FIGS FROM THISTLES
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit.
We urge people to join church, go to church, work in the church, tithe, sing in the choir, teach a class, and all too often the Lord is not adding such as are being saved – we are merely adding such as are being enlisted. We have corrupt trees endeavoring to produce good fruit. The church has recruited what God has not regenerated. The springs of their lives have not been reached, the source has not been dealt with. No wonder we coax and beg and entice by means diverse and often doubtful in order to persuade people to do what should be the spontaneous expression of their heart’s love for Christ.
“Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” We do not change the nature of our thorns by tying on the grapes of religious activity. We had better begin to aim at new creatures instead of just nice people. The intake may be smaller and statistics less impressive, but the fruit will be genuine.