A Picture of Death and Life.
Multitudes assembled from both near and far to listen to the message John the Baptist preached. Within the gatherings of the multitudes, were those who believed John the Baptist’s message. They desired a change of heart. Yet, there were others; Pharisees and Saducees, with hardened hearts. John the Baptist described them as a “Brood of Vipers”. These religious leaders were confident and self-absorbed with ceremonial and external performances. They presumed they had no need of repentance and preparation because of their father, Abraham. In their hearts and minds they were deceived; believing they were above the law; faultless and sinless. In trying to keep up with outward obedience to rules and regulations, they missed the inward change of heart that God desired.
Today in the Church, Repentance; a change of heart; to turn away from sin, is a much hated word.
John the Baptist can be described as one who knew his purpose and call. He emerged from the deserts of the wilderness to bring about change. He pointed to Christ. Like a bridge, he lay himself down between the Old Testament and the New. Jesus walked across this bridge, into prepared hearts, ready to receive Him.
John Prepared the Way:
John the Baptist, “Prepared the way of the Lord.” As prophesied by Malachi, he would come in the Spirit of Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6). John spoke boldly, challenging people’s hearts, minds and way of living, calling them to repent for the forgiveness of sins.
A Symbol of Cleansing:
Water cleanses, washes, it purifies. The work of Baptism involves immersion. It also involves the coming up, emerging, from that place of immersion. Baptism symbolises the old being washed away and emergence of the new. It mirrors the death of the old man and the emergence of the new man.
A New Creation in Christ:
God is calling His children to come out of their old ways and embrace the new. Just like in the days of old, God is raising up voices to speak boldly, without fear. God used Noah to “Prepare” the Ark, but the people would not listen. God used John the Baptist to “Prepare the Way” and many believed, repented and turned away from their old ways, while others did not. The voice of John the Baptist is being echoed by the servants of God today 🗣 Christ is coming soon!
The Winnowing Fan:
By the power of the Holy Spirit, God is calling His people to turn away from their sinful ways. Christ is coming again. Like a winnowing fan, He will separate the Chaff from the Wheat. He will separate Goats from Sheep.
Are You “Prepared” Brethren?
Christ is knocking at the Door, the gates are open. Through Christ’s Death and Resurrection, He has given New Life.
Anyone in Christ is a new creation. The Old has passed away. Behold, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ has prepared the WAY. Christ is the Highway of Holiness, prepared for those who walk in the WAY. (Isaiah 35:8, Romans 6:22).
Make Straight The Way of The Lord:
Christ has removed every stumbling block. He has demolished every obstacle by filling up the valleys, pulling down the high places, making the crooked places straight and removing the stones to make those rough, hard places smooth.. Abide in God’s presence. Prepare by faith. The Lord is coming soon.
© Ruth Dicksonwww.gihonpublishing.com