Summary: This sermon was inspired by Jonathan Edward’s In the Hands of the Angry God; it gives an urgent warning to the lost to run into the arms of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.
FLEE TO JESUS CHRIST TODAY!
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?’” Matthew 3:7.
John reveals here two very important and clear truths in his rhetorical question to the Pharisees and Sadducees who wondered about his baptisms. And those same truths can be applied to unsaved men today. 1) There is a coming wrath and 2) unsaved men should flee from it.
Who are you? I don’t want to know your name, your title at work, your educational background, nor your accomplishments in the world. I don‘t want to know that you are the father of three children, nor if you have a wife or not. I don’t want to know your favorite food or favorite color. This question is a very difficult one for the natural man to answer when stripped of all his worldly (natural) identifications. The answer to the question, “Who are you?” is ultimately internal and spiritual in nature and, though he is a spiritual being, the natural man has no understanding of his spiritual nature. He has no point of reference, he doesn’t know who he really is because he doesn’t know or accept who his Creator is. Yet he longs and struggles constantly to define himself in the world, often with external attributes and pursuits that only appeal to his natural and worldly tendencies.
Hundreds of colleges around the world offer courses that attempt to answer the mystery of who man is while volumes of books have been written chasing after this same pursuit. Philosophers, educators, and scientists have looked under every stone of explanation and opinion while being certain to avoid looking to the Rock of Ages for the answer. Man has the mental capacity to split the atom, develop superconductors, send men into outer space, and to construct devices that can destroy the earth a hundred times over, but the quest to know himself remains a mystery by the unsaved man. The educated may flock to Sigmund Freud for an answer. The simple may careen to psychics, shrinks, spiritists, and soothsayers, but those who are wise, humbly go directly to the source of man, the Creator of man, the Word of God. Philosophies, false doctrines, trendy opinions, ideologies come and go like people, but the Word of God stands forever.
Many unsaved men define themselves around the false promise that success and happiness can be attained by working hard to buy the right kind of house, drive the right kind of car, or to retire comfortably in some tropical vacation spot. This thinking is directed towards the external and temporary nature of man while the internal man is neglected and masked by the preoccupation with the external. This promise is one of the devil’s greatest and most successful lies because a great many people are deceived by it as they work out the meaning of their lives. These labor and toil all their lives to find out this harsh truth too late. Many people climb the ladder of success and worldly happiness only to find that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.
So, who are you? Stripped of your titles, down to your very essence, do you know who you are? If you don’t, God does. The Word of God describes who man is with unfailing clarity. The Bible does not stutter, flinch, blush, or tip-toe around its description of man. If you are out of Christ, you are the branches and chaff that will be burned (Matthew 3), you are a sinner (Romans 5:8), you are a slave to sin (Romans 6:6), you are presently perishing (I Corinthians 1:18), you are an aging bundle of dust, you are hollow, empty, spiritually dead, a living corpse acting on mere instincts and experience, you are hopeless and dismally lost. You are the object of God’s fierce wrath. You are in constant anguish and fear of death (Psalms 116:3); only those who are prepared to die are really prepared to live. The Bible proclaims loudly that the unsaved man is in serious trouble! He has been sentenced to eternal agony, misery, and pain. He is declared wicked before the relentless wrath of a holy and perfect God who cannot tolerate even the smallest sin. The unsaved man is hostile to God (Romans 8:7), he is obstinate toward God, he is rebellious toward God. By nature he hates God. A terrible conflict exists between him and God. God’s fury kindles at the very sight of him. Nothing he does is good in God’s sight, he is a despicable creature, not even his righteous acts can abate God’s fury against him one measure. The unsaved man is an enemy of God, he is a child of the devil (John 8:44). He is destined for hell. Yes, hell. The place seldom mentioned in today’s compromising churches, but mentioned often by Jesus Christ. So, who are you?