John the Baptist: Not the Prophet We Want, but the Prophet We Need, Part 7 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 67 / Day 434 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 67, day 434 since Jan. 1, 2016.
F.B. Meyer said, “Sadly, John the Baptist is needed today. Much of what we call Christianity is but christianized heathenism. We need John the Baptist to come with his stern words about the axe, the winnowing fan, and the fire. Nothing less will ready us to prepare the way for a new coming of Christ.”
As John the Baptist continues his preaching, he begins to focus not on the people who are now listening before him, but the Person who is coming after him. He speaks of three baptisms — one baptism that he administers, and two baptisms that the Messiah will administer. John says that his baptism is of “water unto repentance.” As God begins to shift His dealings with humanity from the Old Testament way of doing things, John’s baptism is a preparatory ritual for those Jews who were looking forward to what God was doing next. John’s baptism did not denote salvation or being filled with the Holy Spirit. Rather, it spoke of a person’s willingness to live righteously before God in light of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven.
The person whom John says is coming after him is someone he says is “mightier than I.” Now, at this point, it is possible that John does not yet know that this person is Jesus. He never mentions Jesus’ name in His preaching or suggests that He knows who this “mighty” person is. Although he and Jesus were cousins, they were raised in different cities, and although John may have known that Jesus also had a special anointing from God on His life, he may not have known that He was the Son of God or the Messiah. The Bible tells us that Mary kept all of the miraculous aspects of Jesus’ birth in her heart. So, it is possible that when Jesus came to be baptized of John, John was surprised to find that He was the One he had been preaching about all along.
Regardless of what John knew about Jesus at this point, John knows that the Person who is coming after him is far more powerful than he is. And he says that he is “unworthy” to even loosen the straps of his sandals. In that day, removing the shoes from someone’s feet or cleaning someone’s feet was the most menial form of labor. It was reserved for the lowest of slaves. Although the religious teachers of that day often thought of their disciples as servants, they would never ask one of their disciples to remove their sandals or clean their feet. So not only did John feel like he was unworthy to be the slave of the Messiah, he felt like he was unworthy to even be His disciple.
God used John in such a powerful way because of his humble perspective. Unlike the religious leaders he was preaching to, he did not think more highly of himself than he did of the common people who came to be baptized. In fact, he felt as though he needed baptism himself. Just as the people needed the coming of Jesus, John needed and was looking forward to it as well.
Charles H. Gabriel wrote:
I need Jesus, my need I now confess;
No friend like Him in times of deep distress;
I need Jesus, the need I gladly own;
Though some may bear their load alone,
Yet I need Jesus.
I need Jesus, I need a friend like Him,
A friend to guide when paths of life are dim;
I need Jesus, when foes my soul assail;
Alone I know I will but fail,
So I need Jesus.
I need Jesus, I need Him to the end;
No one like Him, He is the sinner’s friend;
I need Jesus, no other friend will do;
So constant and kind, so strong and true,
Yes, I need Jesus.
If you, like John, are ready to confess your need for Jesus, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him as your Saviour:
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.