John the Baptist: Not the Prophet We Want, but the Prophet We Need , Part 5 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 63 / Day 430 since Jan. 1, 2016)
TEXT: Matthew 3:1-9:
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 63, day 430 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Harry Ironside said, “Christ is a substitute for everything, but nothing is a substitute for Christ.”
In his preaching to the Jewish religious leaders, John the Baptist assaults the assurance that they have regarding their own righteousness. The Jews in general, and these religious Jews in particular, had a superiority complex. They thought they were better than the Romans, better than all Gentiles, better than half-Jews like the Samaritans, and better than their fellow Jews who did not strictly follow the Law along with the traditions they had concocted. The elite religious class viewed themselves as the keepers of the Law and the true descendants of Abraham and Moses. John knew that they would try to use this in their defense, so he says, “Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father.”
Many people like to point to their heritage in order to defend their religious or moral standing. Even today, many find themselves in disbelief when they hear that a person who comes from a “good family” or who had a “good upbringing” is being charged with a certain crime. We seem to think that the “goodness” of ancestors somehow rubs off on their descendants. But, as the saying goes, “God has no grandchildren.” Every man, every woman, stands on their own before God. John is telling the Jewish religious establishment that they could not rest on the relationship that Abraham had with God. Abraham was “a friend of God,” but as we see throughout the Gospels, the Jewish religious leaders were the enemies of God who went so far as to try to kill His Son.
R.C. Sproul writes that, “Although being Jewish includes outward covenant privileges, the true children of God are saved only by virtue of God’s action. Only God can apply the water that changes hearts of stone. Neither a Jew by birth nor a Christian by birth can expect to be spared judgment apart from the fruit that gives evidence of repentance and faith.” This is what John means when he says, “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” It is not what we do or the background that we come from that saves us or makes us righteous in God’s eyes. You can come from a family of preachers and missionaries, attend church twice a week, and do a multitude of good deeds; but that will do nothing to effect your salvation. If He wanted to, God could raise up children unto Himself out of rocks.
But, what God will not allow for is people claiming to be saved but not living like they are saved. On those people, judgment will be sent. John says, “The axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Our salvation ought to lead to good works (good fruit) in our lives. However, if, like the Jewish religious leaders, our good works are not rooted in true salvation and true repentance, they are worthless in God’s sight. While we may be able to convince others that we are saved simply by our works, in the end, God will reveal the truth and, if the basis of our works is not true salvation, our tree (our life) will be cut down and cast into the fires of Hell. The only way to be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ.
Barney E. Warren wrote:
Blessed Jesus, I am bringing
All to Thee forevermore;
To Thy cross my hope is clinging,
Let me enter by the door.
Sinful things I come forsaking,
Thy forgiveness I implore;
Oh, my heart with sin is breaking,
Let me enter by the door.
Holy One, I’ve sinned against Thee,
Yet I count Thy mercies over;
Freely pardon now and bless me,
Let me enter by the door.
As I come so weak and weary,
Lord, my helpless soul restore;
All my life is sad and dreary;
I will me enter by the door.
If you are ready to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour — because He is the only one who can save you, allow me to share with you how you can do that right now:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.