Lessons Of A Lifetime

REPENT OR PERISH
OR
A FRUITLESS FIG TREE
SUNDAY NOV. 7, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“There were present at that season some who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all the other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’

“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. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, “Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and have found none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?” But the keeper answered and said to him, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.”’ Luke 13.1-9

Something To Consider:
Jesus used two incidents in history to drive home a truth concerning sin. If not repented of, sin in any form will cause a person to perish. The problem with sin is that there is no escaping its grasp outside of the power of God in Jesus Christ. Paul confirmed this in Romans 3.10, by writing, “There is none righteous, no not one.” He added in verse 23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And because all have sinned and all have gone astray, the wages, penalty, or consequences for that sin is death, spiritual death, along with eternal separation from God and all that is awaiting those truly born-again one-time sinners who have asked for and who have received the forgiveness of their sins through the precious atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Yes, our sin separates us from our God whether we have come to Christ in the past or whether we are still on the run from the Holy Spirit’s convicting power in our lives.

In other words, repent or perish! For according to God in 2 Chronicles 7.14; “If My people [those who claim to be Christians] shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin.” But the people of America as a whole refuse to humble themselves and to repent, and therefore, America will be judged by God of their blatant sin! It is not a matter of if but a matter of when, if it is not already being judged!

Something Else To Consider:
But God does not leave us in our sin without hope. For in Romans 5.8, out of the darkness of despair over our sin, Paul also wrote; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He continued by adding, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath [God’s end time wrath] through Him [Jesus].”

Jesus is our only way of escaping the judgement of God for our sins! And that only way of escape comes only through our repentance of our sin. For according to Jesus, “But unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” It is an unpopular message, but it is an important message that must be heralded for all to hear no matter what nationality, background, or religious preference.

The great prophet Ezekiel, instructed us all in Ezekiel 18.30, by his proclaiming; “Repent, and turn yourselves from your transgressions; so iniquity [sin] shall not be your ruin.” In other words, repent or perish! Therefore, let us be among the wise and repent whenever we are convicted of our sin! Let us not allow sin to become something we are comfortable with. Let us nail it to the cross of Christ and turn 180° from that which hinders our spiritual wellbeing!

According to Jesus in Mark 1.15; “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel [truth according to the Word of God].” And according to Jesus, what exactly is the gospel? Jesus, speaking of end time events declared in Matthew 24.12-13; “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of the many will grow cold. But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.”

But how do we know this to be the gospel? Because of what Jesus proclaimed in the following verse. “And this gospel of the kingdom [Christ’s requirement for us to endure to the end] will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” For according to Jesus, “But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” But most religious people have been indoctrinated into believing one of several lies such as, Once Saved Always Saved, Easy Grace, or that enduring to the end constitutes salvation by works.

But it matters not what we wrongfully think, but what exactly the Word of God declares to be the truth! And after the Antichrist enters the newly yet to be built Jewish temple in Jerusalem, and demands to be worshipped as God and forces all to take the mark of the beast or die; the fulfillment of that gospel message will be preached in all the world not by man, but by angels, according to Revelation chapter 14.

Something More To Consider:
The nation of Israel was likened to a fruitless fig tree in our text today by Jesus. This was another one of those timely object lessons of life told by Jesus with much meaning for the moment. For approximately three years Jesus had been ministering in public, and yet the truth of the fate of a fruitless fig tree or fruitless individual is the same. Repent or perish! Bear fruit or be cut down!

When the Antichrist comes, he will proclaim, worship him or die. Jesus declared, “Repent or perish!” He also affirmed, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” Are you and I enduring to the end? Or are we waiting to see how bad it really gets before we make that all important decision for Christ?

A Few Final Words:
It is disgraceful that many so-called ministers of the gospel are not clearer in what the gospel message is. And yet, the message of enduring to the end, repent or perish, or our denying ourselves and taking up our cross will remain the truth and cannot be truthfully denied!

We must keep in mind that Jesus, in bringing us the sword of the Word of God, that He also brought division. That is what the true Word of God accomplished according to Jesus. These words of Jesus in these lessons of a lifetime bring division between the many who refuse to repent and who will perish, and the few faithful who do repent and endure to the end and thereby are saved.

But let us not be deceived! Membership in any church is not at all a guarantee of salvation, eternal life, or our entrance into the kingdom of God. Repentance of our sin alone unlocks the door to all the promised rewards available to us in and through Jesus Christ. For according to Jesus, “I tell you, unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may we be people who are quick to repent of our personal sin when convicted by the Holy Spirit, that we may not be among those who perish for all of eternity. In Him Always, Amen!

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