In the days of John the Baptist, people were wondering exactly who he was. He made sure the people understood who he wasn’t. He said someone was coming who was greater than he. We know he was talking about Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire. How are you going to survive the judgment of eternal fire?
John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Luke 3:16
John the Baptist was a fiery preacher who held nothing back. No one during his generation had ever seen or heard anyone like him. He told people with material means to share with those who weren’t as fortunate as they were.
Tax collectors asked during their baptism, “Teacher, what should we do?” He told them only collect what the government required. Soldiers asked him what they should do? He said “don’t make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
Exactly Who Was John The Baptist?
He was making quite an impression on those who came to hear him. Many repented then received baptism. They did wonder about a certain thing though.
Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. Luke 3:15
John knew his place and what his job was. The apostle John wrote about John the Baptist as he began his gospel. He said the following.
God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. John 1:6-8
The people were looking for the Messiah. John, however, preached repentance from sin. When those who heard him repented of their sins, he baptized them in water. This was a public testimony of their repentance.
He described the one coming after him as being much greater than he was. John baptized with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Some folks think that the two, Holy Spirit and fire are the same thing, but they aren’t. Jesus will baptize us with both. He gave the following instructions about the Holy Spirit baptism to his disciples before He ascended to heaven.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Everyone Can Survive the Judgment of Eternal Fire
The baptism of fire points toward judgment. The unsaved person will stand before God at the White Throne Judgment. Because their name isn’t written in the Lambs Book of Life.
The Christian, however, goes through the Judgment Seat of Christ. Works do not save anyone. But when a saved person enters eternity they will be judged by their works. The judgment will come by fire.
Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Every Christian will make it through this judgment. However, those whose works don’t burn up will receive rewards,
If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. 1 Corinthians 3:14-15
No One Will Escape Eternity
We cannot escape eternity, once we leave this life, that is where we will all end up. Everyone will go through the fire, no one will be exempt.
For the Christian, you will make it to heaven. And you will be judged on what you did for the Lord while you were on this earth.
For the non-Christian, you will not make it to heaven. Your judgment comes because you rejected Jesus. You will spend eternity away from God, tormented in the lake of fire.
And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15
Lord, I pray for anyone reading this devotion who is not sure that their name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I pray that today they would receive Jesus as their Savior and commit to following and obeying Him. Because Lord you made a way for all of us to survive the judgment of eternal fire.
Check out some other posts on God’s Judgment.
Take some time to read the entire chapter of Luke 3.
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