Have you ever heard of the planning session that was held in hell? The devil was looking for a way to keep the world from believing in Jesus. So he gathered his demons together and had them present their plans. The first one suggested, “Let’s lie to them and tell them there is no God, that everything evolved by chance over billions of years of time.” “Good idea,” Satan said, “but we need something better than that. For all they have to do is look at creation to know that there’s a Designer behind it.” Next a powerful-looking demon came forward suggesting, “Let’s bombard them with temptation filling their minds with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.” “That may work for some,” the devil said, “but we’ll never fool everyone that way. Some will eventually grow tired of sin, call on the name of the Lord, and be saved.”
That’s when a quiet little demon finally spoke up. “Sir, I have an idea. Let’s tell them the truth. There is a God who loves them and gave His only Son to die for their sins, and all they have to do to receive eternal life is believe in Him. We simply add, “There’s no hurry. You don’t have to do it today. You can decide tomorrow.”
That’s been his #1 strategy ever since. In fact, there’s even a scientific term for it. It’s called uniformitarianism—the idea that everything is continuing just as it has from the beginning. 2 Peter 3 puts it like this: “Above all understand that in the last days scoffers will come scoffing, following their own evil desires, and saying, ‘Where is this “coming” He promised? For ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But this they deliberately forget— that long ago by God’s word the world was destroyed by water. And by the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
The truth is things don’t go on the way they always have. Don’t forget that there was once a Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the most gracious event of all—the birth of Jesus Christ. Think how few were aware of it at the time—a handful of shepherds and a few wise men! But His birth, His death, and His resurrection are what have changed our lives and this world forever!
So it is with the three days we’re about to study. I call them “Three Days with John the Baptist.” For in John 1:19, we come to the ministry of John the Baptist which, even though few realize it, was a spiritual event that changed the world forever. Over the course of just three days, John announced the arrival of Jesus, introduced Him to His first disciples, and thereby sparked a disciple-making movement that set the world on fire in the first century and continues on to this very day, two millennia later.
Open your Bible, then, to John 1:19 and read the rest of chapter one. This is where we will witness three world-changing days in the ministry of John the Baptist. Each one has a different audience with a different challenge that ought to impact us and our friends in three different ways. Here is my outline for the next three days.
Day #1 – Challenge to the Religious: Turn to Christ!
Day #2 – Challenge to the Repentant: Worship Christ!
Day #3 – Challenge to the Righteous: Follow Christ!