But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. - 2 Timothy 2.20-21
'In a great house, 'Paul writes, 'there are two kinds of vessels. There are good solid valuable vessels that are useful and worthy of honour. There are also some less valuable vessels made of wood and clay and whose use is limited and not honourable.' In other words, some of the things in our house are useful and some are useless.
And so it is in the visible church. There are vessels of gold and silver which are precious and able to endure fire. There are those of wood and earth that are worthless and fragile.
Some have said that 'not all professors are possessors' and so it is true in the visible church. Those who are able to endure trial and fires and heat are valuable and honourable. Those professors who are burned up with fire and trials are not worthy of honour.
The false professors in the visible church will be found out. When hard times come they disappear.
But disappearing may not always be the worst thing to happen for the church. Sometimes, as pointed out here, the professors who don’t possess may hold back the work.
Let’s check it out and make sure that each of us is truly a possessor who can endure through the trials and that we are indeed ‘fit for the Master’s use.’