John the Baptist: Not the Prophet We Want, but the Prophet We Need, Part 6 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 66 / Day 433 since Jan. 1, 2016)
TEXT: Matthew 3:7-12:
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.
10 And now also 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.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
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 66, day 433 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Craig S. Keener said, “Sometimes skeptics appeal to evil in the world to deny God’s existence; instead they should be applauding his mercy in giving them time to repent, because when God decisively abolishes evil, he will have to abolish them.”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “The Pharisees and Sadducees, who came to see what he was doing, rejected his appeal. They believed that they, as physical sons of Abraham, were automatically qualified for Messiah’s kingdom. John completely repudiated Pharisaic Judaism and said that God if necessary could raise up stones to be His children. God could take Gentiles if necessary to find individuals to follow Him. Judaism was in danger of being removed. Unless there was productive fruit in keeping with repentance, God would remove the tree.”
Warren Wiersbe said, The key issue in any nation’s faith has always been the struggle between the true prophets and the false prophets, both of whom claim to speak in the name of the Lord. The false prophets tell us what we want to hear while the true prophets tell us what we need to hear. The false prophets don’t make a deep and thorough diagnosis of the nation’s sicknesses; they barely scratch the surface. True prophets cut deep and expose the hidden cancers; like John the Baptist, they apply the ax to the root of the trees and don’t waste their time plucking off dead leaves from the dying branches.”
John’s preaching tells us that God will not allow for 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.” The axe being laid to the root of the trees is symbolic of the testing nature that is inherent in God’s salvation. Just as the religious leaders claimed to be righteous in their day, there are many who claim to be followers of Jesus today. Some claim this because of the family they were born into or the good works that they do. But true salvation comes only through the cleansing power of Jesus’ shed blood and our faith and trust in Him.
The religious leaders wanted to lift up their good works, their piety, and they ancestry as proof of their good standing with God. But Jesus came as the axe laid to the roots of their tree of righteousness. With the axe hacking against their wood, their true colors began to show. It turned out that they were not the friends of God that they would have others to believe. It turned out that they only wanted to use the Law for their own gain and personal promotion. It turned out that they hated God’s Son and wanted to kill Him. The axe laid to their roots showed the truth about their standing with God.
The axe is still being laid to the root of tree today. At one point or another, every person will be confronted with the Lord Jesus and their standing with God. Either they have accepted salvation through Christ and are deemed righteous in God’s sight by His shed blood. Or they are not under the blood of the Lamb and their lives, which have not brought forth fruit pleasing to God, will be hewn down and cast into the fires of Hell. The message of John the Baptist to the religious establishment of his day is one that is relevant to religious folk of today as well. We ought to examine ourselves and see if our fruit comes out of a heart that is truly saved or one that is simply self-serving.
There is only one person we can turn to if we want to be truly saved: Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished at Calvary. William R. Newell wrote:
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty,
If you are ready to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, 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.