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Fleeing the Wrath to Come

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2020 8:00 am

Fleeing the Wrath to Come

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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October 11, 2020 8:00 am

Pastor Mike Karns preaches from the Gospel of Matthew from the warning spoken by John the Baptist.

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Read from Matthew chapter 3. This is from a an account of John the Baptist's speaking about our Savior. So here the word of God beginning in Matthew chapter 3 verse one in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make his paths straight. Now John himself was clothed in camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist and his food was locust and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come. Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance do not think to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father for I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from the stone and even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.

Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire, I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire his winnowing fan is in his hand and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him and John tried to prevent him, saying, I need to be baptized by you and are you coming to me.

But Jesus answered and said to him, permitted to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed him when he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon him, and suddenly a voice came from heaven saying this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, taking the title for my sermon from verse seven where John speaking to the religious leaders. The Pharisees and the Sadducees said, who warned you to be to flee from the raft to come.

The title my message tonight is fleeing the wrath to come. Let me say a word or two in introduction as to why I felt directed of the Lord to bring this message tonight for several things. One in particular that I want to start with something that we often don't think of at first when we think about what salvation is. Salvation is a lot of things and it is a lot of things.

It's forgiveness of sins is reconciliation to God. It's being redeemed its being justified its many many things, but Paul writing to the church of Thessalonica and is commending them for their faith is sits become renowned in the regions and he is speaking there in chapter 1 of verse, verse, chapter 1 verse nine and he says, for they themselves declare concerning us what manner of enter entry we had to you and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, and then this phrase who delivers us from the wrath to come. Of all the things we could say about salvation. This needs to get in and salvation is a deliverance and it is a deliverance from the wrath to come up and preaching through a series on the parables and I've been struck as I've studied in deliver these messages by how many times this theme comes up of judgment, warning of judgment, and the threat of judgment. It is a repeated theme as I thought about that. I thought about who many times his audience was. Many of the parables were directed at the religious establishment. The Pharisees who were self-righteous, who were alienated from God, who work haters of Christ and Christ warned them of judgment of hell fire. Some of those parables that we've looked at the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus spoke of the harvest, which would take place at the end of the age, the time when the Angels will separate the tears from the wheat. The wheat and the tares will be burned in the fire and the tears being identified as the sons of the wicked one, and then the parable of the dragnet similar concept, not a not using harvesting in fields but fish in the gathering and the separating at the end of the age. We looked at the parable of of the rich man and Lazarus and the threat of judgment in so many of the others I would say probably three quarters of the parables that we looked at, and I preached from had this thread in this theme running through it that of judgment. So tonight we want to consider. Matthew chapter 3 and primarily I'm going to draw my sermon from verse 12. Again, this is John the Baptist. He speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ and I think it's interesting that this is before Christ is ever as even come on the scene is talking about the one who will come after him and he even here at this time. At the beginning, there is this message of future judgment. Sometimes we think that that message of judgment only came after Christ experienced and encountered opposition. But no, John is talking about ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ before it even begins publicly silver again verse 12 of Matthew chapter 3 John speaking of Christ.

His that is Christ winnowing fan is in his hand and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Now Helen future judgment is not subject seldom spoken of in the Scriptures. All of Paul's letters with the exception of Philemon have some reference to God's wrath. He speaks often. That is Paul. He speaks often of judgment and of destruction and of wrath and of condemnation when I say Paul is speaking, God is speaking, inspired text, speaking through Paul the apostle is from the lips of Jesus that we hear of the fire that is never quenched of the worm which never dies of those suffering an outer darkness. Jesus said do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body.

Where in hell in hell.

So this is a prophecy that were looking at prophecy about the Lord Jesus Christ and that prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. It is still out there somewhere on God's prophetic timeline, but this prophecy will be fulfilled someday and God alone knows when that day will be there for points to the sermon tonight that I want to make and draw out of this text of Scripture.

So let's begin number one I want you to see the two classes into which all mankind are divided two classes of man, that mankind are divided into and there are only two classes of people in the world and both are mentioned in the text. There are those who are called the wheat and there are those who were called the chaff.

Let us consider these two classes of people. The wheat. The wheat are those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. All of seeing themselves as sinners and have fled for refuge to the salvation offered in the gospel the week are those who have laid hold of Christ for their only confidence who have the Bible for their only guide and are looking to heaven as their eternal hope. It is these who can say with the hymn writer the ground of my profession is Jesus and his blood, who were the chaff in the world. Well, chaff, or all those who have no saving faith in Jesus Christ. Those who are seeking satisfaction and pleasure in perhaps religion but not in Christ. They know nothing of a singular purpose to live for God's glory. They do not honor, honor the son, they neglect God's great salvation. They disobey the gospel of Christ, and they do not listen to his voice.

They live for this life and give no thought and have made no preparation for eternity.

Now it is not easy to detect which category people fit into. It's easy to be deceived and easy to deceive others religion is a great counterfeit Paul warns about those who will have a formal of godliness but denying the power thereof, and there are untold numbers who have a profession but lack genuine possession. There are those who can keep up appearance and it's possible to be meticulously religious. Like the Pharisees of Jesus's day but possess no true spiritual life and only the high of the Lord Jesus Christ can see infallibly, but one thing is for sure.

He only sees two divisions he sees those who are the wheat and those who are the chaff. There were two classes in the days of Noah's flood were those who were within the ark and there were those who were without two classes in the parable of the 10 virgins, those described by Jesus, who were wise and those on the other hand, who were described as foolish two classes and only two classes when all will give an account on the Judgment Day will be the sheet and there will be the goats there are to oppose when the last sentence is passed heaven and hell.

The Bible is very clear. A person is either in Christ or their still in Adam either in a state of grace or a stranger to grace the Bible distinguishes between those who have faith in those who are without faith.

Those who have been converted and those who have not those who are with Christ and those who are against Christ. The contrast is between darkness and light between being alive and being dead of being in the kingdom of Christ or being in the kingdom of Satan being a follower of Christ or a follower of the evil one being a slave to righteousness or what a slave of unrighteousness. Jesus said in the sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew's gospel that there are two roads there is the narrow way the narrow way which leads to life and there is the Broadway that leads to destruction. He spoke of two trees, the good tree that bears fruit in the bad which does not produce fruit and is cut down and thrown into the fire and John made reference to that, he says in verse 10 of chapter 3. Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and what thrown into the fire. Jesus said in Matthew seven in the sermon on the mount that there are two builders as the wise builder who built his house upon the rock and the foolish one who built his house upon the sand. Those two builders are builders in reference to the word of God both heard the word of God. One the wise builder heard the word of God and believe the word of God appropriated the word of God and the foolish builder.

He heard the word of God but he did not believe it. Not appropriated.

He did not build his life upon so the question this evening at the beginning of the sermon is which class are you in which division are you in your seat neutrality is impossible your either in one of these two divisions there only to classes and only two your either among the wheat, or you are yet among the chaff. The questions a certain one. It's a sober one. It's a critical one and I would argue that there is no greater question no greater question.

It's amazing how careless and indifferent people can be about the most critical question of all and be so ramped up and so concerned and so agitated about such inferior and lesser concerns. So let me let me try and get out at reps in a little different way. Use the language of Scripture to me asked this question.

Have you have you been born again. Are you a new creature.

The Bible says if any man be in Christ he is a new creation old things passed away behold all things become new.

Have you put off the old man and have you put on the new. Have you acknowledged your sin and repented of your sins is John the Baptist was emphasizing. Are you looking and trusting Jesus Christ and him alone as your only hope of eternal salvation.

Do you love Christ, do you serve Christ, do you love Christ, people, is there a desire in your heart to obey and follow the Lord. Those are the questions that need to be asked and considered to determine accurately which division you find yourself in. I think it bears repeating that it's easy to be deceived. Many people are people come from the north and sell your your part of the Bible Belt. Everybody's a Christian down here will know not everybody is a Christian. Most everybody thinks they're a Christian.

False deception is everywhere, so I would urge you not to dismiss the question, however unpleasant it may be rest not till you know that you have Christ and the Christ has you think of someone in our church will go nameless, who had an adult child who profess to be a Christian and this father continue to raise questions to her that were along these lines will if you're a Christian, then this is how Christian lives. This is the fruit of Christian bears. I don't see these things in you. You need to be concerned. You need to be mindful of this continually trying to unsettle her from a false profession.

This went on for quite a while years. Two years perhaps three years and it created tension in the relationship. It created tension in the home, but this father knew what was at stake. He wasn't going to settle for a false peace when the eternal soul of a child was in the balance in God use that to bring that adult child to an accurate understanding that indeed they were lost in God in kindness and mercy through that person save that person regenerated that person's joy and happiness in the family will first point here that I've made from verse 12 is that there are two classes into which all mankind are divided. But the second point is this the time when there will be this great separation between these two classes of people's were made reference to in this verse, the time when there will be a great separation between these two classes of people. The text foretells a day of separation. Christ shall one day due to his professing church what the farmer does to his green. Notice it says is winnowing fan is in his hand and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

He will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor. He will separate the wheat from the chaff that is future. That separation is not yet in within the visual visible Church of Christ. There is a mixture there are believers and there are unbelievers there are the converted and the unconverted there are the holy and the unholy, and all are to be found now among those who call themselves Christians sit on the same computer they sing the same hymns. They listen side-by-side to the sermons. But this will not always be because at his second coming Christ will purge his church. He will separate the wheat from the chaff. But before Christ comes. Separation is impossible. There is not a preacher on earth who can read the hearts of everyone in his congregation. He may be able to speak decidedly about many, but perhaps there are some even those he does not speak about who are possibly not in the way we need any other example from Scripture than Judas Iscariot, one of the 12, walked with the other 11 for 3+ years with the Lord Jesus Christ and he was able to be deceived and to deceive everyone else.

You know, we scarcely understand our own hearts, let alone the hearts of other, but it will not always be so. There is one coming who never errors in judgment who is perfect in knowledge and he will sift the chaff from the wheat before Christ comes. It is impossible to have a perfect church wheat and chaff in the present state of things will always be found together, but one day there will be a perfect church but not yet.

Ephesians 5 verse 27 says on the day of his second coming, he will take onto himself. What a glorious church, not having spot or any such thing. The separation and no perfection till Christ comes. So would seem to things we've seen the two classes into which all mankind are divided we see number two the time when there will be a great separation between these two great classes of number three think with me about the blessing that awaits Christ people when he come the text says that he will gather his wheat into the barn is winnowing fan is in his hand.

He will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor and do what and gather his weight into the barn. That is when Christ comes the second time he's going to collect his believing people into a place of safety and he will send his angels and he will gather his elect from every corner of the earth, the sea shall give up the dead that are in it.

The graves the dead that are in them in the living shall be changed. Not one person who is ever laid hold of Christ by faith Shelby missing from that company. Not one single grain of wheat shall be missing and left outside when judgment calls upon an unbelieving wicked world, there shall be a Garner.

This shall be a barn for the week of the earth and into that barn all the wheat shall be brought, they that have endured to the end shall be saved.

So thankful tonight to be able to affirm with you that he is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Hallelujah is one last thing that I want you to see in this text and it is the sober reality that awaits all who remain unbelieving, the text says that Christ shall burn up chaff with unquenchable fire. There is a place of eternal torment reserved for all the unrighteous for those who cling to sin in this world who are without Christ, who refuse to bow the knee to King Jesus, I want you to notice that this punishment will be eternal. The fire shall never burn low the fuel of that fire shall never be consumed. It is in unquenchable fire.

I have a reluctance to really even speak about this, but as a preacher part of being faithful is being faithful to the whole message and not skipping those parts that are unpleasant. So I personally, I take no pleasure in dwelling on these things, but these things are written for our learning. Jesus didn't speak about hell simply to scare people into manipulate people. There is a real place called hell.

You need to you want to.

You ought to flee the wrath that is to come see even this is part of the Scripture that is profitable, painful as the subject is it's a subject that we dare not. We cannot, we must not silent about and who would speak of of hellfire. If God had not spoken of it and told us about when God has spoken of it so plainly, who can safely hold his peace and again there are those who want to undermine the teaching of Scripture. There are those who do not believe in a place called hell saying it's inconsistent with the mercy of God, the devil rejoices in such talk, because such people are preaching. His favorite doctrine and what is his favorite doctrine.

Genesis chapter 3 and verse for what he said to Adam and Eve. You shall not surely die contradict the clear teaching of the Word of God. Some do not believe that hell is eternal. They believe that when a person dies they simply are annihilated. There is no conscious existence after death. Some believe in a hell we don't believe it will be inhabited by anyone but the devil and his angels. Some believe in a hell, but never like it to be spoken of.

But really, there's only one question to settle this matter and its very simple, and it's this. Do you believe the Bible do you believe the Bible and if you believe the Bible, then you must believe in a literal hell because Jesus warned about it so often. He spoke of it so often you see there's nothing that Satan desires more than that we should believe that he doesn't exist and that there is no such place as hell and no such thing as eternal torment that all of that is a lie. See hell awaits unrepentant sinners, but the message of the Bible is not bad news. The message of the Bible is good news and the incredible good news is that Jesus died bearing God's wrath and our judgment as a substitute. Now there is a sense in which on the cross, Jesus suffered the hell we deserve, so that we would never have to go there so what do I say to you I say to you tonight. Flee the wrath to come and find safety and refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to the words of Augustine's top ladies rock of ages, cleft for me rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in the let the water and the blood from thy riven side which flowed BSN the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power, not the labors of my hands can fulfill the law's demands. Could my zeal, no respite, no. Could my tears forever flow all for sin could not atone. Thou must save, and thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to cross I cling naked come to the for dress helpless look to the for grace file I to the fountain fly wash me save your or I die while I draw this fleeting breath when my eyelids close in death when I saw your two worlds unknown. See the on thy judgment throne rock of ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself then above the world in sin through the veil drawn right within eye shall see him face-to-face, single-story saved by grace rock of ages, cleft for me. Let me ever be with the, shall we pray our father tonight.

We thank you for the word of God with thank you that it is helpful for for doctrine, for correction, for rebuke for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God be thoroughly equipped under every good deed.

Our father how we thank you for delivering us from the wrath to come, Lord, what it cost you in order to deliver us is that your son had to bear your wrath that was due under us your justice had to be satisfied in order for you to forgive us. So, Lord Jesus, we thank you for your vicarious death, for your perfect cross work that has secured our eternal redemption Lord as we think about the things that we ought to be thankful for May this be one of those things that we are thankful that we have been delivered from the wrath to come in May. The concern of those around us who are strangers to your grace, may we be motivated to speak to them to pray for them to urge upon them. There need to repent of their sins and to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and believing faith with thank you are God for the word of God for its clarity. We pray that it will have its desired effect upon our lives. Sanctify us prepare us all God for holy living.

Now may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. A man

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