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.”Luke 3:9 [NKJV]
Today my reading took me into John the Baptist’s ministry and the taking-to-task he had for the Jewish people. Luke 3:7-9 was my passage and it just seemed so relevant to today. Remember, John’s role was to prepare the way for Jesus. All of his baptizing was essentially an acknowledgement of repentance and desire to be back into the fold of the Almighty God of Israel.
Matthew and Luke’s account of this experience was almost identical. In Matthew it says that John called the Sadducees and Pharisees “a brood of vipers” but in Luke it says that John called the ‘Multitudes’ a brood of vipers. The whole context of this was that the nation of Israel thought that God would be kind to them because they were the decedents of Abraham. What John was telling them was that as a nation they would have no individual protection; they would stand before God representing their own merits of acceptance. So, I think Luke’s position on multitudes is more appropriate.
Verse 9 (quoted above) then sums up the warning -> The tree is not yet cut down but the caution is clear. Every individual will be evaluated on the fruit of their repentance. Now, lets be careful about running to “works” being the focus here…remember that this was before Jesus died on the cross for their (our) sins and rose the 3rd day. John was preparing the way for the Lord Jesus and His ministry.
It is not my earthly association with a good church or keeping with good people that will save me. It is the fruit of my repentance, accepting Jesus’ righteousness and justification for my sin; and working out my Salvation in my sanctification that will give me (and those around me) the confidence that I am a child of the King and saved from the Wrath of God.