Luke- Week 6- Day 2
Recognition of Divine Wrath. vs. 7, 9, 17
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?…
… And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire…
…Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.Luke 3:7, 9, 17
One of John’s other themes, that is in keeping with the message of true repentance, is the theological concept of Divine Wrath.
In verse 7 he calls at least part of the people coming out to see him and hear his message “vipers”.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?Luke 3:7
Like a bunch of snakes that have heard about and fear calamity coming and slithering away, John compares the people coming to see him as people not as interested in true repentance but in people who do not want to be hurt.
There is wrath that is going to come. John speaks of it again in verse 9.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.Luke 3:9
The trees that are not producing the right fruit (a reference to verse 8 which we will talk about later) will face judgement. They will be cut at the root, permanently killed, and cast into the fire. If you cut off a limb, the tree can survive. If you cut the tree at its root and throw it in the fire, the tree is destroyed.
Fire, picture of judgment, is referred to again in verse 17.
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.Luke 3:17
John is describing Jesus, the coming Christ, as one that will “throughly purge his floor”. There is a reference to a threshing floor. Farmers would “thresh” the wheat. They would take a “winnowing fork” and throw the wheat in the air. The grain would be separated from the chaff. The grain could be used by the farmer. The chaff could not be used and would be burned. The coming of the Messiah and the response to Him would separate those who were saved because they repented and believed from those who did not repent and believe and will spend eternity separated from God.
John was not preaching a salvation of works. What he was preaching is that true repentance and salvation will transform the heart and therefore effect the hands and feet. More on that in the coming text.
The Bible is clear that there is a heaven and a hell. There is an eternity with God and an eternity separated from God in Hell. We ought not to talk of hell without a tear in our eye and a burden on our heart.
Every faithful preacher of the Gospel must talk about hell. Jesus’ teaching on hell covers more of the gospels than His teaching on heaven. When we understand that those who do not repent and believe in Jesus will spend an eternity separated from God in Hell it should send us to our knees. First, it should cause us to respond in repentance and calling on the Lord for salvation ourselves. Second, it should cause us to pray for the lost and tell them about the salvation that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you know Christ as your Savior? Have you repented of your sin and trusted Christ by faith? Is there someone you need to warn this week? Today? Like John in the Wilderness, we must point people to the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!