Burned with Fire

June 2, 2022

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 (John 15:5-6).

These matters have been addressed before. But the difference here is, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. Again, the issue is whether or not these branches, which have been previously defined as Christians, are removed from the vine and cast into hell (the ‘fire’), meaning, they lose their salvation. I contend such is not the case.

The central thought here is in reference to our living physically in a sinful and corrupt world, while at the same time, as Christians, we are living spiritually in Christ Jesus. Jesus spoke about remaining in the vine as branches. He also spoke of drawing our life from Him as branches and producing fruit as a result of His life in us. If, for some reason, we should stop bearing fruit, the Father will ‘lift up’ the branch for the purpose of attending to it to bring it back to health. 

Scripture teaches that God does not destroy those who belong to Him, but rather cares for them. (Ezekiel 34:11-16) “I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down," says the Lord GOD. "I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment." 

If a Christian remains out of fellowship with the Lord, he is set aside, just as Israel was not destroyed but set aside after they had remained out of fellowship with the Lord. He dis-empowers their giftedness and takes away their opportunity for continued service. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Timothy 1:18-20) This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. Amen.

G. Martin

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