Autumn Trees

J. D. Conley
November 2, 2014

The beautiful Ohio Valley is presently dappled with the brilliant colors of Autumn. Yet this display of varying hues will be short lived because these trees will soon be bereft of their foliage and fruit.

Jude, the half brother of our Lord, wrote about Autumn trees in the penultimate New Testament book we know as the epistle of Jude. By inspiration of God he states, "...trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots" (Jude 12). Contextually he is referring to the deadly effect of false teachers and their ilk. The epistle of Jude bears many similarities to the apostle Peter's second epistle denoting that false teaching has always been a blight the people of God must confront and defeat, (Mt. 7:15, 2Pet.2:1 ff., 3:3; 1 Jn.4:1, Jude 3,4). As Christians we have been given our marching orders from Christ and His apostles to preach the Truth and defeat error, (Mk. 16:15,16; Eph.6:10-18; 1Thess.5:21; 1Tim.3:15; 1Pet.3:15; Rev.2,3 etc). Inverse 12, Jude paints a graphic portrait of the adverse effects of false teaching showing that it kills the fruit, or either prevents fruit from coming on. Furthermore, false teaching never produces anything good or useable even though given plenty of time. The only thing false teaching produces is spiritual death and destruction. The Lord's church must not tolerate false teaching nor embrace it. Instead, we must be in the fruit inspection business, (Mt.7:16-20), as well as the fruit bearing business, (Mt.3:10). If not, a cutting down and a casting into the fire will take place, (Mt.3:10).

With these truths before us what kind of Autumn tree are you? Are you fruitful or just leafy? Beautiful and brilliant on the outside, but dying at the core? During the week leading up to the cross, Jesus came upon a fig tree expecting to find figs, but all He found was leaves. How many Christians are like this barren fig tree? All show but no substance? Jesus destroyed that pathetic tree because it's display of mere leaves, apart from any fruit, angered Him.

Many of us are in the Autumn of life, others beyond, thus it behooves us to ask ourselves what kind of tree are we? Are we just leaf covered or full of fruit? None of us have any time to be idle, because like these beautiful trees around us, our leaves and fruit will be soon be gone.