Deeper Rock Mt 7:17-19 Rotten Fruit, Its Everywhere
Matthew 7:17–19 (NLT) — 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.
The context of this verse is Jesus warning against false teachers. He makes the point that you can identify these false prophets by the fruit that they produce. He says over and over again, in a few different ways that you can tell whether or not it is a false prophet by the fruit that he produces.
I have sometimes observed ministries that I was uncomfortable with but this seems to produce good fruit. I am one who believes that the ends almost always justify the means. One of our values at rock church is that we will do anything short of sin to tell somebody about Jesus. If I thought I could see more people come to know Jesus by having a tattoo of Mother Teresa on my forehead I would do it. Thankfully that's not my opinion. My wife is thankful that is not my opinion.
It's important to keep in mind whose job it was to fell trees. If you parallel these few verses with others in the Bible God is viewed as the gardener. I want to tell you that I think it's his job to tear down ministries if they need tailoring down.
There are some preachers out there that are doing things that I would never do. And I have heard other preachers railed against them from the pulpit. I personally think that this is grossly inappropriate. What kind of ministry do you have, if you believe your ministry is tearing down other people's ministries. Some very small people have made careers out of tearing down some of my heroes.
If you are seeking God, and you are loving the things that he loves. If your priorities are the same priorities that Jesus has, that will go a long way to keeping your doctrine, and theology on a firm foundation.
When I was younger I didn't have a lot of guidance in Christian doctrine. (I was 14) whenever I would get off in something fruity the thing that always pulled me back to center was those things stood in the way of people receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Frankly, I think people are saying God is doing some things that he's not doing. The reason I think that is I don't see those things wedding centers to faith in Christ.
However, on the day I stand before my Lord I will only be answering for my ministry. I will not tear down their ministries. God, the great gardener is able and willing to bring them down. Pastor so-and-so, if you want to pretend there is no such thing as sin, that's your business. I won't be in the room when you stand the answer for what you did.
I don't need to focus on false prophets. My focus is, and always should be, my mantra. If you don't know my mantra is this:
Jesus help me, to be what you want me to be, do what you want me to do, because people without you go to hell.
I will not cheapen and grace by winking at sin. I will not be politically correct and pretend there is no hell. But if you want to that's your prerogative. God is the chopper of fruit trees not me.