Skip to comments.Whatever Happened To Repentance?
Posted on 09/19/2001 9:06:44 PM PDT by RnMomof7
Whatever happened to repentance? You rarely hear the word mentioned in most churches today even in Baptist, Pentecostal or evangelical circles. Pastors nowadays seldom call for their congregations to sorrow over sin to mourn and grieve over wounding Christ by their wickedness.
Instead, the message we hear from many pulpits today is, "Just believe. Accept Christ, and you'll be saved." The text used to justify this message is Acts 16:30-31.
In this passage, the apostle Paul was being held in jail when suddenly the earth shook and all the cell doors opened. The jailer immediately thought all the prisoners had fled, which meant he faced execution. In despair, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself when Paul and Silas stopped him, assuring him no one had escaped.
Seeing this, the man fell down before the apostles and cried out, " Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:30-31).
As we read this passage, it's important to remember that the jailer was on the verge of suicide, with sword in hand. He was already at a point of repentance on his knees, broken and trembling, before the apostles. So his heart was truly prepared to accept Jesus in genuine faith.
In the gospel of Mark, Christ tells his disciples, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). It's clear from what Jesus says here that salvation is found in simply accepting him and being baptized.
However, Jesus prefaces his statement with this word: " Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (verse 15). He's saying, in essence, that before people can believe in him, the gospel must first be preached to them.
And what is this gospel Jesus refers to? It's the gospel that Jesus himself preached the gospel of repentance!
Think about it what was the first message Jesus delivered, after he emerged from the temptation in the wilderness? Scripture says, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17).
Jesus called people to repent before he even called them to believe! Mark writes, " Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15). Christ preached, "Repent first and believe."
Elsewhere Jesus says of his mission, " I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13). And he told the Galileans, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
Jesus' gospel was all about repentance!
John the Baptist Also Preached Repentance,
to Prepare Israel for the Coming of Christ.
John's message to the Jews was simple and straightforward: "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:1-2).
People came from everywhere to hear John preach. And he told them in no uncertain terms: "The messiah is soon to appear in your midst so, you'd better get ready to meet him! You may feel excited that he's coming. But I'm telling you, your hearts are not prepared because you're still holding onto your sins!
"Outside you appear clean and holy. But inside, you're full of dead men's bones! You're a generation of vipers, snakes, with absolutely no fear of God. Yet you have no concept that you're even sinners. I warn you you must deal with your sin before you can believe on the savior and follow him. So, repent, turn from your sin -- and live in a way that reflects genuine change!"
What gospel did Peter preach to the masses on the day of Pentecost? The Bible tells us that when the people heard the apostle testify, "...they were pricked in their heart, and said...Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:37-38).
Peter didn't tell these people just to "believe and be saved." He didn't ask them to merely make a decision, to cast a vote for Jesus. No -- he told them to repent fast, and then be baptized in obedience to Christ!
What gospel did Paul preach to the pagan Athenians on Mars Hill? He told them very directly, "...God...now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30).
These Greek intellectuals had no trouble believing in God. In fact, you could say their very pastime was "believing." They believed in many gods -- first this one, then that one. Whenever someone came along preaching a god persuasively, they believed in it. So, they believed -- but they did it while living in sin. Simple belief wasn't enough!
Paul told these men, "No, no -- that's not, Christ! Jesus can't simply be added to your list of gods. You may believe in them all, but you can't merely do that with Jesus. He has come to save you from your sins. And he commands all his followers to repent and be cleansed!"
Later, Paul preached the same gospel of repentance to King Agrippa: "...I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance" (Acts 26:19-20).
Paul is saying, "Everywhere I've been, I've preached repentance. And genuine repentance proves itself by its actions!"
These passages make clear to us that the apostolic church preached unabashedly the same gospel John and Jesus preached: "Repent for the remission of your sins!"
What Does It Mean To Repent?
Some Christians believe repentance means simply to "turn around" and go in the opposite direction. But the Bible tells us repentance is much more than this.
I once heard a man say, "I'm so glad I know New Testament Greek. It translates the word 'repent' as meaning, 'to change one's mind.'"
No -- this man doesn't know his Greek! The full, literal meaning of the word "repent" in the New Testament is "to feel remorse and self-reproach for one's sins against God; to be contrite, sorry; to want to change direction." The difference in meanings here rests on the word "Want." True repentance includes a desire to change!
Moreover, simply being sorry doesn't constitute repentance. Rather, true sorrow leads to repentance. Paul states, "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Paul is speaking here of a sorrow that's without regrets -- one that's genuine, that "sticks" in the life of the repentant person. This kind of godly sorrow naturally produces a repentance that includes a hatred for sin, a righteous fear of God and a desire to right all wrongs.
It shouldn't surprise us, then, that Paul preached repentance to believers. He delivered a strong message of repentance to the Christians in Corinth. The Corinthian believers had been richly blessed by God, having sat under mighty teachers of the word. Yet their congregation remained rife with sin.
First Paul testifies to the Corinthians, "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds" (2 Corinthians 12:12). But then Paul tells them very directly: "I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would..." (verse 20).
What was Paul's fear? It was simply this: "Lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed" (verse 21).
This tenderhearted shepherd loved the compromising saints in Corinth. Yet he knew they'd been well-taught that a lifestyle of gross sin was wrong. And he told them, "When I come to visit you, you're going to see me hanging my head in grief. My eyes will flow with tears, and my voice will wail in sorrow.
"If I see you continuing to indulge in uncleanness, fornication and lust, I'll be utterly broken -- because the gospel has not done its work in your heart. You haven't yet repented of your sin. And I will call you loudly to repent!"
As I read Paul's words, I find myself examining my own ministry And I have to ask, "Have I cut short the gospel Jesus preached -- the gospel of repentance? Have I essentially taken scissors to my Bible and removed the higher cost of following Christ? Have I lowered his standard by telling people, 'Just believe and be saved'?"
As I look at the church today, I wonder: Do we evangelicals insist on a biblical "godly sorrow" as evidence of true repentance? Or are we leading masses of unrepentant people into a false peace? Are we wrongly instructing them that all God requires of them is to say, "I believe in you, Jesus"?
Have we cut short genuine conviction for sins? Have we jumped in and offered salvation to those who haven't actually repented -- who haven't sorrowed over their trespasses, who haven't seen the exceeding sinfulness of their sins, who have sought faith so they could merely hide their lusts behind it?
We constantly hear awful exaggerations about the numbers of people who come to Jesus through various ministries. Christians report that scores of people were saved as they preached in prisons, schools, tribal meetings. They say, "Everybody in the place gave his heart to Jesus. When I finished preaching, they all came forward for salvation."
No -- that is a tragic exaggeration! All too often, what actually happens is that everyone simply repeats a prayer. They merely pray what they're told to pray -- and few of them grasp what they're saying. Then most go back to their heathen ways!
Such people never experience a deep work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, they never repent, never sorrow over their sins -- and never truly believe. Tragically, we've offered them something Jesus himself never offered -- salvation without repentance!
I believe the church has even taken the feeling out of conviction. Think about it -- you hardly ever see tears on the cheeks of those who are being saved anymore. Of course, I know tears don't save anyone. But God made us all human, with very real feelings. And any hell-bound sinner who has been moved upon by the Holy Spirit naturally feels a profound sorrow over the ways he has grieved the Lord.
The apostle Peter felt this kind of godly sorrow, when he denied knowing Jesus. Suddenly, he was flooded with the memory of what Jesus had told him: "Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he Wept" (Mark 14:72).
As Peter remembered these words, he was overcome with emotion. And suddenly, he went running through Jerusalem, weeping, "I've betrayed the Lord!"
Beloved, we simply cannot work up that kind of repentance in our own flesh. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us how, like Peter, we also have wounded our loving savior. And that revelation ought to fill us with deep sorrow!
I don't agree with all of the Puritan writers' doctrine, but I love their emphasis on holiness. These godly preachers called their sermons "deep ploughing." They believed they couldn't sow true seeds of faith until the soil of their listeners' hearts had been deeply plowed.
So the Puritans made sure their preaching went deep, cracking all the fallow ground of their listeners' souls. Their sermons produced genuine repentance in their congregations. And, in turn, over the years this produced strong, mature, faithful Christians.
Today, however, most preaching is all sowing with no plowing. I hear very few sermons nowadays that dig deeper than the topsoil. Deep plowing doesn't just address the disease of sin; it digs down to the very cause of the disease. Much of the preaching we hear today focuses on the remedy while ignoring the disease. It offers a prescription without providing surgery!
Sadly, we cause people to think they've been healed of sin when they never knew they were sick. We put robes of righteousness on them when they never knew they were naked. We urge them to trust in Christ when they don't even know their need to trust. Such people end up thinking, "It can't hurt to add Jesus to my life."
C.H. Spurgeon, the powerful English preacher, said the following about the need for repentance:
"I trust that sorrowful penitence does still exist, though I have not heard much about it lately. People seem to jump into faith very quickly nowadays...I hope my old friend repentance is not dead. I am desperately in love with repentance; it seems to be the twin sister of faith.
"I do not myself understand much about dry-eyed faith; I know that I came to Christ by the way of weeping-cross...When I came to Calvary by faith, it was with great weeping and supplication, confessing my transgressions, and desiring to find salvation in Jesus, and in Jesus only."
Why did we preach the law for so long in our church? We did it because many in our congregation were calling themselves Christians -- yet their lives didn't reflect it!
In those early years, many people came forward to the altar at the end of every service. They repeated a pastoral prayer and "accepted salvation by faith." Yet, most of those people never felt any conviction for their sin. They didn't experience godly sorrow -- and so their lives didn't reveal true repentance.
Supposedly repentant theater actors professed Christ on Sunday but went back to their blasphemous shows during the week. Homosexuals prayed for salvation but still indulged in their sinful lifestyle. Others confessed Jesus at our altar yet continued their adulterous affairs, fornication or drug use.
This is why we thundered conviction from our pulpit! The Holy Ghost led our pastoral team to expose all sin, rebellion and disobedience to his word. We preached hell so hot, people got up and left our services. And we preached heaven so real, compromisers trembled at the awesome reality of Christ's holiness.
Our preaching of the law was absolutely necessary at that time. It is God's mirror, revealing every hidden, secret thing. And it brought the people in our congregation to an awareness of the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
While some people ran out, others ran forward in genuine repentance. One of these was a booming-voiced actor named David Davis. He surrendered all to Jesus in true repentance. And today, he and his wife pastor a thriving church in Israel, where they've preached Christ for almost ten years.
While the true work of repentance was accomplishing its purpose in our church, the Holy Spirit then led us to preach the glory of grace. We taught on the New Covenant, on power over sin through the Holy Spirit, on walking by faith. In short, we began to build up the saints.
Through that whole experience, we also discovered the dangers of preaching only the law and focusing primarily on sin. If people are given a steady diet of this message alone, they begin to lose hope and wallow in despair, thinking, "I'll never measure up." They constantly turn inward rather than looking to the cross for hope.
Yet when a church is the Lord's, it can trust God's Spirit to bring the message of the law whenever it's needed. If Jesus sees his people lapsing into an "easy believism," he'll once again bring the lash of the law upon them, with all mercy and grace.
You see, repentance isn't a one-time experience. It's not some hurricane that strikes once and then is gone forever. Nor do we experience repentance only in a moment of crisis, and then merely talk about it the rest of our lives. No -- sorrow for sin should be our constant teacher!
Spurgeon testified, "I freely confess that I have a very much greater sorrow for sin today than I had when I came to the savior more than thirty years ago. I hate sin more intensely now than I did when I was under conviction. There are some things that I did not know to be sin then, that I know to be sin now. I have a much keener sense of the vileness of my own heart now than when I first came to Christ...
"Sorrow for sin is a perpetual rain, a sweet, soft shower, which to a truly saved man lasts all his life long...He is always sorrowful that he has sinned...He will never stop grieving until all sin has gone."
You may remember the seven churches that John mentions in Revelation 2. Among them is the church of Ephesus -- a congregation Jesus commends very highly.
I like to think of our church in Times Square as being like the Ephesian church. That body of believers labored in one of the world's most populous cities, never fainting in the midst of vile wickedness. The people lived sacrificially, hated sin and refused to accept false doctrines. They stood strong in faith, loving God with all their heart no matter what temptations Satan threw at them.
Yet Christ knew something was amiss among these people. And he so loved this church it was such a bright lamp to the nations he wasn't about to sit idly by and let it die. So he told the Ephesians, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love" (Revelation 2:4).
Jesus was saying, "Your fire is going out! The love for me that once motivated your faithfulness is waning. You once bore my burden for the lost but now you're satisfied merely to sit and listen to sermons. You've become totally engrossed in your own personal concerns, and you're ignoring mine. You've fallen far from where you once stood!"
Jesus then tells them, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen " (verse 5). He's saying, "Think back! You used to yearn to come to my house, to be with my saints, to bear my burden. But now an hour on Sunday morning is plenty for you!"
So, dear Christian are you still on fire for Jesus? Are you in love with him as passionately as when you first got saved? Or have you lost interest in his concerns, forsaking all ministry? Do you have too much else going on in your life? If so, the Lord says to you, "I've got something against you. You've left your first love!"
Listen to what Jesus says to us at this point: " repent, and do the first works " (same verse). He's saying, "Mourn over your growing apathy. Be contrite take it seriously. Then let your grief lead you back to where you were when you first loved me!"
Christ then gives us a word that lets us know we'd better take heed. He says, " or else " (same verse). He immediately spells out the consequence: " I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick " (same verse).
Jesus is saying here that unless we repent, he's going to remove all the spiritual authority we've been given. This includes our influence on our city, our community, our neighborhood, those in our sphere of influence. Every bit of influence we have will be taken from us, he says, "Except ye repent!"
Right now, churches across the world are shutting their doors. Their lights are literally being turned out because that's the judgment they incur for refusing to repent! God said they would lose their discernment, their spiritual blessings, their finances, his very presence. Now they're dead, lifeless, with only memories of his past blessings.
I preached in many such churches thirty years ago. At that time they were packed with zealous believers. Today, barely a dozen people sit in their pews. Soon they'll dwindle to nothing, and their doors will shut for good. God has written "Ichabod" over their doors meaning, "The Spirit of the Lord has departed!"
Yet, beloved, God gives this same message to every Christian individually. He says, "If you refuse to repent if you remain in your apathy I'll remove your lampstand. You'll no longer have any influence over your family, your coworkers anyone!"
This is exactly what happened to the Ephesian church. God waited patiently over 1,000 years, in fact for that church to repent. Yet finally the time came when their backsliding was more than he could endure.
The historian Gibbon writes: "The first candlestick of Ephesus was extinguished. The barbarous lords of Ionia and Lydia trampled on the remains of Christianity. Now the Mohammedan mosques invoke the god of Mohammed. Only the church of Philadel-phia still stands erect."
Yet, even as we read these words, we are not to fear. Jesus ends his admonition to us this way: " To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7).
Dear saint, Jesus is that tree! He's telling us, "If you'll repent, I'll give you constant life from my very being. And as long as you continue to love me, I will provide a flow of supernatural life in you. This life will be revealed in your discernment, your love for people, your good works for my kingdom!"
This is the trait that distinguishes every Christian who's truly in love with Jesus. Such a believer is full of life and everyone around him knows it!
Jesus promises that your godly sorrow, your repentant heart and your renewed love for him will lead you to life. So, pray to him right now: "Lord, give me a truly repentant heart. Take me back to who I was when I was first in love with you. Yet, this time take me farther, deeper in you, than I've ever been before!"
As you repent, God's Spirit will begin to produce in you a new revelation of the glory of Christ. And he'll make it known to everyone around you!
Hopefully current events unfolding will cause people to repent. I'm afraid it's going to get much worse though.
If you tickle just right you may be invited on Whorealdo or OReilly...so watch your words:>(
Bruce is involved with the Walk Through the Bible group.
This is not a popular message in the apostate, feel good, church. Repentence means you have been wrong, and when preachers are selling the bible like a self help manual to a spoiled self centered generation, that has been taught since grade school that they are special, it just won't do to offend the customers.
Such hollow calories, not even milk, much less meat, will cause, and is causing, a falling away from the empty platitudes that passes for sermons today, it doesn't satisfy the soul.
2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, (saying what they want to hear) having itching ears. (wanting to be told how good they are and how God accepts them just as they are without repentence) The thing is, that we can't even repent without God granting us that spirit of sincere repentence. People should be taught that, and some shepherds will pay dearly for not teaching them.
Yes, this is true of me, too.
This is the trait that distinguishes every Christian who's truly in love with Jesus. Such a believer is full of life and everyone around him knows it!
Oh, that this would be true of us! May it be so!
Written in red. Seems pretty clear to me. I have never heard an altar call in my church without stressing the fact that we are sinners under condemnation and that turning away from our sin; regretting hurting G-d with our sin, was necessary for salvation. [I attend a FourSquare Gospel Church]
Matt 7:20 also is quite clear--"Therefore, by their fruits you shall them."
In each of these passages it is important to read th preceding few verses, the "therefores" imply the end of a doctorinal teaching by Jesus.
BTW, for the last few years, my focus on my duty to G-d has been found in Luke 17: 9&10. Have fun!
This country is headed the way of all fallen empires. The time that God warned us about in His Word has come - the "dread release," when even the prayers of godly saints no longer avail. God said, "When the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it... and will cut off man and beast from it: though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God" (Ezekiel 14:13-14).
God never yet has destroyed a society or nation without ample warning. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). God warned Abraham of the sudden destruction about to fall on Sodom: "And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do" (Genesis 18:17). He warned Noah, too, that He soon would destroy mankind with a flood: "Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear" (Hebrews 11:7).
God warned Samuel of the downfall of Eli's ministry and of the destruction of Shiloh, "And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone that heareth it shall tingle" (1 Samuel 3:11).
Jeremiah prophesied judgment upon Israel because "the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou showedst me their doings" (Jeremiah 11:18). God also revealed to Daniel what was to come: "Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision:" (Daniel 2:19).
In every age God has communicated His warnings to the people in different ways. He spoke with Moses face-to-face, to Joshua through an angel and to the Old Testament prophets in visions and dreams. And today God is speaking again - loud and clear.
Moses listed in Deuteronomy 28 all the signs of the curse. We need to be reminded of these dreadful signs which shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments" (Deuteronomy 28:15). I'll list just 12 of the fearful curses here:
- A curse upon our cities: "Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field" (Deuteronomy 28:16). American cities are doomed. Our own magazines have declared them to be Western "Beiruts" or war zones. Crack is tearing them apart. New York City is becoming unlivable. A murder occurs every five hours, a crime every 20 seconds. Our cities are headed for anarchy, and there is no turning back. Now it's spreading even to our smallest towns.
- A curse upon our economy: "Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store" (Dueteronomy 28:17). This refers to gross national product, banking and reserves. A curse will fall upon it all, bringing confusion, fear and uncertainty. "I (will break) the staff of your bread" (see Leviticus 26:26) - meaning widespread unemployment.
- A curse upon our futures market: "Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine (cattle), and the flocks of thy sheep" (Dueteronomy 28:18). This curse will fall on our crops and cattle.
- A curse upon our foreign negotiations: This curse will bring shame and embarrassment. "Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do... because of the wickedness of thy doings" (Dueteronomy 28:19-20). U.S. foreign policy today is in complete disarray! Our negotiators come home confused - upstaged by Russia, upstaged in China. We appear befuddled before the whole world.
- Plagues of incurable illnesses: "The Lord shall make the pestilence (sickness) cleave unto thee... with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation" (Deuteronomy 28:21,22). "The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt... and with the scab... where of thou canst not be healed. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment (panic) of heart (Deuteronomy 28:27,28). "The Lord shall smite thee... with a sore botch (boil) that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head" (Deuteronomy 28:35). The mark of AIDS is the purple blotch - the incurable boil.
- Dust bowls and areas of drought: "The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee" (Deuteronomy 28:24). This is God's doing. All of it is sent from heaven!
- Insignificant enemies will put our armies to chase: "The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before them... And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air" (Deuteronomy 28:25,26). Think of the stalemate in Korea. Or our troops fleeing from Vietnam and being chased out of Lebanon. Or tiny Panama holding a gun to our head.
- An epidemic of divorce: An epidemic of broken homes has erupted. "Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shalt lie with her: thou shalt build a house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof: (Deuteronomy 28:30).
- A wave of bankruptcies: "Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes... thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them" (Deuteronomy 28:31). This describes the ancient Oriental custom of the creditor taking everything from the debtor for restitution. It warns of the wave of bankruptcies that will come upon this cursed nation.
- The loss of an entire generation of youth: "Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them" (Deuteronomy 28:32). Today a nation of adults, supplied with all money and might, can merely stand by and watch in horror as drugs and violence swallow up an entire population of youth. This Scripture is a prophetic warning about the despair that falls upon parents in a nation under the curse. "Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity" (Deuteronomy 28:41).
- The prosperity of other nations at our expense: "The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low" (Deuteronomy 28:43). Hosea describes the blindness of people under this curse: "Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not: (Hosea 7:9). Whatever the crop, whatever the fruit, "The strangers shall swallow it up" (Hosea 8:7).
- You will become a debtor nation rather than a lender: "He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail" (Deuteronomy 28:44). In the last five years we have become the world's biggest debtor nation. At this moment we are now the tail - and Japan is the head. We can't even bail out our own bankrupt savings and loan institutions. Consider the $150 billion that's needed to save our banking system - and then tell me America is not under the curse! We are now experiencing the full fury of it!
Back atcha, Mom.
I'm begining to understand that "peace" is far more than just the absence of war. I think it contains a deep theological truth.
Interesting choice of words Rom...cause scripture tells us He is the truth. I think we agree He is peace..:>)
Sorry, but you really can't have one without the other. One can only engage in "holy living" when one is born of the supernatural sovereign grace of God that the Puritans held as the core of their doctrine. Only when there is a total focus on the work of God in salvation (driving men to their knees in repentance) is there true holiness.
Men will repent before the face of Almighty God. The problem is that they worship a god of their own imagination rather than the sovereign ruler of the universe.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Jud 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Jud 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
Jud 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Jud 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Jud 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
Jud 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jud 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jud 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
In the Greek New Testament, there are two words translated "repentence" in the King James version. The first is metamellomai, and it is concerned with an emotional change focusing more on particulars, and even implies regret more than remorse. This word is used regarding Judas Iscariout (he "repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver"). Now it is obvious that the son of perdition's repentance was not effectual to work salvation.
The other word translated "repent" is metanoeo, which implies far more than did metamellomai. This does imply the sincere form of repentance intended by the author of this article. Strongs defines repentance thusly: "To change one's m,ind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrance of one's past sins."
That's the key- "abhorrance of one's past sins." That doesnt mean we wont sin as believers-- alas, I do far too frequently!!! This instead shows that we have a proper outlook on sin-- God's outlook. God is not some cosmic Santa Claus with a "boys will be boys" philosophy about sin. Sin is rebellion against God-- and it merits damnation. Thanks be to God that in His sovreign mercy he choose to provide a means of salvation! He is able to be "just, and the justifier." (Romans 3:26). The means were drastic, however-- "Being justified freely ... through Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation by faith in His blood." (Romans 3:24-25). Sin is so serious, that God in order to justify those whom He would save, He had to kill his Son. His Son had to subject himself to one of the cruelest forms of execution ever imagined-- and it was the Creation that crucified the Creator!!!
I think the author is right-- in the churches today, we have too cavilier an attitude about sin. Moral relativism and the heresies expounded from the pulpits of too many churches are damnable.
The church is overun with false repentence and feel good confessions..and thus also false salvation
You only know that the repentance was 'true" when the sin is "turned from"..continued confession of the same sin means there was no true repentence
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.There is a wonderful power to those who are on their knees. If we don't think we have need to repent of sin, then we should pray that He will reveal our wicked ways and prepare to be brought low. Out of this will He build a thirsty soul:
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land. Selah Hear me speedily, O LORD; my spirit faileth. Hide not Thy face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto Thee.
A little holiness preach'n Woody? Amen
BTW, don't think I'm bristling for a fight because I have noticed your use of filthy rags lately. I am, though, exploring the depth of your apprehension.