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The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
February 10, 2020 11:17 am


The Verdict / John Munro

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While in our series on the Gospel of Matthew. Some of you forgotten that were studying Matthew.

I realize we've had a few different Sundays as we began this new year, with an emphasis on studying the word of God. But we are looking at the Gospel of Matthew and I asked you to open your Bibles this morning to Matthew chapter 3 and I with Matthew chapter 3 we come to. I think one of the most fascinating characters in all of Scripture, and on long admired this man.

I realize he is a Baptist, but he I have the same name on some of my best friends are Baptist.

So yes, his name is John the Baptist. It was prophesied of John the Baptist that he was going to be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb, Jesus. I don't, that among those born of woman that is not arisen, a greater than John the Baptist is was prophesied. He is great before the Lord.

So this man is a great man and all of the four Gospel writers as they begin that icon of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus mentioned in some detail. This remarkable man that we call John the Baptist and how we need today, we who are following Jesus Christ to some of the characteristics and some of the character of this great man he is Christ centered, he is focused. He lives a life of self-denial life of nonconformity. A life of humility.

It was John the Baptist who said about Lord.

He must increase but I must decrease. That is, Jesus must become more and more important, as I become less and less importance in the deed is ministry is a remarkable one, but is a very very short one, and we certainly need to hear his central message. What does John say what is God saying to us this morning. Something we don't particularly want to hear.

I would suggest to you is message can be summed up in one word repent, repent, was read the first 12 verses, then of Matthew chapter 3 everything from the English standard version, Matthew records in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepared the way of the Lord make his paths straight.

But John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

And when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism he sent to them. You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come. Bear fruits in keeping with repentance and do not presume to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father. What I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children from Abraham. Even though the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire, I baptize you with water for 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 with fire's winnowing fork is in his hands and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his suites into the barn but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. Strong words coming from this man recall John the Baptist. First of all think of his command.

The central command to repent. Note who is this man John the Baptist who speaks in such strong terms to the religious establishment of the day what we know quite a bit about John the Baptist. He has, in fact, the last of the Old Testament prophets. He was prophesied by another prophets in the Old Testament called Malachi if I turn just over back to pages in your Bible two or three pages. If you're in Matthew but I hope you are you will come to Malachi Malachi chapter 31 verse the first verse, Malachi 3, verse one.

Old I send my messenger is John the Baptist is a prophecy for hundred years before John appears before. Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me, prophesied by Malachi and unified dresses like an Old Testament prophet particularly like the Old Testament prophet Elijah who also awarded John wares a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt about his waist and fight Jesus said in Matthew 11 verse 14 that John is the Elijah who is to come, and John has a very focused mission in life. He is to prepare the way for the Messiah. He's not the Messiah is going to make that clear.

But he comes as the forerunner of the Messiah of Jesus the Christ. Luke and his gospel as he tells us about John the Baptist. In chapter 3 he makes it clear that that the time of John. There were many important people. That was the putter that was attached charts the workings there were the high priests but Luke records a looksee verse two.

The word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. It is as if God bypasses all of the important people and when he's going to raise up a messenger. He raises this rather strange man in the wilderness was given this message. The apostle John as he begins the prologue in his gospel. In John chapter 1 he says there was a man sent from God whose name was John. Yes, he's God's messenger is a man prepared by God and now he comes in a very short and about a dramatic ministry is the Messiah's advance man notice what we read in verse three. This is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said the voice of one crying in the wilderness prepared the way of the Lord make his paths straight to these were so unfamiliar to you should do. Not too long ago we looked at the book of Isaiah.

Remember the series of rings of an ego.

Isaiah 40 Matthew is courting from the prophet Isaiah here and in verse three. Listen to the prophecy of Isaiah Isaiah 14 verse three voice cries in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low, the uneven ground shall become level on the rough places plain, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together with the mouth of the Lord has spoken was the context of Isaiah for date some wonderful prophecy. What is a contact. The contact is that the Lord is leading his people, the Israelites from Babylonian captivity back to the promised land and Matthew remarkably takes his Old Testament quotation given by Isaiah 750 BC and applies it to John the Baptist. John Thomas to prepare the way for the Messiah to make the paths straight. To make that on even ground level to make the rough places plain in the Old Testament quotation in Isaiah 48 is to make straight in the desert a highway for our God and notice in Matthew three verse three it is prepare the way of the Lord. Yes, Jesus is not just a prophet is not just a medical worker is not just a great teacher. He is in fact God him self and through the coming of the Messiah, the glory of the Lord is going to be revealed not just of Israel with the glory of the Lord is going to be revealed to the whole world. Why because as John says the kingdom of heaven is at hand, the kingdom of heaven is near. I think we can understand what it is to be an advance man before the arrival of the dignity such as a empanada governmental rectangle and we would say is a president the way is prepared any debris on the road would be cleared.

The potholes would be filled.

The rough places would be smoothed out hundreds preparation is made. I was away last week, but I think the president came here to Charlotte. That would be great preparation made before he comes. If you have someone staying in your home. You make preparation. That's the picture the great Messiah is about to come and John is the advance man John goes ahead to prepare away for the Lord to prepare the nation spiritually so that when the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ calms they will hear. They will confess and they will receive him. He wants to prepare the hearts of the people. Why, because the king is about to come. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. When you find it interesting that when John comes as a sent by God there's great Old Testament prophet is preaching doesn't take place in the temple doesn't even take place at the center of Jerusalem and the capital doesn't even take place in the beautiful hills of Galilee. It takes place in the wilderness wilderness.

Some of you have seen the wilderness between the Lake of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea that remarkable topography and that's where John had lived for several years, a life of self-denial, a life eating locusts and wild honey wild honey sounds okay to me.

Locusts are not sure about. That's what he lived on he himself is being spiritually prepared and now all of a sudden is aware he burst onto the scene.

What's his message.

Verse two repents repents, but is first recorded words according to Matthew repents. Look at chapter 4 of Matthew. Verse 17 is the Lord Jesus comes. What does he say what's his message from that time Jesus began to preach, saying repents for the kingdom of heaven is at parents remarkable. It is been 400 years there's been no profit for 400 years in Israel, the Lord is aware had been silent. No messengers are neither calms this one prophesied by Isaiah prophesied by the cop by Molokai and Gord has prepared this special messenger that we know as John the Baptist.

This strange man wearing very strange clothes, eating strange food living in this strange place was he say repents, repents, we don't hear much preaching on repentance doing today's user-friendly seeker friendly churches. People don't seem to want that kind of message we like to be reinforcing our own prejudices and desires. We like to feel comfortable. We want to leave feeling good about ourselves. We want to feel big top with some kind of emotion and see, and hear the message of contents that's John's message on this a message from God. The kingdom of heaven is upon life cannot go on as it has been going on. John is saying you must repents that the etymology of this Greek word translated repent.

Because the thought of changing one's mind but in the biblical context. Repentance is not merely an intellectual matter, Don Carson, in his commentary and Matthew states that repentance based on Carson is a radical transformation of the entire person a fundamental turnaround involving mind and action and including overtimes of grief which results in fruits and keeping with repentance. I think John the Baptist would agree is not his message repents, repents, is to be a fundamental change by the sword repents is an important what word in Scripture the beginning of the year to encourage you to read your Bible every day until go out and get a Bible if you hadn't, and I hope you've done that because I want us to do a little Bible Bible study are we ready to do that we believe in opening up Bibles at Calvary church and reading them so you know the good and are just back from her trip to New Zealand. Originally we had booked on a cruise to the Caribbean would would be before and for some reason some time ago all the we got the word from the cruise that our crews had been canceled on the ship was being refurbished and they said however if you stay with us will give you 50% off your next cruise though I'm Scottish that sounded good but Scott's are known to be very skeptical, tickly when it comes to money, and I thought that really sounds too good to be true, but we checked top Sharaf was true. So I looked at my schedule what other cruises are going at this time he others one going around New Zealand so that's where would be a wonderful time. I recommended to you if you've never been a lot of Scott's emigrated to New Zealand a lot about criminals in the United Kingdom were thrown out years ago and ended up in Australia but a lot of Scott's one voluntary to New Zealand. I always wondered why. It's incredibly beautiful. Not quite as beautiful to Scotland but pretty close really good and we went into one city city of Dunedin which is in fact modeled after Edinburgh and that a lot of Edinburgh name so I felt very much at home and and in the center of Dunedin. There is this magnificent church.

And unlike some of your enjoy going into churches and I went to and going along beside me. I'm really trying to beautiful building, amazing building, as were leaving there was a man was obviously employed as a kind of warden so I chatted with him by New Zealand told a moment to admire the church I say can you tell me about that spiritual vitality of this church, and for some reason the questions and to surprise him and he said program. I will probably isn't as well due to many people come here in the sun is a got such a beautiful church. He said while we said we could about 60 people I sit 60 people that doesn't sign very much in the city of the science and he said well are the New Zealanders don't go to church very much is ultimately what would I care if I if I came on on a Sunday, the piece about how we would with high church we were really Anglo-Catholic will set me is that while you know we have the we have the mass in the end we have the rosary is yes and he said regarding new bishop. He said he is concerned that the attendance is in high and he wants to get more people to come. I said blessings are a good goal. I said you going to go about it. He said well it wasn't here last Sunday were you in the and why would come here either, but nevermind so he said well he said the I'm told.

He said he threw about the bit of incense, incense thinking you know you're trying to get a younger generation of New Zealanders to go to church and you bring in a bishop who swung around some sense what world are we living in so I said to him, while pressing a little more is going a little uncomfortable with the conversation. I don't know why I said tell me I said what place does the exposition of Scripture have as much scripture in your service. He said when I only said little bit. He said you know he said the if the preaching is more than 10 minutes. People got a little disturbed I think really 10 minutes. Sears sat beside but here it is a church that no doubt had been built by man and woman with a passion for God who wanted to worship God that he wanted to bring the word of God to the people and introduced to that.

Let's never ever take for granted. This book and that we ourselves not only would listen to preaching, but would open this ourselves back to repentance turn to acts chapter 2 is it was a story New Zealand all about I forget, but that was a good story. I think it meant that we had to focus on Scripture which women are doing. Acts chapter 2, verse 38 the importance of repentance in Scripture. Acts two is the day of Pentecost, Peter is preaching the gospel, what's his message acts 238 Peter said to them, repents and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit repents. Chapter 17.

Acts chapter 17 verse 30 here is Paul and Mars Hill. Some of us were there just a few months ago in Athens. He speaking to skeptics is preaching to Jews and accepted to but here is Paul speaking primarily to Gentiles. What's his message. Acts 17 verse 30 the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Because he's fix the day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by man. He is appointed under this he's given assurance to all by raising him from the dead, love to view Paul's message acts chapter 20. Here's Paul with the elders at Ephesus. What's he saying to them, acts 20 verse 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks message is to both what the message Paul of repentance towards God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter 26 here's Paul giving his testimony before King Agrippa, what would you say to a king to be very sensitive to again you can antagonize McCain. Can you ask 26 verse 19. Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the regions of Judea and also to the Gentiles. Notice the expanding influence of the gospel, working out of acts 18 that we can be thinking about at the missions conference. But the message to Damascus to Jerusalem to Judea, to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God performing deeds. In keeping with their repentance sounds very much like John the Baptist in Matthew three, doesn't it, and then a word from Peter in second Peter chapter 3, second Peter chapter 3 verse nine only read verse eight. Don't overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thought is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some kind slowness by this patient to archer, God is patient towards us when he's patient generally wants us to do. Not wishing that any should perish. John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

That's the gospel, God doesn't want anyone to perish, but that two Peter 39, but that all should reach repentance repentance. The message of the gospel is in the.

It involves a coming from ourselves are coming from our sin, determining from out on the agenda and determining from them to God and his grace and we who profess to be followers of Jesus are to live lives of daily repentance that was the first thesis of Martin Luther's 95 thesis which in that which you nailed to the daughter at Wittenberg and in Germany that it is when our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ said repent with annuities Bible translated into German. Matthew 417 when our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ said repent.

He will the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. When you read this in the letter by John to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and three chapters 2 and three of the seven letters, five of them are saying to churches repents, repent, so repentance is not confined to the sinner coming to Christ. Yes, if you are not saved you must repents, but this message of repentance is for all of us were to live in daily life of repentance you say. But why should we repent. John gives us the answer in Matthew three verse two, why repents for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew prefers the term kingdom of heaven to the more common kingdom of God will though he does use in his gospel.

The term kingdom of God are the terms are probably identical Matthew may prefer the term the kingdom of heaven because of the Jewish reverence for the name of God, but important point John is making is that in Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world. The kingdom of heaven has come with Jesus coming to that. We celebrated Christmas with the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. The King King Jesus has come into human history.

The age to come, the future age has impacted and is impacting the present age together the kingdom of God was prophesied in the Old Testament is interesting that when Jesus begins his ministry is recorded by Mark and Mark chapter 1 verse 15 Jesus says the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand repents and believe the gospel. The Old Testament era is now over.

In Jesus the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It's near where Jesus rules with his will is obeyed, there is the kingdom in Jesus. This is mind blowing and its implications doesn't it mean Jesus the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heaven is invading the rebuild him. Heaven came down and gloried well filled our souls in Jesus the kingdom of heaven has come. The kingdom of heaven is at hands on the person of Jesus on the words of Jesus and the works of Jesus are all testifying that the kingdom of God has come listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 12 as he speaks to the critical Pharisees who were so quick to find fault with him. Matthew 12 verse 28, he says, but if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you, and indeed in Jesus the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of heaven has come, but you said I thought the kingdom was future. That's right, the kingdom's future, the kingdom has come that hasn't come in all its fullness. One future day the rule and reign of the King of Kings and Lord of lords will be evident to the whole world is it evident today.

King Jesus is raining as it evident today that the kingdom of God has come. Doesn't seem like it doesn't.

It seems that evil seems that Satan it seems that violence seems that wrong. It seems that Satan is so often rain the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back and at his second coming, the kingdom of God, which came with his incarnation, that kingdom the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God will be displayed in all of its glory, and all of its power and all of its splendor for the arts will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Glorious day kingdom of God, but you get the point to get the point of John's burden the he's telling them the king is coming. The Messiah is coming, the kingdom of heaven is near Solon's repents, repents, get ready to receive the king you cannot continue as John is making clear you can continue to live as you once lived life can continue in your own little kingdom now, having regard to this momentous fact that the kingdom of God has come under the kingdom, and that the king is about to be the next command is to repent of what what is John asking was the evidence of this repentance will mention three things three interlocking things.

First of all, confession of sin, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Yes, it's time to prepare his time spiritually to prepare for the arrival of the King Messiah. What does that mean it's time to repent.

It's time to confess your sins. Look at verse six and they were baptized by him. John in the river Jordan fessing that's is what John is one thing he wants people to confess their sins was and that isn't that the primary mission of Jesus's name will be called Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

That's why he comes to save people. All of us of sin.

All of us of come short of the glory of God.

All of us have mass stop. Therefore all of us must repents as it would. What does that mean it means it certainly means this you yes you must confess your sins was a wonderful, but John and his gospel records are remarkable scene when John the Baptist is with his followers in the points to the king says behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world or John can forgive your sins.

Just because you are put on the water in the jargon that doesn't get rid of your sins know there must be a personal admission of your own shortcomings you yes you must repent before God.

This personal confession of sin is essential not just saying. While all of sins. I'm human. All of us mess up knowing that's not good enough is you've got to say that I've got to say I have sins that stop I have to turn from the sins I have to confess these sins, and with sorry that there is no genuine wine salvation. Listen to some scriptures on the confession of sin. Psalm 32. For example prayer of David Psalm 32 verse five David said I acknowledged my sin to you, not just we will send no, David is saying. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity.

What do we inevitably do when we send we try to cover it up.

We try to point and someone else direction and David say no I didn't do that. I did not cover my iniquity. I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sent notice have personal versus a personal confession of sin. Proverbs 28 Proverbs 28 verse 13 whoever conceals his transgressions were good at doing. Covering up tracks, presenting face to others, but all is well know whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper you will not prosper before God. If you're covering your transgressions will whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy were singing about God's mercy is full. I need God's master yes you do, but there has to be acknowledgment that you have sins that you've messed up. You confess your sin and then the wonderful verses in first John one that we love so much.

First John one verse eight if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, that it is if we confess our sins, here's a promise, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. With the evidence of the true repentance that is a confession of my said, than that.

Confess your sins to someone else but to God will cover up to confess your sins.

Secondly, of course, there was this baptism.

What was the baptism. This was the baptism of John. The baptism in the river Jordan was the outward sign in of this personal confession of sin. Verse eight verse six. Again, there were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. The word baptize is a transliteration of the Greek word, but did so it means to dip. It means to plunge. It means to MNR's shoes. This in 2nd cover individual driving going under the water of a ship sinking it means to immerse or tolerate when we baptize people. We don't just little water on that we don't just porcelain more than on their head. We immerse the total immersion. We believe that is what baptism means in the Scripture next week. When will think of the baptism of Jesus.

We will read in verse 16 that when Jesus was baptized immediately he went up from the water.

Yes, he was immersed and he came up out of the water baptism then in John's baptism, and in Christian baptism is the outward symbol of repentance and confession fight, confess my sins before God. You don't necessarily know that if I receive Christ as my Savior. You don't know that that's in my heart that's personal. Yes, it must begin there. But now John says I want you to be baptized was a symbol that they were prepared to receive the Messiah that there was a spiritual confession of their sin. Confession of sin number one, two, baptism, third supernatural change. She John baptizes with repentance. But notice verse 11, I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me, Lord Jesus is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. John says yes I can baptize you with water, but there's someone coming after me and I'm telling you to be ready to receive them when he comes, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Fire is a purifying agent, Jesus could say to Nicodemus in John chapter 3, MS unless you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God and then he says unless you born of water and of the spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God to be baptized by the spirit of God or you can conjure laptop we can manufacture that Calvin Church know this is something supernatural. This is the very life of God coming into the soul of the individual. The dramatic rebirth confession of my sin of receiving of Christ and thus I receive Christ, the very spirit of Jesus indwells me and that leads to a change life know it's possible that an individual can say he or she is confess it is possible for that individual even to go through the waters of baptism, but the question is question I ask you all of you.

Has there been a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in your heart and your life see when this happens it is change Jesus's say John the send to the Pharisees and the Sadducees are 20 religion knew the Bible to escape the coming there must be genuine repentance. Verse eight bearing fruits and keeping with repentance. You see this repentance for salvation is not just saying a prayer is not just saying words is not just going through some ritual with his baptism, or any other ritual know this is something radical, something supernatural, something which only God can do that is why is called conversion is called being saved is called being born again.

It is a supernatural work which leads to a change life. So Paul says if anyone is in Christ, he's a new creation the old is gone and the new has come. Yes, Jesus comes to save us from our sins. Not so please hear me not so that we can continue in our sins, and survived.

All I am saying what kind of salvation is that no true salvation results in bearing fruits and keeping with repentance play saving faith in Christ. The boy 12 of the Christian youth camp are theme: certainly one of them I'd never had before, but after I was saved that week. I sang it I tell you that the beginning of the week when I wasn't saved but after I was saved. The truth of it hit me, and I'm glad that I learned this lesson early on in my Christian faith little chorus was that some of you know what things are different now. Something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus things I love before he passed away things I love farm Lord have come to stay. Things are different.

Note something happened to me when I gave my heart to Jesus, a good song for a little boy to understand, then, that if I had truly been saved. I could not continue to live as I formerly lived things where difference something happened can you claim to receive the living Christ. I can you claim to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit and to continue to live as you once lived before you came to Christ. No, the fruit of the spirit. Paul explains in Galatians 5 is supernaturally produced in the authentic believer.

No were not perfect. Yes, we fail. Yes, we stumble. Yes, we said we read the Scripture if you say you got no sin, you deceive yourself, but that is all radical change your sing well.

John II thought you preach that were saved by grace alone through faith alone.

Yes, I do. I believe that with all of my heart will continue to preach it as the Lord enables me parts as is often said, although we are saved by faith alone. The faith which saves is not alone. Paul says in that powerful passage in Ephesians 2, verses eight, nine, 10 yes that were saved by grace alone through faith alone, but he says in verse 10 for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works are words or change of life. The spiritual fruits is not the condition of our salvation, but it is the consequence of our salvation. Let me ask you this.

How can you profess to have Jesus Christ residing in you and you continue to live as an unbeliever you several years ago I said a little prayer that everything you said a little prayer, but if there's not a change in your life. I am questioning asking you to ask your self this question before God.

Has there truly been salvation in my heart have I am braced a church inanity a false Christianity rather than truly knowing Christ with evidence in your life is that you been saved by went to your office to your bank to school, spoke to people but came to your home and spoke to your parents, dear brothers and sisters husband or wife, your granddad said tell me about so and so this isn't anything in your life that would indicate that it has been this remarkable change in your life. You see true repentance. John the sitting leads to change very quickly. The consequences of not repenting. I like I like John style of preaching. I can't say I would've enjoyed hearing it must've been charitably convicting because John is the one who goes direct to the issue doesn't and he's telling the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

Yes, in these telling us that if you don't repentance the serious consequences he gives them a direct warning in verse seven, when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, you brood of vipers is not politically correct is a John we we need to kind of volatile chat with them. You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the roster come or they said we were children of Abraham went on this wonderful Jewish heritage. John went all right. I can tell you what tribe I'm from "the law John the sitting yes you got all of that physically they were from the father Abraham, but spiritually there were not true sons of Abraham. Why they had not repented did not believed in the gospel and some of you here have a very very impressive spiritual heritage.

You are your from a godly home. Good godly grandparents and parents.

Raising good churches is very very impressive. You know the phrases you know the religious platitudes unit. You know the right answers. But John is saying to these men is the spirit of God is saying to us, yes.

But do you know salvation hasn't been true repentance radical and personal repentance is needed, they will be known by their fruit notice verse 10 that if there is no fruits. The tree is going to be cut down and what is thrown into the fire with the coming of the kingdom of God that is in the nine summons of coming judgment.

John uses very graphic language doesn't date notice verse 12 his eyes Jesus is winnowing fork is in his hand and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn but the chaff he will burn with on unquenchable fire was the point if you don't believe in your heart is not right if you've not truly confess your sins. Certain judgment is coming you're saying we have this religious backgrounds and John is saying when the Messiah comes, he's going to cut does not fall Street and is going to throw it into the on unquenchable fire. Paul writes of the time. Second Thessalonians 1. Eight when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord. Yes, repentance is God's grace here is the offer of salvation. Confess your sins, receive Christ look to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

But understand this if you do not. When the Lord Jesus comes. He's coming with fire and with judgment and all those who do not know God. All those who do not obey the gospel will be thrown into that lake of fire which burns forever and ever usage on the believe that I believe I believe. I believe it because it's taught Scripture idolizes a fearful doctrine but is true.

The kingdom of heaven is near what your response to the thinking Jesus parents repented of your repentance you in the kingdom of heaven through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ cover this eternal home for those who have repented of their sins and who received Christ as their Savior. Yes, Jesus is the Lamb of God to be looked at him, he will save you.

He'll cleanse you of your sins, but those who do not know the Lord Jesus those who do not obey the gospel will pay the price of their own sins themselves. I realize many of you, the majority of you here this morning. Profess to be followers of Jesus you bearing fruit characterized by humility we living a life of daily repentance are you all of us here need to repent. Since you have to repent of them. Tell me your perfect pride reads we live in a greedy world only greet last dishonestly selfishness, lack of faith, worry and morality, drunkenness, gossip, covetousness, love of pleasure love of popularity rather than love of God.

David says at the end of that remarkable Psalm Psalm 139 search meal guards and know my heart.

Only God knows your heart.

Try me and see if there's any wickedness in me and my thoughts this morning. We bow in the presence of God with me. If you're not saved you cry out to Christ to come and save you will do that.

He'll cleanse you of all your sin if you are a believer when you repent you. You know the sentence in your life. We repent of them that send you your you Do not send far too long we repent of it. You see why repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Don't cover your transgression the covers up before God confess that sin and he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness of father under guard. We thank you for this remarkable man. John the Baptist more than that, we thank you for their Savior. John pointed to the one who is mightier than John. Pray that each one of us will know this baptism of the Spirit and the fire will be truly saved and bear fruit in keeping with our repentance making a difference in our homes and our workplace in our lives. Throughout this community, and may your spirit search our hearts try our ways try our thoughts reveal if there's any wickedness any grievous sin in their life reveal that too is no father as we would confess it and claim the forgiveness which comes through our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us, and as the risen Christ is all powerful mercy upon us. Forgive us we pray in Christ name, amen

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