Category Archives: Repentance

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Do You Belong to God?

Have you once and for all settled the question, do you belong to God? Are you going to Heaven? Are you a child of God? Is Jesus Christ really your personal Lord, Savior, and Master? Who is your anchor in life? When all else fails you, will your anchor also fail you? When others betray and lie to you, will your anchor do likewise? Consider the following questions in light of what the Bible says:

1. Where did you come from?

God loves you and created you to know Him personally. He is loving and true and would never lie to you.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

The One True God of the Bible who loves you, formed you in your mother’s womb.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13,14) 

2. If God has created you and loves you, what is preventing you from knowing Him intimately?

God wants to give you a fresh start. A clean slate is just a prayer away.

You are sinful and separated from God, so you cannot know Him intimately or experience His saving, keeping, and protecting love.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Just as fire and gasoline cannot be together, those who have the stain of sin can never be in the presence of a holy, sinless, and perfect God.
“our God is holy.” (Psalm 99:9b) “the stain of your guilt is still before me,” (Jeremiah 2:22b)

You must be pardoned. Your sin must be forever washed away.
God created man to have fellowship with Him, but due to his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent, selfish way, and fellowship was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with Him through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion— but he inevitably fails.

3. If there were only One Way to bridge this gulf, would you want to know it?

In 1830, George Wilson was tried by the U.S. court in Philadelphia for robbery and murder and was sentenced to hang. Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, granted him a presidential pardon. But Wilson refused the pardon, insisting it was not a pardon unless he accepted it. The question was brought before the U. S. Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following decision:  “A pardon is a paper, the value of which depends upon its acceptance by the person implicated. It’s hardly to be supposed that one under sentence of death would refuse to accept a pardon, but if it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must hang.” What was the outcome? George Wilson was hanged.¹

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him alone we can know God intimately, be fully pardoned for our sin, and experience His unconditional love.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

He died in our place and rose from the dead.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred.” (1Corinthians 15:3-6)

He is the only way to God.

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. He chose to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

Those who love darkness, reject Christ, and refuse His free offer of forgiveness and new life will perish. They will be eternally condemned for their sins. The wrath of God will fall on them.

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2Thessalonians 7: 10b-12) 4.

4. What must occur in order for you to be saved from your sins and eternal death and be assured of complete forgiveness and Heaven?

You must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Then you can know God personally and experience His love.
You must receive Christ. {Gladly welcome Him}

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

You receive Christ by faith.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

If someone were to say, “I hope to get to heaven because I’m a pretty good person”. “I’m hoping the good outweighs the bad”. How would you respond to this person?

When you receive Christ, you experience a New Birth. {Read John 3:1-8 if time permits}
You receive Christ by personal invitation.
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in…” (Revelation 3:20 N.K.J.V.)

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from sin and self-rule (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Christ by faith, as an act of our will.

When you receive Christ, a Great Exchange occurs instantly!
First: Jesus takes all of your past, present, and future sin, condemnation and guilt away. Back on that Cross, Jesus removed your sins and placed them on Himself. He was crucified, became guilty on your behalf, and was condemned. He then suffered torment in Hell so you would not have to. He freed you from the penalty and power of sin.

Second: In exchange, Jesus gives you His righteousness and His life. You are forgiven, unable to be condemned, holy, blameless, pure, and forever innocent of all charges. You have eternal life. God, the Father, now sees you holy and perfect. He loves you the same as He loves Jesus. This exchange is irrevocable. It is finished!

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10) 5.

5. Would you like to receive Christ right now by faith through prayer?

The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. I want to be assured of going to Heaven when I die. I also want to know You personally.

Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Remember: Jesus is now in your life. You belong to Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You are God’s own son or daughter. The Bible promises eternal life to all who receive Christ.
Heaven is your new home!

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

What comfort and assurance is God giving you right now?

1. Please read the following verses out loud.

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:37-39)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)

What doubts might you still have concerning your assurance of your salvation and your eternal security? If you were to die tonight, how assured are you of going straight to Heaven?

0%—————25%————–50%————–75%————–100%

2. Work on memorizing the following definition of Faith. This is the same definition discussed in other chapters of this book. Then discuss it and apply this faith principle to your assurance of being forgiven and going to Heaven someday.

“Faith is choosing to live as though the Bible is true, regardless of circumstances, emotions, or cultural trends.”

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Surrender this hour

Typically when we think of “surrender”, we think of giving up, tossing the towel in, or giving in to the opposing forces’ demands. In the spring of 1865, General Lee had to make the most difficult decision of his life. The following is an eyewitness account:

With his army surrounded, his men weak and exhausted, Robert E. Lee realized there was little choice but to consider the surrender of his Army to General Grant. After a series of notes between the two leaders, they agreed to meet on April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse. The meeting lasted approximately two and one-half hours and at its conclusion the bloodiest conflict in the nation’s history neared its end…

At a little before 4 o’clock General Lee shook hands with General Grant, bowed to the other officers, and with Colonel Marshall left the room. One after another we followed, and passed out to the porch. Lee signaled to his orderly to bring up his horse, and while the animal was being bridled the general stood on the lowest step and gazed sadly in the direction of the valley beyond where his army lay – now an army of prisoners. He smote his hands together a number of times in an absent sort of way; seemed not to see the group of Union officers in the yard who rose respectfully at his approach, and appeared unconscious of everything about him.

All appreciated the sadness that overwhelmed him, and he had the personal sympathy of every one who beheld him at this supreme moment of trial. The approach of his horse seemed to recall him from his reverie, and he at once mounted. General Grant now stepped down from the porch, and, moving toward him, saluted him by raising his hat. He was followed in this act of courtesy by all our officers present; Lee raised his hat respectfully, and rode off to break the sad news to the brave fellows whom he had so long commanded. [i]

Surrender is never an easy thing. It tears at the very fabric of our being. One of the main reasons for destructive conflict in marriage is that one or both mates are fighting an ongoing Civil War in their own hearts. The battle is not between the North and the South, but it is between God and self.

We desire to call all the shots and run our life apart from the lordship, direction, and empowering of the Holy Spirit. This very personal, spiritual battle lies at the crux of almost every struggle in marriage, in family, and, in fact, in all relationships.

Galatians 5:16-24 says:

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”

Minute by minute, hour by hour, it boils down to this: Choose to follow Christ and His Word or continue to navigate the rocky waters of sin, and stubborn self-will. You will discover that when you lay down your weapons of pride and self-focus, you will become someone your mate wants to be near. You will find yourself with a servant’s heart. When you honor God in your home with a choice to serve your mate and surrender to Christ’s rule, He promises you something. 1Samuel 2:30b says,

“Those who honor me I will honor…”

We invite you to surrender this hour to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Join Jesus in His prayer to our heavenly Father for surrender in Matthew 6:10:

“your kingdom come, your will be done…”

If you are not, yet, a follower of Christ and therefore, do not have the gracious, enabling Holy Spirit within you, please click the following to find out how to invite Christ into your life:

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Prayer To Focus Faith

“Heavenly Father, I must come face to face and really see where my faith is focused.

If I have a heart that is full of fear, I must take Your Word and learn Your ways and thoughts.

You promised You would never leave me nor forsake me, so my confidence must be focused on what You say, not the fear that the enemy is trying to have me believe.

Thank You for Your promises to me.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

.

LIFE CHANGING POWER OF THE GOSPEL

Titus is a small book in the New Testament that we do not hear about too much. It is a short, informative and powerful book written by Paul to Titus, a faithful disciple, a missionary, and the first pastor on the island of Crete. 

“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” (Titus 1:10-12)

 

Paul addressed the challenges Titus faced as a young pastor, an overseer of the churches on the island. 

“They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” (Titus 1:16)

There were many rebellious people who engaged in useless talk and deceived others. This was especially true of those who insisted on circumcision for salvation. They had to be silenced because they were turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And on top of it all, they were doing it only for money. 

“One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”” (Titus 1:12)

Those people claimed they knew God, but they denied Him by the way they lived. They were disobedient for not doing good.

It sounds just like life today.

Titus was spiritually and emotionally strong. He must have been proven, noble, and one who loved God and led a Christ-like life. Titus had to have quite the testimony for Paul to trust him to take on such a task! Titus was a man of Godly character and loved his fellow man.

How else could anyone take on such an assignment and not only embrace it but be successful with it? 

Through God is the only way that we can stay strong in our challenges of life and successfully fulfill God’s task that we are divinely assigned to do. Paul counseled Titus to take on this missionary effort:

The grace of God has been shown, bringing salvation to all people, and we are instructed to turn from godless living and sin. We should live in the world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God. Jesus gave His life so that we could be freed from sin, to redeem us, and to make us His own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

“who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)

Paul gave Titus good counsel to tell to the people of Crete. And, what great counsel for each of us to live by today! We never know who is ready to hear the Good News of the Bible. Thank God that someone loved us enough to take the time to share the Gospel with us!

Are you excited to share the Gospel with the eagerness, fervor, and love that Paul gave Titus?

Prayer of Repentance

“Heavenly Father, I praise You for the life I have in You as Godly sorrow is what lead me to repentance, and it is all because of Jesus. 

I am so thankful I asked You to change my life. 

I had an internal heart change when I made Jesus my Lord and Savior and a change of mind that became an external change of life. 

I humbly give all my life to You in hearing and doing Your Words. 

What a blessed hope of the life that now is and the life eternal I have knowing You. 

I pray for others that are hearing You will surrender and have the same joy and peace for their life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

GODLY SORROW

Paul teaches us that there are two different kinds of sorrow. There is Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. It’s important for us to understand what is Godly sorrow.

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Paul points out in today’s Bible verse, the results of those two sorrows. Godly sorrow brings about repentance, which leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly sorrow brings spiritual death (eternal separation from God)

Repentance is not something that comes naturally to us, and more often than not, we do not like feeling that way. 

Godly sorrow understands that sin is a transgression to God. Godly sorrow is not sorry for being caught. Godly sorrow is sorry for sinning against God. Paul tells us that having Godly sorrow produces repentance. 

When the Bible speaks of repentance, it is a two-part process:

Repentance starts with an internal heart change and a change of mind that becomes an external change of life. These are two important parts, and you can’t have repentance if you don’t have both of these two parts.

Having the internal change of mind does no good if it doesn’t follow up with a life changed. You can change your mind all you want, but if it does not change your life and change who you are, then you have missed the point. 

There is no value in changing your mind unless it changes your life.

Repentance is not an external change of life without the internal change of heart and mind. Too often, repentance is emphasized as changing the external, failing to recognize that those external changes are only of value if they come from the internal change of heart and mind. 

You can pray and ask forgiveness all you want, but if you have not allowed a heart change on the inside first, you do not have repentance.

What we learn is that repentance and guilt are not the same things. Just because you feel sorry and grief, that does not mean you have exhibited Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow is upset at sinning against God. Because we are upset at sinning against God, we make an internal change of heart and mind, which leads to an external change of life.

Notice what Paul says is the result of this Godly sorrow that leads to repentance: salvation. This is what is required of us to receive the mercy and the grace of God. 

We can allow God to change our lives. We can allow this sorrow to produce repentance in our lives. Realize that these activities are not bringing us happiness, but guilt upon guilt. Come to Jesus, where you can let that guilt go and let Him carry your guilt. Start right now and end a life of regret and find forgiveness in Jesus.


Do you need to change anything in your life today?

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