From Wilderness To Wonder

A fulfillment of an ancient prophecy by Isaiah occurred the day John the Baptist began his ministry. That prophecy offers a blessing now to those who accept its requirements and a blessing to come if they faithfully follow through.
From Wilderness To Wonder
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

The world may offer us “fun times,” momentary happiness, excitement, and many other things, but when it comes to true godly blessings that benefit us not only now but for all eternity the world is a really a wilderness. Centuries before Christ came in the flesh Isaiah prophesied (Isaiah 40:1-5 NASB)  “‘Comfort, O comfort My people,’ says your God. ‘Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of YHVH’s hand Double for all her sins.’ A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for YHVH

in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of YHVH will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of YHVH has spoken.’”

John the Baptist was born six months before Jesus of Nazareth was born. When of age, the Spirit of God brought him into a ministry of calling those who would to repentance with the outward sign thereof being baptized in water. Matthew 3:1-3 (NASB) records, “Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."  For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!'" 

Verse 3 shows us a voice crying from the wilderness. Immediately I must think of how the world is a spiritual wilderness. Yes, there are all sorts of religions, but they are just oases offering spiritually drugged and poisoned waters. Only a relationship with God through Christ can cure us of our habitual sinning, redeem us, and give us Eternal Life. The entirety of verse 3 shows us that God desires to take our own spiritual wilderness and give us the blessings of His majesty.

I. Wilderness  3c

“"The voice of one crying in the wilderness, . . . “

While the world offers a lot of earthly cures and successes, it also abounds with hopelessness. Sometimes doctors and other professionals might say things like, “they will never walk again,” “always be in coma,” “there is no cure,” “you will have to take medicine for the rest of your life" and so on. More recently we have the phrase “they were born that way” which in the least carries the connotation “they will stay that way, they cannot (or should not) change.” {1} This speaks of the insufficiency of this world.

Because of that, many people despair after a time. After a time some find nothing better to do than to indulge in some type of fleshly pleasure. As a result, many become entangled in vices and have there spiritual sensibilities further deadened. And, sadly for some, they are driven to the point of suicide.

The spiritual wilderness of the world could be described as a desolation, and one that brings its inhabitants to desolation. Sure, many in the world become a success. Many seem to be doing quite well, even morally. There also are many that go through life seemingly unscathed. However, the Word of God is clear that if they do not have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ they leave this world only to be eternally damned and incur the everlasting fiery wrath of God because they chose to refuse His Remedy provided for all of us.

God really does not want any to be eternally damned, but He is holy and nothing sinful can be with Him for eternity. So, He lovingly beckons us to His Remedy. His Kingdom will soon be on earth and it behooves us to be spiritually placed in that Kingdom now. That is why we should heed the balance of verse 3 so that we may be blessed by


the wonderment of His glorious Kingdom.

II. Wonder 3d-e

“ . . . 'Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!'"

First, as a side point, when John the Baptist said this he referred to Jesus. This shows that Jesus Christ is the same Being as YHVH since YHVH is stated in Isaiah 40:1-5. Revelation 20 is clear that He will reign right here on earth for 1,000 years. Just before that is a time of severe judgment by God on earth, the time often referred to as The Great Tribulation. Many will perish during that time and later be cast into The Lake of Fire.

But each of us can avoid that fate, because God graciously in love offers His Kingdom to us now, no matter who we are and what we have done. He does not want you or I to experience His wrath of eternal torments, but unless we receive His Remedy, the life, death, resurrection and ascension of His Son Who took our place upon the cross, we have chosen eternal damnation.

So we are to heed the call of John the Baptist when he said, “Make ready the way of the Lord." I equate this with such passages as Romans 10:9-10 that state we must confess Jesus Christ. This is not a mere saying from us that “Jesus Christ is my Savior." Confessing Christ includes truly agreeing with what He says about us, that without Him we are sinners in need of His vicarious atonement and efficacious Life. And, confession goes beyond what we say and continues into godly action.

This godly action means we will develop godly ways about us. As Christ, the only Way (John 14:6), lives through us His ways of thinking and doing will become our ways. This is why John the Baptist cried out, “Make His paths straight!”

The decisions we make and how we conduct every facet of our life will eventually be based upon His written Word, and we will be directed and impelled by His spoken Word. In behaving in such a way we will have many glorious blessings while we remain on earth. We will have a Friend that sticks closer than a brother as we go through troubles of various kinds. And, if we remain in Him, we will be part of, and greatly enjoy, His coming rule on earth.

Notes:

{1} Please read, You CAN Choose--Choose Wisely

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by June 30, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M405 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 06-07-2016 78 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    The Lord demands faithfulness and perseverance from those he has chosen: this is how we save a world that seeks truth everywhere and does not know to which Lord to surrender.
    reply 0
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