God has a great plan for your life. Or if you will, God wants you to discover His purpose and plan for your life. The primary message of modern Christianity that has taken over the church and media pulpits is that of purpose discovery and goal setting to realize your life’s meaning.
The “purpose fetish” has become so permeating and pervasive, that children now are no longer rebellious or sinful, but rather, they are simply mis-purposed and misguided. That would have been so helpful to know when as naughty neighborhood kids we set dog-poo filled bags on fire on neighbor’s front steps, and threw eggs at their storm doors during Halloween. We weren’t really bad kids, just misdirected. What a relief!
Children aren’t really bad kids any longer, just misdirected. If you will, not godless, just purposeless! They don’t need a preacher or an evangelist, but rather a guidance counselor. Homes, both churched and unchurched, with demonized children, no longer have to pray 911 prayers, but rather simply make crisis counseling phone calls. In short:
“THEY DON’T NEED TO REPENT, BUT RATHER GET REDIRECTED.”
A huge impetus given to today’s dominant “power-of-purpose” theme came from Rick Warren’s best seller The Purpose Driven Life. Jesus Christ essentially became man to rescue mankind from purposelessness and goallessness, when it used to be preached that He came to save sinners from sinfulness and ungodliness.
And of course along with that are the “success and failure” themes of the modern churched and unchurched, joined with a zillion books that appeal to our egos. You walk in any Christian or non-Christian bookstore these days, and the titles jump off the shelves at you – There Is A Giant Within You – The Sky Is The Limit – There Is Nothing You Cannot Do – You Own Your Life – Go For it.
On and on it goes, which of course the world has been trumpeting for eons, as man has been long portrayed as the master of his fate and the captain of his soul. That by the way inspite of the fact that every human being on planet earth is by nature sin-saturated, intensely self-purposed, and intensely driven in his sinful and selfish pursuits! The captain has shipwrecked his own soul.
PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME
How do you de-spot a leopard? The prophet Jeremiah asks the question,
“Can…the leopard change his spots?”
Not any that I have heard of lately. Even if we could de-spot a leopard, how do you de-leopardize a leopard? Forget the spots, what about the beast in the leopard? How do you de-beast the beast?
Likewise, how do you turn a tornado? How do you redirect a hurricane? How do you reverse a tsunami? How do you make up down and down up? How do you hard-left turn or hard-right turn a locomotive? How do you make a crooked stick straight? How do you re-purpose the devil? How do you redirect an out-and-out rebel? How do you lead a raving lunatic?
The answer to all of these questions is, “You don’t, you can’t, you won’t.” All of that is like trying to guidance-counsel Satan! Come now, trying to re-purpose and re-direct the human race is like trying to reposition and redirect the earth into a new orbit.
If you will:
“HAVE YOU EVER GONE TO A RODEO BULL AND TOLD HIM THAT
GOD HAS A NEW PURPOSE FOR HIS LIFE.”
“HAVE YOU EVER SAT ACROSS FROM AN ALLIGATOR AND TOLD
HIM THAT GOD WANTS TO REDIRECT HIM.”
“CHRISTIANITY IS NOT FIRST OF ALL ABOUT COUNSELING,
BUT ABOUT CONVERTING.”
“CHRISTIANITY IS NOT FIRST ABOUT RE-PURPOSING, BUT
So let’s get to it!
THE MEANING OF REPENTANCE
No man by nature, and I mean no one, will discover or embrace the purpose that God has for his life with the mindset and will that he is born with. Why? Because of what we read in Romans 8:7-8 KJV,
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not
subject to the law of God, neither can it be.”
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Enmity means that man “HATES GOD” by nature. Hear this now:
“THE ENTIRE MINDSET OF MAN BY NATURE IS NOT PRO-GOD, BUT
INSTEAD IS ANTI-GOD.”
If you will:
“MAN’S WAY OF THINKING IS TOTALLY AGAINST GOD’S WAY OF
THINKING, AND MAN’S WAYS TOTALLY
AGAINST GOD’S WAYS.”
Which is exactly what we read in Isaiah 53:6,
“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has
turned to his own way.”
Man by nature does not just become a terrible two-year old, but man by nature is a terrible every-year old, and left to himself will become an unholy terrible eighty-year old if he lives that long. He doesn’t want to go God’s way which is the only right way, but only wants to go his way which is always the wrong way.
And trying to get a hold of man and turn him around to go in the right way with a whole new purpose in life is like trying to catch Blackie the neighbor’s bush-peeing and plant-killing dog. You will never catch Blackie and teach him that God has a higher purpose for his life. Blackie will go his own way and do his own thing as long as there are neighborhood bushes for him to target. And he never misses, for that is his consistent, well practiced, unholy, and determined purpose in life! Outside of that, there is little else to distinguish him.
Blackie needs a brain transplant! He needs a whole new mindset. He thinks and believes instinctively that he is a bush molester. Blackie the constantly urinating canine does not need a new purpose in life, for he is already incurably purpose obsessed and driven. Rather, Blackie needs an entirely different way of thinking. Namely, that he is not a bush discolorer and destroyer, but rather a bush protector and promoter. Otherwise, though he may run and stay away from your hedges for awhile after you drive him off, he will only go and liquefy other neighbor’s greenery now turned yellowy too.
PLEASING GOD OR PLEASING SELF
This brings it all into focus. Simply put:
“BLACKIE DOES WHATEVER HE PLEASES.”
If you will:
“BLACKIE DOES WHATEVER PLEASES HIMSELF.”
You see now, and we must get this, sinful and black-hearted man is just like Blackie, for we read in Romans 8:8 about man by nature:
“…he cannot please God.”
He too does whatever is pleasing to him no matter how wrong and displeasing it is to God.
We hear our Lord Jesus Christ speaking about Himself in John 8:29,
“And He Who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for
I always do the things that are PLEASING to Him.”
Again the words of Ephesians 5:10,
“Trying to learn whatever is PLEASING to the Lord.”
Once more in Hebrews 13:20-21,
“Now the God of peace, Who brought up from the dead the great
Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal
Covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
“equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that
which is PLEASING in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to
Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Now hear this:
“NATURAL BORN MAN HAS A MINDSET TO DISPLEASE GOD
AND TO PLEASE HIMSELF,”
By way of total antithesis:
“THE REPENTANT BORN-AGAIN MAN HAS A MINDSET TO PLEASE GOD
AND TO DISPLEASE HIS OLD SELF.”
And furthermore, because the two mindsets are diametrically opposed to one another, the following are also true without exception:
“WHATEVER IS PLEASING TO THE NATURAL MIND OF MAN
IS DISPLEASING TO THE MIND OF GOD.”
“WHATEVER IS PLEASING TO THE MIND OF GOD IS
DISPLEASING TO THE NATURAL MIND OF MAN.”
It all starts very early in life as parents soon find out in the lives of their natural born children. Our kid’s brains do not need to be stimulated into doing things that are displeasing to us. Their brains do have to be stimulated, coaxed, and cajoled into doing what is pleasing to parents, which at times can be as difficult as stimulating a two year old into doing calculus. What does not need encouragement or brain stimulation is throwing food on the floor, scribbling on walls, and tossing chalk and crayons into the toilet.
TRUE AND FALSE REPENTANCE
Now then, here is where REPENTANCE comes in and finds its true meaning. There are basically two main words in the New Testament that are translated by our one English word REPENT or REPENTANCE.
FIRST there is METAMELEIA which means:
“ANXIETY AND ACUTE DISCOMFORT AFTER DOING SOMETHING WRONG,
MOSTLY BROUGHT ON BY BEING CAUGHT.”
We read of METAMELEIA in Jesus’ story of the two sons, the first son of which was told by his father to go work in the field, and that son said that he would go but didn’t. Sadly not uncommon enough. The second son was also told to go to the field and work, but he outright defied his father and said, “No way Hoezee.” But, then we read in Matthew 21:29 KJV,
“…but afterward he REPENTED-METAMELEIA and went.”
The second son had a pain of conscience and went and did the work. That is METAMELEIA in action. It refers to a change of mind relating to a certain wrong action, but does not change the entire mindset of the repenter.
We read of the same thing about Judas Iscariot in Matthew 27:3,
“Then Judas, which had betrayed Him (Jesus), when he saw that he
was condemned, REPENTED-METAMELEIA himself.”
He was deeply guilt-ridden over a certain action in which he had been caught, but METAMELEIA did nothing to give him a whole new way of thinking and willing.
SECOND, and here is the main word – The Big Kahuna – and that is METANOIA which means:
“A TOTALLY NEW AND TRANSFORMED MIND.”
Jesus says words that define His total ministry in Luke 5:32,
“I came not to call the righteous but sinners to
It comes from two Greek words – META meaning AGAIN, and NOUS meaning MIND – hence, TO CHANGE YOUR MIND. METANOIA-REPENTANCE is not merely a mind tweak, or simply a brain adjustment. True repentance is revolutionary and very rough, for it is discovering something shocking, namely:
“THAT I HAVE THE MIND OF SATAN AND NOT THE MIND GOD, AND THAT
I HAVE THE DESIRES OF SATAN AND NOT THE DESIRES OF GOD,
AND THE ONLY WAY I CAN GET FROM THE FORMER TO
THE LATTER IS FOR CHRIST TO MAKE ME A
“MEANS WE ARE REVOLTED BY WHAT WE SEE IN OUR VERY DARK
MINDS AND HEARTS, AND EQUALLY APPALLED BY
WHAT DO NOT SEE.”
Hear me now:
“THERE CAN BE NO PARDON WITHOUT METANOIA-REPENTANCE, AND
METANOIA-REPENTANCE IS NOT ROUTINE CONFESSION .”
Metanoia-Repentance has little to do with our embarrassment for getting arrested for drunk driving on a Saturday night. It is not our determination to make a new resolution and improve. It has nothing to do with becoming sufficiently religious. It is not an amenity as though we are to apologize for the rash on our skin. All of that is METAMELEIA and not METANOIA.
Metanoia-Repentance is not only the dread of death and fear of punishment which by itself is Metameleia, but it means hating the way we have been, rejecting and turning our back on this deadbeat in us who has been running and ruining our lives even in the name of religion, and turning our minds, our hearts, our lives over to Christ.
Man by nature needs much more than a few mental nuts and bolts tightened. Man’s mind and heart have been severely damaged and ravaged by sin – terminal brain and terminal heart damage. Spiritually and morally he needs both a brand-new brain and a brand-new heart transplant. Anything less would be like giving a collapsing and condemned house a new coat of paint and a few new windowpanes. That would be METAMELEIA and not METANOIA, and would do nothing to change the man internally but would only cosmetically and externally change him.
Staying with that collapsing, condemned, and rat-infested house for a moment, repentance is not only seeing its condition, but coming to the horrifying realization that we were actually living in it. Spiritually and morally speaking, all of a sudden we realize that it should be in a documentary on Appalachian poverty. That is too part of true repentance.
Hear this now:
“METAMELEIA IS HAVING A MOMENTARY HEART PRICK
AND CONSCIENCE PAIN, BUT IN ITSELF WILL NOT
ESSENTIALLY CHANGE OR SAVE A MAN.”
“METANOIA IS A COMPLETE SPIRITUAL BRAIN AND HEART TRANSPLANT,
A TOTAL CHANGE IN THINKING AND DESIRING, AND ALONE WILL
LEAD A MAN TO SALVATION.”
You see, METAMELEIA comes close to the Latin POENITENTIA from which we get the English PENITENT which means:
“REGRET – THE DESIRE TO BE FORGIVEN.”
It does not change a person, but does strongly desire to change and undo bad actions and circumstances – PENITENT. It does not change the sinner, but only desires to undo the sin.
On the other hand, METANOIA comes close to the Latin RESIPISCENTIA which means:
“TO TOTALLY HAVE A BRAND NEW MIND AND TO
RECOVER ONE’S SENSES.”
“IF JUDAS ISCARIOT WOULD HAVE HAD METANOIA, HE WOULD
NOT HAVE BETRAYED JESUS AND LATER
HAVE HAD METAMELEIA.”
“METAMELEIA REGRETS HAVING DISPLEASED GOD BY
PLEASING ONE’S SELF.”
“METANOIA PUTS TO DEATH THE SELF-PLEASING MINDSET, AND
RECEIVES A WHOLE NEW MIND SET ON
ALWAYS PLEASING GOD.”
To be exact:
“PENITENCE DEALS WITH THE ACT OF SIN, BUT ONLY REPENTANCE
DEALS WITH AND CHANGES THE STATE OF SIN.”
This pretty well says it in summary to our first point – the meaning of repentance:
“REPENTANCE ALONE GETS THE MONSTER SELF OUT OF OUR HEADS,
AND REPLACES IT WITH MASTER JESUS.”
If you will:
“THE MIND OF SELF IS REPLACED BY THE MIND OF CHRIST WHEN
A SINNER REPENTS – METANOIA.”
It goes something like this – God, I thought I could do it my way, and that I would do just fine on my own. I wanted to be a free thinker and not be told what to do by You or by anyone else. But Lord, I was wrong! I repent! Please Lord be merciful to me and forgive my sins. I have changed my mind, for I have discovered that my way of thinking and doing is ugly and totally wrong. My life, my mind, and my heart are a mess, and Lord, would You please forgive me, and give Me only your life and thoughts and desires. I want to think and live and act like Jesus and Jesus alone. Thank you Lord. Amen!
THE PRIMACY OF REPENTANCE
The Christian life is not first of all purpose driven. Nor is it first of all goal oriented. Nor is it setting clear objectives. All of those things are important throughout our lives, but they are not primary. Here is the fact of the matter:
“THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS AND MUST BE FIRST OF ALL REPENTANCE DRIVEN.”
Without that primacy, all of our purposes, goals, and objectives will be wrong, wasteful, and wide of the mark of the high calling that God sets for us in Jesus Christ.
We read the words of Jesus’ first public command in Mark 1:15,
“…REPENT and believe in the Gospel.”
Then the words of Peter in Acts 2:38,
“REPENT and let each of you be baptized in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Then the words of Paul in Acts 17:30,
“…God is now declaring that all men everywhere should REPENT.”
In every case the Greek word for REPENT is from the root META-NOUS or AGAIN MIND – CHANGE YOUR MIND. REPENTANCE is the primary motor that drives the Christian life, and without that engine, the Christian life will stall before it ever gets started. It won’t get out of the garage, for it is already dead in its tracks. Repentance is the prime mover of the Christian life.
If you will, to get closer to Bible language:
“WITHOUT THE PRIMACY OF TRUE REPENTANCE, EVERY WOULD-BE
BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN LIFE WILL BE STILL BORN – DEAD ON
ARRIVAL BEFORE IT EXITS THE BIRTH CANAL.”
Speaking of births, there is nothing that can be so dangerous as a breach birth, except of course a double-breach birth. Breach-birth, that is, feet first rather than head first. So it is with being born again as a child of God, it is absolutely deadly to come forth feet first rather than head first.
Listen now, a baby that is right-side-up in the womb is in fact wrong-side-down. There are doctors who specialize today in turning breach babies up-side-down, which in fact is right-side-up. These doctors generally have hands like baseball mitts that are able in some instances to sqoosh the baby around. But there is only One in spiritual rebirth – the Holy Spirit – who in the babe’s breach condition can invert the child, for:
“WITHOUT THAT INVERSION THERE CAN BE NO TRUE CONVERSION.“
Anyone who is spiritually born breach-feet-first rather than repentant-transformed-head-first – will do what the Apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 2:2,
“in which you formerly WALKED according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the
spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
To have unrepentant children or grandchildren is like having several huge and overpowering dogs on leashes for a walk, and each of them is super-strong willed with a mind of their own. There is nothing more frustrating and agonizing than to have dogs like that, for as we say, they just won’t MIND us. That’s when they drag you helplessly on walks in directions that you don’t want to go. You don’t walk them, they walk you.
If you will:
“THE FIRST PRIORITY IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOT HOW TO WALK,
BUT HOW TO THINK, FOR THE MINDSET WILL DETERMINE WHICH
DIRECTION WE WALK IN, WITH GOD OR AGAINST GOD.”
This is the question the answer to which will determines everything:
“WILL YOU JOIN THE MINDSET OF THE GENERATION ME,
OR THE MINDSET OF THE REGENERATION HIM?”
And everything in our society is stacked for the former, and stacked against the latter. Because the mantra of modern secular education is:
“EVERY CHILD MUST LEARN TO THINK FOR HIMSELF.”
“NOT THINKING LIKE CHRIST.”
But, the Bible teaches something totally different:
“EVERY CHILD MUST LEARN TO THINK LIKE THE LORD OF THE WORD,
AND LIKE THE WORD OF THE LORD.”
For that is what REPENTANCE and the truly being born again are first of all about:
“MAKING THE TOTALLY LIFE-CHANGING DECISION TO THINK AND GO
GOD’S WAY, AND NOT TO THINK AND GO MY WAY.”
Allow me to state the primacy of repentance in another way:
“IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TRULY BELIEVE UNLESS YOU FIRST
OF ALL TRULY REPENT.”
In addition to Mark 1:15, we also read in Matthew 21:32 KJV,
“…and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that
ye might believe Him.”
Here we are told clearly and unmistakably that repentance is the only imperative antecedent to faith, and that without repentance it is impossible to believe and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Simply because:
“NO ONE WILL TRUST IN OR ENTRUST HIMSELF TO SOMEONE WHO
HIS ENTIRE MINDSET IS TOTALLY DEAD SET AGAINST.”
It just doesn’t, it just will not, and it just cannot work! It is the very same principle in this truth:
“NO ONE CAN OR WILL TURN TO AND FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS UNLESS
HE OR SHE FIRST TURNS AWAY FROM AND AGAINST SIN.”
All of this explains why so many so-called born again Christians fall away from and turn their backs on the God of their faith. It is because they had never resolutely and finally turned against self, sin, and Satan in the first place, and to and for Christ and righteousness. Such unrepentant religious people are always born deformed and not transformed. If you will:
“NO SPIRITUAL BABY IS HEALTHFULLY BIRTHED UNTIL REPENTANCE
HAS FULLY DILATED TO TEN.”
That is to say:
“WITHOUT A TOTAL CHANGE OF MIND AND HEART, WE WILL BE
CONSTANTLY CHANGING DIAPERS ON SIXTEEN AND SIXTY
YEAR OLDS WHO ARE FOREVER DIRTYING THEMSELVES
AND STINKING UP THEIR LIVES.”
SOME MORE REPENTANCE TRUTHS
FIRST, it is not possible to have two contrary mindsets in the Christian life. It just does not work, because it cannot work. It is the same principle deeply embedded in the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:24,
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one
and love the other, or he will hold to the one and
despise the other. You cannot serve God
Did you hear that? Jesus did not say you MAY NOT have two masters, but rather, He said YOU CANNOT have two masters. It is an impossible state of affairs. And what is more, to try to be mentally occupied with and willfully submitted to two masters, the result will always be that you end up loving one and hating the other, and holding on to one and dumping the other. And given the fact that by nature we are opposed to God, when we try to hang on to sin and God at the same time, guess Who will get dumped and get the shaft. Therefore:
“YOU MUST FIRST REPENT, THAT IS, MAKE THE FULL AND STRONG
DECISION TO CLING ONLY TO GOD IN YOUR MIND AND HEART,
AND TOTALLY DUMP SIN, SELF, AND SATAN FROM BOTH.”
What Jesus is really saying to us is this:
“THE HUMAN MIND AND HEART CANNOT, WITH THE SAME FORCE AND
AFFECTION, EMBRACE TWO OPPOSITES AT THE SAME TIME.”
If you will:
“YOU WILL EITHER LOVE JESUS WITH ALL THAT YOU ARE,
OR YOU WILL NOT LOVE HIM AT ALL.”
“IF YOU CHOOSE TO LOVE JESUS WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART,
YOU WILL HATE THE SIN AND SATAN’S GUTS.”
Another way of putting all of this is to understand:
“THE PRESENCE OF MIND.”
The fact of the matter is:
“NO MIND CAN BE FULLY PRESENT TO SELF AND GOD, SATAN
AND JESUS, EVIL SPIRITS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
AT THE SAME TIME.”
All of this explains why when you are smooching, loving on, and having intercourse with another woman or man other than your spouse, if you continue with your hell, your mind will not be present to your wife or husband even when you are with her or him, and your mind will be present to and with your adulterous other even when you are not with her or him. And if you continue in your sin, you will end up hating your husband or wife and loving the other. That is why the vast majorities of divorces are cruel and hateful. And the only way to totally change is to REPENT of your adultery, and turn your mind and heart back to God and then to your spouse.
SECOND, because of the primacy of REPENTANCE, it must be done not only FIRST, but EARLY. There is a very old, well-warn saying that goes like this:
“YOU CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS.”
Though often used, it still hides principles that both the speakers and the hearers continue to miss to their own peril. What is being stated is that the longer time and opportunities go by, it becomes nigh unto impossible to not only learn the new, but to unlearn the old. So, the dog that is unwilling today, will more than likely be that much more unwilling tomorrow. Given “Old Yeller’s” ruttedness, you may just have to wait until you get a “New Yeller.” Frankly, I don’t much like heating up old coffee that has turned cold and sat there for a while, but rather, I would just as soon brew a fresh pot.
So it is with older and old men when it comes to REPENTANCE. Many more old people die before they repent than repent just before they die. There are deathbed repentances I am sure, as Calvary’s three crosses undeniably confirm. But the fact is, the longer sinners wait to repent, the hold of old sinful ways of thinking and doing upon their minds and hearts can get so strong, that though they still may or may not have time, they no longer have the willingness or the strength to change their minds or their ways. Be assured:
“AS SINFUL THINKING AND DOING MATURE IN THE AGING SINNER,
THE UNWILLINGNESS TO CHANGE HIS MIND AND WAYS
INCREASES IN EQUAL PROPORTION.”
“THE LONGER A MAN BECOMES ADDICTED TO THE PLEASURES OF SIN,
THE MORE SEPARATING HIMSELF FROM THOSE SINFUL AND
ENDEARING PLEASURES BECOMES INCREASINGLY
DISPLEASURABLE AND PAINFUL.”
Frankly, the guy who thinks or says that he plans on sinning until such and such a time and then quit, like quitting smoking or drinking tomorrow, shows that he has no understanding of the nature of sin, or of the human mind, or of the human heart. Why? Simply because:
“WHILE SINFUL THINKING AND DOING MAY AT FIRST COME IN LIKE
A FOX, THE LONGER THEY PERSIST, THEY WILL END
UP RULING LIKE A LION.”
How stupid it is to think that we shall overcome sin by a later and future repentance, when we don’t have the willingness and power to overcome it now. Plus the fact:
“AT FIRST A MAN IS STRONG AND HIS SIN STILL WEAK, THE OLDER
HE GETS AND THE LONGER HE SINS, HE WILL END UP
WEAK AND HIS SIN STRONG.”
“THERE IS NOTHING MORE TRAGIC AND HARD-HEARTED
THAN A DIRTY OLD MAN.”
As a matter of fact, while time subtracts, sin multiplies. Though time softens muscles, the more time is passed in sin, it hardens hearts. Get this now! You will find the episode in II Kings 8:7-15. Please read it on your own. The actual story there is about the Prophet Elisha, Benhadad King of Aram, and Hazael the kings servant. King Benhadad is sick, and he sends his servant Hazael to the man of God-the prophet Elisha to ask him whether the King will live or die. The Prophet of God told the servant that his king will live.
But then he said to Hazael, “He will live, but then you will kill him.” The man of God had the discernment from the Lord that Hazael’s intent was not only to kill his king, but to ascend his throne. But Elisha, now broken and weeping, also said to Hazael that his rottenness would decay even further, as he would kill all sucking infants and rip apart pregnant women to eliminate all competition to the then murderously stolen throne.
Hazael, nip it now, repent of your intent and humble yourself before God. Hazael denied it, acted shocked and deeply offended, and with resentment replied to Elisha the Prophet of God in II Kings 8:13,
“But what, is Thy servant a dog, that he should do
this great thing?”
And the very next day he went to his king with a very thick cloth soaked in water, proceeded to lay it across the sick king’s face and suffocate as well as drown the king to death.
You see, sin has already grown in his mind and heart to such a degree, that he could not refer to it as great sin, but only a great thing. Hazael disbelieved that he could be so wicked, even though he had already purposed in his heart to be so. Satan camouflages sin and the true Prophets of God uncamouflage it in all of its face-to-face hideousness. That is the Holy Spirit of true Prophecy throughout the entire Bible.
And sure enough, as soon as Hazael had assassinated the King, and committed that first great leading sin, hot in his sin his corruption rages hotter and hotter, as he goes on in his executing madness to do all of those atrocities that beforehand he said he abhorred from a distance and judged impossible and incredible.
“THE MOMENT SIN IS CONCEIVED IN THE MIND AND HEART AND IS
UNREPENTED OF, GIVEN TIME AND OPPORTUNITY, THERE
WILL BE THE INCREASE OF CORRUPTION AND THE
HARDENING OF THE CONSCIENCE THROUGH
THE CONTINUANCE IN SIN.”
THIRD, and finally, TRUE REPENTANCE will show like a 9 month pregnant woman. John the Baptist, certainly the forerunner of Christ and the greatest REPENTANCE PREACHER that ever was, said to the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 3:8,
“Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance.”
If you will:
“EVEN AS THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING IS IN THE EATING, SO THE
PROOF OF REPENTANCE IS IN THE LIVING.”
So then in plain language, true repentance is a complete change of mind and heart from self to God, and from sin to righteousness. If you will, from vice to virtue! And if that change from disobedience to obedience to God is not there, even if the repenting one prays and weeps and hangs his head like a whipped puppy, he must conclude that his repentance has been a fake. He in fact deluded himself and perhaps even deceived others, but all he did was buy off the pains of his conscience and the accusations of men for a time. In short:
“HE REACTED TO SHAME AND GUILT, BUT HE DID
NOT REPENT AND TURN FROM IT.”
A widow during the First World War lost her husband and her only son. She was especially bitter because her neighbor, who had five sons, lost none of them. One night while this woman’s grief was so terribly severe, she had a dream. An angel stood before her and said, “If you might have your son back again for ten minutes, what ten minutes with him would you choose? Would you have him back as a little baby; a dirty faced little boy; a schoolboy just starting school; a student just completing high school; or as a young soldier who marched off so bravely to war?
The mother thought for a few minutes and then in her dream, told the angel that she would choose none of those times with her son. “Let me have him back,” she said, “when as a little boy I caught him doing a naughty thing, and in a moment of anger, he doubled his fists and shook them at me and said, ‘I hate you.’”
Continuing to address the angel she said, “In a little while his anger subsided and he came back to me, his dirty little face stained with tears, and he put his arms around me and said, ‘Mommy, I am sorry that I was naughty. I promise never to be like that never to do that again. Mommy, I love you with all my heart.’”
She then said to the angel, “Let me have him back then, for I never loved him more than at that moment when he confessed his sin, changed his attitude, and came back into my arms and I in his.” God is waiting for someone here this morning so that He can have a moment like that with you that will change you and your relationship with Him forever. He will never love you more than right now! Amen.