Turn away from sin is the message of the kingdom of heaven. John opened up his ministry with these words in our text today. In Mathew 4:17 we see this as Jesus opening charge, as well;
‘repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’.
Turning away from sin is the major reason we preach. Sin is the aberration in God’s beautiful creation for which Jesus was made manifest. He came to deliver his people from their sin so that they will be equipped to live righteous and holy lives the way God intended it from the beginning.
John warned the preachers of his day; the Sadducees and the Pharisees to bear fruits worthy of repentance (vs 8). These people were the leading citizens in the church of their day, yet John called them brood of vipers! What an apt description of some Christians and preachers of our time. Many have made the basic teaching and requirement of God’s kingdom an obscure part of the Gospel message. Many pastors and pulpits are devoid of the cry of John to prepare the way of the lord and make straight his path.
Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees, therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (vs10).
The end of all things is imminent; the signs are everywhere. Judgement awaits the world, believer and unbeliever alike. The true believer is the one who trembles at God’s word. The unbeliever is one who has not yet accepted Jesus as his lord.
Check very well where you belong. The race is per head and not for show for God sees both the secret and the open. Amend your ways this new year wherever your walk with God is crooked. Redeem the time by being a voice in this wilderness crying out and warning people about the impending judgement.
I wish you a new year of greater grace to serve God in spirit and in truth through Christ Jesus, Amen!