Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In what are you trusting?

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 
Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin 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.  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.” Luke 3:7-9

In what are trusting? Where do you rest your hope? The crowds came to hear John preach and partake of his baptism of repentance, yet not all of them were sincere. John being aware of the danger of their self deception, bluntly, yet out of love, called them on their false hope and hardened hearts.

Do not begin to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father."

Could John bring that same charge against you? No, your father isn't Abraham, but are you guilty of settling the matter of your salvation on the basis of your Godly heritage? No matter how holy your parents may be, their standing before God has no bearing on your eternity. Grandma can't hold the door for you. Heaven's gate isn't under her command. You must approach the door alone. That Door is Jesus. (John 10:9)

“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance."

Maybe you haven't rested in your family for security. Maybe your falling back on a decision, or a walk to the alter, or a prayer you repeated in Sunday school or VBS. Sure you haven't always shown it, but you settled the issue of Heaven or Hell long ago. You bowed the head, closed the eyes, said the words, wrote the date in your bible, and now are safely on your way to Glory. Well, hopefully not anytime soon. You've got a lot of plans for your life. But when it's all over and your too old to enjoy it, you can look forward to mansions in Heaven and streets of gold.

Does this sound like your confession of faith? Did you complete the transaction, and have now moved on to other things? Can that faith save you? (James 2:14)

John confronted them, "Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Now bear fruits in keeping with repentance." If you have been awakened to the judgement to come, and desire to escape your certain condemnation, then live as one who has sought to be saved. Those sins that you repented of and asked forgiveness from, do you still go on sinning as though they were never wrong? Why did you then seek in the first place? What danger was there?

“What then shall we do?”  And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”  Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”  Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”  Luke 3:10-14

John points out that the sincerity of your desire to be reconciled to God, will show in the actions of your life. If you have confessed with your mouth, now confess with your life. Let your remorse over sin and dependence upon Christ be evident in all that you say and do. May your manner of life conform to the necessity of your rescue, and love for He who has saved you.

There is a warning to be heeded in these words of John. The matter of your salvation is too important to be left to a onetime decision or a vague understanding. We can know our Savior. We must know our Savior. The consequences are too great and the potential to be deceived is too strong. Examine yourselves in light of this truth. (2 Corinthians 13:5) Don't rest until you have resolved the matter and can say with certainty, that your hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
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