Summary: Are we prepared for Jesus to return to the Church, and to take us home?
"Are You Prepared?"
John 1:6 onwards the baptism of Jesus
A time of preparation
Prepare the way
The way for what?
· John made ready "a people prepared for the Lord" BY AROUSING THEIR ATTENTION
Charles Spurgen said, ‘Now that is the meaning of what John said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand! Repent ye! He is coming who wields the axe of divine Justice; bear fruit, or else be cut down. He is coming who uses the great winnowing fan; be the true wheat, or else be blown away." He put the truth so pointedly, and so earnestly, that he did by that means make ready "a people prepared for the Lord."’
· John made the people ready for Christ BY AWAKENING THEIR CONSCIENCES
When you know you have sinned, then you are prepared for change
If you think you are safe like the religious people, then you are in grave danger for you have turned way from the gospel message
No one will come to the Saviour unless they know that they need a Saviour; and no one will feel that they need a Saviour until they feels that they are a sinner
It is no use pretending to grieve over the past, and then continue to sin
The preacher who would "make ready a people prepared for the Lord" must come out with the axe, and lay it to the root of the trees
They must be definite in indicating that sin is wrong, and crying to all men, "Repent of these sins
You may have been a Christian or years, but examine the fruit
Give it up
Allow Him to lay the axe to the root
Illustration: the Central News report of the couple who had a tree removed but the roots were not destroyed and the tree began growing in the house and cracking the walls
Luke 3:9-10 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."
So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?"
Matt 3:10 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 ä-ksç’-nâ
1) an axe
· John had "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" BY POINTING OUT THE NATURE OF TRUE RELIGION
People proud of their family connections
How many hang onto, "My father was a Christian."
Others may say, "Well, I live in a Christian country."
They think there is something in the very race from which they have been born
Whatever external privileges you may have had, they are not sufficient to secure your salvation
Preachers have forgotten that the law is the schoolmaster to bring men to Christ
No we re not under law, but it cannot be removed because it still serves a purpose today
It is because of the law we recognise we fall short and we are in need of someone to save us
If neglected, they sow on the unbroken fallow ground and forget that the plough must break the ground first
We have seen too much trying to sew without the sharp instrument of the Spirit’s convicting power
It may be our duty to preach Jesus to self-righteous also, but it is certain that He will never be accepted by them while they hold themselves in such high regard
Only the sick will ask for a physician
It is the work of the Spirit to convince people of sin, and until they are convinced, they will never seek the righteousness that is from Christ
Where there is a real work of grace, it begins with a pulling down and a clearing out
The Holy Spirit does not build on the old foundation: Wood, hay, and stubble
1 Cor 3:9-13 Read
What are building for God?
Take a look at the foundation, is it His or yours?
And do you think you should only repent once in your life?
Why are you afraid to see yourself and your works in the light of Him?
Because it is painful!
It is hard work clearing the ground
It is hard work chopping down a tree, let alone trying to get to the roots!
Jean’s vision of the roots, the golden axe and the silver trowel
Silver trowel: silver is a soft metal, gold is harder; gold represents God’s glory
The trowel a symbol of our own works in our roots
Also a symbol of Freemasons (charities)
The axe must be sharp
"If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success." Ecclesiastes 10:10