“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
- 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
“I have little fear that any nation or combination of nations could bring down the United States and Canada by military action from without. But this I do fear—we sin and sin and do nothing about it. There is so little sense of the need of repentance—so little burden for the will of God to be wrought in our national life. I fear that the voice of blood will become so eloquent that God Almighty will have no choice but to speak the word that will bring us down.
“I do pray often: ‘Oh God, send a revival of repentance and the fear of God that will sweep through the continent that we may be spared and that we may honor Thee!’ ”
- A. W. Tozer, Echoes from Eden
This is something that has been a common theme in my writing whenever I think of the political aspects of the USA or the world in general. Rev. Tozer included the USA and Canada because he moved from the USA to Canada at some point in his career. Yet, we can leave the entire world in that same fear that Rev. Tozer expresses.
But do we have the ability to change governments? Not hardly. But we can change ourselves, or we can allow God to change us. Repentance is important.
I have heard two true statements that have been used as an excuse to not seek repentance.
First, Jesus died for my sins 2,000 years ago, so the penalty for my sins is paid. Yet, God expects us to repent. That is not just confessing our sins but turning from our sins toward Jesus. Now, once we have Jesus in our hearts and we have confessed our sins and we have turned away from our sinful life toward Jesus, we should not feel guilty over those past sins, for our debt is paid. Even when we slip and do something wrong, a simple confession and a turning back to Jesus is necessary, but the contract is sealed. Guilt does not apply. Penance is not necessary. If we have cheated another, we might need to make it right, but penance is not required. Take a note from Zacchaeus who paid back those he cheated with interest and then gave more to the poor.
Second, when God washed away my sins, He washed away past sins, present sins, and sins in the future. Thus, I have no reason to confess or repent. Some take this statement of sins separated as far as east is from west to never need to repent, or our sins washed as white as snow. But antinomianism can wreck the Christian community as a result. Antinomianism takes the concept of Grace to the extreme where there is no moral standard that applies, since whatever we do has been forgiven.
If antinomianism is our focus in life, can the truth be within us? If everything that was sin is no longer sin, then what is sin? That is where the secular world wants us to go at this point. “Sin” is a four-letter word for the secular progressives. Christianity and Judaism have to be suppressed so that their hedonism and antinomianism can reign supreme. But while I know that God has forgiven me all my sins, I know that because I have Jesus in my heart. And the Voice within me lets me know when I have fallen short of the mark. I can sometimes feel ill as a result, knowing that I have disappointed God. I can confess that sin, and I must confess that sin to get back on the track of becoming more like Jesus. And I must stay on that track to avoid that sin again.
The true journey of faith may give us some freedom, but within God’s moral code that is spelled out in the Bible. Anything short of that and repentance is necessary.
It is odd that some who have argued this second excuse for not repenting seem to outwardly have no sin to repent, but it is the pride in fooling everyone else that they are “holy” when they are not that becomes their sin.
Now, if you will excuse me, I must go to my prayer closet to pray, and confess my sins – as well as praise God for already having forgiven me.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.