Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for a peace at this time.
Matthew 7:15-23 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’
Who is Free?
The conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine is still debated to this day. After years of intense persecution, Constantine established the Edict of Milan in 313 which essentially granted Christians the right to freedom of religion and assembly within the Roman Empire. Most people consider this act a fruit of Constantine’s conversion while others argue it was a political move to gain favor among the growing population of Christians. However, apparently, Constantine provided ongoing favors for Christians while in power which would point to the validity of his transformation. It is legend that Constantine was baptized on his deathbed as a way of maintaining spiritual purity before entering heaven.
How do you know you are a Christian? What does one say and/do to become a follower?
In the scripture reference, Jesus warns his followers to be watchful for false prophets who don’t produce “good fruit.” He goes on to declare that there are those who have made false professions (“Lord, Lord”) and that they will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven. What are the marks of a Christian in this world? In other words, how do you determine who is a Christian outside of yourself? Why is this important?
God, help us to not only know more about you, but to know you, even as you know us. Help us to bear good fruit in accordance with repentance. Amen.
Go with God!