Vivid imagery from agriculture gives us a good idea of the type of fruit that God approves and disapproves
Most believers are familiar with the passage in John chapter 15 where Jesus is the vine and believers are the branches.
Once we become believers, we are expected to bear fruit—good fruit, abundant fruit, the kind of fruit that lasts.
- Fruit of good works (Colossians 1:10)
- Fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11)
- Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23)
- Fruit of evangelism—lives impacted by Paul’s ministry (2 Corinthians 3:2)
- Fruit of lips—praising God (Hebrews 13:15)
By the way, how do we know that the vineyard represents Israel? The answer is found in this verse: “The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel” (Isaiah 5:7).
Failure to produce good fruit—bearing bad fruit instead—is bad enough. But nothing could be worse than producing thorns and thistles, which are truly ugly.
In God's eye, what do these thorns and thistles symbolise? We shall soon find out as we examine more references.
Let us examine a passage in Hebrews which is difficult and often avoided for it seems harsh to believers, many of whom prefer something soothing and comforting. This passage is on renunciation of the faith (apostasy) and its consequences:
- Tasted the heavenly gift
- Shared in the Holy Spirit
- Tasted the goodness of the Word of God
- Tasted the powers of the age to come
To know God, to be set free from the clutches of sin, and then become enslaved to sin again is a state likened to a dog swallowing its own vomit. And God’s judgment upon such believers is worse than if they had never believed in Him in the first place.