The Narrow Way (Part 10): REPENTANCE
Updated: Nov 23
We each have a great deal of confidence in our own sense of right and wrong, good and evil, black and white...which is fine, to a certain extent.
The PROBLEM is that we project our values on to GOD and delude ourselves into thinking that He shares our perspective. We are then inspired to speak for GOD and say things on His behalf which simply just are not true. 90% of the time there's no one in our vicinity who can correct us; the other 10% of the time we crucify those who do care enough to risk their relationship with us to tell us the truth.
In point of fact we desperately need to respond properly to that 10% because without it, there can be no true Repentance and thus no Salvation from the Wrath of GOD.
Repentance is not a one-time experience, but a lifestyle that enables us to make course corrections so that we can remain at Jesus' Side on our journey to the Destination of the Narrow Way. Truth be told, repentance is beyond most people--even church goers--because they are incapable of even entertaining the idea that the values and perspectives that guide their lives are seriously derelict and erroneous.
The human mind--especially in the case of males--is compartmented: in one room of our mind it may be perfectly acceptable to cheat on our partners while IN THE VERY NEXT ROOM we may be preparing a Bible study for the Wednesday night prayer meeting. In one room we may sincerely believe that all men are created equal while IN THE VERY NEXT ROOM we may be supporting (or even excusing) Israel's apartheid policy towards its Palestinian citizens. Repentance is one of many tools GOD uses to break down the walls between our compartments so that we, like Him, can have a single unified philosophy that is absolutely true, just and free of error. The process of attaining this Glorious Unification is painful and fraught with peril; yet if we trust the Lord Jesus, He will get us to the Goal and its Marvelous Prize!
What i wish to remind us all is that THERE'S NO SALVATION WITHOUT REPENTANCE AND THERE'S NO REPENTANCE WITHOUT HUMILITY.
Like Divine Sovereignty, Humility distinguishes true faith from false religion. Whatever denomination you may have grown up in, if you honestly believe that you know what you are doing YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF TRULY LISTENING TO ANYONE...not even Christ.
Thankfully, if He really knows you, He will mercifully knock you off your horse before you make a mess of things. In the more severe cases He may even let you "crash and burn" to reintroduce you to Humility so that you can be saved.
In or out of the church, there is hardly ANYONE willing to believe that they can find themselves at the End of time in the Lake of Fire and Sulfur.
Humility teaches me that I DESERVE THE WRATH OF GOD AND MAY VERY WELL DRINK IT TO THE DREGS IF GOD DECIDES TO WITHHOLD HIS GRACE AND MERCY FROM ME. I come to accept Humility and Repentance as MY TWO BEST FRIENDS AND CONSTANT COMPANIONS.
One NEVER gets to the point where the Bible becomes "unnecessary." While reading the Scriptures you my hear GOD's Voice in your heart (Satan whispers in your ear, GOD whispers in your heart) saying
"You're going to Hell; call on Jesus to save you."
"Your religion is dead and you're going to Hell: call on Jesus to save you."
"You can't continue to live like this; call on the Lord Jesus to save you."
"Everything you were taught is WRONG; call on Jesus to save you."
Repentance is the act of turning around IN YOUR HEART and being willing to accept guidance from Jesus, the Bible and His servants.
“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the Cross of Christ be emptied of its Power. For the Word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the Power of God. "For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.' Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? "For since, in the Wisdom of God, the world did not know God through [its] wisdom, it pleased God through the 'folly' of what we preach to save those who believe. "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. For the Foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the Weakness of God is stronger than men. "For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the Presence of God. And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who became to us Wisdom from God, Righteousness and Sanctification and Redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'" -- the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:17-31 ESV
Believing from your heart something your mind can't grasp...something your mind considers foolish is virtually impossible; that's why the Gospel is rejected by so many. Yet doesn't it make sense that a Divine Being Who is so transcendent would seem to our tiny minds as far fetched and foolish?
The Gospel is true whether you believe it or not; but the Gospel requires an open mind and an open heart to be received by faith...received even to the point of BEING WILLING TO REPENT OF YOUR LIFESTYLE AND LEAP into the unknown.
This is what Christ requires of those who would be saved from the coming Wrath of GOD: Faith, Humility and Repentance...
...the good news is that, like faith and humility, repentance is also a Gift of GOD:
“God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” -- the Apostle Peter, Acts 5:31 ESV
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the Truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” -- the Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV
In Part Eleven we will explore the joys awaiting those who respond to the Call of GOD with faith, humility and repentance!