John the Baptist was the forerunner to make the way for Jesus. He taught of the importance of repentance and when he saw the Pharisees and Saducees cling to that their father was Abraham, Jesus said God could even raise up stones as children of Abraham. God speaks of a man as a tree many times and John was saying if one does not do good and bring forth good fruit then he would be as a tree cut down. (Matthew 3:7-11). But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
When we cut down a tree and leave the stump we notice it starts to send forth small shoots to grow again, and so it is for the pruning (Chastening) of God with man which brings forth a stronger and more beautiful tree. (Hebrews 12:11). Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
It is written at the last trump of God that in a twinkling of an eye we shall be changed ( 1 Corinthians 15:52 ) and man through life is pruned, but will again be found in Christ as at death he awaits his change from God the eternal! (Job 14:7-14). For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
Never despise the chastening from the Father as the one who made us knows also what is best every time, even when we don’t understand………