In the following article I donít mean to be disrespectful in any way.
I only wish to point out part of the gospel message that I believe is
lacking in the church at large, not necessarily in any particular church.
I have just read about John the Baptist in Luke 3. I guess John didnít
understand what being politically correct was all about. If he had of, it
would have saved him lots of trouble, including his untimely death.
I note in Luke 3:18 that John preached the good news to all those who
came to hear him in the desert. And why was he in the desert anyway, didnít
he know that a nice room at the Hotel Jerusalem would have been a better
venue to promote his ideas.
Anyway, I asked myself, "what was the good news that John
preached"? We donít have to look far to see the answer to my
question. We have an example in the previous few verses of Luke 3.
To paraphrase Johnís good news, he spoke of the One to come after
Him, which was Jesus, although he didnít know that at the time. He said
2 main things about Jesus. John said that Jesus would give people the Holy
Spirit. The way in which the Spirit would be given is like a baptism. As
people gets totally drenched with water in water baptism, so theyíd get
totally drenched with the Holy Spirit when they received Him into their
lives. Now that sounds like good news, and a great experience, especially
for some who are experience orientated. (Iím not)
O, I forgot to mention that along with receiving the Holy Spirit, we
get burned by fire. (Luke 3:16 Ė baptized with the Spirit "and
fire") So whatís this fire all about? The fire of the Spirit is
supposed to burn away the sin in our lives. The smell of burning sin in
our lives doesnít sound very appealing to me.
The second major point that John made about the One to follow him was
the fact that He would separate the wheat from the chaff, and then throw
the chaff into an unquenchable fire. O no, more talk of fire. The wheat
represents those who would give their lives to the One to follow, and the
chaff represents those who rejected the One to follow. Throwing a bunch of
people into eternal unquenchable fire doesnít sound very appealing to
the modern ear either. Besides, such talk is too negative to come from a
godly man. Didnít John realize that his message would turn lots of
people off? Youíre never going to reach millions of people by suggesting
that many of them are going to be thrown into an eternal fire. Maybe John
needed to learn how to preach a good three point motivational message.
Because he told people that they were on the way to one massive bond
fire, he had to tell them to repent from their sinful way of living in
order to escape this fire. That only seems logical. Escaping eternal firs
sounds like good news, but telling people that they are sinful, well thatís
not politically correct. Could such a message actually originate from a
good and loving God? Many didnít think that Johnís message could come
from a loving God so they decided to cast John off as a fanatic, and a
crazy man. Besides, the way he dressed and the food he ate suggested to
many that he was indeed crazy.
John didnít stop at merely preaching these things. He had the
veracity to publicly rebuke a political leaders of his day, namely Herod.
In a public format, John on more than one occasion told everyone that
Herod was living in sinful adultery and that needed to stop. How
politically incorrect John was. For his outspokenness Herod threw him into
prison and was subsequently executed John.
If John could have only cooled his rhetoric he wouldnít have met such
a fateful death. His ministry could have been prolonged, and motivated
many towards faith.
But isnít that just the way God works. God sends a man to announce
the coming of the Great Messiah, and he gets executed in a matter of
months, all because of his political incorrect message. Then the Messiah
comes, and He falls to the same fate.
You know what, I think we know better today. We donít get too
involved in preaching about repenting from sin. We definitely donít
suggest that a political leader could be living in sin. We know that wonít
get us anywhere with anyone. So we just tell people the good parts of the
good news, that is, forgiveness, life more abundantly, heaven, and things
like that. Why turn people off with the negative side of the good news. Of
course we reap what we sow. Our converts come to faith without repentance,
and leave almost as fast as they come because the Bible clearly tells us
that one canít find true faith without actually repenting. And one canít
repent unless he knows what to repent of. Thatís what Romans 1 and 2 is
So now I am sitting here wondering, "was John the only one that
was given this ministry of telling people to repent from their sinful
lifestyle"? Maybe it was a special ministry just for him, and not for
anyone else. Yet as I sit and wonder some more, I remember some of the
things Paul, Peter, James and Stephen said. They preached just like John.
Sad to say that they ended up in the grave for the very same reasons as
John. No wonder we don't want to tell people to repent of their sin
because of the coming wrath of God. We wouldnít be well liked either.