Are You Listening? ~ Repentance ~
Information overload! That’s what we experience on a daily basis. The world is connected as has never before been the case. Satellite television beams current events around the world instantaneously. No need to go to a theater to see a movie anymore; just pull up the latest releases on Pay-Per-View or On-Demand. If you like to read, download an e-book on your tablet.
Stay in constant contact with family, friends, co-workers and associates of all kinds via email, twitter, face book and text messaging. Oh, yeah, you can also actually talk to them on the phone you use for all of those other forms of communication. Check the weather, the stock market and surf the web, all on your cell phone. In fact, don’t bother with a TV, just watch everything on your phone. The marvels of communication technology- Wow!
So much new information is churned out on a daily basis that there’s no way anyone can possibly process all of it. A lot of the information with which we are bombarded daily is like weeds in a vegetable garden. We have to clear away the weeds in order to nurture the vegetables that will provide us with nourishment. We have to prioritize in dealing with all of the information coming our way. Information is power, but only if we listen to and properly apply it to our personal life situation. In order to do that effectively we must determine what information is most vital to us personally. We must take care of the most pertinent matters first.
Of primary importance is making sure that we are ready for eternity. We will spend eternity in one of two places- Heaven or Hell. Sin is the problem. We’re sinners (Rom. 3:23), and without forgiveness we have no hope of eternal life (Rom. 6:23). God sent Jesus into this world to give us hope (Jn. 3:16). He went to the cross to pay the price for the guilt of our sins (Rom. 5:8). Through Him we can be forgiven and saved (Acts 22:16).
However, there is a pre-requisite to forgiveness- repentance. Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of behavior. A conversational definition of repentance would be, “stop that!” Before we can be forgiven we must make up our mind to turn away from sin. Repentance precedes forgiveness (Lk. 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19).
When John was preparing the way for Jesus, he went forth calling the people to repentance (Matt. 3:1-2). When Jesus began His public ministry He preached exactly the same message: “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). Indeed, He warned, “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3).
Bottom line, there is no hope of Heaven without forgiveness of our sins, and we cannot expect forgiveness without repentance. So, are you listening?…
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Gary L. Hutchens