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 find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' But he 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.' '
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
So the people asked him, saying, 'What shall we do then?'
Upon research, I find myself in the minority of Christians in several ways: 1) I believe every Word in the Bible--literally. I also believe God's Word has countless levels of meaning. We cannot reach Its bottom, but Its Top reached down to us. Mining It (or minding Him) is far more striking than gold.**
2) I believe every mature Christian has a duty and responsibility to fight the good fight. While we act as ambassadors for Christ in the earthly realm, we act as warriors for Christ in the spiritual realm: to include the rebuking of evil, binding of dark forces, casting out of demons and laying on of hands to heal--all by the Power of God.***
3) I believe salvation is not guaranteed by church attendance. Nor necessarily by a profession of faith. For mature saints (excepting children and new believers), I think God demands proof of faith, as in fruit. 'For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required' (Luke 12:48).****
In The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree, God demands a return on His investment in us. I suggest re-reading the Parable of the Talents and the entirety of the Gospels to see what Jesus requires. Or check out the short Version, a.k.a. the Gospel in three Chapters: The Sermon on the Mount.*****
Actors, models and talent for Christ: open up the church. Take off its roof and let the Sun shine in. Disease grows in closed spaces, but it withers by air and by Light. You carry both.
To Be Continued...
* Gill's Exposition on the Bible, Luke 13 (see esp. v.7-8) http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/luke/13.htm
** 'Therefore I love Your Commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!' (Psalm 119:127). 'I have rejoiced in the way of Your Testimonies, as much as in all riches' (Psalm 119:14).
*** The armor of God: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A10-18&version=NIV
**** Scriptures, Stories and Parables of God requiring proof, evidence, work and fruit as proof of our faith are throughout the Old and New Testaments. I wrote a Bible study series on this topic: http://www.amtcdevotions.com/the-question-of-salvation-part-1-what-question
***** The Parable of the Talents: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
***** The Sermon on the Mount: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205-7&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Impossible Healings series.