Sunday, November 6, 2011

Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The testimony of the Apostle Paul is found in Acts 20:20-21. He was addressing the Elders of the church at Ephesus.  I have heard the scripture found in Acts 20:20 referred to as the 20 20 vision of the Book of Acts, that is the teaching of the gospel, "publickly, and from house to house..." This is more than just another commandment, this is a preacher's testimony. I wonder if at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we won't be asked the question by the Lord Jesus, did you teach my gospel "publickly, and from house to house?" This blog is in no way meant as an indictment or intended to start the reader on a guilt trip, but rather to ask the question, what is our testimony?

I am reminded of an incident from many years ago when (so the story went) one of our preachers was standing on a street corner preaching the gospel. An interested bystander stopped and asked "just what do you folks believe?" The preacher is reported to have given a reply listing the various things we don't believe in, such as going to movies,  drinking and smoking, etc. The person who asked the question stopped the preacher and said, "I didn't ask what you don't believe but rather what do you believe." Is our testimony like that?

Certainly there are things we believe we should not do.  Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 listed the things that will keep us from inheriting God's kingdom, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."  I think the term "and such like," covers many of the things the preacher said we as Christians, don't believe in doing.

But those things that we don't believe in doing is not what will save us in the end. If we would please God and be saved, two things are needful, we need to repent of our sinful ways and put our faith in Jesus, in His death, burial and resurrection. This is the basis of our belief in Acts 2:38, where Apostle Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  Repentance is not an option. Baptism in Jesus name, while it is not optional either, will not save us if we don't repent. Paul told the Athenians an Acts 17:30 that God, "now commandeth all men every where to repent..."

It is not hard to understand. The Bible says in Isaiah 35:8, " highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein." God still commands men (and women) to repent of their sins. The Bible still says to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and the promise of the Holy Ghost is for you. Let me say that without repentance toward God and and faith in Jesus, that is the answer of our good conscience by  faith in Jesus' resurrection, (see 1st Peter 3:21) nothing else you may or may not do will save you. If you have never turned from your sin to God, if you have never been baptized in Jesus name, putting your faith in His atoning sacrifice at Calvary, and in His resurrection, (He really did rise from the dead) don't hesitate, do it today.

No comments:

Post a Comment