Gods demands that we Repent for our sins.

Call for Repentance

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness
of Judea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 3:1-2.

One of the difficult actions to take is to change from one way to a better way. This is not easy for anyone, especially after the act has gone on for a long period of time. There are whole programs that seek to have a person take another route. We seem to have an aversion to making changes.

In our society the television carries this message over and over!

All one needs do is watch the commercials for weight loss, buying a new car or taking a pill and how that will magically change your lifestyle. Yes, a change must take place as we do something which modifies our former behaviors.

These are signs of conversion.

In the Christian vocabulary this is called repentance. One of the five basic elements in becoming a Christian is repentance. The five indispensable areas are as follows:

  1. Hear the gospel.
  2. Believe the gospel.
  3. Confess Christ.
  4. Repent of your sins.
  5. Be immersed in the waters to receive the gift of eternal life.

In the Old Testament, God – through the prophets and the law called on the nation of Israel to transform their evil ways to acts that supported His covenant with them. Moses, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha, and Jeremiah were harbingers of events that if repentance did not happen then certain results would happen.

Seldom did repentance happen!

It may be a series of social or economic happenings that foretells a future occurrence. Let me give you two situations that have arisen in several of my reader’s life time. First, when Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey were seeking the presidency in 1968 there was a riot in Chicago against the establishment. What the Republicans did was to point out this is how Democrats behave. In a short time it was played over and over by the Republicans to illustrate the point. Nixon won.

Second, in 2016 the illegal Mexican Nationals rioted in California just before the crucial vote in Indiana for the Republican party. It was a Donald Trump victory because this was a signal this is how these people act. The Mexican flag was shown being waved. Cruz was doomed. Trump swept Indiana and now he is the nominee.

As we read history it must be evident that certain actions are telegraphing to us such and such will happen. In order for there to be the understanding of this we must read and increase our knowledge and thus wisdom will come naturally. As a Christian, it is not easy to mentally digest all of the news that is being thrown at us by television, radio, and Facebook or any of the digital methods. It is for this reason we must see the signs of the times.

WHO WAS HE?

There was a strange man who suddenly came forth before the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. His name was John who was an immerse in water of his converts. This man called for repentance this man announced the great change in humans was about to come.

Actually, this unique man had been foretold six centuries earlier in Isaiah 40:3:

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight
in the desert a highway for our God.”

Other passages could be mentioned but this is a start to proving the point that a messenger will announce this great event. John’s birth has already been predetermined to his father Zechariah. Luke 1:13 tells of the event:

“But the angel said unto him, fear not, Zach-a-ri’as:
for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall
bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”
One such prophet also stated this time period in Joel 2:11-17:

“And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army:
for this camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth
his word: for the day of the lord is great and very terrible;
and who can abide it?

Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me
with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping,
and with mourning:
And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn
unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth
him of the evil.

Whom knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a
blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink
offering unto the Lord your God?

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn
assembly:
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble
the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the
breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and
the bride out of her closet.

Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between
the porch and the altar, and let them say, spare thy people,
O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that
the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they
say among the people, Where is their God?”

When a Christian studies and watches he or she can translate the situations.

However, few people will accept the prophets remarks because at the time the judgment is announced also.

John the Immerser did not go to a house of worship to spread the news but he went to a solitary place which was in the wilderness. His message was simple. It could be summed up in one word: repent. Stop doing evil because judgment would happen. What God always does with his commands is to tell why there is no guesswork. There is no wondering why this command is set out.

The opening verses of Matthew 3:1-5 are an illustration of this statement:

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the
wilderness of Judea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet E-sai’as,
saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness,
prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and
a leathern girdle about his lions: and his meat was locusts
and wild honey.
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all
the region round about Jordan.“
How we dress tells others who we are and certainly John the Immerser was no exception. He was something of an iconoclast because his attire startled people. Even his eating habits were not the norm: bugs and honey. This meant he must have been a Nazarene. This seemingly was his lifestyle.

This man of God attracted attention with his attire, eating, and message. We know later on his condemnation of sin brought about his head being remanded from his body.

People flocked to his message. People know when something is wrong and sin is so evident. Huge groups formed around Judea and Jerusalem. These groups walked far to hear this strange Holy Man – John.

In our time why do you think Donald Trump can draw such huge crowds? He has spoken the issues that people know are present. He gives a solution as well. Hillary Clinton does not give any answers  –  ONLY LIES.

What John did was tell these people you must show a sign of repentance. This took the form of cleaning of sin. It was a sign of repenting.

RELIGIOUS LEADERS

The same problem that existed at the time of John is still among us. It is the supposed spiritual leaders were corrupt and supporting a system that was Godly in name only. In our day the same corruption exists as it is a way of life. Later it was Jesus that took a cord and overturned the money tables. Then these were the same men who plotted and murdered Jesus. John read them like you and I would a book.

Here is what John told them to their face in Matthew 3:7-9.

“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sad’du-cees
come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of
vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath that
come?

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham
to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these
stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

John knew what he was dealing with. This was a man who understood human nature.

In our culture, there does not seem to be any preacher or priest that is vocal against sin and thus evil. Often these men of the living God are concerned with their retirement fund and where they live in a house which is paid by the organization or the local church members. Such organizations are learning about their own demons. The membership is decreasing in large numbers. Just as it always is when the Gospel is diluted then membership goes down also.

John called for repentance. The present people cannot save you, only Jesus Christ. These Jews tried to use names such as Abraham to bolster their lifestyle. It did not work.

ACTS PRODUCE JUDGMENT

It does not matter whether it be in economics, environment, or socially what we do brings about payment. Only the good should and will last.

The Republicans are feeling the judgment now. Republicans were put into the majority of both houses. Senate and Representative. What was done? Nothing. The former leaders are being purged from the towers of power in this nation. Like it or not that is the way it is.

The same is true of the religious leaders. Read carefully Matthew 3:10-12:

“And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees:
therefore every tree that which bringeth not forth good
fruit if hewn down, and cast into the fire.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he
that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am
not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy
Ghost, and with fire.

Whose fan is in his hand’ and he will thoroughly purge his
floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will
burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

 

Personally I am delighted these people have been obliterated. God will raise up men of God. If your church does not proclaim the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the Holy life that we are to follow. If this is not your church, then leave at once.

IMMERSION

In the body of believers there is a dispute about immersion. This is just another method we used to subject the truth of the Scripture.

Christ was the example for you and I to follow. He set the standard. It was Matthew 3:13-17 that gave us the standard:

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John,
to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying I have need to be baptized
Of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now:
for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he
suffered him.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway
out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto
him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove,
and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased.”
Here are some reasons Christ was immersed:

First, the king wanted to identify with the people he came to save. All of his life Christ identified with common people from the manager to his burial. He was a man. Pouring and sprinkling are not scriptural. Do not do this.

Second, we are separated from our past. We repent. We confess we love differently. If you have been around Christians, you immediately recognize you know they are different. Immersion separate us from the world.

Third, to be immersed is not an individual decision. This is a statement of your faith that the early church and Jesus did not leave it up your belief. It is a direct command several places in the New Testament. Jesus declared this was the fulfillment of righteousness. How this is known we do not know, but God knows.

This is an example of repentance: John Callender was a captain in the Massachusetts Militia. At the battle of Bunker Hill he ran from the engagement. George Washington cashiered Captain Callender. He was a coward. As soon as he was sentenced, he reenlisted as a Private and fought in the Battle of Long Island – with honor. He had repented.

What God demands is obedience. It is simple. It is marked. It is a fundamental fact that what God states first is: OBEDIENCE.

KEEP THE FAITH!

AT CALVARY

“Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty,
At Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.

Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing Of Calvary.

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!”

Gerald K. Fugit
DiggingOldWells.com
May 8, 2016

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