Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
“It Doesn’t Matter Who I Am.” Here is a phrase you are not likely to hear from the world. Who said it; in not so many words? John the Baptist as recorded in John 1:19-28. John was by anyone’s standards, a weird person. He dressed in the circa equivalent of a burlap sack, ate locust, spoke in terms indiscernible to the natural world, and with hair that must have looked like a Geico commercial, was baptizing folks by the dozens, or even hundreds. So what’s the problem? Till then, only the “Religious Leaders” of the day were allowed to do that. They were regularly baptizing Gentile folks who wanted to embrace the Jewish religion. But John was baptizing Jews! What?
Nugget: Whenever God is doing something, three groups of people show up. The first group was The Folks, which were/are comprised of tire kickers. Curious people. Potential disciples. The second was this self appointed Sin Police, who were bent on maintaining the Status Quo and squelching any work of God that wasn’t their idea.
They didn’t come for answers, although that would have been fine. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you the reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” - 1st Peter 3:15. No, these came with an agenda which is evidenced by their first two questions. “Who do you think you are?”, and “What do you think you are doing?”. John’s answer? “I’m nobody, but the Messiah is here. It doesn’t matter who I am. You can ignore me, but He is Un-Ignorable.” Their argument = “You John, Don’t measure up. You don’t fit the mold. You are Undesirable. You can’t marry my sister”. Spiritual Switch: What is your excuse for not going to Church? There are many; some better than others. Let’s define the term. An Excuse is the Skin of the truth, Stuffed with a lie. Example - “I don’t go to Church cause the thermostat is set too low (or high). Is the thermostat set wrong for this person? Sure, so that is the skin of the truth. The stuffing though, is that is Not the reason this person isn’t going. “The parking lot isn’t right, I smelled cigarette smoke on someone, I don’t like how they dress, I had a problem with their parents/children/or them.” Do you think it is benevolently Christian of you to “tolerate” someone till they act the way you want them to? “Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” Matt. 21:31-32. You see, the Truth is the Truth, regardless of the messenger. Nugget: If you are letting anyone, for any reason keep you out of God’s house when He tells us “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;” Heb. 10:25a, are you not ascribing to them more stroke in the area of your eternal life than that of Jesus Himself? Be like the third group. Those that realize their need, and the only antidote. Find a Church that preaches the Gospel - Faith alone in Christ alone, and go there. Or, you can be like the “beautiful people”, and miss it altogether.