And so to the New Testament, continuing to draw out passages that particularly came to my attention during the writing of “The Little Book of Providence” **
“But when (John) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘we have Abraham as our father.’ for I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clean out his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew3:7-12NKJV)
But it was not to be; the wrath to come never came. The scariest thing the Pharisees and their kind had to endure in their day was Jesus’s overturning of the market tables outside the temple – disconcerting and inconvenient for sure but it’s hardly Second Thessalonians chapter one: “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with age-enduring destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, when He comes to be glorified in his saints and to be admired among all those who believe on that day, just as our testimony among you was believed” (2Thes1:7-10).
Was it not completed? – then let it be repeated. That is the interpretive principle that needs to be applied to all biblical prophecy delivered before Paul’s revelation of God’s secret Plan for the Gentile nations (cf. Eph3:9-11). So even NOW the axe is laid to the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire… … …
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