Here is our church newsletter for April 2018. It contains an article about how to repent well. We live in a society and in churches whee we repent badly, I feel. So I encourage you to have a read.
Archive for the ‘Repentance’ Category
Jeremiah addresses the issue of how it is that people pass up the opportunity to be saved when he says “The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved” (Jer. 8:20). Are you in this category of having allowed opportunities to be saved to pass by? As you read this you are still not saved? Then ask yourself the question right now: why am I not saved? To help you work through these issues let us consider:
There is a great salvation. Do you know that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners? God in His majestic holiness stands with vehement hostility to sin. Habakkuk says of Him: Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing (Hab. 1:13). We, as wretched sinners, have defied God and chosen our own way. As a result, we exist under the wrath of God. And that wrath is certainly real now, but will be experienced in its fearsome fullness in eternity. Into this desperate situation Jesus Christ has come. He came in full devotion to the purposes of God. He came to live perfectly, to die in our place taking the punishment for our sins and rise from death triumphantly. Given that there is this so great salvation that delivers from the wrath to come, why are you not believing in Christ?
What do you have to do? You have to believe in Jesus Christ. Paul told the Phillipian jailer who was stricken over his sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved (see Acts 16:31). Sin is the great obstacle to belief. So we need to repent of our sin. We must long for it to be gone. Then we come to commit ourselves to Jesus.
Why won’t you do it now? “Now is the day of salvation” is what Paul says to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 6:2b). You do not know what a day will bring forth. You do not know that you will have tomorrow. The man who built his mighty barns and wanted to have rich stores for the future was oblivious to the fact that God was going to call him away that night (see Luke 12:13-21). And who was right? God was right! He always is!
There is an eternal judgement. I know this was mentioned above, but I want to re-iterates it to make clear your desperate situation and why you need to treat this matter as an emergency. Eternity is real. Our LORD says that of the unbelieving that they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life’ (Matt. 25:46). We are dealing with the most serious issues here. Failure to make a believing response means eternal torment for you. So make sure you respond now. And when you believe you will be among the righteous and they have eternal life!
Does such love not affect you? God so loved the world that He gave (John 3:16a). He gave His best to the cross that salvation might come to all who believe. How can you just pass by when such love shines out to you? How can you remain cold-hearted?
You say “I want my pleasures.” We mention two things here :
- Your so-called pleasures will be not be pleasures in the end. The rich man had all his pleasure in this world and then an eternity to regret in the tortures of hell (see Luke 16:19-31).
- Your pleasures are not satisfying pleasures anyway. They are merely passing. They do not slake the thirst of the soul. The Word says that the true pleasures are at the right hand of God. David says in Psalm 16:11:
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
It is the true follower of Jesus who really appreciates the pleasures of life!
You say “I will take my chance.” Oh, what foolishness is this? God has appointed a day of judgement. God has appointed a day when everyone must appear before Him. You will not be given “leave of absence” on that day so prepare to meet your God (Amos 4:12b). Run to the cross and believe in Christ and all your preparations are done!
You say: “I don’t believe it all.” Oh, may I say respectfully that ultimately it is not your view that matters but God’s view and God believes it all. He has revealed all the truth and teachings that essential for us to live. The Bible is not a collection of fairy-tales, but the revelation of truth. So please examine it and consider it.
You say: “I am not ready.” You will never make yourself ready for the salvation of God. All you have to bring is your repentance of sin to the once crucified and now glorified Lord. If you do so our God will deal with the rest. As our Saviour says: “whoever comes to me I will never drive away (John 6:37a)
Oh what have you to lose? Why will you not come? All is done, a feast of rejoicing and full provision is there in Christ. Oh come now and be saved and have everlasting life
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of August 2015)
……repentance a chance. I understand the defiance displayed particularly by the people of Manchester since the suicide bomb attack on Monday. And in so many ways I applaud the desire to stand together against those who initiate and support attacks such as that which took place on Monday night in Manchester. And yet my plea is that amidst the defiance some thought would be given to repentance.
There seems to be this innate thought that we are on the right track as a nation. British values are declared to be worth standing for and celebrating. And yet such values are never really fully articulated. But won’t we stop and consider that we might be going the wrong way and need to repent? Lets look at this issue nationally and individually.
We are in a moral maze that seems to becoming increasingly mazy as we pursue our God-ignoring agenda. In fact the moral state of this country is best described as a mess. We now celebrate the abhorrence which is two people of the same-sex getting married, and we call it progress. We killed 185,824 children in the womb in 2015 in England and Wales. There has been much talk about those who were killed in Monday’s heinous act being “innocent” and we understand what is meant by that. But what about these innocents killed in the womb? Where is the lament over that?
The treatment of Tim Farron in the general election campaign has been a disgrace! It is as if the liberal thought-police have been out to emasculate the leader of the Liberal Democrats. Curios that isn’t it!? The arch liberals attacking the leader of the Liberals! I wrote about this previously here concerning gay sex. And then there has been the onslaught against him concerning abortion see here for example.
I mention the above without even mentioning the transgender cavalcade which is seeking to ruin our youngsters and others beside. And there is much more which is simply God rejecting in this land. Oh surely it is time we sought the Lord in repentance.
The Lord Jesus said, in the light of some terrible happenings in His day, that there should be a response of repentance. We read of it in Luke 13:1-5.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’
He is saying that the best way to respond to these catastrophes is to realise we are in a messed up world. And in that world I am messed up by sin. And if I do not repent then I am destined for eternal calamity. Essentially, the world is a mess, I am a mess so I must repent. Have you done that? If you don’t you are set for eternal disaster. You can point others to being heinous or innocent or whatever, but what about you? you and I all of us are in the sinner category. All of us are heinous, none are innocent. We need a Saviour. Such a One is only Jesus the Lord.
So all I am saying is give repentance a chance. Please think about it for yourself and for your nation.
Finally, my thought is that the real shock we should have about our nation is not that these incidents take place, but that there is not more of them. The Lord is really merciful in this. But if there is no repentance I can only fear that more will occur as the Lord works out His judgement against this nation which once honoured Him by cleaving to his Word, but now rather rejoices in the progress (falsely so-called) of rejecting the standards of the great Almighty Lord.
The happenings on Westminster Bridge and in Parliament Square last week were truly horrendous and the carnage wrought is grievous. But I am left concerned by the response of christian leaders.
Here is one report of them standing in solidarity with all those who gathered in Trafalgar Square on March 23rd. The gathering was a show of defiance against the terrorists. But where is the call from these leaders for repentance?
I wrote previously here in respect of the Paris attacks the pressing need there was then and still stands for a call in the West for repentance. Accordingly, it is not a gathering of defiance, appropriate as that may be, but a gathering of repentance which is urgently to be called for. Surely we live in a land that has defied the living God who has revealed His Will in His Word, the Bible, and His salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ.
We have set ourselves on a course where God’s judgment is fitting. What we need to do is to realise how terrible the anti-God compromises are which predominate in our society. We need to repent. Our church leaders should be leading in a call to repentance.
1 John 5:16-17 are verses which godly believers have wrestled with in order to seek to establish their meaning. The verses read:-
If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.
The key phrases here are “sin that does not lead to death” and “sin that leads to death”. I would make the following comments:-
- John is dealing with spiritual death here. The only time John refers to death in 1 John previously is in 3:14 and there it clearly refers to spiritual death.
- As regards to the issue of sin and its relationship to death, we must initially assert that all sin leads to death.
- The only sin that does not lead to death is sin that is repented of.
- So when you see a brother in Christ sin, prayer is made with a view to that sin being repented of.
- The sin that leads to death is unrepented of sin.
- The person who commits a sin leading to death is not referred to as “a brother or sister.”
- There is an uncertainty about praying concerning unrepented of sin because we cannot fully discern someone’s heart. It may be that the person in due course will repent of their sin. There may come a stage when, through sin not being repented of, it is not appropriate to pray.
- It may be then, that you start praying for someone to repent of a sin, but when they over a period of time refuse to repent then you desist from praying concerning that situation.
- We should never forget though that in essence all failure to flow with God’s ways is sin.
- We must rejoice over the fact that there is sin that does not lead to death. This of course should lead us to delight in what Christ has done for us. Were it not for Him then there would be no prospect of sin not leading to death because there would be no chance of sin being forgiven.
May we be thoughtful about our attitude to sin. Let us be quick to repent of sin and so know that such sin is forgiven.
…has no strings attached. The prodigal son when he had come to his senses returned to his Father and said “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21). He could quite reasonably, have suggested that his father was at least partly culpable for the mess he was in. After all his father had been irresponsible enough to give him his inheritance ahead of time. Also he could have blamed the father for not coming after him and helping him out of the mess he got in. So he might with some justification have said “Father I have sinned against heaven and against you, but you are partly responsible because you actually gave me all that money and did not come and help me”. Moreover, he could have said that the people who he partied with were partly responsible for bringing him in such a parlous state.
Nothing of that ilk was found in the Son’s returning confession. He was a broken man. He was totally overwhelmed by his own failure. There were no excuses; no blaming anyone else. He was aware that His sin was against the God who reigns in heaven and the father who had been so good to him. This was true repentance.
I suggest if we are seeking to judge if someone is genuinely repentant we might take the returning prodigal son as a model. All so often you hear partial confessions. They say “Yes I know I did wrong, but the circumstances conspired for it to happen, or I was let down or I was provoked or I was enticed.”
Away with such obfuscation let us have the genuine repentance of the returning prodigal.