I’ve been thinking, praying, and seeking the Lord lately. Not just about this current situation in the world, but also about me and my situation. I’ve just finished reading through the book of Jeremiah in the Bible. One thing that struck me is that after Jeremiah had warned Judah about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and Judah by the king of Babylon, God also gave the message to Jeremiah that they should repent. Before you tune out, please listen to all I have to say. I would like to say that this is a message to me. In fact, true repentance of a nation or of the world is made of individuals. God was willing to relent of His judgement if Judah would repent. God is consistent on this message. God is good, and finds no pleasure in our punishment, but what He really wants is for us to submit and obey Him. When we do, we find His love, not wrath.
Jeremiah 26:3 (NASB95)
3 ‘Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.’
Ezekiel 33:11 (NASB95)
11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’
From beginning to end, Jesus’ message was to repent, and believe in the Gospel. Early in His ministry He preached this:
Mark 1:14–15 (NASB95)
Jesus Preaches in Galilee
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
After He was resurrected, He said this:
Luke 24:45–47 (NASB95)
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
I want to take heed to this and address sin in my life. It’s a struggle, but I can struggle harder than I have been.
We all fall short, but the Good News is that if we repent and believe in the Good News, we can have eternal life, and this gives hope beyond anything that can come along. The Good News is this: that Jesus was, and is, and always will be the Son of God. He came in the flesh and lived a perfect life, and because of this He was able to become a sin sacrifice for us. He took our sins and died on the cross, but He arose from the dead after three days. If you repent and believe in Him and this Good News you will be forgiven and have eternal life.
By the way, repentance does not just mean to be sorrowful, but to change your mind to agree with God that if you have sin to stop and correct it with God’s help. Also, repentance is not just negative. The law of God is summed up that we should love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and love our neighbor as our self. Love is not negative, but the way Jesus has instructed us about, and He also gave us an example of.
I don’t know all of God’s mind about His reasons for this disease and following effects, but I do know God has always wanted us to repent. And I know that He wants us to believe in Jesus His Son. I am taking this to be a shot across the bow. We have a choice before us. The right choice is to make a positive change.