So many times I wonder if oceans of tears and rivers of blood will be the price that this nation pays for flaunting itself in the eyes of a righteous and a holy God.
Our only hope is in repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
God is speaking to His people called by His name. We must recognize that "judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:1-8).
Our beloved nation reeks with humanistic haughtiness. It is time for genuine humility. James 4:6 says, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." Most Americans want God to hear their prayers but they are not seeking the face of God. For America to experience revival, we must confess our sins in prayer and repent.
Repentance is more than conviction of sin. I have seen the hand of God move upon people. They have gripped the back of the pew until their knuckles turned white. The Holy Spirit was convicting them of their sin and yet they chose not to respond.
Repentance is more than confession of sin. How well I remember the attendance in our church after 9/11. In just a few months, life was back to "normal." Did they see a need to confess and repent of their sinful ways? No. And this nation has sunk deeper and deeper into filth and debauchery than any other time in history.
Repentance is more than contrition of sin. Tears often accompany repentance, but sometimes people cry and still don't repent. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."
Repentance is a whole-hearted heart change. Ezekiel 14:6 says, "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations" (italics mine). Can you imagine standing at the altar and your soon-to-be spouse promises to be eighty percent faithful? Not me! And I would hope, not you!
Repentance is a continuing change. I repented of my sin when I gave my heart to Jesus Christ as a teen. I gave all I knew of me to all I knew of Jesus and friend that was enough. Since that time I have learned a whole lot more about Jesus and I have learned a whole lot more about me. I've done far more repenting after I got saved than I did when I got saved.
Acts 17:30 tells us that God commands every man, woman, and child to repent. All are sinners, none is excluded. The unsaved need to repent and be saved. The saved need to repent and be sanctified so that they may serve the Lord Jesus with a clean heart.
Are you experiencing sleepless nights, difficulty concentrating, a sense of restlessness or lack of peace? Perhaps you may be experiencing some guilt. You're attending church, reading the Word, or listening to a preacher like me! And then you become convicted of sin. Instead of repenting, some people want to just deaden that nagging guilt.
Repentance is not just a good thing to consider. It is necessity to experience the grace of God. Jesus said, "I tell you, Nay: except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). God's grace has a condition upon it — repentance and humility. God resists those who are filled with pride and not willing to repent (see James 4:6-8). Repentance is drawing close to God and resisting the devil.
Friend, it's time for each person across this land of ours to not only feel conviction, confession, or contrition for sin, but also to repent — to turn from our wicked ways. We must individually and corporately as a people of God bow before our Maker and repent. We need to pray individually and corporately for our churches and our nation. It's time for revival but first there must be repentance. There must be prayer. Will you pray?
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