Ever have one of those things in your head that, everywhere you turn, God seems to be speaking to you about it? Well, lately the idea of repentance has been on my mind. Today, two blog posts (here and here) got me thinking about it even more. They handle this much better than I’m going to be able to, but I’ll try anyway.
Where is repentance in the church today? Where is it in my life? In yours? What is it, anyway?
To repent means to change your mind, to turn and head in another direction from which you were originally going.
Does that sound like what you heard in church the last time the Gospel was preached? Were you and everyone in earshot challenged, at the “altar call”, to “repent and believe the Gospel” (the Words of Jesus). Or were you told to “ask Jesus into your heart” with the assumption that everything is hunky dory after you pray a simple little prayer?
This is big, folks. Huge. It cuts to the heart of salvation and the evidences thereof. As one of the blogs I linked above states, are we leading people to salvation or to a pseudo-salvation that is really a ticket to hell? Is there a reason so many struggle mightily with whether or not their saved and, (like me as a child and young man), continually pray the prayer to ask Jesus into their hearts? Could it be that we’ve missed it? Could it be that we’ve forgotten it? Could it be that we never really knew the Gospel in the first place?
And what is the Gospel? Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
Our sins. Plural on both counts. You and me. And all our filthy stains. He died for them all. Was crucified. Dead and buried.
He rose again!
So what do we do? We receive it, we believe it by grace through faith. And we repent. We turn from our current path to walk a wholly new one with Jesus.
Writing this, I feel as though I’m a child sticking my toe in the ocean. I feel wholly inadequate. I feel unworthy. I feel the need to repent.