive. We are like the fellow who says, "I know there is treasure here, but I don't want to get into any weeds. I don't want to see a lizard crossing my path. I don't want to get bitten by a spider. So, I'll go over here to a field that maybe has fewer weeds, but no treasure." I've been your preacher for almost thirty-eight years. I've seen your weeds. you've been to my office and displayed them. I've seen your lizards. Some of you have been skunks once in a while. I've smelled the odor from your life, but as far as I'm concerned, you're the greatest people in all of the world. As far as I'm concerned, I'm proud to be pastor of the greatest group of people that ever attended a New Testament Baptist Church. But I've got news for you; you've all got weeds. You all have fields.
Now I want to tell you something. You go to that person that you've fallen out with, because you've found the treasure has a field, and you make it right with them. You go to that person you have been criticizing. By the way, you never criticize somebody that you didn't like enough to get closer to. And you got closer to them, and you saw their field. You saw a mouse or you saw a weed or two--go to that person and tell them this, "I believe your friendship is important to me. I want to make it right with you. I want to have our friendship restored. I realize Br. Hyles is right. I want the treasure, and I'm willing to put up with the weeds." You go to that wife this morning--the one you've been doing nothing but pointing out her mistakes. You realize that there was a time when you saw a treasure in her. There was a time when you felt like she was the most precious thing on the face of the earth, and by the way, she is still the same woman you married. You go home and you look at here in the eye and say, "Sweetheart, I'm sorry. I've been looking at the weeds in the field instead of seeking the treasure." You go home to that husband with whom you've been disenchanted. You look at him and say to him, "I'm afraid I've been looking at the field instead of the treasure."
Let me take just a few minutes and tell you about One who has no field. Let me tell you about One across Whose path and Whose life never ran a rat or a mouse. Let me tell you about One who never did know what it was like to have a weed in His field. Let me tell you about One, who every time you dig, you find treasure. That One is my Savior--the Lord Jesus Christ. When I went to college at East Texas Baptist, Dr. H. G. Bruce was in a restaurant near the college. A little waitress walked up and Dr. Bruce said, "Ma'am, are you a Christian?" She said, "No, and I'm not going to be, because I've seen those Christians at East Texas Baptist College." Dr. Bruce said, "Ma'am, did I ask you to trust The Christians at East Texas Baptist College? I'm asking you to trust Jesus. Can you find anything wrong with him?" The little waitress put down her little pad and her pen and pencil. She said, "No, and if more of your people were like Him, more of our people would become your people."
I don't point you this morning to Bro. Hyles. I don't point you to the pope, or to the new archbishop in Chicago. I don't point you to a preacher, pope, priest, rabbi, evangelist, or any individual. We all have weeds. We all have fields. We all have negatives. We all have things that are not palatable. But I point you to Him who is faultless, Who is perfect--a Lamb without blemish and paid your debt for your sins on the cross of Calvary and offers you eternal life if you'll trust Him as your Savior.
In conclusion,--don't you love those two words? That's your favorite part of my sermon--in conclusion let me say this: Don't give up the treasure of a church that you go to that is a good soulwinning church that believes the Bible. Don't give up the treasure because you got in the church and you found out that it has a field. Don't give up Hyles-Anderson College--the greatest college in all the world--because you get close enough to it to find out it has a field. Don't take your students out of Hammond Baptist Schools and send them to a Godless, heathen, pagan, Satanic public school system because you find out we have a field. Don't disassociate yourself with a good godly friend because you got close enough to be able to see his field. There is treasure there. You pastors, don't become disenchanted with your people when you find out that they have a field. Don't become disenchanted with your husband or your wife when you find out they have a field, or your teacher in school, or by the way, pupils in school when you find out they also have fields. This fellow gets to digging and digging and digging. He gets bitten by a spider, he jumps back from a mouse, he smells the odor of a skunk, he feels the rash of a nettle, but he keeps on digging. He keeps on digging and all of a sudden, he finds the treasure in the field. Bless God, it was worth all of it because he found the treasure. Let me say that in every human relationship there is treasure, but there also is a field. Now it's up to you. Spend your life complaining about the field or rejoicing because of the treasure. It's up to you.
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