National RepentanceAugust 31, 2012
Often I wonder, will oceans of tears and rivers of blood be the price this nation pays for flaunting its rebellion in the eyes of a righteous, holy God?
Our only hope is in repentance. “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
God is speaking to His people called by His name. We must recognize that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”(1 Peter 4:17-18).
Our beloved nation reeks with humanistic haughtiness. It is time for genuine humility. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). Most Americans want God to hear their prayers, but they’re not seeking the face of God. For America to experience revival, we must confess our sins in prayer AND repent.
REPENTANCE—MORE THAN CONVICTION OF SIN
I’ve seen the hand of God move upon people. Convicted by the Holy Spirit, they’ve gripped the back of the pew until their knuckles turned white. God was convicting them of their sin, yet they chose not to respond.
REPENTANCE—MORE THAN CONFESSION OF SIN
How well I remember the attendance in churches after 9/11. But in just a few months, life was back to “normal.” Did people see a need to confess and repent of their sinful ways? No. And this nation has sunk deeper and deeper into filth and debauchery—more than any other time in history.
REPENTANCE—MORE THAN CONTRITION OF SIN
Tears often accompany repentance, but sometimes people cry and still don’t repent! “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
REPENTANCE—A WHOLE-HEARTED HEART CHANGE
God told Ezekiel, “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”’” (Ezekiel 14:6, italics mine). Can you imagine standing at the altar and your soon-to-be spouse promises to be 80 percent faithful? Not me! And I would hope not you!
REPENTANCE—A CONTINUING CHANGE
When I gave my heart to Jesus Christ as a teen, I repented of my sin. I gave all I knew of me to all I knew of Jesus. And friend, that was enough. Since then I‘ve learned a whole lot more about Jesus and a whole lot more about me! I’ve done far more repenting after I got saved than I did when I got saved.
Acts 17:30 tells us that God commands every man, woman, and child to repent. All are sinners, none is excluded. The unsaved need to repent and be saved. The saved need to repent and be sanctified so they may serve the Lord with a clean heart.
Are you experiencing sleepless nights, difficulty concentrating, a sense of restlessness or lack of peace? Perhaps you’re experiencing some guilt. You’re attending church, reading the Word, or listening to a preacher like me…and then you become convicted of sin. Instead of repenting, some people want to just deaden that nagging guilt.
Repentance is not just a good thing to consider. It is a necessity to experience the grace of God. Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). God’s grace has a condition upon it—repentance and humility. God resists those who are filled with pride, unwilling to repent (James 4:6-8). Repentance is drawing close to God and resisting the devil.
Friend, it’s time for each person across this land of ours not only to feel conviction, confession, and contrition for sin, but also to repent—to turn from our wicked ways. We must individually and corporately as a people of God bow before our Maker and repent. We need to pray individually and corporately for our churches and our nation. It’s time for revival. But first there must be repentance. There must be prayer. Will you pray?