The Law of the Vineyard

“It is a first principle of the New Testament that uselessness invites disaster.” 

William Barclay, The Gospel of John (1955)

“And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.” 

Daniel 5:25

Richard Cocks has recently posted a number of excellent essays that explain that life is not a picnic, a joke, or a bogus college course that everyone passes with a wink and an A.  Life is, in fact, a stern and rigorous test that the foolish, the feeble, and the flagitious all fail.   Although tender hearts will bleed, we have it on good authority that King Belshazzar was not the only man whom God has told or will tell,

“thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

There are, likewise, many wayward and headstrong nations that God has told or will tell, I “hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.”  Your time is up, your answers are wrong, your attempt has failed, and “thy kingdom is [therefore] divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

We have it on good authority that destruction will come for all who refuse to live by the Logos of creation, and who instead follow laws of their own fancy and invention.  All reprobates “shall soon utterly perish from off the land” that God requires for another purpose.  He “shall not prolong your days upon it” and you “shall utterly be destroyed” (Deuteronomy 4:26).

* * * * *

There are among us many who say that God has mellowed since the days of  Daniel and Moses.  We must ask these Pollyannas how they explain the embarrassment of this stern and sobering line.

“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and then men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15: 6).

To abide in Christ is to live by the Logos of creation, and this Logos of creation includes laws of the flesh and laws of the spirit.  The stern and sobering message of Richard’s recent essays is that God destroys men who do not abide in Christ and live by the ancient laws of flesh and spirit.   Those who are rather ruled by laws of their own invention see their bloodlines fail, their cities fall, and their withered souls heaped and burned in God’s great bonfire of trash.

* * * * *

The great biblical commentator William Barclay tells us that “it is a first principle of the New Testament that uselessness invites disaster.”   God wants fruit from his vineyard and has no love for useless leaf and vine.  It does not appear that he and his Son take the liberal view that:

Vines that twine,
Leaves that shade,
Like grapes are in
Our image made.

Of pruning hook
No need have we,
We set the vines
And let them be.

Our vines are not
By their fruit known,
But are beloved
For size alone.

7 thoughts on “The Law of the Vineyard

  1. The choice of our Lord Jesus to point to the burning garbage dump of Gehenna as Hell.

    Goes to show that Satan and his Angels are burning pieces of garbage when tossed in the dark and fiery lake of fire.

    Such a great humiliation dwell in the everlasting dumpster fire. Useless and ever dying.

    Everlasting losers. Satan is like that naughty child getting switched on his naked buttocks in an everlasting insult to his pride.

  2. If even the righteous are judged by fire, so that only the good remains after, we have to suspect it isn’t going to be the reverse for the wicked.

    • The actual words of the parable of the vine-dresser are that even the fruit-bearing branches will be “cleansed,” while the non-fruit-bearing branches will be severed and entirely burned. I do not say this with any satisfaction or personal assurance, since universalism would ease my mind as much as it would the mind of any man. My reading of the parable is that the vine serves as an image of the church and individual believers, and severe pruning is required of both.

  3. How can then can a man who has seriously sinned – and who is truly sorry for those sins – be forgiven?

    • I would say he must prune himself and permit himself to be pruned. My point is not to cast doubt on redemption, just to remind readers that the “vine” we must be is not a natural “vine.”

  4. Pingback: Sunday Morning Coffee 03/06/2022 – A Mari Usque Ad Mare

  5. Pingback: The Two Headed Hideous Monster | Winston Scrooge

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