A green apple isn’t edible. However, a small, green apple may be perfectly shaped and formed. Nevertheless, it is not ready to be eaten. If I decide to eat this small, green apple, I will probably get a stomach ache.
Over the years, Eric’s parents have constantly commended the training he has received from Special Gathering. Likewise, Brent’s mother worked hard to manage his behavioral concerns. After attending Special Gathering for a few years, a drastic overhaul happened in his life. She gave all the credit to the teaching that he received each week at Special Gathering.
Brent and Eric still have issues that are unresolved in their personalities and actions. But they are still green apples.
Arthur is equally dysfunctional in his behavior at work. No one can get along with him. However, all these co-workers agree that Arthur has radically changed for the better since he has been attending the Bible study at work. Barb looses her temper with her family and friends. She knows that she is wrong; and she has started to read her Bible each day, looking for answers to her temperamental behaviors.
Arthur and Barb still have issues that are unresolved in their personalities and actions. But they are still green apples–growing in the Lord.
Arthur, Barb, Brent and Eric have stories that are amazingly similar. All four struggle with behavioral issues. But they are also very different. Arthur is the CEO of a large company and Barb manages a local restaurant. Eric and Brent are part of the mentally challenged community.
The acorn that falls from the mighty oak tree is very different from the tree that it will become. The sapling which springs from the acorn is not nearly as beautiful or stable as the tree that it will become 20 years later.
The Christian life is a growing experience. As disciples of Christ, we will never become totally ripe fruit until we are in heaven. The acorn does not even resemble the tree it will become. It is the same with the members of Special Gathering. As much as Brent may change, he is still miles from the goal of being transformed into the image of Christ. Eric loves the Lord; but he still falters in his execution of the disciplines of the Christian life.
Yes, Arthur–the CEO–and Eric–the Special Gathering member–are dissimilar. Yet, in comparison to the acorn and the oak tree, there are more similarities than there are differences.