Matthew 7:15-20 – FERAL OR FRUITFUL?
A few days ago, I saw various bikie club members, police detectives, prosecutors, and victims of bikie gang crime interviewed on a TV programme called “INSIGHT”. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, NSW Gangs Squad spoke about the FALSE FRONT of outlaw motorcycle gangs. He said “Look it’s a nice marketing ploy … as if they are a bunch of social club motor cycle riders who get together on weekends, ride around and contribute to charity. My experience as the head of the gang squad shows – that’s NOT the case.” He spoke of organised crime, arrests for serious assaults (and murder), thousands of charges laid, hundreds of firearms and a whole host of drugs from heroin to anabolic steroids seized recently.
Can a Church operate like a gang of thugs on the fringe of society? Are there Church business meetings that bring out the vicious and selfish nature of it’s members, the loudest autocratic voices being raised against eachother in disharmony, a pack mentality towards other Churches and sometimes their Pastor, members hoarding money and property as if it belonged to them individually, displays of unforgiveness, fault-finding, gossiping and negative attitudes? Not to mention condoning twisted sexual practises, pride and arrogance. Do leaders boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage? Do they divide others rather than unite? Jesus warns against false prophets in Matthew 7:16 NLT. He says “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from THORNBUSHES, or figs from THISTLES?”
INTRODUCED PESTS like CANE TOADS in Australia kill native animals with their deadly toxins. Recently scientists found that CANE TOAD tadpoles are attracted to venom collected from adult cane toads. They think it is a foodsource. They are destroyed by the very poison that they would have grown to produce. Jude 1:10-19 (NIV) says that FALSE TEACHERS “… speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals – these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! …”
Foxes, rabbits, camels, brumbys, feral goats, cats, pigs, donkeys, and water buffalo. Plague proportions, running wild, feral animals that cause tremendous damage and generally cost the Australian nation millions of dollars every year in eradication programmes that don’t work. Recently in NSW the Premier granted licenses to hunt feral animals in the National Parks. The only way to deal with feral animals is trap them, bait them, shoot them, and place bounties on them. 2 Peter 2:12 (NLT) describes false teachers as feral animals. “These false teachers are LIKE UNTHINKING ANIMALS, CREATURES OF INSTINCT, BORN TO BE CAUGHT AND DESTROYED.” These words are severe. He is saying they are LIKE animals, FERAL BUT NOT FRUITFUL, destructive to others and to themselves.
How do I recognise a false teacher? Luke 6:43-45 (NLT) “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree CAN’T PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT. A tree is IDENTIFIED BY ITS FRUIT. Figs never grow on THORNBUSHES, nor grapes on BRAMBLE BUSHES. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the TREASURY OF AN EVIL HEART. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Matthew 3:8 (NLT) says “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” That’s how I will know.
We were not created to be like FERAL ANIMALS, but like a FRUITFUL VINE. In John 15:4-5 (NLT) Jesus says “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.”
The invitation Christ gives to me today is to come under His authority and rulership over my life. He died for my sins and will enable my life to line up with God’s Word, to bear good fruit from the treasury of good heart, to love God and love others, to know Christ and make Him known, to make a difference for Him in my actions, words and fruitfulness. FERAL OR FRUITFUL?
- Australian scientists use cane toads’ own poison against itself (telegraph.co.uk)
- Scientists use cane toads’ own toxin against them (smh.com.au)
- Matthew 7:15 – HOW TO KEEP THE WOLVES FROM YOUR DOOR (pastorross1.wordpress.com)
- Matthew 7:6 – “JESUS IS SO INSULTING?” (pastorross1.wordpress.com)
- Matthew 7:15 – HOW TO STOP OTHERS SHIPWRECKING YOUR LIFE! (pastorross1.wordpress.com)