Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

The world is still in shock over the death of a music icon. Prince Rodgers Nelson was music royalty. Stevie Wonder said Prince made music from his soul blending sex, love, and God in a way that only he could. In his latter years Prince refused to sing his more crude, overtly sexual songs from his youth. He had evolved spiritually.

Many religious people judge him on the first half of his life and his choice of religious expression. Prince was a devout Jehovah Witness. He was raised a seventh day Adventist until his friend Larry Graham “discipled” him for two years in the Jehovah Witness faith. Some Christians want to argue that Prince did not go to heaven because he was a JW. Jesus said, “No man can come get to the Father unless they come through me.” The primary difference between Christian doctrine and Jehovah Witness is they do not believe in a Holy Trinity but a distinctive three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit acting separately under the rule of God. The JW believe they are the only ones qualified to reach heaven in the 144,000 that will rule with Jesus in the New Jerusalem.

It’s this elitism and exclusion of others and the denial of hell that causes most Christians to deny the validity of JW. I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe in Heaven and Hell. I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Here’s where I agree with JW only…God is the last judge!

The religious people of Jesus accused him of healing a man by the power of Satan because he broke the Sabbath law by healing the man’s hand on a Sabbath.

Jesus who healed this man had to argue with people who worshipped a loving God that what he did was not of the devil. Jesus told them that the proof was in the pudding. The evidence of whether or not God was with someone was by looking at the fruit on their lives.

  1. Make the tree bad and the fruit will be bad. You know what’s miraculous? The fact that Prince was able to be as “good” as he was! Both parents abandoned Prince; he changed addresses 32 times since was 12 years old, and was a functional orphan. Michael Jackson lost his childhood. Madonna lost her mother to cancer. Prince lost both and still survived the emotional trauma. He was “made” bad but God still got some good out of him.
  2. Make a tree good and the fruit will be good. Prince almost died as a child from epilepsy but an angel came and healed him. God used Prince to bless him with a music acumen that can hardly be rivaled. He has a vault of music that can last another decade. What have you produced that will out-live you? What’s your fruit? Instead of picking off of somebody else’s branches what evidence do you have of your faith?
  3. You shall know a tree by the fruit it bears. Prince was more than a musical genius. He had a generous spirit. He was a philanthropist. His friend Van Jones said Prince gave millions of dollars to help the poor and fight injustice. We never knew because the JW took Jesus’ words literally: Matthew 6:3-4 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you openly.”

I don’t spend too much time arguing with religious people. I just spend my time examining fruit and producing fruit. God is the final judge and many who say “Lord, Lord” will not make it into the Kingdom of heaven. If you don’t have any fruit you can’t get in. This is what Jesus will say to many who try to get in:

Matthew 25:41-46 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was ill and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or ill or in prison, and did not help you?” ‘He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.’

Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus. He is the only reason that any of us has a chance of experiencing life and life more abundantly. We were all born into sin and shaped in iniquity but through the blood of Jesus and acceptance of him as our savior, we have the right to eternal life. Help me to be a better fruit inspector and more importantly a fruit producer. Prune me that I might be able to produce more fruit for you. Shake away anything that’s not supposed to be attached to me. Help me not to judge lest I be judged for I know that in the same measure I will be judged. Than you for your grace and your mercy and letting me walk in under your Purple reign!

In Jesus Name,

Amen