Chapter 6 – Repentance
THE IMPORTANCE OF REPENTANCE
What place should repentance have in your presentation of the gospel? Is repentance the same thing as belief? Or is it something distinct from it? Is it important to emphasize repentance, or should we never mention it in this age of grace? What does repentance really mean, anyway? These are some of the questions the soulwinner must face (and answer) regarding the subject of repentance.
There can be little doubt that all men, from Adam on, have had to repent in order to have a right relationship with God. The importance of this is brought home when we realize men of every Biblical age preached it.
John the Baptist preached it (Mark 1:15); the Apostle John proclaimed its necessity (Rev. 2:5); Paul preached repentance wherever he went (Acts 17:30; 20:21 ); and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself strongly emphasized that men who refused to repent would perish (Luke 13:3, 5). So, you see, repentance is necessary for salvation.
THE MISUSE OF THE WORD
The question is, “What does the Bible MEAN by ‘repent,’ and how should it be presented to the lost?” The important thing is NOT what repentance has COME to mean down through the centuries since Christ’s time, but rather – and this is of utmost importance – what the word did mean WHEN IT WAS SPOKEN by Christ, Paul, Peter, and others in Biblical times.
If you look up “repent” or “repentance” in a modern dictionary you will read definitions like the following: “regret; to feel sorry for sin and seek forgiveness; to turn from sin.” Based on these definitions, preachers have been going about earnestly trying to get men to quit their sinning, or at least to work up a genuine sorrow for sin. But is this the divinely appointed task of Christians – to get men to change their ways?
No! This kind of preaching often leads to a form of self-righteousness and self-reformation – not to salvation. Does a sinner have to turn from or give up his sins to be saved? COULD he do this? Did you? Have you yet given up all sinning?
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (I John 1:8).
It is sadly apparent that our modern-day misuse of the word “repent” has done a great deal of harm and has confused multitudes. Because of the wrong use of the word “repent” men have gotten the idea that a Christian is one who doesn’t smoke, drink, curse, go to dances or movies, or do anything that is wrong or immoral.
This negativism has blinded people to the fact that a Christian is “one of Christ’s” – one who, through faith, has received Christ as his Saviour. Once a person has Christ and His power in his life, THEN his behavior often changes. But this change is the RESULT of being a child of God; it is not the CAUSE.
Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Most commonly the substance is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant which have been rolled into a small square of rice paper to create a small, round cylinder called a “cigarette”.
The result and penalty of sin is death
…separation from God. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23). The payment for sin is death. Sin is not paid for by good works, penance, church membership, water baptism, etc. Sin is paid for by death. God does not hate the sinner, but He hates the sin. He hates sin because it separates us from Him (Isa 59:2), and He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2Th 1:8-9).
Except for those taken in the Rapture, everyone will die physically. The body goes back to dust, and the soul goes to heaven or hell. Everyone is born dead spiritually (Eph 2:1). The soul is separated from God because we are sinners. This is why Christ said in Joh 3:7, “…Ye must be born again.” Only through a new birth of the Spirit can man have eternal life. If a person dies without having trusted Christ as his Saviour, his soul will be separated from God and he will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire forever…the Bible calls this the “second death” (Rev 20:14-15).
PRESENTATION – For most people, a simple statement on this point is sufficient, as: “God loves us but hates our sin, because the payment for sin is death and separation from Him.” How to deal with specific “cult teachings” that differ from Scripture on this point will be covered in the chapters on Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Science. When you do not sense resistance on this point (and you usually won’t), move on to what you want to cover next.
Australian Archbishop Convicted of Sex Abuse Cover-Up Gets House Arrest
A former archbishop in Australia was let off easy following a conviction for his role in concealing child sex abuse, with officials determining he could serve his one year jail sentence at home.
- Philip Wilson, 67, was found guilty of failing to go to the police about the crimes committed by then-priest James Fletcher, who repeatedly abused two altar boys in the 1970s. (Wilson was an assistant priest at the time; Fletcher died in prison in 2006.)
Wilson denied the accusation, but nevertheless resigned from the clergy last month following mounting public pressure, the Washington Post reports.
Though he was convicted, he’ll be allowed to pass his sentence at the home of his sister, and will even be eligible for parole in just six months. The paper reports that Robert Stone, the magistrate who ordered the decision, found that Wilson showed no remorse or contrition for the cover-up, his primary motive being to protect the Catholic church. How noble. In fact:
- The magistrate accepted Wilson was unlikely to re-offend but found he had to serve a period of detention to deter others.
- He said home detention was adequate punishment given Wilson’s age and mental and physical conditions and that he had previously been of good character.
His age? I just watched my 63-year-old mother, essentially his contemporary, deadlift like 200 pounds at the gym this morning. (That’s a slight exaggeration, but she does work out almost every day, and would snap me like a twig in hand-to-hand combat.) Point being, maybe if he spent less time guilt-swallowing barbecued snags and being complicit in horrific crimes against children, he wouldn’t be in such bad shape now!
Outside the courthouse, one of Wilson’s victims, Peter Gogarty, asked Wilson if he planned to apologize. He received no response.
“I’m beside myself about this,” Gogarty later told reporters. “I’m still here, still hurting…and not a single, solitary word to say sorry.”
He called Wilson’s detention lenient, labelling it a vacation.
Born in Lebanon, Antoine Bou Ezz was once a transgender who is well-known in the fashion world. As a kid, he grew up being bullied and was discriminated for being gay. He was lonely and aching deep inside all his life and wasn’t able to live a normal life like his peers.
Antoine searched for his identity in many things, but he couldn’t find it. When he became a young adult, he had everything he wanted—underwent cosmetic surgeries, let his hair grow long, obtained fame and wealth, and became obsessed with perfection – yet he still felt empty. He could feel the emptiness in his heart no matter what achievements or gains he attained. He lived a luxurious life especially when he became successful in the fashion world. He indulged himself in pleasure, fame, and sought his value and worth in things of the world. He thought he would be happy, but it only became worse as every day he felt like he was living a life of torment.
Antoine searched for the love that he lacked, but it only left him broken every time. He knew he wasn’t happy and he knew his dreams and aspirations were wrong on his whole journey.
Until one day, he had a friend who shared the Good News with him. The Good News found only in Jesus Christ – the Savior who could take away all his sorrows and erase all his sins.
Antoine was touched by God. He understood that he was living a life battling Satan and against the will of God. He said he found his answers in God’s unchanging word, “Male and female He created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created” [Genesis 5:2]. Then he felt a hunger inside to know more about God through the Holy Bible. There he found the truth:
- “Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”[John 3:3].
Antoine knew he had to be born again. This meant that he would allow God to renew his heart and recreate him. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” [2 Corinthians 5:17]. Through asking God’s forgiveness for all his sins and transgressions, he was changed into the man God created him to be.
- Since that day, Antoine’s world turned upside down. God granted him back his masculinity. He found true peace in his mind and soul, and a pure joy in the Lord. His days were now filled with rest and peace.
God pulled Antoine out of the pit of destruction the moment he humbled himself before God. He never knew the peace, joy, and satisfaction (that only God could give) even existed. The world and its pleasures never satisfied him no matter how successful he looked to the world. It is clear that only God alone can satisfy the longing in our hearts, the questions no one can answer, and all the love that we’re all desperately seeking.
“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” [Romans 11:36]
Osinbajo Berates Preachers For Failure To Preach Against Corruption
saharareporters.com Aug 12, 2018 1:00 PM
- Osinbajo said that the problem with Nigeria was neither ethnicity nor religion but systemic corruption, He said that corruption had been so entrenched in the country that if you dare challenge it, you will be in the minority.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo
- Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has berated gospel preachers for failing to lend support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war by failing to preach against the scourge.
Speaking at the 30th National Biennial Conference of the Students Christian Movement (SCM) of Nigeria holding in Enugu, Osinbajo noted preachers were preoccupied with preaching prosperity rather than righteousness.
“Very rarely do you hear our preachers talk about corruption from their pulpits. If a nation is not righteous nothing will help it.”
Osinbajo said that the problem with Nigeria was neither ethnicity nor religion but systemic corruption.
He said that corruption had been so entrenched in the country that if you dare challenge it, you will be in the minority.
He challenged the youths to change the narrative and make the difference by checking the impunity of those that had stolen the resources of the country.
“Our problem in this country is not ethnicity or religion; it is not about Christians or Muslims. Our problems are the same wherever you go in this country.
“The story of our country is about good and evil. It is about those that have left us in this condition by stealing our common resources.
“Do not let anyone deceive you.”
The acting president challenged members of SCM to ensure that the movement becomes one of the tools that will move the country forward.
“You should understand that our country can be delivered by people like you.”
According to him, young Christians have special and distinct roles to play in the transformation of the country which is superior to those of other sets of people.
“All of the great nations of the world were transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a gospel that tickles people’s imaginations or dwells on prosperity.
“It is not a gospel that fits your fancy. It is a gospel that teaches that righteousness exalts a nation.”
Osibanjo appealed to Nigerians to stand against the plundering of the nation’s resources as well as support the anti-corruption initiative of the Federal Government, irrespective of party affiliations.
Parker Solar Probe: Nasa’s daring mission to unlock Sun’s mysteries
Shared by BBC News (UK)
The American space agency (Nasa) is all set to launch one of the most daring ventures in its history.
It’s going to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any mission has done before.
The Parker Solar Probe will dip directly into our star’s outer atmosphere, or corona.
The spacecraft’s data promises to crack longstanding mysteries about the Sun’s behaviour – assuming it can survive roasting temperatures above 1,000C.
Parker will begin its quest with a ride on a mammoth Delta-IV Heavy rocket.
This powerful vehicle is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 03:33 local time (08:33 BST) on Saturday.
Image copyright NASA-JHU-APL
Image caption Artwork: Parker must always keep its heatshield pointed at the Sun
The Delta will hurl the probe into the inner Solar System, enabling the Nasa mission to zip past Venus in six weeks and make a first rendezvous with the Sun a further six weeks after that.
Over the course of seven years, Parker will make 24 loops around our star to study the physics of the corona, the place where much of the important activity that affects the Earth seems to originate.
The probe will dip inside this tenuous atmosphere, sampling conditions, and getting to just 6.16 million km (3.83 million miles) from the Sun’s broiling “surface”.
“I realise that might not sound that close, but imagine the Sun and the Earth were a metre apart. Parker Solar Probe would be just 4cm away from the Sun,” explained Dr Nicky Fox, the British-born project scientist who is affiliated to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
- “We’ll also be the fastest human-made object ever, travelling around the Sun at speeds of up to 690,000km/h (430,000mph) – New York to Tokyo in under a minute!” she told BBC News.
Why is this mission important?
Parker will help us better understand how the Sun works.
The star is constantly bombarding the Earth with charged particles and magnetic fields. This perpetual flow, or “solar wind”, is responsible for generating the beautiful auroral lights that appear in polar skies, but there are some interactions that initiate much more troubling effects.
The biggest outbursts from the Sun will rattle the Earth’s magnetic field. In the process, communications may be disrupted, satellites can be knocked offline, and power grids will be vulnerable to electrical surges.
Scientists try to forecast these “storms” and Parker promises new and valuable information to help them do that.
Image copyright S R Habbal and M Druckmüller
Image caption The diffuse corona is only visible to us on Earth during a total solar eclipse
Why go so close to the Sun?
Parker wants to get where the action is.
The corona is a remarkable place. It’s strangely hotter than the Sun’s actual surface, or photosphere. While this can be 6,000 degrees, the outer atmosphere may reach temperatures of a few million degrees.
The mechanisms that produce this super-heating are not fully understood.
Likewise, the corona is the place where the solar wind gets its big kick in speed, sweeping out across the Solar System at more than 500km/s (a million mph).
Parker aims to solve these puzzles by directly sampling the corona’s particle, magnetic and electric fields.
How will Parker survive?
A mission like Parker was first proposed 60 years ago, but it’s only now that engineers have the technology available to keep a probe safe so close to the Sun.
Nearly everything on the spacecraft must sit behind an 11.5cm-thick (4.5in) carbon-composite sunshield. This will maintain all parts behind the barrier at a tolerable 30C.
The probe is solar-powered – obviously. But that in itself is a challenge because the solar cells will have to be moved into sunlight to work and they hate high temperatures.
So, Parker’s arrays will be water-cooled, with the onboard computer system constantly adjusting their position so that only the minimum surface area absolutely necessary to generate power is exposed beyond the shield.
Autonomy is also crucial for this mission. Close to the Sun, the radio interference is intense, and Parker will be out of contact. The probe must manage any faults itself.
Above all, it has to keep the shield always pointing at the Sun to avoid being destroyed.
Image copyright NASA
Image caption Parker has a high level of autonomy
What is Europe doing?
The European Space Agency has its own version of Parker.
Solar Orbiter, or SolO as it’s sometimes known, is undergoing final assembly and testing in the UK. It is expected to launch in 2020, arriving at its closest position to the Sun towards the end of Parker’s planned seven years of operations.
SolO will go to within 42 million km of the Sun’s surface. That’s further away than Parker but it will still need an impressive shield.
Being at a more distant position, though, means SolO can do things Parker cannot – like look directly at the Sun. This enables the pair to do complementary science.
“Parker Solar Probe will get close and sit in – and make measurements of – the material coming off of the Sun. Meanwhile, Solar Orbiter, from its position, will make those measurements, too, but it will also be able to take pictures and it will be able to look at where the emissions are coming from,” said Prof Lucie Green, from the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory in the UK.
Image copyright MaX ALEXANDER/UKSA
Image caption Airbus in the UK is assembling Solar Orbiter for European scientists