“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.””
Matthew 3:7-12 NKJV
There is soon coming a time when those who are of Christ, will be divided from those who are not, for the Lord is bringing great pressure that will serve as a revealer of who is truly a follower of Jesus or not. Even now the setting is being prepared, as cultural pressures are pushing people toward one stance or another.
In the times we are witnessing, those who are truly born again, show a reliance on God in the height of trial, with a sweetness brought only from the presence of the Holy Spirit, emanating from them. Those who are carnal, behave accordingly, reacting to the pressure, and from them comes all manner of toxicity.
Those who know the Lord are aware of the coming season, for they are studiers and doers of the word.
Reading through Matthew chapter three, I revisited the confrontation of John the Baptist and the Pharisees and Sadducees. These two sets of religious leaders had long ago gone away from the precepts of the Scriptures and had built their righteousness on their own traditions.
As I read, I saw humor in initial words of John the Baptist. ““But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
They were not there because they were heeding the caution of Scripture, for they had long ago forsaken it, but they were there for the spectacle, thinking that their presence would intimidate this seeming unlearned interloper.
There have been times when those who are simple followers of Jesus have encountered the most learned, and while less educated, leaned on the power of God, thus having represented the Lord more correctly. I flash forward to the disciples, after the day of Pentecost, standing in the public square proclaiming the name of Jesus.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
Acts 4:13 NKJV
In the coming times, the defining difference between those who profess to be wise in the faith, and those who truly are, will be the realization that those who truly stand for the faith are those who have been with Jesus. The presence of the Holy Spirit, shown by personal holiness, and the presence of the fruit of the indwelling, will set those who are true apart from those who are false.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, the coming times will be clarifying, for even now the axe is set the root of the trees. Those who are false are falling away, drawn toward more fleshly things, for the Lord is beginning the process of separating the wheat from the tares.
Those trees that are of the Lord are bearing fruit, those who are not, are barren, and being that we are in the season of the harvest, the contrast is striking.
Let us take heed to the words of John the Baptist, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” Let us not be comfortable leaning on our religious heritage, but may we be repentant and made new, that we be trees bearing fruit.
We can begin to be transformed by delving into the word of God, filling ourselves with the living water, that we be firmly planted regardless of what may come.
“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV
The Lord Jesus has given us a mission: to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. He has also given us a ministry: to make disciples. May these be our primary focus as press on into these last days.
Let us be mindful of the unquenchable fire that awaits those who are in congregations, but have not yet accepted the free gift of salvation. Let us pray for those among us, let us love and be kind, for the Lord is searching hearts, bringing conviction.
The Lord Jesus is coming again, and He is bringing justice. In the coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps…years, the world will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire. May we be the wheat gathered in the barn.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!
One thought on “Unquenchable fire”
So true. Great reminder of a very encouraging Bible study that we went through last night: