1. AGGRESSIVE DESPERATION
For years many of us have been drugged persons. A person who is drugged is numb. He does not have any feeling. Some of us did not bear any fruit for twenty years, yet still felt that we were okay. Many of the churches have been under a drugged situation for years. We all have been meeting in our localities week after week and year after year with hardly any increase. We need to be warned to wake up. We have been wrong. Any branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off (John 15:2, 6). Is this not serious?
We have talked much concerning abiding in John 15. But have we entered into the reality of abiding in John 15, and do we realize the seriousness of not bearing fruit? To take a branch away from a tree is serious. After being taken away, the branch loses everything of the tree. You may still be meeting in the name of Christ and have no realization that you have been taken away already. In this fellowship, I do not care for the expounding or interpreting of the Lord’s word in John 15. Rather, I hope you would be impressed with the seriousness of not bearing fruit. Any branch that bears no fruit will be taken away. You may have been taken away unconsciously already under your drugged situation. You may say that you enjoy Christ, but where is the enjoyment if you have not borne fruit and have been cut off from the vine tree? How could you enjoy the vine tree? This is solemn. We all have to see how much we have been fooled and drugged by the tradition, the background, and the surrounding of today’s Christianity. Millions of Christians are drugged, but we have to be different.
Saints, wake up! As a brother among you, I am shouting, sounding, and even crying to you—you have to wake up! If the Lord is real and the Bible is a true book, it is solemn and serious to be a Christian without bearing fruit. You may have been cut off, taken away, already. This is why you may not have had any enjoyment of Christ for years. You got cut off from Him. The elders and co-workers need to consider this. We may have been in the Lord’s recovery for many years, but what have we been doing? We may have been carrying out things in a drugged way, and we may even be drugging others.
Have you ever seen a fruit tree in an orchard that did not bear fruit year after year? Would the husbandman still keep that tree? He would not just cut off the branches, but uproot the entire tree. God intended to uproot Israel because Israel did not bear fruit for years (Luke 13:6-9). How about the church today? Look at today’s Christianity. Four of the five major denominations in Protestant Christianity are decreasing in number. These are the Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist denominations. Only the Southern Baptists are increasing, but their rate of increase is still very low—only about 1.4 percent yearly. The rate of increase among the Assemblies of God runs first only at six percent yearly, while the United Pentecostals have had an increase of less than five percent yearly. This is still too low.
In the past twenty-three years the highest rate of increase we had was around forty percent. But in the last ten years since we suffered from the defamation of some books, our yearly rate of increase has dropped to about three percent. We have blamed the opposition and have taken the excuse of the opposition for our barrenness, but do you believe that with the apostles there was no opposition? Why would we not wake up to do something? It is time for all of us to wake up, especially the elders and co-workers. We must take another way.
(Being Desperate and Living Uniquely for the Gospel, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)