“For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God; but that which bears thorns and briers is rejected and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.”

Hebrews 6:7-8

The bottom line is simply “Are we a fruitful field or a forsaken one?  Are we a steppingstone or a stumbling block?”

No one wants to pass through this life and make no difference whatsoever; likewise, no one wakes up in the morning, saying “I sure hope I can be a miserable failure today and make sure I end up wasting all of God’s blessings.”

That’d be absurd, wouldn’t it?

Most assuredly it would.

Yet, sadly, so many end up doing just that, yet blaming everything and everyone else (including God) for such failures.

But, today’s Manna—which is written after the quite sobering words in vv.4-6—is, in reality, a continuation of those warnings about “falling away.”  And, the writer is basically likening a growing Christian to a “fertile, fruitful field that’s blessed by God” to one who turns his/her back on Christ and becomes a “rejected field that’s filled with thorns and briers, which causes others to curse it and want to set it afire.”

Again, there’s really nothing more tragic in life that someone who lives here on this ‘ole earth, but never lives at all.  They’re simply passing time and taking up space.  It’s “all about me” and “grabbing for all the gusto they can get.”  Like the rich, foolish farmer, they have no time for God and then wonder why God calls them “a fool” (Lk. 12:16-21) and Jesus likens them to Judas, whom He called “The Son of Perdition (Grk. ‘apoleia’—‘ruin, loss, waste, etc.’)” (Jn. 17:12) and said “It’d been better for him if he’d never been born” (Mk. 14:21).

The picture of a field that’s full of “briers and thorns” is indeed a poignant one—particularly when we understand the Greek word “tribolos” is used for briers and is the same word used for the Roman army’s “land mines.”  These were ball-type objects with three-pronged spikes sticking up out of them.  And, no matter how you threw them out, they always landed with at least one spike sticking up, which made it difficult for the enemy to advance.

Thus, one who professes to be a follower of Christ, but continually “crucifies Christ afresh and brings Him to an open shame” by his/her words and deeds, is essentially a “brier-believer” who makes it more difficult for others to come to Jesus as Savior and Lord.  No wonder they need to repent and examine their own lives to see if they’re a real “possessor” or simply a make-believe, “pretender-professor”!

Oh, dear Pilgrim, the hour is too late and the stakes are too high to be playing church or counterfeit Christian charades.  A “chameleon-Christian”—i.e., one that reflects the surroundings around him—is still a chameleon nonetheless, not a “champion for Christ.”  A time of testing is coming.  Are you ready?  Will the “fires” reveal your “true tempered faith”?  Or, will they reveal that nothing was there (chaff), whose “end is cursing and burning”?

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 3, 2011

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