I have a question concerning branches who don’t bear fruit. They will be cast down into the fire, according to what Jesus Christ has said (John 15:5-6), but is this the fire of hell or going through the fire as it is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, and yet still be saved?
What we have to keep in mind is that we cannot go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6), or add to the Word (Proverbs 30:5-6), and there are some things that we will not be able to answer right now, because of that. We only know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). So, with that said, is it the fire of hell? Let’s take a look at the verses in the gospels concerning bearing fruit.
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 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. NKJV
7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him,”Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 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. 9 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.” NKJV
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me,’Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ NKJV
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” NKJV
Those verses to not identify the fire as being the fire of hell. However, lets consider what they do say, and place our explanation within what is described by them.
A bad tree cannot bear good fruit, and a good tree cannot bear bad fruit (Matthew 7:18 above). If we make the tree good, its fruit will be good (Matthew 12:33 above).
So, who are the branches that do not bear fruit, or that bear bad fruit? There are people of this world, who have no intention of bearing fruit, and there are Christians who stop bearing fruit, and perhaps some of them have been taken away as described in John 15:2 above. There are many different people in this group, but I believe that 1 Corinthians 3:15 refers to Christians who have built falsely, or deceitfully, which would certainly include many if not all of the TV preachers today, and Christians who have believed the lies of those who build falsely.
So, what will become of them according to the Words of Jesus Christ? Again, lets read the scriptures.
28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to Him, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him. NKJV
Which one did the will of the Father? Does anyone get into the Kingdom of Heaven without doing the will of the Father according to Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:21 above?
If they will not be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but they will be saved, where will they be? The following passage of scripture explain this.
Here is a story about servants who did the Masters will, and one who did not do what his Master wanted him to do. However, keep in mind that they were all servants.
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him,’Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ NKJV
The wicked servant, who did not do his Masters will was cast into outer darkness, which I believe is where millions of Christians today in this country will end up.
Here is more proof. In the following passage, a man-made it all the way to the feast, but he did not have wedding clothes, which are the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:8). He was saved, but he had no righteous acts. Therefore, he too was cast into outer darkness.
22 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”‘ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” NKJV
After we are saved, it’s not about getting saved over and over again, every time we screw up, like some preach, but it’s about “remaining,” or abiding. Christians have to repent, and then start back doing what all Christians are instructed to do; obey Jesus.
Christians cannot bear fruit unless they remain (abide) in the vine (John 15:4 above), and the only way to abide is to obey Jesus, according to John 15:9-10. Therefore, every Christians that ignores, or rejects obeying Jesus is unfruitful, because they have rejected the only method, which we are given to be fruitful.
Millions of Christians today will hear “away from Me, I never knew you” on the last day (Matthew 7:21-23, above).
How can we know that we know Jesus Christ according to the Word of God? Is it by saying a sinner’s prayer? Is it by attending church services every time the doors are open? No, it’s by keeping Jesus’ commands (1 John 2:3-5). All of those who reject that verse are either deceivers or liars, no matter how popular they may be.
1 John 2:3-5
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. NKJV
Whoever says that they know Jesus, but they do not keep His commands is a lair (verse 4 above)! We can watch Christian media on just about any day of the week and hear someone preach that we don’t have to obey Jesus, but now you know the truth.
Those who do not obey Jesus, will not abide in Jesus (John 15:9-10), and they are not friends of Jesus (John 15:14), and they do not know Jesus (1 John 2:3-5), and they will not be able to bear fruit (John 15:4), and so they will end up in outer darkness, with the rest of the deceived.
So, is 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 talking about the fire of hell that they will go through? I don’t know, but I know I don’t want to join them. Farewell
If I may be of service to you, ask. I will not mention your name, and I don’t need to know your denomination, or how long you have been a Christian, or anything else, except do you believe? I’m alan ballou; a servant.