By their fruit you will recognize them…
The “good fruit” Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:15-20 is not a reference to my sense of satisfaction or my perceived personal or ministry effectiveness. The next verses make clear that laboring in Jesus’s name, even with impressive result, is no guarantee of entering the kingdom of heaven.
“ Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven. Simply calling Me “Lord” will not be enough. Only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven will join Me in heaven. At the end of time, on that day of judgment, many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive demons out of the possessed in Your name? Did we not perform miracles in Your name?” 23 But I will say to them, “I never knew you. And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:21-23.
Bearing fruit means doing the will of our Father who is heaven (v.21). Jesus is looking for followers who will hear His words and put them into practice (vv.24-27) No matter how we feel about our effectiveness in our ministry or our personal lives there are no genuinely healthy trees apart from obedience to Christ and the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16-24)*
We cannot follow our feelings or sense of rightness when dealing with the difficult issues of life. Dying to our self is the duty of every follower of Christ. The Bible has to have the last word on what is good for us and what brings glory to God.
*Kevin Deyoung from the book “What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality”