A People Prepared For The Lord
Theme: Learning from John the Baptist to be a people prepared for the Lord
A. It is a fundamental truth that God would raise a prophet who would prepare the way of the Lord. Mal. 3:1
- That prophet was John the Baptist. Lk. 1:76
- And, through his preaching he did just that. Matt. 3:1-3
B. What is lesser known is that John also had another purpose that went hand-in-hand with the first: “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Lk. 1:17
- We shall see what John did that prepared God’s people for the Lord.
- We shall also see how we need to be a people prepared for the Lord.
Sermon text with italics and bold and John 3:16 and v. 20.
THE WORK OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
A. First: John the Baptist would be “great in the sight of the Lord.” Lk. 1:15
- Man sees greatness/success through the “eyes of the world”: social-economic status.
- God, however, sees greatness from a spiritual perspective. Lk. 7:24-28 (1 Sam. 16:7)
- John’s greatness was because he would be completely separated and dedicated to the Lord, from his mother’s womb. Lk. 1:15 (also, see Lk. 1:6, 41, 67
B. John’s work was to “turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” Lk. 1:16-17
- As in Elijah’s day, many of the Israelites did not truly live for the Lord, but according to their own bellies.
- Thus, John would come in the “spirit and power of Elijah” in turning unfaithful Israel back to the Lord. Cp. Mal. 4:5-6; Matt. 11:10-14
- He would bring humility back to Israel by turning the hearts of the fathers to their children.
- He would bring justice back from disobedience.
C. The totality of John’s work – regarding God’s people – was to prepare them for the Lord.
- The people needed to repent and turn their hearts to God. Matt. 3:1-3
- The people needed to see things as God saw them: spiritually. Matt. 3:7-12
- When the Lord came, He taught them from this perspective, and those who truly listened to John was ready to faithfully follow after the teachings of our Savior.
THE WORK OF EVANGELISM TODAY
A. For those who teach God’s word to be “great in the sight of the Lord.”
- Many want “great sermons” that wow them to repentance or build them up in the faith. 1 Cor. 2:1-5
- Many want “giants among men” before the words they preach are acceptable to God’s people. Matt. 3:4
- What makes teachers of God great is that they separate themselves to the Lord, rather than try to appease men.
B. The purpose of preaching is to turn the children of God – who are unfaithful – to the Lord our God.
- There are those who do not love the Lord our God with all their heart, soul and might.
- There are those who walk secretly in sin.
- There are those who are materialistic.
- There are those who walk in hypocrisy.
C. The totality of teaching/preaching: prepare God’s people for the Lord.
- Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Tim. 4:2
- Exhort God’s people to faithfulness.
- Those who desire God will turn from sin and be encouraged in faithfulness to God: they will be prepared for the Lord.
A. John definitely prepared the way of the Lord, but notwithstanding, God also wanted John to prepare His people for the Lord.
B. Are you?