Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2)
Jesus had finished the Pesach seder with the apostles, and now He shared some deep, intimate thoughts with them including some new commandments about loving one another. During this discourse, Jesus told the apostles that the point of being a believer is to bear fruit — yes, much fruit — that it may glorify God the Father. However, He also noted that every branch, that’s you (if you’re a believer) and me, either bears fruit or does not. Those branches that don’t bear fruit God cuts off from the vine and discards. Those branches that bear fruit occasionally need pruning in order for it to bear more fruit.
When was the last time that God pruned you? Or, has He ever pruned you? Have you been a part of the vine and now are discarded? God, have mercy. For you see there are many preachers out there that preach an eternal security in God that is often known as once saved, always saved. Well, this very verse with words spoken by none other than Jesus states, every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. Didn’t Jesus say also in this passage, I am the vine, ye are the branches (v.5)?
What does God do with the branches that are cut off and taken away? The answer is found in verse 6 of this passage, If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Notice that Jesus said that men, who don’t abide in Him, are cast forth as a branch and wither. These cut-off, withered branches (or people) are gathered together and thrown into the fire to be burned. What fire could Jesus have referred to except — HELL? Who are the ones gathering these dead men? The Greek for men can be translated as an army. Who is the army of heaven? The angels of God!
From this same passage we also read, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (v. 5). When we abide (or remain) in Jesus, we produce a lot of fruit. Without Jesus, the vine, we, the branches, can do nothing! Did you get that? Without Jesus, WE CAN DO NOTHING! Thus, it is imperative that we live our lives in the Messiah, as the Holy Ghost empowers us to do so.
If you think that you can say a short prayer asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be saved WITHOUT repenting (changing your mind about the way you’ve been living in sin), you are sadly mistaken. You aren’t saved at all! IF you’ve actually been saved by faith through grace and accepted God’s love gift of salvation through Jesus the Messiah, you can still not make it to heaven by reverting back to a life of sin. A true believer will produce fruit as one lives the Christian life. In the natural world, it is impossible for a healthy branch on a grape vine to not produce grapes. If the branch doesn’t produce grapes, it will be cut off to allow the valuable nutrients to be used by productive branches to yield grapes for its owner to be eaten or made into other foods.
God will not allow unproductive branches to remain on the vine and waste His time and resources when their are other branches needing those nutrients to do His work. Furthermore, there are wild branches that God wants to graft into the vine and allow them access to His Word and eternal life and to be a part of His kingdom and family. Are you producing fruit for the King? Or, are you just a pew warmer sucking up valuable nutrients causing yourself to be a spiritual glutton that is dying and going to be cut off from the vine and thrust into the flames?
Father, I pray to You today in the name of Your Son, Jesus. I hear loud and clear the message for today that it’s time to get up and out and to be about Your business. The harvest time is upon us, and there is much work to be done. There is a tremendous amount of produce to farm, but the branches are drying up and withering away in the churches of this nation, America. Most of the people riding the pine of the pews in so-called houses of God don’t know that they are dying and going to hell even though they at one time accepted Your gift of salvation. They ride the piney pew thinking that they don’t have to do anything. Father, You know I don’t believe in salvation by works, but I also know that a faith without works is dead. What good is dead faith? Isn’t it the same as having no faith at all??? Both in this passage from the Pesach seder and earlier in a parable You spoke about unprofitable servants and unproductive branches being discarded and thrown into the flames where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Why don’t people get it that unyielding believers are hell bound? Why do so-called Christians think that they can live their lives as carnal Christians and still enter the kingdom of God? It rends my heart to think that so many people that think they are going to heaven simply because they said a little prayer and never ever change in their hearts and begin working for you are going to spend eternity with you?And what of the ones Lord who will do many things and produce fruit in thy name but have not done your will? Those souls are the ones that rend my heart even more because they will actually produce fruit for the kingdom but themselves wither on the vine due to not abiding in You. Lord, help me to be one who produces fruit, yes, much fruit but also remains in the vine and does what You have willed and commanded. Amen.