Who were the Pharisees and Sadducees? Why did John rebuke them so harshly, and warn them so sternly? Did they have any hope? Why yes they did! And so do you and me if we will but look to whom John pointed them. Our hope is not in our heritage, our ideas, or our righteousness. Our hope is in God raising us up as Children of Abraham, children of faith. We are TOTALLY dependent on God to work.
Feel the weight of your need. You cannot fix yourself. Your hope is in the One who came after John, baptizing not with water like John but in the Holy Spirit to make you new. That is how God saves. It is his work from beginning unto end. He transforms sinners.