"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
This metaphor in John 15 perfectly articulates how The Lord wants us to live our lives--fully dedicated to living in Christ, to living by His word. The Lord sent His Son to earth. He planted Him here as a vine for all of The Lord's people to grow from. We are the branches.
Evil people and those who reject Christ are cut off from The Lord's love and from His blessings; those branches--those people--are cut off of the vine of Jesus and essentially destroyed by their own doing. As a result, these people won't be fruitful. In fact, they'll wither as their lives develop apart from Jesus. Frankly, they'll be thrown into a fire both figuratively and literally. When they die, they're not going to Heaven but to hell instead to burn and to suffer for eternity. I see no reason to sugarcoat that...
The people who live by The Lord's word and follow Christ remain branches on the vine of life. These branches bear fruit. As the gardener, our Father will not just let us be. He will prune us. He will essentially perfect us as long as we remain in Christ and live according to His will. He will rid our lives of indiscretions and evils so that we can bear more good fruit, so that we can become an extension of the vine--Jesus Christ. The more our lives glorify God, the more our lives will flourish. If we do good by God, He will do good by us.
Which life will you choose?
The Lord is just. He will punish our wrongdoings. If we truly reject God, if we don't accept Christ as our Savior, we will be cut off from Their blessings. We'll have fruitless lives. If we remain in Christ, we'll live blessed lives. The Lord will reward our works of mercy. Our efforts will be fruitful.
Just try. Try to live according to God's Word. Try to live as a disciple, as an extension of Jesus Christ on earth. You will receive blessings you've yearned for in addition to blessings beyond your wildest dreams. You actually can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. The more you thrive off of the vine, the more good fruit you will bear. The more Christ-like you lead you life, the more you will be blessed in return.
Again, please allow me to ask: which life will you choose?
Photo credit: http://www.thewordheardroundtheworld.com/2012/01/he-is-vine-we-are-branch.html