“But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Revelation 2:14-16 NLT)
The simple, but powerful message–used by John, the baptist (one who baptized, not the denomination), spoken to John, the Disciple whom Jesus loved, and should be used by Believers all over the land--REPENT!
We hear all sorts of “feel-good” messages from various preachers of The Word. We hear prosperity messages (which some have rejected), we hear messages for healing (always appropriate), we hear messages of deliverance (again, appropriate), we hear messages of forgiveness (we should forgive since we have been forgiven) and we hear messages about the power of prayer (there is power in prayer), but what we seldom hear is a message that deals with repentance–turning away from sin and turning to God–and this is why the world is in the shape it is.
John’s message before the appearance of Christ–REPENT and be baptized for the remission of sin.
God’s response to our needs–because He loves us so much–He came down from heaven, in the likeness of sinful flesh, tempted by all man could be tempted, and chose to be raised upon a cross for our sins though He never committed a sin.
Our response to God has been–negligible at best–we come to an altar, sorry for our sins (sorry we got caught), and ask Him to forgive us–and as soon as we get out of the church, away from the altar and those who were praying for us–turn back to our sinful lifestyles, like a dog returning to its own vomit–absolutely sickening.
The real problem is that not many–who are preaching–understand the need to teach REPENTANCE and what it really means. To repent is more than to say, “I’m sorry, Lord forgive me.” True repentance is an acknowledgment that we have sinned, we need Him in our lives to help us to remain sin-free, and give our lives over to Him to keep us from sin–turning completely to Him–away from sin.
When we say we allow Jesus to be our Lord and Savior–what we should mean (and some don’t know), is that we give Him complete control over what we do and say–we submit to His Lordship. Accepting the work on the cross is acceptance of His being our Savior–saving us from ourselves. This is the first step on the journey to living a life that glorifies God and puts us in position “to receive” all His many benefits--prosperity, longevity, good health, etc. REPENTANCE–comes first–then we receive the rewards from pleasing Him–not the other way around.
It is time for us–all of us–who believe and agree with God–to preach the message for this time–REPENT!