16 July 2015

Repentance - Part Two

Have you ever been lost while driving? I am usually pretty good as long as I can see the position of the sun and know what time it is, (thank you Boy Scouts). 

Well, I never let on to my family that I am lost unless it's completely hopeless. They usually hear something like, "Oh, don't you just love this dirt road, it's so beautiful out here today." But if the sun has set or there are serious clouds and we are on a road she has never seen before, and every curve is to the left, my wife knows we are probably lost. But she never says anything. Thank you, honey. 

I like to try new roads and find shortcuts. I know some of you are laughing right now because either you or your spouse or your parents do this too. But sometimes I get so lost, the only thing left to do is turn around. 

I was going in the wrong direction. 

I had gone astray. 

I had to turn around. 


Why is repentance important?

Well, as we saw earlier, it is commanded. It is also essential for salvation:

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. 
Luke 13:3I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 
Acts 11:18When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Repentance is something that God himself desires for all of us. He is patient with us. OK, He's more than just patient. The Word says He is longsuffering! Sounds like a true father to me!
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
If we do not repent before God of our ways, then we are choosing to go our own way. Our own way will lead us in the wrong direction. In fact, our own way goes against God's way or away from God Himself. Who wants that? A friend of mine likes to rap. I told him he should use this in one of his songs. If we go our own way, we will surely go astray.
Isaiah 53:6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Our own way leads us astray. Because of this, we should indeed choose repentance and follow God.

Repentance calls for a renunciation of self confidence and will initiate a confidence in God.

Judges 10:15 - 16 And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

Try reading the rest of this passage to get an idea of what the Israelites were going through. They had turned their backs on God. He told them that he wasn't going to help them anymore. They repented. They realized what they had done to God and told Him that He could do whatever He wanted with them, (duh) but just please save them from this current attack. 

We must confess that we have sinned, turn from it, put it aside and place our confidence in God.

It is key here that they got rid of all their idols. Repentance should look like repentance. There are times when our sin involves other people, directly or indirectly through actions. Sometimes it is only known between us and God, through our thoughts or feelings toward others. Either way, repentance should look like repentance. 

Something should look different. 

It should be a visible change; visible to God or others.

Act 26:20 But showed 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.

'Works meet for repentance' - Put away the idols.

1 Thessalonians 1:7 -8 So that ye were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

The Thessalonian Church had a faith in God that was heard about in other places; so much so that Paul didn't even have to preach in some of those places. People were believing simply because of the repentance and faith of the believers in Thessalonica. 

Repentance should look like repentance. 

We must repent and turn to God.

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