Passage: Matthew 3:1-12
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[a] 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare[b] the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe 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.
11 “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 fire. 12 His 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 unquenchable fire.”
Repentance Identifies the Citizens of God’s Kingdom
The nature of the messenger (a repeat of Elijah), the charge to repent, to turn from sin through confession and habit, and the urgency of the message that only the repentant will be gathered into the kingdom, this is a message for today.
Christians, it’s a message we need to share.
Everyone else, it’s a message you need to hear.
The message and urgency we read about in Matthew 3 is the same message with the same urgency to which each one of us must face and respond. At some point, we’ve all been confronted with the Kingdom and the King.
Has a work been done in your heart? Have you come to terms with your sin, separates you from a perfect God? If so, the only possible next step is to turn from that sin. Has God led you to repentance? Are you repenting?
Realize what’s at stake here. Will you be gathered in for the harvest or blown away into the fire?
OR, Are you trusting something else, like the scribes and pharisees?
It doesn’t matter where you are in life, how old you are, how young you are, what you’ve been taught, what you think you know, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND! People everywhere are called to turn from their sins and place their trust in Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes our sins away. If you are feeling prompted by God, please act!
Matthew 3:1-12 "Prompt repentance"