Luke 3:7-9 - So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? "Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ' We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. "Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." NASU
I have heard more than one teacher say, "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. So make your messages palatable to the hearer."
I always thought after I heard that, "Yeah, but I am not trying to catch flies. I am trying to convert people."
John has no time for "fakes.
I know quite a few Collegiate Wrestling Coaches and I have learned this much from them. They don't want any pretenders on their team. They want men who want to learn who want to be the best they can be. If you want to just go through the motions then go somewhere else and do it, would be their thoughts.
In Matthew 3:7 we can see he's specifically addressing the Pharisees and Sadducees: "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
John's first point: he is telling them to Stop Playing Their Silly Religious Games. He calls them out when he says: "You brood of vipers." In other words, those that came in contact with them were poisoned by their teachings and the hypocrisy of their lives.
Jesus later in His ministry will say it this way in Matt 23:15: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Jesus and John didn't waste their words. You didn't have to wonder: "What did they just say?"
John's second point: to "Bear Fruit." He is saying, "If you think for one moment you are going to use the trump card that you are children of Abraham you're sadly mistaken."
God is able to make stones turn into children of Abraham.
John's third point: "Judgment is Coming."
"The axe is laid at the root of the trees" is John's way of saying, "Judgment is coming." He goes on to say, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
So let me ask you are you bearing any good fruit?
You might be thinking I am not sure. What exactly is good fruit?
Here is what Jesus said in Matt 10:42 - "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
It could be as little as giving a cup of cold water to one of these little ones.
He probably would not have to change his message at all:
1. Stop Playing Silly Religious Games
2. Bear Fruit
3. Judgment is Coming
We can do this.
Think On These:
God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ breaks hard hearts, and heals broken hearts.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
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Gary A Serago.