We headed to a small town called Mt. Angel yesterday. It was such a beautiful day and I was happy to see some flower trees budding. However, the most glaring detail that was hard to ignore was the stature of the fallen trees. The anomaly that happened almost 2 weeks ago, its impact was enough to topple trees that you’d think were really securely planted in the ground. These trees have the outward appearance of having really deep root systems and they look to have been there for ages and ages.
Who knows how many seasons this one stood. Its diameter tells us it’s been there awhile. I have encountered a few people here who claim to have a profound walk with the Lord and yet deny what is clearly revealed about Him. Jesus welcomed Judas and allowed him to be among the twelve knowing his nature.
“Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
This one doesn’t look that old at all.
The Discerner of Hearts
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
“…having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
2 Timothy 3:5-7
We are not to hate anyone, (and God knows I don’t) but it would be imprudent for any Christian to ignore warning signs about professing Christians who are known to compromise the Word of God and keep coddling with those whom they know to be constantly peddling false doctrine as they legitimize false teachers. The apostle Paul also gave an example for us to follow in his letter to Timothy about how we are to conduct ourselves around questionable characters.
“Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.”
2 Timothy 4:14-15
Jesus gives us the basis of knowing who is genuine by their fruit. There are many who appear to be so nice and peace-loving, but pay close attention to what people do when they have to deal with things that are uncomfortable and controversial. Lukewarm Christians will avoid it at all cost. They will also pick people over the truth of God’s Word.
“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
“…Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”