WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 26, 2023
TOPIC: THE COMING WRATH OF GOD!
BY T. O. BANSO
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” (Matthew 3:7-8 New King James Version).
The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the leading religious sects in Israel. Their existence predated the ministry of John the Baptist. When John started his ministry and began to baptize people, the people of Jerusalem, Judea, and the region around the Jordan went out to him for baptism. John baptized them in the Jordan as they confessed their sins.
The Pharisees and the Sadducees also came to John for baptism. Matthew 3:7 says, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” This is a very important question that tells us that there is a wrath waiting for release in the future but individuals can escape it.
John told the Pharisees and Sadducees that their coming for baptism and repentance would help them escape the wrath that would come from God. The New Living Translation puts John’s question thus: “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath?” Probably John wanted to know how sincere these Pharisees and the Sadducees were about their decision to be baptized.
John told the Pharisees and the Sadducees: “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:8-12 New King James Version).
The coming wrath of God! Luke 3:7-9 also records John’s words thus: “Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (New King James Version).
The coming wrath of God! The wrath of God is not coming on only the Pharisees and the Sadducees; it is coming upon sinners – Jews and Gentiles. You will notice that in Luke 3:7-9, Jesus directed His warning to the multitudes that came to Him whereas in Matthew’s account, the warning was directed to the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The wrath of God is coming upon those who die in their sins, refusing to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The wrath of God refers to the judgment of God. It is the punishment awaiting sinners. The Complete Jewish Bible puts John’s question in Matthew 3:7 this way: “Who warned you to escape the coming punishment?”
The coming wrath of God refers to the condemnation of sinners to hellfire. Talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:32-33, Jesus said, “Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (New King James Version). The condemnation of hell is the same as the wrath of God that will come upon all sinners who refuse to come to Jesus and be saved.
The coming wrath of God! Sinners will not go unpunished. But God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9b). He didn’t create everlasting fire for man but the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). But those who reject God’s way to salvation – Jesus Christ – will end in hellfire where they will experience the wrath of God eternally, for it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour is the way to escape the coming wrath of God. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 New King James Version). Sinners, who are headed for destruction, are the objects of the wrath of God but God is being patient with them (Romans 9:22). He wants them to be saved. Jesus died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15). But God’s patience will not last forever.
As Psalm 7:11 says, God is a just judge, and He is angry with the wicked every day. The Bible also says in Romans 1:18 that the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. But there is a coming wrath of God upon sinners (the wicked) which has never been seen. The Bible refers to the wrath of God in the Old Testament (Exodus 32:11; Deuteronomy 9:7; 2 Chronicles 30:8; 36:16; Ezra 5:12; 10:14; Psalm 78:31; Ezekiel 22:31). But this is nothing compared to the coming wrath of God upon sinners. The fierceness of the coming wrath is incomparable. Whoever is not born again should come to Jesus today.
If you’re not born again, you can escape the coming wrath by giving your life to Jesus today. Don’t be stubborn; don’t continue to refuse God’s invitation to be saved. Romans 2:5-11 says, “But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism” (Romans 2:5-11 New Living Translation).
Sinners are warned to flee the coming wrath of God. The wrath of God always refers to His anger and punishment/judgment, as the phrase is also used in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19, 19:15). The wrath of God is coming upon sinners but every sinner can escape this eternal punishment or condemnation of hell. Jesus says, “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29-30 New King James Version). The fire in hell is unquenchable (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). Sinners must be born again (John 3:3,7).
Beware of the coming wrath of God! Only Jesus can rescue sinners from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Have you accepted Him into your life as your Lord and Saviour?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Those who have not given their lives to Jesus will come to Him and escape the coming wrath of God in Jesus’ name. They will heed the warning and flee the coming wrath of God.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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