Summary: This sermon serves as a warning for churches and individuals who are not bearing fruit.
What Can Happen If We Don't Bear Fruit?
6 He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?'
8But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
9And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.' "
We are now in a new year.
What did we accomplish last year?
Did we do anything that has lasting value?
Is Jesus pleased with how we spent 2015?
If He isn't, what might be the results for us?
I chose the parable of the barren fig tree
because I believe the Lord has a message for us.
Jesus told this parable to issue a warning.
The barren tree must brings forth fruit
or will be cut down.
Jesus saved us for His honor and glory.
As God's people, our main purpose is to glorify Him.
Jesus said in John 15:8,
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
God is glorified if His people are fruit-bearing children.
Here's a very important question to think about.
Are you a fruit-bearing Christian?
In this parable, there was a man who owned a vineyard.
In that vineyard, he had planted a fig tree.
After 3 years of digging, watering, fertilizing, and pruning,
he found no fruit on the fig tree.
He said to the keeper of the vineyard, "Cut it down."
The keeper replied, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.' "
Obviously, this keeper cared very much for the barren fig tree!
He did everything he could for the tree.
Yet, it did not bring forth any fruit.
This displeased the owner of the vineyard.
He was willing to simply cut the tree down,
but the keeper begged for one more year.
Was 2015 been a fruit-bearing year for you?
How about 2014?
How about 2013?
How about 2012?
If we're not fruit-bearers, God is not pleased with us.
God is the Owner of this vineyard.
If we are not bearing fruit as we should,
He has the right to do with us as He wishes.
Now, you may be wondering
what kind of fruit God expects us to be bearing.
Here's what the Bible says we are to bear for God.
Point #1. God expect us to bear the fruit of souls.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
What kind of fruit comes from an orange tree?
The answer is an orange.
What kind of fruit comes from an apple tree?
The answer is an apple.
So obviously the fruit of a Christian is another Christian.
The Apostle Paul knew that.
He wrote in Romans 1:13-16,
13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Now, you can't save anybody's soul,
but you can be the one who wins one.
You do not have the power to save anybody;
but, with God's power,
you have the ability to win a soul.
So, have you ever brought a soul to Jesus?
There are many Christians who simply say
that witnessing is not their calling.
They are right.
Witnessing for Jesus is not a calling!
It is a command!
There are many Christians who never bear the fruit of souls.
One day, they will meet their Savior and "empty-handed be."
There's an old hymn entitled "Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?"
Here are the words to that hymn:
Must I go, and empty-handed,
Thus my dear Redeemer meet?
Not one day of service give Him,
Lay no trophy at His feet?
Must I go, and empty-handed?
Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him,