"Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." --- Acts 17:29-31
Most of them are very popular and have to be rated as being highly successful. A number of them have written books which have been best sellers. Others have TV cable programs that rate very highly when those rating surveys are taken. And there is talk radio which has a number of rather high profile personalities. Among the latter the name of Rush Limbaugh is dominant and has been for some time.
These together constitute a mighty chorus calling for a return to values which made our republic a great nation. There is constant decrying of the expansion of big government, out of control spending, and loss of personal liberties. There is no lack of singling out by name those whom these professed “conservatives” consider to be responsible for the quagmire into which our republic has sunk!
But they in common share this glaring omission. Let’s put it this way – it’s like building an automobile without a transmission – it’s like manufacturing an aircraft designed to transport 350 passengers and not putting wings on it – it’s like building a modern day Titanic with all the new technology but not installing the propellers and rudder – it’s like preparing to bake a two layer chocolate cake and not adding the chocolate to the bowl of ingredients which make up the cake! In each case something very critical is missing and that being the case, there will be nothing but failure as a result.
The missing ingredient is genuine and sincere repentance from sin and rebellion which has been committed against the God Who brought this mighty universe into existence out of nothing by simple command!
You can talk about your values, principles and even occasionally refer to God Almighty all you want, but if you avoid the issue of repentance, it is all in vain and our republic travels down the slippery slope toward collapse and disaster at an accelerated pace!
Three critical elements are involved in repentance in which God grants mercy and forgiveness:
- intellectual – a crystal clear awareness that one is a sinner and guilty of countless acts which Almighty God condemns. The light has been turned on and what used to be so “acceptable” or what was felt to be OK if one could get away with it, are now recognized to be ethically, morally, and spiritually wrong in the sight of a holy God Who has us all under constant surveillance.
- emotional – that is, to feel remorse and regret over having sinned against God and one’s fellow human beings. The problem, however, is too often a sense of regret may come on a person, but it is only regret at having been caught in the act of doing wrong, not at having sinned against God!
- volitional – that is, by deliberate choice one ceases to do those things that are now recognized to be sinful against God and/or against one’s fellow human beings. This is the thrust of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which states that if a person is in Christ (having repented and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord) then that person is a new creation with old things passing away and all things becoming new!
Repentance is not just an individual experience, though that is where it has to begin, but also a corporate experience in which groups of persons become involved. Anywhere you look the evidence is overwhelming of the need for corporate repentance – in business, corporations, education, government at all levels, the professions, and of course, churches!
But as mentioned at the beginning, you will not hear the high profile conservatives speaking of these things. In all likelihood they would have some “excuse” for not mentioning such a subject. And why should they since it is not mentioned all that often in the churches.
Many years ago a pastor who was in his retirement years said that repentance was the lost doctrine in the church and mentioned by name a mainline denomination in which this problem existed.
Will the time come when all over the United States there will be millions of people declaring by words spoken and deeds done that their top priority is seeking God in a spirit of genuine repentance -- that a chorus of voices is in unanimous agreement that we as individuals and collectively in groups as well as an entire nation have grievously sinned against Almighty God?
There is a possible shocking response that God may make if that should happen due to the fact that He has been calling this nation to repentance for a long, long time and there has been no serious heeding of that call. Read carefully what that response might be:
Thus says the LORD to this people: "Thus they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, and punish their sins."
Then the LORD said to me, "Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence." --- Jeremiah 14:10-12
But those conservatives will continue to write their best selling books, do their TV shows, and do their talk radio programs – they will be quick to tell us what ought to be done to set this nation on the right course, but will never, never mention the key ingredient that is absolutely necessary to get the country into a favorable relationship with the Creator of this mighty universe!
By the way, I have an automobile for sale – it doesn’t have a transmission in it – are you interested?
And it came to pass after many days that the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the sash which I commanded you to hide there." Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the sash from the place where I had hidden it; and there was the sash, ruined. It was profitable for nothing. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'In this manner I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. --- Jeremiah 13:6-10