To download, right click on the word "download", select "Save Target As", select where you would like to put the file on your hard drive and then click "save".
Weâ€™ve seen in the last few messages how John the Baptist is an example of a faithful gospel minister in his lifting up of Jesus and His preeminence. We now come to the call of faithful gospel ministry. â€œHe who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.â€
What do you do in response to the supremacy of Christ? The gospel is not just a message that informs the mind, it is also an invitation that calls the heart. The Baptist is saying â€œNow that I have presented Jesus Christ, what are you going to do with Him?â€
We have here the final recorded words of John the Baptist, in his last testimony in Johnâ€™s Gospel. In a sense he is saying â€œI have borne witness and I am calling you to issue a verdict: Will you believe or not?â€ Heâ€™s giving a clear call for a response, which is always a part of faithful gospel ministry. We must make the call to Christ; we must make the call for Life.
Thereâ€™s a necessity in faithful ministry for the solemn warning; the bad news. Even though people arenâ€™t â€œintoâ€ the bad news, they must hear it. The Good News of the invitation to Christ must be framed with the consequences of the alternative: If you do not believe, that is, if you are not persuadable, the wrath of God remains on you; you will not see life. Godâ€™s wrath is His settled opposition to evil, His determination to punish everything that is not according to His will. His wrath is a part of His glorious nature. We are all worthy of His wrath, because we donâ€™t love Him completely, as we should. But those who reject the Name of Christ will have an even greater wrath upon them.
The call and the warning have to be put in context in order to have a proper perspective. After the evidence that is presented about the love of the Father for the Son and the supremacy of the Son, how can one not believe? The world will say â€œwhy does God let this happenâ€ or â€œwhy isnâ€™t God more clear.â€ And we sometimes may think similar things, even if we donâ€™t voice them. A proper perspective of this passage will show us that there is nothing lacking in what God has done. He has been lavish in His generosity in revealing Himself. He sent His Son to tell us and show us what God is like. This generosity of revelation is the first element of a proper perspective.
The second element of a proper perspective is the understanding of the wickedness of unbelief. This unbelief and disobedience is made more emphatically stated as â€œunconvinceable.â€ Unbelief seeks information from everywhere but the sources that God has provided: His Son and His Word. (Such were we before we were saved.)
We are called to lift up Christ and to call people to Him and to realize that we are calling them to Him, we are offering them the news they desperately need to hear. But we are doing more than that: we are bringing more of the Bride to the Bridegroom. Thatâ€™s where our joy should be.