Repent or Perish

Here is a short read from Arthur. W. Pink (1886-1952):

These were the words of the incarnate Son of God. They have never been cancelled; nor will they be as long as this world lasts. Repentance is absolute and necessary if the sinner is to make peace with God (Isa. 27:5), for repentance is the throwing down the weapons of rebellion against Him. Repentance does not save, yet no sinner ever was or ever will be saved without it. None but Christ saves, but an impenitent heart cannot receive Him.

A sinner cannot truly believe until he repents. This is clear from the words of Christ concerning His forerunner, “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (Matthew 21:32). It is also evident from His clarion call in Mark 1:15, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” This is why the apostle Paul testified “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Make no mistake on this point dear reader, God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).

In requiring repentance from us, God is pressing His righteous claims upon us. He is infinitely worthy of supreme love and honor, and of universal obedience. This we have wickedly denied Him. Both an acknowledgement and amendment of this is required from us. Our disaffection for Him and our rebellion against Him are to be owned and made an end of. Thus repentance is a heartfelt realization of how dreadfully I have failed, all through my life, to give God His rightful place in my heart and daily walk.

The righteousness of God’s demand for my repentance is evident if we consider the heinous nature of sin. Sin is a renouncing of Him who made me. It is refusing Him His right to govern me. It is the determination to please myself; thus, it is rebellion against the Almighty. Sin is spiritual lawlessness, and utter disregard for God’s authority. It is saying in my heart: I care not what God requires, I am going to have my own way; I care not what be God’s claim upon me, I am going to be lord over myself. Reader, do you realize that this is how you have lived?

Now true repentance issues from a realization in the heart, wrought therein by the Holy Spirit, of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, of the awfulness of ignoring the claims of Him who made me, of defying His authority. It is therefore a holy hatred and horror of sin, a deep sorrow for it, and acknowledgement of it before God, and a complete heart-forsaking of it. Not until this is done will God pardon us. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

In true repentance the heart turns to God and acknowledges My heart has been set upon a vain world, which could not meet the needs of my soul; I forsook Thee, the fountain of living waters, and turned unto broken cisterns which held none: I now own and bewail my folly. But more, it says: I have been a disloyal and rebellious creature, but I will be so no longer. I now desire and determine with all my might to serve and obey Thee as my only Lord. I betake myself to Thee as my present and everlasting Portion.

Reader, be you a professing Christian or no, it is repent or perish. For every one of us, church members or otherwise, it is either turn Or burn; turn from your course of self-will and self-pleasing; turn in brokenness of heart to God, seeking His mercy in Christ; turn with full purpose of heart to please and serve him: or be tormented day and night, for ever and ever, in the Lake of Fire. Which shall it be? Oh, get down on your knees right now and beg God to give you the spirit of true repentance.

“Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Cor 7:10).

The Dead Still Speak

In July of 2011, a man who I greatly admire (one of my Anglican friends calls him a “stud” for Christ) passed away.  His name is John Stott and while you may not know his name, his influence was felt in the lives of many, and will be felt for years to come.  Reverend Stott was a preacher, theologian and author in the course of his lifetime.  One book that He wrote stands out as a tremendous influence on my life.  It is a little book called Men Made New.  This book is an exposition of Romans chapters 5-8 and is based on a conference he was asked to speak at in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.  I have read this book several times in the past year and a half and am always amazed at how 108 pages can change your life.  But, what is even more amazing is how one sentence from the Word of God can do the same thing.  Anyway, today I’m posting an excerpt of this book and hope that it edifies you.

Peace With God

Romans 5:1-19

Romans 5 divides clearly into two distinct paragraphs.  The first eleven verses portray the fruits or results of our justification, while verses 12-19 show us the Mediator of our justification, the One through whom justification has come to us – namely Jesus Christ, the second Adam.

  1. THE FRUITS OF OUR JUSTIFICATION

(5:1-11)

  Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

  While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man – though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.  But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.[1]

  1. The fruits described (verses 1, 2)

  Here we have a summary of the results of justification in three sentences.  First, ‘we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (verse 1).  Secondly (verse 2a), we have ‘obtained access (through the same Christ and through the same faith) to this grace in which we stand’.  Thirdly (verse 2b), ‘we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.’  Here are the fruits of our justification:  Peace, grace and glory.  Peace with God (which we have), grace (in which we stand), and glory (for which we hope).

  On a closer examination these appear to relate to the three tenses or phases of our salvation.  ‘Peace with God’ speaks of the immediate effect of justification.  We were ‘enemies’ of god (verse 10), but now the old enmity has been put away by God’s forgiveness and we are at peace with Him.  The immediate effect of justification, then, is that enmity has given way to peace.

  Secondly, ‘this grace in which we stand’ speaks of the continuing effect of justification.  It is a state of grace to which we have obtained access and in which we continue to stand.  This is how the New English Bible puts it:  ‘We have been allowed to enter the sphere of God’s grace.’  And, of course, having entered it we continue in it.  We stand in it today.

  Thirdly, ‘the glory of God’ for which we hope speaks of the ultimate effect of justification.  ‘The glory of God’ here means heaven, because in heaven God Himself will be fully revealed (‘glory” in biblical language is the manifestation of God).  We are going to see God’s glory in heaven, Continue reading