Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
This is speaking of a true Christian who became a backslider. They have gotten away from the Lord and became interested in the things of the world. They have failed to manifest the fruit of righteousness in their life. Jesus could take away their life, but they would never lose their eternal life. The branch that bears fruit is the Christian who is growing more and more into the character of Christ. Even such vines need to be pruned or cleansed. Just as a real vine must be cleansed from insects and weeds, so a Christian must be cleansed from worldly things that cling to them.