Matthew 12:33 (Message)
“If you grow a healthy tree, you'll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you'll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.”
There are too many within this nation and throughout the world who believe that if they practice being religious and believe in Jesus, then they are saved. Yet, many live their lives in a manner that show no evidence that they belong to Christ. There are many who are deceived by their own false conversion, by which they believe that they have passed from death unto life. They are the ones who live their life in stark contrast to the Word of God. They are the ones producing bad fruit.
John 14:15 (Amplifed Bible)
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.
So, my question to you is rather simple but straightforward. If the fruit (good or bad) or the lack thereof is the basis by which one may discern the born again believer from the rest of the world, then what kind of fruit are you producing? Does your lifestyle demonstrate God’s work within you? Is the kingdom of Satan weakened by the life you live in Jesus or is Satan’s kingdom enhanced by your rebellion and disobedience? Do you just exist or are you living a life that is holy and acceptable to God? Are you making a difference or are you a Christian in title only?
By today’s standards, Satan can identify himself as a Christian.
1. Satan believes that Jesus is the Son of God
2. Satan believes that Jesus rose from the dead
3. Satan reads the Bible and even quoted to Jesus when tempting Him in the desert – three times
However, Satan can never proclaim that he has denied himself to follow after Jesus. Furthermore, the fruit that is demonstrated by Satan are lies, robbery, death, and destruction. This is the bad fruit by which the faithful are commanded to discern.
John 10:10 (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
How about you? Where do you stand in this Cosmic battle between good and evil. Who are you serving? What path are you on? Where is your allegiance?
The Narrow and Wide Gates
Matthew 7:13-15 (NIV)
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Many will rebuke this writing by stating that salvation is a gift of God and “By Faith you’re Saved, not by works, less any man should boast”. This scripture is absolutely true and without question. However, this scripture is used precariously as a justification of salvation when in reality the heart was never changed; the free gift from God was acknowledged but never received; the seed of life never took root within the recipients heart; and the transformation and renewing of their mind never took place. They have become vessels that know of God but are not part of his family. Unfortunately, and most dangerously, they are living within their own lie.
1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God (Born Again) will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
If you could be saved by your belief alone and without your actions, then every demon in Hell to include Satan himself would be saved. Unfortunately, to the lost this represents the wide gate and broad path leading to destruction that many are on. If you are caught up in sin and claim to be a Christian, you deceive yourself. The reality is that you love the sin that draws you back – time and again. Your master is not the light of truth, but of darkness. For you have compromised God’s Word and his commandments which you are to Love with All your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Ezekiel 24:14 (NIV)
"I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD. "
James 4:4 (NIV)
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
To the true convert, one is saved when the seed of God’s truth is revealed and understood within their heart. As with the parable of the sower, this is the seed which produces much fruit. It is that revelation within the heart of the lost that knows without a doubt that NO PERSON can stand before a Holy God on their merits. It is this realization that they are hopelessly destined to an eternity in Hell and that Jesus is the only way by which they can be saved. Upon the acceptances of this free gift, there is a great release within their spirit from the burdens of sin. Additionally, there is an equal proportion of love, reverence, and a burning desire to follow after and serve the Lord with immeasurable gratitude and loyalty. There is also a burden that wells up within the Born Again believer to save the lost and the blind from the very same fate by which they have originated from and whose destiny, if not deterred, would only lead them down this wide path to their own destruction.
A Prayer for Revival within America:
Dear Father in Heaven,
Please forgive us for blindly following after our own intellect and desires – especially when our reasoning’s conflict with your Word of Truth. Please forgive us for the many times we have rationalized our own sin and the sins of this world in an irreverent excuse, proclaiming that “God is a God of Love” and therefore what we do – albeit good or bad has no consequence. We acknowledge that in doing so, we are embracing a lie directly from the pit of Hell.
Please forgive us when we have justify sexual deviancy, and “Choice” – while ignoring your Word that speaks of abomination, judgment, and the Wrath of God. For you said in your Word that “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18).” That is exactly what we have and continue to do within this nation – many times under the cloak of “Christianity”.
Yet, dear Father… There are many who claim to be a Christian by title only, who you will declare during the Day of Judgment, “'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Lord, please save us! Please deliver us from our own false pretences! Please convict our heart unto repentance and renew our spirit by your grace and mercy through your son Jesus. Change us Lord! Change our heart and mind! Transform us from the wide path leading to destruction to that of the narrow one that leads to your throne. It is this narrow path whereby transformation will take place within our heart and will result in producing “much fruit” for the Kingdom of Heaven, for your Glory, and for your Honor.
Embolden the faithful according to your Word and use us for your honor. Teach us to be a beacon of light within this dark world, not hidden under a basket but lifted up upon a hill for all to see. Illuminate the path of the lost so that they would find the truth that can only be found in the saving and transforming grace of your son Jesus!
This I ask in Jesus Name! AMEN