Question: John 15:6 “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.”
Answer: I believe we need to compare scripture with scripture to find answers. “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 2:13) Let’s look at a parable that Jesus taught that I believe explains this verse:
“Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!'” (Matthew 13:3-9)
“‘When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.'” (Matthew 13:19-23)
I found this quote from H. A. Ironside on your reference:
“Now if one fails here, if there is no communion, if fellowship is not maintained, if the spirit of prayer is lacking, if the Word of God is neglected, then the testimony soon counts for nothing. “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch (keep that in mind, for a branch should bear fruit), and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Men utterly ignore the testimony of those who profess to be Christ’s, but do not live in fellowship with God, do not manifest the Spirit of Christ. Their testimony counts for nothing.
I was trying to talk with a dear lad who had been brought up in what I supposed was a Christian home, and I said, “Isn’t your father a Christian? He answered with a sarcastic twist of his lip, “Well, he says he is; but he ain’t working at it.” It was evident that the father’s testimony had no weight whatever with his boy. How often people try to say something for Christ, urged by the desire to help a needy soul, they want to say the right word, but if the life is not in harmony, it’s as Emerson said once, “What you are speaks so loud that I can’t hear what you say.” “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you”-that’s the secret-“My words abide in you.” Where do we get those words? Right here in God’s blessed Book. And so the believer who is abiding in Christ is the one who is feeding upon the Word, and does not have just a head full of truth. Some people, if they were cut off at the neck, would lose all the truth of God; but take off the heads of others and the truth would still be in the heart!”
Some people may appear for a time to be Christians, but if they are not truly saved it will become evident soon enough. Ephesians chapter one makes it abundantly clear that we have to be in Christ in order to be saved. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) We have a Bible study on this very subject in the book of Ephesians; you would want the First Part.
Gary T. Panell
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