Today’s sermons is a continuance of the exposition of the Gospel of Luke:
1Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 7Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Luke 3 1-7).
America needs more preachers like John the Baptist, who aren’t afraid of what people think. All that concerned John was that he was faithful to God. Such courage cost him his life, as it has millions of martyrs through out history. Nero burned them, the Romans set lions onto them, the Catholic church tortured them through the Inquisition, and the world continues to hate them because they refuse to compromise.
When multitudes went out into the desert to hear John preach, they didn’t find a cheesy-smiling, slick, well-dressed preacher. They didn’t hear a message that built up their self-esteem. Instead, they heard him call them a generation of vipers. They were low-down, crawling venomous snakes, and that is the biblical epitaph of the human race:
"There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes"(Romans 3:11-18).
Yet John’s sole purpose was to be a voice in the wilderness, preparing the way for the One who would come to save human beings from God’s just wrath. He was clearing the path so that wicked sinners would hear the words of life, from the pure lips of the everlasting God manifest in human form. And John’s rebuke was motivated by love. As the wisdom of Solomon noted, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.” John the Baptist didn’t care about the self-esteem of his hearers; he cared about their eternal welfare...as do I.
Collection: This service is free
Announcements: Watch this week’s blog
Benediction: In this coming week, may you and I be humble enough to accept any loving rebukes that may come our way.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Posted by Ray Comfort on 5/22/2010 04:44:00 PM