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If You Would Only Listen

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Listening to John the Baptist's stern warnings of impending judgment, and the dangers of entitlement.

Text: Luke 3:7-9
Date: 07/11/2021, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 27

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As Luke prepares to introduce the ministry of Jesus, he begins by revealing the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist. He has all ready told us that John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. But now he reveals the nature of that repentance and the danger of entitlement. He sternly warns the crowds coming to be baptized that hypocritical religiosity and a false sense of covenantal security does not replace what his baptism represents-- true repentance and belief in God's Messiah. As a prophet, John's words are jolting and abrasive, and by today's standards, extreme and "politically incorrect". We will ask ourselves why God warns His people so harshly of their impending judgment and how preachers, both ancient and modern should present these truths to the "crowds" who listen. Ultimately, we will realize that regardless of the harshness of the message, and the sternness of the messenger; the clear purpose and desire of the warning is the salvation of your soul-- if you will only listen!

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I. Introduction, Jonah 1:2.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 3:7-9.
A. Context
B. John's eschatological warning.
1. Preaching to a brood of vipers, vs. 7.
a. Describing the crowds, Matt. 3:5,7; John 1:19,24.
b. Describing the "brood".
i. A homogeneous group.
ii. The offspring of vipers, Acts 28:3.
c. The symbolism.
i. Venomous lives, Rom. 6:23, 1:32.
ii. The family resemblance, Gen. 3:1, John 8:44, 12:42.
d. The eschatological warning, Amos 5:21-24.
2. The fruits of repentance, vs. 8.
a. A qualified fruit, Matt. 5:3, James 2:17-18, Eph. 2:10.
b. Anticipating objections.
i. Misunderstanding the covenant, Gen. 22:17-18.
ii. The flavors of Judaism.
iii. Sons of Abraham, John 12:42.
c. The perils of the "entitled", Dan. 7:27-28.
i. A dangerous presumption.
• The treasury of merit.
• Misunderstanding the covenant.
ii. The danger of entitlement.
3. The dire urgency of repentance, vs. 9.
a. A family tree in peril.
i. The imagery.
ii. The urgency.
b. The day of wrath.
c. A message of salvation, Matt. 7:19.
III. Application
A. An unquestionable truth, Jer. 26:1-6, Heb. 9:27, Matt. 25:31-34,41, 11:15.
B. Remedies for Satan's devices.
1. Establishing categories.
2. Doubting the Bible.
3. Disavowing hell and judgment.
IV. Conclusion, Acts 16:31.

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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