Christian Universe ™
Good For Nothing
June 22, 2014
We must abide in Jesus if we are to live spiritually. If we do not produce good fruit -- that is, if we do not serve others in love as Christ taught us -- then we are good for nothing! If we are dead branches, dead trees, or trees bringing forth corrupt fruit, then we shall be cut from the living tree or vine, cast away and then burned like so much useless debris. Jesus spoke of this when He talked about the unending fire and the undying worms of Gehenna -- translated as "hell" in the King James Version. - Bernie Parsons
Good For Nothing
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 06-22-2014
Presented to Load church of Christ on 07-20-2014
Some say that God will never destroy any of His creation, that all will be saved.
From our two previous lessons we learned that our spiritual life is rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ, and that we are branches, as it were, in His vine. We also saw that, since we draw our life from Him, we are cut off from – that is, dead to – God without Him.
Romans 11:19 "Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."
John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
Not only does our spiritual life depend upon Him, but if we are useless, in that we do not bear fruit, then we shall be cut off and cast aside. Once cast aside, and found to be continually useless, we are like discarded branches that are to be gathered up and burned.
Luke 3:7 "Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree
therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into
What is one to do to remain fruitful and to avoid this casting away and
Luke 3:10 “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."
As Christians – the children of God – we are to be productive, following that second great commandment. We must not selfishly consume what God gives upon our own lusts.
James 4:1 "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
James 2:14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?"
We are here to serve one another in love.
Luke 22:25 "And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth."
We bear fruit when we help those who need us. Otherwise, we are of no use.
Luke 6:43 "For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."
What is done to the brambles and the thorns, which are good for nothing?
Hebrews 6:7 "For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."
Gehenna is the Greek word for the valley of Hinnom and is often translated in the King James Version New Testament as the word, “hell”. King Ahaz of Judah used that valley wickedly.
2 Chronicles 28:2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree."
Because of this sin, continued under Manasseh, God cursed Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom.
Jeremiah 7:31 "And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away."
Isaiah 66:24 "And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
In the following, “hell” refers to the Valley of Hinnom – where the abominable fires of burning children were notorious, and the memory of maggots working on the dead bodies once dumped there persisted. Jesus apparently combined the above references:
Mark 9:43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
If we are of no use to God, then He has no use for us!
Luke 9:23 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?"