The words of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 7:15-20, are a warning against deception. Appearances are deceitful, but fruit is evidence of good or bad. It is impossible for a good tree to produce evil fruit and vice versa. To go to a bad tree expecting good fruit is to expect the impossible. To expect the impossible of others is foolish. We must understand that God only expects what is possible of us. In regard to the possible and impossible, we must remember three things:

There are some things we think impossible that are in the realm of possibility

There are some things that are impossible under any circumstances.

There are some things that are impossible under certain condition.

This article will center in on this last statement, “There are some things that are impossible under certain conditions.”

THE NON-CHRISTIAN OFTEN EXPECTS THE POSSIBLE

 To expect forgiveness without faith and repentance is to expect the impossible. The Jew and the Modernist expect God’s blessings without faith, which is impossible (John 8:24). People of the world may expect God’s favor without repentance, which is impossible (Acts 17:30). God’s laws are such that we should not expect to be saved without complying with them.

To expect remission of sins without baptism is to expect the impossible. The gospel must be obeyed in order to be saved (Romans 6:17). Baptism is a part of the gospel because God put it there (Mark16:15, 16; Acts 2:38, etc.). The question often comes, “Can’t God save without baptism?” But it is not a matter of what God can or cannot do. It is a matter of what He said He will do (Matthew 19:26; Hebrews 6:18). Baptism is a condition of remission, and no exceptions are revealed in the Scriptures.

To expect security at the judgment without doing God’s will is to expect the impossible (Matthew 7:21-27). Safety and security in eternity are impossible without proper respect for and obedience to the word that has been has spoken (Matthew 7:21-23; John 12:48; Hebrews 5:9).

 THE LOCAL CHURCH OFTEN EXPECTS THE IMPOSSIBLE 

To expect growth without diligence is to expect the impossible. One may ask, “Why doesn’t a congregation grow?” The fault is not with God, the message, nor a lack of opportunity. The reason is a lack of diligence on the part of the membership as a whole. To expect growth in attendance without our coming and inviting others is to expect the impossible.

To expect conversions without contacting sinners is to expect the impossible. Progress anywhere is dependent upon diligence. We should not expect the one without the other.

To expect diligence without love is to expect the impossible. There can be no fervent zeal for the Lord’s cause without a sincere love for the lost, the brotherhood, and God (Romans 10:1; 1 Peter 2:17; Matthew 22:37).

To expect love without concern is to expect the impossible. Love, basically, is concern in action. When we are too busy and too selfish to get concerned with one another, there can be no fervent love.

To expect real love in a cold church is impossible! It is like expecting warmth without a source of heat.

THE INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN OFTEN EXPECTS THE IMPOSSIBLE

 To expect satisfaction without sacrifice is to expect the impossible. A spirit of sacrifice is indispensable to a sense of satisfaction (Luke 14:26-33; Matthew 16:24; Romans 12:1). Many times people will ask, “Why am I not the Christian I ought to be?” To which the answer is, they are not willing to sacrifice their time, money, and talents for the Lord.

To expect Christian character without sacrifice is to expect the crown without the cross (Luke 9:23).

To expect the love of God without chastening is to expect the impossible. God’s love does not preclude chastening (Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 3:19). We expect the good things of God’s love (Matthew 7:11; James 1:17), but we have no appreciation for the dark things. When sorrow comes we say, “God doesn’t love me.” But how foolish that is (Romans 8:28; Hebrews 5:8).

To expect God’s love without His chastening is to expect the sun without the clouds.

To expect happiness without holiness is to expect the impossible. True happiness is dependent upon holiness (Psalms 1:1; Matthew 5:3-12). No sin brings true and lasting happiness (Hebrews 11:25). Happiness here and heaven hereafter depend upon holiness in this life (Hebrews 12:14).

Don’t expect the impossible.

Advertisements