Winds of doctrines whistle across the religious terrain, lifting unregenerate waves to raging emulation, casting about dead leaves and branches in swirling gyrations, and bending the grasses and reeds at will. The furious gale sweeps and controls the whole world–it seems.
But here is one standing still. In all the buffeting, he is firm, sure, steady, scoffing the idea of being shaken by the puffing heresies. To him, the Word is clear, the prophecy undeniable, the destiny inevitable. And just so firm, so sure, so steady, he preaches the immortal sermon, “Repent! The kingdom is at hand.”
His audience changes with currents of that same wind, but the message flinches not. The Pharisee seeks signs; the soldier desires counsel; the tax collector chases mammon; the king demands absolution; the sinner craves hope. All must repent.
The desert evangelist is so much more than a prophet; he is a voice, a herald to the awesome incarnation of God and subsequent redemption of souls.
The message is so sure that it continues two thousand years and only grows more intense. “Repent! The kingdom of God is come, and we stand a fraction of time and space from a much greater advent and redemption.”
Those who now preach in that same spirit and power of Elias dare not, will not sway to Satan’s hurricane. Others will bow to the false gospels, but the midnight criers will remain firm, sure, steady. The same winds still sweep the religious landscape, and dead-branch experiences are still whirled about, and flimsy-reed preachers still bow to the popular “king’s musick,” while the forerunner stands, never doubting the message, never neglecting the calling to herald the Great Day of justice and wrath. What a message must he preach to do justice to that day!
That message will not go unnoticed. Shifting throngs will gather to request signs and platitudes and soft raiment generally– anything but the real message: Repent!