Summary: You can hang figs on a thorn bush and grapes on briers and pick from them, but you can’t make them a natural product of these plants. You can play the part of a Christian and go through the motions, but you’re not a Christian unless you’re connected to
"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
You can hang figs on a thorn bush and grapes on briers and pick from them, but you can’t make them a natural product of these plants.
You can play the part of a Christian and go through the motions, but you’re not a Christian unless you’re connected to true vine.
In southeastern Oklahoma where I grew up, there are these vines that look like Grape Vines, some of the people in the area call them Hud-gee Vines. Now a Hud-gee Vine looks just like a Grape Vine but it doesn’t produces any fruit. You’ll see Hud-gee Vines growing on top of a mountain out of the rocks, when nothing else will grow. It may only be two feet tall but it will be very much alive. In fact when you go toward Louisiana you’ll see even more of them.
My former pastor, John Binkley, said that you could sneak up to a person’s house at night and plant one of these vines by the house and in the morning it would have engulfed the whole house.
Contentment in Fruit Bearing
You can tie clusters of grapes on the vines and pick from the vines and even take a picture of it and make people believe it really produced those grapes.
In fact most of the world would believe that the Hud-gee Vine was producing clusters of grapes.
We become a member of a church family. We begin to branch out and produce great runners on our vines, saying look at me I’m a Christian because I belong to this church or that church.
I’m a Sunday School teacher.
I’m a member of a committee.
I’m a church officer.
I’m part of the music program.
I’m a deacon.
I’m a minister.
But we only have an outward appearance. Nothing has changed inside.
The Real Thing
When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we have a change take place in our lives. A transformation, a new creature: Old things are pasted away behold all things become new.
If we are saved then there will be fruits that show the change in our lives. We are known by our fruits: You can pretend to be a changed creation, but you can produce the fruits of it.
"For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush
Contentment or Sour Grapes
However in all of my days in southeastern Oklahoma, I have never seen a Hud-gee Vine bearing grapes.
Trying to fine life’s answers is like a Hud-gee Vine growing everywhere.
No matter how successful a Hud-gee Vine grows it cannot bear grapes, it’s not in its nature.
Visible Fruit Bearing
Now it’s been said that we shouldn’t be judgmental, determine weather a person is a Christian or not. But I would say to you that you couldn’t fool the keeper of the vineyard. Someone that knows grapes can tell weather or not you are a true Grape Vine or just a Hud-gee Vine.