The difference between a good tree and a corrupt tree is the Holy Spirit. Those who are rooted in Christ have been given the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit, the good fruit, can be manifested in their lives.
There is an innate assumption in the modern church that false prophets are hard to find. However… as easy as it is to know that grapes don’t come from thorns… so it is easy to see the absence of good fruit from the ministry of false prophets among us.
Carnal Christians are not good at making judgments because self/flesh-centered biases, like beams in their eyes, make it impossible to see clearly. However, those that “are spiritual”, those that are mature in Christ, have the light of God coming into their “eyes” and they can see what needs to be done.
God’s judgments, God’s corrective disciplinary actions, are not a terror to His children. When we are disciplined, we don’t lose our salvation: we don’t stop being children in the family of God, joint heirs with Jesus.
Our problem is that we trust our senses more than we trust God. Our tendency is to walk by sight, i.e., to live by our senses and our own human logic. When our sensory experiences tell us that things are out of the norm, our minds conclude, based on that limited information, that we are in danger, that we should react in fear.
At Christmas time, and all the time, Believers (“men and women of God”) are appointed to deliver God’s message, to announce God’s truth, to those whom we are sent; just like Gabriel did.
…since we are unable to come to God, God draws us, God invites us: This is God’s grace. To overcome our incapacity, our depravity and our impotence, God must use His infinite capacity, His singular purity and His almighty power to draw us to Himself.
His children had behaved badly for many years, despite many warnings, and it was time for them to “experience” Fatherly correction. But the correction was not without purpose, it was not borne of anger. Rather, as a good father, the correction that God was about to inflict was meant to help them change from doing evil to doing good: God wanted them to become the best children they could be.
…Jesus offers peace to us, not war. Let us accept His generous offer, while we can, for it is far more than we deserve from a righteous and Holy God.
To submit to God’s judgments, especially when we find them painful, requires a heart that if focused on God rather than our selves. It requires a heart that is preoccupied with God’s holy will and purpose: A heart that is more interested in what God is trying to accomplish than what we want to enjoy.