Today’s Gospel brought up an important point about how Christianity works
In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea(and) saying, “Repent, 3 for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: “A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'”
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees 7 coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matt 3:12
Note What John the Baptist specifically says in verses 7-8. Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. Good fruit, that sounds a lot like good works to me.
Just as important is verse 9, And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
If you look at the philosophy of Once saved always saved it seems to bear a great resemblance to this. After under that philosophy there IS no consequence for sinful actions.
And the consequences? Verse 10 makes it pretty plain. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
This connects an action and a specific reaction. What I find so interesting is that this is pretty much what Christ himself says over (Luke 13:1-9) and over (Matthew 25:31-46) and over (Matthew 13:36-43) again.
One has to be careful when declaring their own salvation loudly. It is very easy to deceive one’s self, it is impossible to deceive God. Much better to always strive toward it.