Thursday, October 9, 2014
A Call to Repentance
Matthew 27:51 - Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split...
We know all the stories. And the stories remain the same. God never changes. He's the same today as He was yesterday and in the Old Testament and will be tomorrow. He calls us to repentance.
The Old Testament is chock full of accounts where His people, the Jews, Israelites, worshipped and relied on Him...then when things were going well they forgot Who provided for them and they did as they wanted, took Him for granted and lost sight of their LORD.
God would call them back and used judgment upon them to force them to their knees to seek His forgiveness and mercy again through repenting of their sins. God, being merciful, forgave them and they were blessed again. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2Peter 3:9) For awhile...until things were going well again and they again forgot Who provided for their needs. Again they did as they wanted and God's judgment would bring them to their knees.
So life goes on. So it is the same today. Sin still abounds, people still do as they please. Yet, like in the Old Testament, there was always a remnant of believers who keep their eyes on God, perhaps praying that the nation, the people would return to the God of the universe...Who has given us all things...something we so easily can lose sight of. And as I said, He never changes; He's the same today as yesterday; still merciful...if we repent and return to Him.
God calls us to a time of repentance as an individual, as a people, as a nation, as a church. No one is an exception. As in the Old Testament the people called on their God, today we adhere to the beliefs of the New Testament in which a Savior was introduced to us. This Savior was born to be the Mediator between God and man. In the Old Testament God wanted man to have direct access, communication and communion with Him, like He had with Adam. But the people were afraid of Him and asked that Moses be the mediator. So direct access to the Father there was not.
The Good News for today is the Gospel. The Gospel preaches Jesus Christ, our Mediator, our Great High Priest, who intercedes for those who call upon His name. We have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ and His work...His work...on the cross. This comes only through our own repentance of our sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ. No other way. He is the only way, truth and life.
The idea in this world is that we control our own destiny, heritage. That is a lie. That, in God's eyes, leads to death. Jesus died so we might have life. We must die also to have life. We die to selves. We give up the idea we can make it on our own. Proverbs 16:25 shows this to us: There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. God's words. How much plainer can it get?
We are seeing some rough days today. I suspect they will get worse. God said this to wise Solomon:
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. (2Chronicles 7:13-15)
If His people...His children...will seek His face. But why not enlarge that number? Become a child of God through Jesus Christ. It's the Gospel. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. He's the only way out of what lies ahead, even if we have to go through some difficult days because of the evil of others. He will be the only strength we have; without Him we do not have the strength. Jesus Christ...the only way.
Acts 3:19 - Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord...