TREES, FRUIT, AND STUFF
What do trees, fruits, and Jesus have in common? Worldly, secular people say that Jesus was just a man. Nature lovers may say that the tree and fruit represent a blossoming peace between mother earth and a wind god to the ninth power. Maybe. But if you are a Christian that spends time in Godís Word, faithfully praying and studying you know the Truth. Let us look at the living words of Christ first from Matthew then Luke.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.Ē
Jesus says to watch out for those false prophets. Why do you suppose He said that? Listen folks, the world would have us believe that it is full of different people. It is not. There are only two types of people in our world; those who are saved by faith alone in Christ and those who deny Christ. False prophets in my opinion can be anyone from a preacher preaching salvation through any means other than belief in Christ to anyone putting anything or anyone above Christ. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Something that looks harmless like a sheep as Christ taught but causes despair, hmm. King David looked upon anotherís wife. He just looked, no harm done right? Wrong. Davidís looking at another manís wife ultimately lead to David having the man killed and the death of the first born child born of adultery. Another example is illegal downloading of music or programs. Another example is well, anything that is apart of Godís will. Sin looks appetizing. Thatís why it is temptation, folks. Sin looks pretty on the outside, but is rotten on the inside just as it is a wolve waiting to devour us all. So whatís the deal with the fruit comment?
By their fruit you will recognize them. Jesus told his disciple that they would be recognized by the world because of the love they have for one another. The fruit Jesus speaks of isnít an organe, a pear, or an apple. The fruit is the very realization of our faith in the Living God. Even non-believers will recognize the love of Him who they say doesnít exist in Christians if we truly abide in the spirit of the Lord. Translation, if we treat others as Christ treated us, it will not go unnoticed. By that same token, we as Christians who walk in the light of Christ will not be deceived by the darkness with the false prophets.
18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.Ē
Remember earlier I said there are only two types of people; saved and not saved. Christ used the tree metaphor. As Christians, we bear good fruit. If we say we are Christians, yet we bear bad fruit, we are not truly His. Now before Iím labeled a hate filled hypocrite that judges others, I offer that I am not. The fire is not something to take lightly. Salvation in Christ is secure because He said so. So the only ones thrown into the fire will be those who are one with the Lord. Again, Christians who are true in their walk with God will produce everlasting fruit.
43"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Not a whole lot can be added to this. Our lives, thoughts, and overall actions will represent that which we hold most dear.
God in the Garden of Eden asked Adam a rhetorical question. God asks in Genesis 3:9, ďAdam where are you?Ē See now, God knows everything. It is a flawed argument to protest the fact that God knows all because the foolish manís actions and thoughts constantly lead to ruin. Anyway, God asks Adam where he is and then after Adam explains he hid because he heard God in the garden and he knew he was naked. God continues to ask the questions that He already knows the answers to. Jesus, God in the flesh asks the same kind of questions.
46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? Why do so many people living sinful lives place the mantle, the label of Christian upon themselves? The answer is simple. Our world is a feel good place. As long as you feel good, itís all good. Just because it feels good, doesnít mean it is right. A person cannot call themselves a soldier and not follow the direct commands of the lead general.
47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
It does not matter if a person is six or sixty when they call on Jesus. Salvation comes through Christ alone regardless of age. The foundation laid on rock is the base of our faith in Christ alone. The rock is Jesus. Life sucks. Surprised? If you arenít living in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you know life sucks at times. Murders, rapes, disease, bills, dial up internet all hit us where we live. Jesus explained to his disciples that the world would be a rough place, trouble would come against those who follow Him. But you know what? If we build the foundation, our faith in Christ, trust in Him, we will be able to withstand the worldís flood of pain. Our trust in Christ must be real, it must be built from the ground up. That means we as new believers must start slow, but ingest Godís spiritual Word daily. What happens to those who deny the Lord?
49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
People die every day. Before this thought is finished, two people will have died. One goes to Christ, the other to hell. Hell was made for those who reject God. Originally Satan and those who follow him. Question: Hey who follows Satan? Answer: Anyone who isnít following God. Where are you today? Are you a tree that bears good fruit? Are you or have you built your foundation on the rock? When the floods of life come, where will you be? Who will look to?