The Saviour’s denunciation of the fruitless fig tree is a warning to all who claim to be Christians, and yet remain in blind unbelief. Thus from age to age the Lord would teach the danger of rejecting light. Christ has worked for and invited all. He will enlighten all who will search the Scriptures candidly. Today he is knocking at the door of the heart. Shall he have to say of us, In vain do ye worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men?
The words spoken to the fig tree are applicable to all whose lives, though pretentious, are fruitless. The tree may have every indication of prosperity, but the Lord takes not its luxuriant foliage as an evidence of fruitfulness. His search for the fruit which alone makes the tree of value is close and critical. How is it with us? Can we bear the search made by him who never makes a mistake, or do we bear only the leaves of profession? Profession is nothing if it is only a mask to spiritual barrenness.
When the Saviour appears in the clouds of heaven, no one will be given another opportunity to gain salvation. All will have made their decision. Before the close of this world’s history those who are willing to accept evidence will have the dark veil removed from their minds. Hearts will be cleansed through accepting Christ during the time that the whole world is lighted with the glory of the angel who comes down from heaven.
The time is right upon us when every kind of deception will be practised. Christ says, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing.” They speak fair words, but all the time they are watching to see how they can get gain for themselves. They are full of selfishness, and work at cross purposes with God. “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” the Saviour declares. “A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” Nothing but repentance and faith can make an impure heart pure.
God weighs every man in the balances of the sanctuary. In one scale is placed his perfect, unchangeable law, demanding perfect obedience. If in the other there are years of forgetfulness, of rebellion, of self-pleasing, with no repentance, no confession, no effort to do right, God says, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”
Thus the deciding line is drawn. Claiming to be righteous without manifesting the fruits of true conversion, is utterly worthless. External forms, even though they be such as God has commanded, are of no value unless accompanied by an inward work of cleansing. Outward works alone will never make a man perfect before God. Nothing but repentance and faith can make an impure heart pure.
In the great day of judgment how will transgressors appear in their own sight as they are permitted to see the record of their life as they have chosen to make it, regardless of the law which through eternity will govern the universe? During their lifetime they utterly refused to be made better. The efforts put forth in their behalf were in vain. They knew the claims of God, but they refused to comply with the conditions laid down in his word. By their own choice they united with the enemy. The powers given them to use in God’s service they used in the service of self. They made self their god, refusing to submit to any other control. They arrayed themselves on the side of the power of darkness, and encouraged others to do the same.
As they stand before the bar of God, this opens before them. A flash of light will come to all lost souls. Scene after scene will rise before them. They will see the power of the mystery of godliness, which in this life they despised and hated. They will see what they might have become through the power of Christ. They will understand the robbery they have practised toward God. They will see the good they might have done but did not do.
The picture can not be changed. Their cases are forever decided. They realized that they must perish with the one whose ways and works they have chosen, and in terror they cry to the rocks and mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the face of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”1White, Ellen G. “Found Wanting.” The Youth Instructor, 31 July 1902.
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|1.||↑||White, Ellen G. “Found Wanting.” The Youth Instructor, 31 July 1902.|