'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
The entire life of a prominent person in the New Testament was devoted to establish this element in that society in which he lived.
No, it wasn't Jesus...it was John the Baptist. Without his ministry, Jesus' preaching would not have born much, if any, fruit. John the Baptist preached the requirement that would make Jesus' ministry successful and fulfilled. That message can be spoken in one word: repentance. Without repentance, belief in Jesus is vain and fruitless in the lives of those who heard and listened to Him. This is one reason Jesus said that "many are called, but few are chosen". Many are being "called" today, but it seems that few are chosen. Could the reason be that there is little call to repentance? Therefore there is little genuine repentance. Therefore, few are chosen.
Unfortunately, there seems to be very little mention of repentance in our society, much less the world - and unfortunately in the church of Jesus Christ. I remember vividly a conversation I heard many years ago concerning repentance. Basically, one person was arguing that since he had repented before he was baptized and became the member of a certain denomination, there was no need for him to repent of anything since then. Christ had done it all. There was nothing left that he needed to do regarding repentance. The other person countered with something like "well I believe I will repent when I have sinned - I want to make sure".
So, what about AFTER one becomes a believer in Christ and becomes a Christian? Is repentance required of you as a Christian continually, as an ongoing discipline and function of your life? Or, is repentance a once in a lifetime occurrence that you do only when you first believe in Jesus Christ as you savior?
If Jesus desires that you continuously repent when you sin (you will, we all do...), how often should you confess you sins to God, and ask forgiveness? - 1 John 1:7-10. In this passage John is writing to CHRISTIANS - not about to become Christians. Assuming that confession of our sins is required only once as we surrender to Jesus in firm belief in Him as our Savior, spiritual stagnation can open us up to the danger of being led astray by the devil.
There is an enormous danger in adopting the attitude that you have repented once so there is no need to ever repent again. I you have never committed a particular sin since then, there is no need to repent of what has not occurred since then. However, you may have committed other sins since then. Paul makes the statement that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Sin, unacknowledged and repented of, can become entrenched and so harden that it makes repentance almost impossible - Hebrews 12:15-17. A harden heart can block needed confession of wrong attitudes about sin, preventing your reward. One can go past the point of no return, to the point one is not only not willing to repent, but is unable to repent.
The answer to this whole situation can be solved by submitting to a simple life-long conviction: always maintain, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the ATTITUDE OF REPENTANCE. Regardless of whether you are conscious of a sin actually committed, whether you feel no conviction of sin, whether a sin is intentional or done in ignorance, or from weakness. This is one of the functions of the Holy Spirit in the converted Christian. He will, if you allow Him, convict and convince you of your ongoing need to be in an attitude of repentance. Without an attitude of repentance, there can be little if any growth in righteousness and holiness, without which no one will ever see Jesus Christ. With this in view, where is the dynamic evangelism that burns with fiery zeal and passion for repentance of the people? - John 16:8-10.
Repentance is not a popular subject .It has never has been. It probably never will be.Its was not popular during the ministry of John the Baptist. He lost his life for preaching it. But it must be preached.
Jesus and John knew it then. Jesus knows it now. The foundation laid of the attitude of repentance by John the Baptist enabled Jesus to accomplish the objective for which He came into the world. Popular or not, it must be preached if there is be be a turning to Jesus, by an individual or a society. It was true when John came ouit of the desert into that society to prepare the way for Jesus. His message can do the same today.
Pray for repentance - in yourself, your family, your country, your world. God will hear and answer in no other way. Perhaps many will experience the wholeheartedness of an ancient nation from the past. It repented. And God gave them another one hundred years.
"So the people of Nineveh believed in God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came to the king of Nineveh [of all that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God], and he arose from his throne and he laid his robe aside, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. ...Yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.Who can tell, God may turn and revoke His sentence against us [when we have met His terms], and turn away from His fierce anger so that we perish not. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God revoked His [sentence of] evil that He had said that He would do to them and He did not do it [for He was comforted and eased concerning them]." - Jonah 1:5-10 (AMP)
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