We Are Radical

Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)

Salvation Series 5: Repentance

God sent John the Baptist into the preaching profession before He sent Christ into His public ministry. John’s job was to “make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight” (Mark 1:3). His first message to the masses was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). The first message of the gospel of Christ is to repent. In God’s eyes, repentance makes one ready for the Lord.

What is Repentance?

The first thought that usually comes to mind when thinking of repentance is sorrow. Sorrow is necessary for repentance, but it doesn’t define repentance. After Paul heard how the Corinthians responded to his previous letter, he wrote the following back to them.

I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.

Sorrow, according to God’s will, produces repentance. Many people have regrets in life. “If only I could have played harder, our team could have won the championship.” “If only I had been more careful, I would not have been caught.” This type of sorrow will not lead us to heaven. God expects us to reflect on what’s most important and consider how we have acted against His will in the past. Anytime we have sinned, we have given Christ more reason to suffer the cross. That thought should send us to our knees with true sorrow, godly sorrow. When someone is truly sorry, he or she has a change of attitude, usually vowing to do better in the future, which is the key to repentance. Notice James’ words to sinners.

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:7-10.

Does God expect us to mope around and be miserable? When we have sin on our souls, yes! Only when we mourn for our sins can we truly approach the cross. It would make no sense to seek forgiveness all while planning to continue in sin. Godly sorrow will change our hearts and our minds, which will change our actions. Once we humble ourselves in this way, God promises to lift us up. He can reach much higher than we can. Lift yourself up, and you will be disappointed in how far you get. Allow the Lord to exalt you, and you can experience eternal joy and a spectacular view from heaven!

Why is Repentance Necessary?

We sometimes find it easy to justify sin. However, God is so pure that His eyes “can not look on wickedness with favour” (Habakkuk 1:13). Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-11). If we do not repent of our sins, Christ says to us just what He said to the Jews almost 2,000 years ago.

I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3.

On the other hand, if we are willing to mourn for our sins and repent, Christ says to us just what He said to His disciples almost 2,000 years ago.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4.

Notice again what Paul wrote to the Corinthians.

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation. 2 Corinthians 7:10a.

First, he said that repentance leads to salvation. It is impossible for us to seek the salvation that God offers without being willing to repent of our sins.

Secondly, true repentance is never regretted. Repentance might be sacrificing the pleasures of this world (Hebrews 11:25), but it will never be a sacrifice you will regret. Heaven will be a place completely void of temptation (James 1:13); therefore, it will be void of all sin. If we are not willing to rid ourselves of sin now, then heaven must not look very appealing. Remember that repentance makes one ready for the Lord. Break down the wall of sin dividing you from your Lord. Humble yourself today, and God will lift you higher “beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of [Jehovah],

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3.

I love you with the love of the Lord,

Lance

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One comment on “Salvation Series 5: Repentance

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This entry was posted on 23/11/2013 by in Salvation and tagged , , , , , , .