Luk 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of the emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
Luk 3:2 in the time of the high priest Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
Luk 3:3 And he went into all the surrounding region of the Jordan, preaching a baptism signifying repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
Luk 3:4 Just like it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!
Luk 3:5 Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled, and the crooked will become straight, and the rough road smooth,
Luk 3:6 and all flesh will see the salvation from God.'”
the replaced gospel
Look very carefully at the gospel message John preached in the Judean desert. You might notice that his orientation is “all wrong” if you compare his message to one you might hear from an evangelist today. That is because part of the popular evangelistic message is biblical, and part of it is not. The call to repent is biblical, but the motivation is often not. It has been replaced by an unbiblical motivation. If an evangelist promises that if you repent of your sins you can go to heaven when you die, that evangelist has replaced the biblical motivation. The gospel as John preached demanded repentance because the Lord is coming back to earth, and we must repent to prepare a way for him. We are not preparing a way for ourselves to go to him. We are preparing our hearts to accept his rule when he returns.
LORD, teach us how to be ready for your return and restoration of this planet.