More and more I am seeing the holiness of the Most High God, Yahweh, being diminished in the eyes of people that profess to know Him. I am seeing and hearing things like you do not need to repent in order to be saved; and it doesn’t matter how we live our lives after we take on His name.
The Word of God clearly has something to say about these things. Let’s start with salvation and repentance. I’ve recently read, “We don’t need to preach about repentance. If we preach the goodness of God, people will repent.” There are some great men of God that had something to say about that.
“They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy law.” –Charles Spurgeon
“Before I preach love, mercy, and grace, I must preach sin, law, and judgment.” –John Wesley
While finding these quotes was quite interesting, I really wanted to know exactly what the Word of God itself had to say about the subject. So here goes…
“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14
“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.”—Proverbs 28:17
“If a wicked person turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live because of this.”—Ezekiel 33:19
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”—Matthew 3:1-2
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”—Luke 13:3 (Yeshua speaking)
“”Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”—Acts 2:38
“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent.” –Acts 17:30
“Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”—Romans 2:4
“Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.”—2 Corinthians 7:9-10
“For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.”—Hebrews 12:17
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”—James 4:8-10
“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”—2 Peter 3:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9
“As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent.”—Revelation 3:19
It seems that repentance is certainly a theme throughout scripture. There are many more verses where those came from. Read the word for yourselves!! While still on the subject of salvation without repentance…what seemed to come through in the article that I was reading was that we just need to believe Yeshua is the Son of God and we will be saved…which is true…in part. However, I have come to realize that the type of belief that is talked about is not just mental assent…after all even the demons believe Yeshua is the Son of God (James 2:19)…are they saved? Do all dogs go to heaven?
Now, how are we to live our lives after we take on the Name of Yeshua? Can we live any old way we want to? Well…we can…but should we? The bible has some clear commands and warnings about this.
Let’s start in Exodus 20:7…yeah you know, part of the big 10! “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.” I used to think that just meant cursing. But think about it…we have taken on His name. We represent Him…we are His ambassadors. (2 Corinthians 5:20). If we represent Him…and others are supposed to be able to see Him through us…and we are not setting a Godly example…wouldn’t that be misusing His name? Misrepresenting our Savior?
Some “Christians” seem to think we have no duty or responsibility to set a Godly example and walk as Yeshua walked. However, a couple of verses sprang into my mind when I read that. In Luke 17:7-10, Yeshua is speaking to His apostles about being a slave and meeting our obligation. Verse 10 says, “In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, “We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.” Are we not slaves to Christ? (Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:24; 1 Peter 2:16). Another verse that came to me was Romans 12:1, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your reasonable service.” Hmm…our reasonable service? What about working out our salvation with fear and trembling? (Philippians 2:12) What does God’s word have to say about trampling the blood of Yeshua? Hebrews 10:29 is quite clear. “How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Clearly, we need to regard the blood of Yeshua as holy.
Now, before you get all up in arms, I am in no way implying that we are saved by the works that we do. We are saved because Yeshua has given us His righteousness. However, if we truly believe something…shouldn’t our actions line up with our beliefs? Here’s where our belief becomes more than the belief of the demons.
While we are on the subject of salvation, why did you want to be saved? Is it because you don’t want to go to hell? Is it your fire insurance card? Is it because you want God’s blessings? Or is it just maybe because He is the holy, just, and righteous God who sent His Son to die for us because He deserves the reward for His sacrifice…because He is worthy? Because He is holy?
“For the High and Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy says this: “I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.”—Isaiah 57:15
“Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.”—Revelation 4:11