Luke 3:1-22. John the Baptist had the incredible responsibility to lead his nation to repentance in preparation for the Messiah and his mission. Isaiah encouraged the same nation to prepare themselves for the deliverance God wanted to give them (Isaiah 40:3-5). The Messiah would baptize his people in the Holy Spirit, providing both purity and power. But The Messiah will not work among the unrepentant. Those that are not ready to be used by the Holy Spirit to win the nations, Christ will treat as chaff. He will baptize them not with the Holy Spirit, but with fire that destroys. Those were the two options. They still are.
LORD, forgive us for our sins, and empower us for your mission.