Goats and fruit and churches



Goats and fruit and churches

I met a man named Charlie who had some goats, he also had some peach trees. However, the goats would chew on them and he would never get any fruit.

[I thought he said they were figs, but after much thought i think he said they were peach trees, anyways, goats eat anything]

Man had goats in his field
Goats ate fruit
No fruit
Barren tree
Goats fed instead

Upon hearing this brief story i exclaimed 'Man, that could be a sermon!,' i forgot about it entirely until tonight, i told my wife and she said i should write it down in a note, here we are. Feel free to copy this note and send it wherever, hopefully it makes its way to some social churches in this country where they have seemed to have drifted away from their initial zeal and fervency for the gospel and for Jesus.

I started to make some observations.

Jesus walked to the Temple. The disciples saw Him curse the barren fig tree that should have been bearing fruit as it had professed. They go to the Temple where the Spiritually Dead Religous Leaders had corrupted the worship and the House of God with their traditions of men and money-making enterprise. Religion for sale. A way that seemed right to a man but ends in death. They woshipped Him in vain, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men, by their traditions they led others away from the commandments of God. Nevertheless, Gods law stands and His Word will never pass away. Jesus filled with a Holy Zeal for God's House made a whip and drove out the animals and the money changers from His Father's House. He and the disciples left and once again passed by the fig tree which Jesus had cursed, it had whitherd...from the roots up.

Mark 11:11-22

Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. 12 On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.

Jesus Drives Money Changers from the Temple

15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 18 The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.

19 When evening came, they would go out of the city.
20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.

The Jewish Temple was supposed to be the House of God
Corrupt religious leaders brought animals and money changers into the Temple
God did not like seeing merchandise and business being conducted where it should have been Holy

I started to make some comparrisons.

Corrupted Religious System...Barren Fig Tree
Professed 'Lord, Lord'..........Green leaves
No fruit...........................no fruit
Both Cursed
Withered and dried up

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches John 15:1-11
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

I reflected on the Goats in Charlie's story. The goats were eating all the fruit, and there was none for Charlie to eat.

And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." Matthew 15:26

I started thinking...how many churches in this country are not bearing fruit, and maybe that's because the goats are consuming the buds before the Tree can become fruitful, or maybe a portion of the fruit now goes to the goats and the Tree becomes less fruitful.

How many places have not 'purged out the old leaven,' nor mourned it, while the goats get a controlling aspect of the agenda? For example, if the goats/tares could redirect funds away from a Christ-Centered, Gospel-Focused mission, built only the One and Only Firm Foundation of Christ, [which no man can build apart from I Cor 3:11], and to a non-Christ-Centered and thus non-Gospel focused mission, then wouldn't that be taking bread away from the children? If plan A is all about Jesus and turning and sharing the Gosple to children and feeding them food, and then along comes agenda B, which sounds good but it is a plan MINUS the Gospel, and pulls funding away from the other Gospel-Driven missions, then what you have is a parasite. The parasite eats away at the fruit, and the parasite does nothing to help produce fruit; it just consumes it.

Notice how Jesus fed the people Spiritually and physically. Jesus didn't just do things without a Spiritual meaning behind them. When He gave sight to the Blind it symbolized how He gives Spiritual sight to the blind, when He cleansed the Lepers it pointed to Him who cleanses sinners, when He told Peter to feed His Sheep He meant with the Word of God. And neither are we to ignore the poor, but 'to love not just in word, but also in deed.' And we are to fulfill our comission:

"And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." Mark 16:15-16

"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27

Matthew 25
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

But one must have saving faith to be blessed:

"I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, But they will not profit you." Isaiah 57:12

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. Hebrews 4:2

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Gospel-Driven, Christ-Centered, on the One and Only Firm Foundation of Jesus Christ should be the motto of every church function, mission, or outreach. If the mission is not, then ask yourself what is the mission behind the mission. Would Satan present seemingly noble humanitarian social missions (minus the Gospel) to suck away from missions in the world that reach people with the Gospe? Granted we should also strive to show them that love and help them with their physical needs, out of love and...'so they will see your good works and praise your Father Who Is in Heaven.' [Matt 5:6] Both may seem good, but God's Money should go to further His Kingdom with His Gospel, not further the world with a 'social gospel' that subtracts the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ as it's Driving Force.

An equation:

Jesus + (with) Good deeds = Praise to The Father in Heaven, Glory to Him in the Name of Christ

Good deeds - (minus) Jesus = no offence of The Cross, praise to self, glory from men, reward here in full

"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'" Luke 17:10

The Gospel is the Good News, Jesus Saves us, it is our mission to preach the good news, and do good to the hurting around us. But we cannot do it on any other foundation than Jesus Christ, and it must be Gospel Driven:

But He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose." Luke 4:43

He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for." Mark 1:38

"but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness," I Cor 1:23

We are His Witnesses: we should be gravely mistaken if we think He came for world peace minus the gospel.

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:32-34

"Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also." I John 2:23

"Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son." II John 1:9

"but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8

"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses," declares the LORD," And I am God. "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?" Isaiah 43:10-13

"Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'" Isaiah 44:8

An exhortation:

"How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" John 5:44

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I Cor 10:31

"Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." I Peter 4:11

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." I Timothy 1:17

God help us and may He rekindle all of us afresh, may He bring healing to us

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." Jude 1:24-25