Summary: John the Baptist decisively/positively identified the Christ. But what must/does active Gospel ministry survive/endure? Active Gospel Ministry must survive/endure...
SURVIVAL Of An ACTIVE GOSPEL MINISTRY—Luke 3:15-22
A Scout Master was teaching his Boy Scouts about survival in the desert.
"What are the three most important things you should bring with you in case you get lost in the desert?" he asked. Several hands went up, & many important things were suggested, such as food, matches, etc.
Then one little boy in the back eagerly raised his hand. "Yes Timmy, what are the three most important things you would bring with you?" asked the Scout Master.
Timmy replied: "A compass, a canteen of water, & a deck of cards."
"Why's that Timmy?"
"Well," answered Timmy, "the compass is to find the right direction, the water is to prevent dehydration..."
"And what about the deck of cards?" asked the Scout Master impatiently.
"Well, sir, as soon as you start playing solitaire, someone is bound to come up behind you & say, "Put that red nine on top of that black ten!"
Previously in Luke(3:10-14) we had discovered that Practicing for God’s Visitation requires believers to gauge their readiness by various inventories which are....‘PERSONAL’(:10, 12, 14), ‘BALANCE’(:11), ‘MOTIVATION’(:12-13), ‘POWER’(:14), & ‘CONTENTMENT’(:14b).
John the Baptist decisively/positively identified the Christ.
Active ministry must survive/endure a decisive identification of the Christ.
What must/does active Gospel ministry survive/endure?
5 survival/endurance tips for decisively identifying the Christ.
1—Active Gospel Ministry must survive/endure/weather...
Explanation: (:15) Reasonings
:15—“Now as the people were in expectation, & all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,”
“The people”—those who had approached John for baptism—are not specifically named as had been the tax collectors & soldiers(:12-14).
These were in “expectation” or anticipation of the arrival of the Christ & regarding John’s full purpose in relation to it. They had taken care of their own spiritual preparedness thru his baptism, but they were unsure of John’s relation to the Christ. They “reasoned” that he may even be the Christ himself but they did not know certainly.
“People”(See :18)—laov—N. m.—1) A people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock & language; 2) Of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere. Strong—apparently a primary word; A people (in general; thus differing from dhmov, which denotes one's own populace).
“Expectation”—prosdokaw—V.—1) To expect (whether in thought, in hope, or in fear); 2) To look for, wait for. Strong—To anticipate (in thought, hope or fear); by implication, To await. Used 16X.
From— prov(toward) & dokeuw (to watch)= ‘watch toward.’
“Reasoned”—dialogizomai—V.—Genitive 1) To bring together different reasons, to reckon up the reasons, to reason, revolve in one's mind, deliberate. Strong—To reckon thoroughly, i.e. (genitive case) To deliberate (by reflection or discussion). Used 16X.
“Hearts”—kardia—1) The heart—1a) That organ in the animal body which is the centre of the circulation of the blood, & hence was regarded as the seat of physical life, 1b) denotes The center of all physical & spiritual life, 1c) Of the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate. Strong—The heart, i.e. (figuratively) The thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) The middle.
“Whether or not”—mhpote—1) That ... not, lest, whether perhaps, whether or not, in no way, perhaps. Strong—Not ever; Also if (or lest) ever (or perhaps).
“Christ”—Cristov—Adj.—Christ = “Anointed.” Strong—Anointed, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.
If we do not resolve to seek the absolute truth of God, we will settle for the lie of Satan & we have aided his cause against Christ!
Ps. 49:16-20—“Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never see light. A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.”
Ps. 92:5-6—“O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this.”
*Prov. 28:5—“Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all.”
Mat. 13:13-17—““Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, & hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear & shall not understand, And seeing you will see & not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes & hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts & turn, So that I should heal them[Isa. 6:9-10].’ “But blessed are your eyes for they see, & your ears for they hear; “for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets & righteous men desired to see what you see, & did not see it, & to hear what you hear, & did not hear it.”