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When are you going to be good?

Luke 3:2 {b}

        "…the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness."

Luke 3:7-8

        “Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin 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 these stones.’”

    Here John the Baptist is called up from the wilderness by the Word of God to go and fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah. [Isa. 40:3-5}. Verse 2 reveals that the Word of the Lord went to John but then in verse 7, John asks the people who gather to hear him preach who told them to “flee from the wrath to come?” Isaiah 34 is a chapter largely encircling the great and awesome day of the Lord wherein the fullness of the wrath of God will come upon the earth after the church is removed in the rapture. This is precisely what john was speaking about. For when the Lord Jesus returns, He will remove any members of His body still awake and then the wrath will come. After that, the great judgement and then all who have ever lived will be judged waste whether or not they accepted Jesus’ payment for their lives. As well, Isaiah 34:16 {b} glimmers hope toward all who would be saved by God wherein the Word says:

    “ For my mouth has commanded it, and His Spirit has gathered them.”

Further, John 6:44 states that none can come to Jesus {the Word of God made flesh} except those who the Lord draws to Himself. Therefore, I present to you that when John asked the multitudes “Who told you to flee from the wrath to come?” That he was not being contrary or malicious, he was drawing their attention to the fact that they were already hearing from the Spirit of the Lord. That the Spirit was provoking them to go out to John and hear what he had to say.  This is excessively impactful because John immediately warns them of two common mistakes that those who are drawn by God make. 

    The first is that they believe that they themselves have a relationship with the Lord because their family member {usually a parent} has a relationship with the Lord. of course this is incorrect because God wants each of us individually to have a relationship with Him- as evidenced by John’s warning to avoid the thought that God’s relationship with Abraham was the same as His relationship with them.

  John warns that they are to “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” The question then matriculates - “when exactly did they repent?” The answer is that in heeding the voice of the Lord and coming to John to be baptized is their act of repentance. Therefore the second common mistake that people make is that they believe that the actions that they do “after” repentance is what leads them to salvation. The truth is that they are drawn by God to a relationship with Him and once they humble themselves and heed the draw, they have begun their salvation walk. At this point they are in a personal relationship with God. This process is clearly illustrated because the ensuing verses, tell us that those who went to John for baptism and heard him say ‘bear fruit worthy of repentance” immediately begin to ask him what that looks like for them individually. This type of decision to act differently can only be made once the heart has been changed. It only exists after an encounter with the Lord for 1 John 3:3 states that “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” This verse clearly shows that one must first have hope in the Lord for salvation before he can cleanse himself- not before he has that hope. Incidentally, “having” the hope doesn’t mean just hoping that Jesus will save you if you behave, it means that you “own” the hope that He will. You believe that you are saved in earnest and that you will manifest the salvation fully. Case in point, those who had come to John for baptism did not ask what they must do to be “worthy” of baptism for repentance before they were baptized but after.

In conclusion, we must understand that when we accept what Jesus has done, we will be provoked to clean our actions up. We must then further heed what the Spirit of the Lord instructs individually.  

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