A Call to Repentance and Surrender

After Bible Study the other night, we were sitting around talking, and someone mentioned that, before he knew the Lord, he wouldn’t attend church because he knew he wasn’t living right. Thankfully, he finally hit a place where he surrendered to the Lord, changed the things he knew needed to change, and surrendered his life to Christ.

I understand why churches stress the importance of coming to Jesus as you are instead of waiting to be cleaned up but it also seems like way too many stay as they are, even after making a profession of faith. Isaiah 1:18 says, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ said the LORD: ‘though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'” This doesn’t mean your sins become white but that your life of sin disappears as you begin to serve God.

sinsasscarlet

In Romans 6:1, Paul asks, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” In verse 2, he answers his own question, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

In Galatians 2:20, Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” We know Christ knew no sin so, if He lives in me, I won’t live a life of sin either.

Many times in Scripture, people were told to repent. That call still goes out today. If you are one who looks nice on the outside but inside, you are full of uncleanness, repent. If you are nice to the people at church but mean to your family, repent. If you are living a life that you know is not honoring to God, it is never too late to turn from your sinful ways and surrender those areas to the One who loves you more than you will ever be able to comprehend. The answer isn’t to stop going to church; the answer is to understand your need and turn to Him today.

Pretend that you are about to take communion. Think about the horrendous death that Jesus suffered because of your sins and mine. As you begin to bring the bread and cup to your lips, does your heart well up with gratitude for what Christ has done for you or do you find yourself squirming because you know that you are not able to take communion worthily but you know that others have no idea what your life is really like? Worse yet, do you not feel that sense of guilt about the life you are living?

Hebrews 12:6 says, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and whips every son whom He receives.” If you are able to sin and not be disciplined by the Lord, you should really search your heart to know if you are truly His.

Let me also say here that there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation feels like there is no hope. Conviction is the mercy of the Holy Spirit tapping you on the shoulder and showing you what you are doing wrong so that you can change. That is what I want you to feel today: the conviction that only God can bring. I don’t know your life. I don’t know what you’re going through. But I do know that God loves you, and He can change you today, whether you have gone to church for a day, a month, a year, 5 years, 65 years, or not at all. His arm is not too short, and He desires you to spend eternity with Him. Won’t you surrender today?

Acts 2 – The 21st Century Version

Today, I feel it is appropriate to share this short blog from another believer in Christ. Brothers and sisters, my heart breaks when I read things like this brother has written because I know that more times than not, it is the sad truth. Church is rarely a true family that seeks to look to the Lord in such a way that the world sees a foretaste of the reality of what eternity will look like for those who are true believers. Evangelical Christianity does not need to be rearranging deck chairs on the great ship “Relevant-ic” but needs to get back to true 1st Century Biblical Christianity.

titanic

Daniel from the site Daniel and Friends wrote,

The Glory Has Departed

“So then, those who had raised their hand were baptized, and there were added that day about three souls.
And they were occasionally devoting themselves to the pastor’s sermon, and to cordial chit-chat, to a cracker and juice, and to prayers for healing and prodigal children.
And everyone kept feeling a sense of boredom, and many feverish labors were being done by the pastor’s hands.
And all those who believed were busy, and had few things in common. And they began buying more property and possessions, and rented storage space for the extras. And those who had need were aided by the government.
And once a week meeting at the church building they were taking their coffee and donuts together with dissipation and distraction of heart, praising their sports teams and being unnoticed by most outsiders.
And the cool band and relevant messages were occasionally adding to their number those who were being immunized against the true gospel.”

This parody of Acts 2:41-47 is not meant to be humorous or even sarcastic. Read it with tears, not with chuckles or smirks. How far our American churches have fallen from the glory of Pentecost (or even the glory of the Reformation). I am thankful to be in a church that this parody does not describe. But we too have a long ways to go. May the Lord purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.”

Jeremy Strang followed this with a few of his own comments included here for our edification.

I, not Daniel, would go on to say this, as a whole the professing church in the modernized nations, especially in the US, the church has become this thing we do on Sunday rather than who we are in Christ and how and why we meet together. It seems as if we are more concerned with the Sunday meeting, which looks more like the Greek orators during the early days of Christian persecution (that is focusing or concentrating upon, and even being entertained by, men or mere traditions), than how Jesus demonstrated the meeting together by being concerned with prayer, the breaking of bread (not just communion but meals), fellowship and the word of God being read/taught.

I agree with Daniel, “But we too have a long ways to go. May the Lord purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good works.”

Blessings!