“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” — Luke 1:17
A “forerunner” simply defined as “one that precedes and indicates the approach of another.” In competitive racing, such as running, skiing, cycling and auto racing, a forerunner will navigate the course, examining it for hidden dangers and testing it for the best results. The goal in each race is to be first to the finish line, but to do so safely. The forerunner prepares us for what’s ahead so that we may prepare ourselves as we set off on our course.
The most prominent forerunner in all of human history is John the Baptist. John’s mission was to prepare the people for the coming Messiah: Jesus Christ. His father, Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76-77). The Jewish people had long waited for their Messiah, but their hearts were not ready. John was to follow the prophet Elijah’s message of repentance. He was to prepare and make the people ready for the coming of the Messiah by baptizing and “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4).
John the Baptist was the appointed forerunner for Jesus the Messiah’s first coming more than 2,000 years ago. The Scriptures show us that Jesus is coming back again. Who are the forerunners that will prepare the people for the Lord’s second coming? Every believer has the opportunity to be a type of forerunner.
During this advent season of our Lord’s first coming, let us be diligent in charting the course of salvation for others by boldly proclaiming the Gospel and leading Christlike lives, so no one will miss His second coming. Be a forerunner today.
— Loring Schultz
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