Summary: Series on John 15 pt. 16
Series on John 15 pt. 16
One of the ways in which we deal with unpleasant realities in life is that we joke about them. We make fun of them. And in doing so it somehow dampens the offensiveness of the situation. A good example of this is how we feel about hell or the lake of fire as mentioned in the Bible. We all have heard jokes about hell, seen comics about hell. We even portray Satan as having hell as his home where he kind of runs the place. There is no torment there for him, in fact he is the one in charge of dishing it out.
I believe that we have made fun of hell to the point where it is no longer taken seriously. There is little concern about going there. After all when you look at the cartoons and so forth, it does not look all that bad.
But I want us to understand that the reality of hell or the lake of fire as it would be more properly called, is a serious thing. It is worst then physical death, it is in fact eternal death, but a death that does not end. It is no doubt an unpleasant topic. We don’t like to talk about seriously, we would rather make fun of it so that the reality of it does not make us feel too uncomfortable.
For the most part preachers don’t like to preach it, and congregations don’t like to hear it. But it is a reality that we must deal with, and we must deal with it because Jesus deals with it.
Our Lord does not joke about it, he does not dummy it down, he faces it head on, portraying it as something that should be avoided at all cost.
We only have two options when it comes to eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. It is something that is real and must be avoided, or Jesus our Lord was mistaken.
Either we take all of Jesus says in John 15 as truth, or we are left to pick and chose what is truth and what is not. If that is the case then we are left with faith that will not save us from that which we deny. IN other words either we believe in Jesus’ teaching on hell and take it seriously, or we might as well reject it all because the very point of the gospel of Christ is to save us from hell, save us from the wrath of God.
You see the denial of something does not in fact change the reality of that of it. Denying the reality of hell does not in fact cause hell not to exist.
I point all that out to you this morning because if we are going to be talking about the blessings of John 15:1-5 we must deal with the unpleasantness of John 15:6. So let us continue our look into John 15 by looking that the next verse in our study John 15:6.
Please turn with me to John 15:6 I am going to read to you John 15:5 as well, because it shows us something important; “"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Notice the positive statement of John 15:5, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…” As we pointed out last week, those who abide in Christ and have Christ abiding in them, produce through God, not just fruit, but much fruit. We are told what happens by abiding in Christ.
In verse 6 we have a negative statement. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered…” In verse 6 Jesus tells us what happens when we do not abide in Christ and it is not pretty. Those not abiding in Christ, those who do not have a saving relationship with Christ, those who are unregenerate, they are cast out and withered, to be gathered up and cast into the fire.
In general terms what we see is that rejection produces rejection. Those who reject the way of Christ, those who reject Him as Lord and Saviour, they themselves will be rejected by Christ. Keep in mind that it is possible to not reject Christ with your mouth, yet reject Him through actions.
Jesus speaks of these people in Matt. 15:8-9 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’"” They claim to know Christ but their hearts are far away from Him. They claim to know Christ but their lives are fruitless. And why is there live fruitless, because they are not connected to the true vine.