Evangelical churches have emphasized salvation through the years in terms of whether or not one has had the experience of being saved. To be sure there is an experience of salvation. It is interesting to note that the prophet Isaiah revealed God’s concern as being that of fruitfulness. A fruitful vine is a living vine. Jesus also made clear that we would be known by our fruits. In John fifteen, He gave us the wonderful analogy of the vine and the branches. Hebrews 6: 4 and following describes the tragedy of falling away from God and concludes with references to thorns and thistles leading many to see Isaiah 5 as the Old Testament backdrop for the passage. Since Hebrews 6 is a watershed passage for whether or not salvation may be lost, I chose many years ago to write my masters thesis on the passage. One of my conclusions is that only those who bear fruit truly have the life of God in them.
The salvation that God gives is lasting, but not all who company with the people of God truly belong to the people of God. A careful study of various passages will yield the conclusion that fruitlessness, or the yielding of “bad fruit”, is spiritual lifelessness. There comes a day when God let’s the vineyard go because it will not produce good fruit. The image of burning is brought out in Hebrews 6:8 and in John 15:6. In both cases the image reveals judgement for not producing fruit.