June 15, 2019
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jo 8:32
The verse above may seem an inappropriate oneto discuss the topic of repentance but before one can repent some truth must be received. There is nothing to repent of if one has no knowledge of their sin. Notice that John the Baptist and Jesus both came proclaiming the need for people to repent. The prophets were being preached every Sabbath but the people did not repent. Like today many preachers teach about the coming Messiah or Jesus and performance of rituals. John taught the people that they had not obeyed the scriptures, while revealing the consequences of their sin; and they came running to his baptism in repentance.
Many preachers preach every Sunday, often without bringing conviction of sin or revealing the need to repent. They may preach the love of God and make people feel like they are okay because Jesus loves everyone and they feel loved. A comfort message will not bring the sinner to repentance. Jesus does indeed love everyone but He will also punish the sin. The wages of sin (Rom. 6:23) has always been the penalty of death; just ask Adam and Eve. Death came to the whole world because Adam and Eve sinned against the Almighty God. God gave them and us a choice with warnings against disobedience. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen. 2:17).” They were taught the truth but their disobedience brought the consequences of their sin. They were put out of the comfort of the garden and away from God’s presence.
Paul taught that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). You have sinned and I have sinned and we are all destined for hell and destruction regardless of present comfort or wealth unless Christ’s atoning blood has been applied to the sin in our lives. There are consequences for our sin and we all must be told this convicting message at some point in our lives to escape eternal damnation at life’s end. It is the preacher’s job to make the listener aware of the truth about the salvation Jesus Christ provides and the consequences of sin and destruction.
Just as John came out of the wilderness and preached repentance, there is a time when people should hear the message of repentance and make a decision about repenting of sin. God the Father both draws a soul to himself and grants grace for repentance.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. Joh 6:44
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Rom 2:4
When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. Act 11:18
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luk 24:47
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 2Ti 2:25
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Heb 12:17
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mar 1:15
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Rev 2:21
The scriptures above show God working repentance in the heart and drawing souls to Himself. There was a designated time of repentance in Israel before the appearance of Christ. Notice also that Hebrew 12:17 reveal that there may be a time when repentance will not come though sought with tears. Jesus taught of the bridegroom coming at a specific hour and the door was shut against late comers. There is indeed a time for repentance where God await our repentance. While He is still drawing, we should respond.
The truth has been widely declared and people have seen both the good and the evil revealed before them and have been given a chance to discern the proper course. Even though there may be an temptation toward the wrong way (like Adam and Eve’s choice of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), the right way is always the better choice.
We have seen in our nation of America, an open struggle between good and evil and it is still going on. People are everyday making decisions on which side they will walk and some of those decisions may determine their eternal destiny. There is a temptation to satisfy immediate needs and not trust in God to work things out but, God has promised to be faithful. God cannot lie. All souls belong to Him and He provides even for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. How much more does he care for you and me (Mt. 6:25-31)? God is love and He will not forsake those that put their trust in Him. We will always go through tests and trials of our faith but it represents our time to glorify and choose God over evil, life over death.
One Old Testament prophet wrote about the multitudes that were making decisions in the valley of decision:
Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. Joe 3:13-16
Prophet Joel wrote about the time for the Lord’s return for his people and about preparing for His coming. Ripe fruit had matured and was ready for harvest. Mature saints ready themselves for the coming of the Lord. Decisions are yet being made as the time is quickly approaching. The grace of God allows last minute decisions; but once the door is shut, those outside are forbidden entrance. While the opportunity is available, people should make the right decision to serve and obey our gracious and loving God. While He sometimes seem slow in coming, He is never late and we should always wait on his arrival to meet every need.
The difficulty many of us find ourselves in is that of wanting to make the decision for provision where God has called us to trust in Him as a little child trusts in a good father. Not everyone has had a good representation of a father figure. When the earthly father fails, it may be associated as failure with our Heavenly Father, who is perfect and cannot fail. This Father’s Day weekend in which this article is being written, may be a good time for fathers to consider the type of representation they are giving their children about the Heavenly Father.
God writes about the nature of the Father in scripture and has sent to us a perfect image of Himself in Christ because too many fathers, men, leaders have failed to reveal Him properly in their leadership. Authority figures should give us the image of the Father’s authority. Father’s Day may be a good time for fathers, leaders and men to feel a conviction of personal failure to properly represent God and then turn their eyes back to the Heavenly Father for guidance to properly guide their family and all other leadership responsibilities according to Father God.
There are crossroads in our lives where we have to make the right decision and we should carefully consider the choice while we can because eternity and destiny are at stake. The Father’s Day holiday causes us to look at the role of fathers and men as leaders and authority figures. Do they portray the Heavenly Father’s love and authority to those under their leadership? Even fathers need a father’s image for guidance in proper authority. Whether our examples have been good or bad, God offers all of us an opportunity to choose Him for the best leadership model and example. He will be that perfect Father we have longed for. He gives all people the earthly example and the life of Jesus Christ to imitate and follow for examples of love, sharing and caring for others, as well as reference for divine order. There is peace, provision and serenity in making the right choice. Father God has always offered us both the knowledge and the choice between life and death and advises us to choose life. Life is always the best choice and Father God awaits our choice of life eternal with Him.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Lk 12:32