I Was Just Thinking About – REPENTANCE.
When was the most recent time you witnessed someone - anyone - repent Biblically? Over time, some words become passé within the culture of the world and the Church. During the past couple of generations, the psychology that allows “I’m okay, you’re okay” has permeated the thinking of most people. The day of a Mourner’s Bench, the place where people would come with grief because of their sin and confess it to God and repent, no longer has any visitors to it.
Within Biblical History, this was the occurrence many times. The prophet Joel wrote to the people of his day words that were so desperately needed then and now. His message was sweeping and clear (Joel 2:12-18), “The Lord declares, Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments…Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness…Who knows whether He will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him? Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not make Your inheritance a reproach…Why should they among the peoples say, Where is their God? Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and will have pity on His people.”
Additionally, some of Joel’s written words became a central theme on the Day of Pentecost when people were being called by Peter to come to the Lord (Acts 2:17-21), “And it shall come to pass in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth my Spirit on all mankind…And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” As Peter preached, there was the result recorded in Acts 2:37-39, “When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
One of the old-time Revival preachers, Vance Havner, would often say to his audiences, “Until Mr. Wet Eyes returns, we will not have Revival.” The call to Spiritual Renewal in James 4:7-10 states, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.