In the beginning, God the creator of all things blessed Adam and Eve and gave them the instruction to be fruitful and multiply(Genesis 1:28). Man since then has multiplied across the earth and while it is easy to think that God was only talking about procreating, this would only explain the aspect of multiplying and has not explained being fruitful. How can one be fruitful? We know that oranges can only come from an orange tree and that pears can only come from a pear tree, and according to scripture this is an accurate assessment(Matt 7:16). To be fruitful we should look at how Adam and Eve were created. They were created in the image of God(Gen 1:26)! To surmise, a fair assessment for being fruitful would be to ensure that we embody the character of God and to guide our children in this principle also.
I thought the need to talk about being fruitful and multiply because our hearts as Christians look very similar to those that are not, and as such we are being led astray in troves to our own demise. Recently a lot has been happening in Jamaica in regards to false churches and occult activities and I realize that the Christian community is easily led astray by anyone that says they are Christians. In Jamaica, many Christians voted and celebrated a man that calls himself “bro god” even though the first of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:3) says “You shall have no other gods before me”. Not the second or third, but the first of the commandments but I digress. If as believers we are willing to overlook such a great insult to the living God then what is the purpose of Christianity. A conclusion one could draw is that Christianity is like a club where we can satisfy our desires for inclusions to be apart from something greater than ourselves, like on a choir, the usher team, the musician’s group, or a specific doctrine, etc. This would in fact explain why pastors are defended more than the gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the Pastor that is accredited with bringing that particular sect together. This would also explain why we are so concerned about what churches other Christians attend rather than praising God together.
The scripture in Matthew 7:15 uses the word wolf to indicate how vicious the heart of the false prophets is, but because of the subtleness of the visible deceit, the reality is that Christians continue to ignore red flags. Do we ignore red flags because it suits the idea that as individuals we can make sound decisions and are a good judge of character? Maybe! Jeremiah 17:9 says ” 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it” meaning that not only is our hearts deceived but because of the complexity of the heart we don’t even know we are deceived. How then can we assess the condition of our hearts? We use scripture! but in particular, understanding what a healthy heart should look like. The fruit in scripture is an indication of what is happening in our hearts and in the hearts of others. As believers, we need to understand we can not assess ourselves or others based on how they meet our own personal desires, we are to assess ourselves and each other by how the fruit is demonstrated as a whole in each individual’s life. For example, you desire money and someone gives you money, that does not make them a good person and as a matter of fact, that may very well be a trap.
Galatians 5:22-23 states 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. This scripture lays out 9 evidence for a heart that is connected to God. I want to expound on gentleness and self-control because these 2 in my opinion are harder to fake. Gentleness means the individual is approachable to everyone and not just the influential few, meaning they don’t look down on people. Self-control means they are not abusive in the way they exercise power meaning they are not out trying to compete with others in wealth, taking the best of everything for themselves and their family leaving everyone else to fend for themselves.
To conclude, many will continue to be deceived because our pride will not allow us to believe that we have been wrong about something or someone. This type of behavior is to our own detriment and means we have not understood what it means to repent. The quicker we can acknowledge that we are poor judges of character and that the standards we hold dear are insufficient for abundant life(Repenting), is the quicker that the gospel of Jesus Christ can do great works in us and cause us to look like the image of our creator, therefore being fruitful.