Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn't repented of their sins and turned to God. "What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be btter off on judgment day that you. "And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if they miracles I did for you has been done in Wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you." (Matthew 11:20-24 NLT)
I wonder what Jesus is saying about us? What would He have to say to our cities, churches, and homes. We, in America, have seen the mighty works of God and, yet, it seems that repentance is not even considered by most. Imagine the judgment that awaits this nation for its rejection of God in spite of His merciful acts upon us. If Sodom would have had bibles, churches, preachers, retreats, seminars, crusades, etc, it, perhaps, would yet remain. Do we think we are any better than they? I don't think so. We stand in greater judgment for what we have been given.
Think on this today and ask God to purge your own heart. Repentance begins with the me.
And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. For before John came, and all the prophets and the law of Moses looked forward to this present time. And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand! "To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends 'We played wedding songs, and you didn't dance, so we played funeral songs, and you didn't mourn.' For John didn't spend his time eating and drinking, you say 'He's possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man, on the other hand, feast and drinks, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by its results." (Matthew 11:12-19 NLT)
The kingdom of God is one of spiritual battle. We are constantly under attack by the enemy. We must arm ourselves in the armor of God and fight with the strength of Jesus. (For more information on the armor and to understand the battle better, see Ephesians 6:10-17.) We also must recognize that God uses unconventional methods to reach us. John the Baptist was someone who dresses like Elijah of the Old Testament and preached with the same authority.
Jesus came and associated with the ordinary, common individual, those who were shunned by the religious groups of that time.
Both were different than the religious Pharisees and Sadducees. John preached of repentance and baptized. Jesus came to save the lost, not exalt the arrogance of the religious.
Let's remember to be always aware of what God wants us to be, yet always ready and available to shine the light among the darkness. What good is light if it isn't applied to darkness?
Rev. Curtis Norris