Warnings are important in life – and here are a few examples:
“Smoking can be dangerous to your health!”
“According to the surgeon general, women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects; and the consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery and may cause health problems.”
“During a solar eclipse, it is imperative that you do not look at the sun directly for it can cause permanent eye damage.”
Warnings are even more important in a person’s spiritual life:
The prophet John was sent to warn God’s people that the Messiah was near. In response to his message, the people from all over the region came to John in order confess their sins and be baptized in the river Jordan.
Yet there were many within the crowd who did not listen to the message of John for they thought that they were okay with God because “we are Abraham’s descendants” -- we come from the right blood line – certainly the majority of other people need to listen to John’s message, and repent of their sins, but not us.
Thankfully there were many who heard the warning message of John, believed the Gospel, and they began to live changed lives by the power of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit.
A disciple is to live a different kind of life…as one redeemed by Christ the Crucified:
A story is told about Alexander the Great. One thing that Alexander the Great could not tolerate was desertion and the usual penalty was death for deserters. One day, as he was holding court in order to try those who had deserted in battle, a young man was brought forward who was handsome, with blue eyes and blond hair.
When Alexander asked the young man what was his name, he said: “Alexander, sir!”
When the crowd heard the boy’s name, they thought that maybe there might be some mercy for him but Alexander began to move restlessly in his chair.
A second time Alexander the Great asked the young man: “What is your name?” “Alexander, sir!”
This time Alexander’s hair began to stand on end and he asked him a third time: “What is your name?” “Alexander (stuttering)…Alexander, sir!”
With that answer, Alexander exploded out of his chair and grabbed the young man by the collar, shook him and said: “Change your life or change your name!”
We bear the name Christian...how should we then live?