Inconsistent Fruit – Make-Believers

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Inconsistent Fruit

Not many people know me well enough to know that i actually love eating fruit. The reason they don’t know it is because they never see me eat it. AND why don’t i eat it… because it is inconsistent. When i get my mouth all set for a nice piece of ice-cold, sweet watermelon that’s what i expect and it is much to my dismay to get anything less. At this time in my life i can not bear the disappointment of peeling a nice cold orange and taking the first bite only to get less than expected. i need someone to buy my fruit, peel it or cut it up, taste it for quality and then give it to me.

Any way, inconsistent fruit has been on my mind for weeks and of course it has a spiritual twist to it so i thought i’d see where it takes me.

INCONSISTENT FRUIT – But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” – Galatians 2:14

A man was sitting at a stop light one morning. The lady in front of him was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green, she did not obey its command. She remained in her idle position until the light turned red again. So he began screaming epithets and beating on his steering wheel. His expressions of disgust were interrupted by a policeman, gun drawn, tapping on his window. Against his protests of, “You can’t arrest me for hollering in my car,” the officer ordered him into the back seat of his police car. After about two hours in a holding cell, the arresting officer advised him he was free to go. He said, “I knew you couldn’t arrest me for what I was yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this.” The officer replied, “I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, “What a jerk. But there is nothing I can do to him for throwing a fit in his own car.” Then I noticed the cross hanging from your rear view mirror, the bright yellow “Choose Life” license tag, and the “Jesus Is Coming Soon” bumper sticker, and I thought you must have stolen the car.”
When Paul went to Jerusalem he found inconsistencies within the church there. Paul knew that the proper standard of conduct is “the truth of the gospel” (v.14).  As Paul analyzed the situation, He saw that Peter and the others “were not straightforward.” They were not walking straight, but contrary to the truth of the Gospel. They were being inconsistent in their behavior. i need to examine my walk to insure that i am not sending the wrong message to those with whom i have daily contact. What is the effect of my walking inconsistently? Why do i walk inconsistently? How does God say i should be walking?

What is the effect of my walking inconsistently.
There are three kinds of believers: Believers, Unbelievers, and Make-believers. Those who are Make-believers influence both the believers and unbelievers with their inconsistencies. my inconsistency may cause believers to join in with my inconsistencies.

Galatians 2:11-14 “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?”

In 1520 one man brought smallpox to Mexico, where it cost three and one half million deaths. Another man, who landed in England in 1348, was responsible for spreading the “Bubonic Plague,” the greatest killer Great Britain has ever known. Likewise, one inconsistent or disloyal believer can hurt the whole body.

Listen to Paul: “…if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

It only takes one bullet to kill. One deadly disease can bring death to the human body. One broken bone can cripple. The Bible teaches, “One sinner destroys much good”. (Ecclesiastes 9:18)

Just one inconsistency can destroy a work of God. Galatians 5:9 “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” One of my inconsistencies may cause an unbeliever to reject Christ.

Romans 2:18-24 “… know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you”

When i behave in a manner inconsistent with my profession of faith, those who are unsaved notice my hypocrisy and lower their opinion both of Christ and biblical Christianity. It’s like a piece of bad fruit… it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Ted and his son, Robert, farmed together. Often, as they worked in the fields, Ted would urge Robert to attend church with him. Most times Robert declined, electing to spend his Sunday mornings relaxing at home with his new wife. One day, as Robert operated the combine, Ted jumped on to ride a few passes across the field with him. This time they talked about soybeans… how theirs were doing, and whether they should sell them at the current prices. As they talked, Ted spotted a large rock in the combine’s path. Rocks and combines do not mix. If ingested into the combine, a rock can do very costly damage. Ted jumped down and picked up the rock, placing it on the combines platform until he could put it somewhere out of harm’s way. The next pass took them to the border of Leon’s field. Ted and Leon had been at odds for some time over a land dispute. As Robert drove the combine beside Leon’s field, Ted lifted the large rock and heaved it into Leon’s field, where maybe his combine might find it. As he returned to the cab and closed the door, Robert looked at him. “If that’s what being a Christian is all about,” he said, “I want nothing to do with it.”

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