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Monday, January 14, 2019

The Sun May Rise Tomorrow, But You May Not. Wake Up! As Long As You Prefer Dealing With Your Sins, You Won’t Seek Deliverance From Them! There Is No Eraser For Your Mistakes, But There Is

Revelation 2:21, “I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality” (NLT)     

“The Sun May Rise Tomorrow, But You May Not. Repent Today.” 

Remember: As Long As You Prefer Dealing With Your Sins, You Won’t Seek
Deliverance From Them!  “There Is No Eraser For Your Mistakes, But There Is Repentance.” 

“God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” (Augustine) 

 If there’s anything we ought to be thankful and grateful for, it’s the fact that when God tells you to repent, He gives you TIME and GRACE to do it! However, if you don’t, there is a price called ‘Consequences’ that you’ll have to pay. The word “Consequence” is defined as: “a result or effect.” Its Latin Origin “Consequentia”, from “Consequi” literally means “to follow closely.” In other words, you can make whatever choice you like, just remember that your choice is never alone, consequences are always in its company…following closely at that! 

Listen: Despite what the naysayers and mockers would have you believe, Christ’s Coming is not Speculation! In Fact, the New Testament refers to it over 300 Times! I Guess That Makes it a Pretty Big Deal Don’t You Think?! Even Peter says, “The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost. The day of the Lord’s return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are. Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live. You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that! My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace.” (2 Peter 3:9-14 CEV). That’s our challenge today!

“Satan does not want you to repent at all. But if he fails in his attempt, the next best plan is to delay your repentance. He tries to tell you that it will be easier later on. That’s a lie. The longer things go on, the harder it gets to repent. Don’t wait. Do it today!” 

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” (AMP) God’s Responsibility is to Provide You With a Way of Escape; However, Your Responsibility is to Pray for the Discernment to See it and the Wisdom to Take it! 

Please keep in mind, Sin is Always a Choice, and like it or not, so are the Consequences! Because if you didn’t choose, you wouldn’t suffer the consequences of a choice you did not make! Which is why personal accountability and responsibility need to always be vital in the life and walk and decision making of every person! And even more dangerous, if you choose to continue in sin, you risk reaching a place where your ability to say “No” is so weakened, you become enslaved to what you’ve chosen, even when you’re full aware of the consequences!  
Romans 1:28-32, “Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. AND IT’S NOT AS IF THEY DON’T KNOW BETTER. THEY KNOW PERFECTLY WELL THEY’RE SPITTING IN GOD’S FACE. AND THEY DON’T CARE—WORSE, THEY HAND OUT PRIZES TO THOSE WHO DO THE WORST THINGS BEST!” (MSG) 

So, what will your CHOICE be today? Are you going to repent while you still have time? Or are you going to wait until the clock stops and so does your opportunity for redemption? 

One counselor writes, “I kept trying NOT to commit a particular sin, praying about it over and over, only to do it again. Finally, I got mad at God and cried out, ‘Why don’t you help me with this?’ He answered, ‘Because you aren’t disgusted with it yet. You’re still enjoying it.’ I protested, ‘I do not. I hate it.’ God replied, ‘If you hated it enough you’d quit it.’ In that moment I realized that I enjoyed the rewards of sin more than the rewards of obedience. I also discovered something else; I couldn’t hate sin enough by the power of my own fleshly will, to come to true repentance. I stood helpless in corruption. Repentance is a gift of love which comes from God. And until that love is allowed to work in us, touching and exposing those carefully guarded areas, we cannot change.”  

Does that sound a little like your prayers? “Lord, stop me. I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate this. I want to change. Etc…” Well, if truth be told, unlike Moses, we don’t want to stop sinning because we are, “…enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.”
(Hebrews 11:24-25 TLB). Now that Scripture in full declares, “It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the grandson of the king, but CHOSE to share ill-treatment with God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (TLB). Remember, Your Sin is Your Choice and Your Consequences Follow Closely Behind!  Moses had a choice to make and so do we! So, you have to stop with the, “Lord, if you want to help me You can take this away from me” prayers! And take more accountability and responsibility for the deliberate choices you’ve been making to “…enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” It’s time to stop attempting to justify sin, make excuses for it, reason about it, or label it with pretty unassuming names!

Furthermore, the Word of God declares: "The day of the Lord’s return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are. Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live" (2 Peter 3:10-11 CEV) The Message Bible, says it like this: “But when the Day of God’s Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief...Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life?” (MSG). And that word “Essential” is defined as “Absolutely Necessary.” Yes, it is Absolutely Necessary, for us to Repent While We Still Have Time and Live Holy Lives Because: “…the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.” (Matthew 24:36 MSG).              

Believe it or not, but we need to be constantly reminded of Christ’s return. Why? Because critics have denied, rationalized and cast doubt! In fact, the Bible warns “First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of His Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.” (2 Peter 3:4 MSG). And that’s exactly how the world is living, but worse than that, that’s how the CHURCH is living! And why is that so dangerous for us? Because the Bible declares: “That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]” (Ephesians 5:27 AMP). Did you catch that? He’s coming back for us, the believer, the church. However, He’s not coming to take us back just any kind of way! We are to be “…WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE…” The New Life Versionsays it like this: “Christ did this so the church might stand before Him in shining-greatness. There is to be NO SIN OF ANY KIND IN IT. IT IS TO BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME.” (NLV). Be honest now, can the church today really say this is our testimony? And since we know the answer to that question is a resounding ‘NO’, don’t you think now is a really good time to repent and return, especially since we don’t even have the privilege of knowing God’s time-table?! 

With that said, let’s be mindful of a few Scriptures:

1 Peter 4:17-19, “IT’S JUDGMENT TIME FOR GOD’S OWN FAMILY. WE’RE FIRST IN LINE. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message! If good people barely make it, What’s in store for the bad? So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing, and He’ll keep on doing it.” (MSG)

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it.” (AMP)

Are you now beginning to see just how vitally important it is to restore your relationship with the Lord?! People of God, no matter how bad you’ve messed up, no matter how far you’ve fallen down, repent, and be restored, today, while you still have time! Remember: Even in an hourglass, it does finally reach a point where the last grain of sand falls, and there’s no more time left. Therefore, remember 2 Corinthians 6:2, “For He says, ‘At the acceptable time (the time of grace) I listened to you, and I helped you on the day of salvation.’ Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.” (AMP) Embrace this time of grace or miss the day of visitation! Luke 19:41-44, “When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! BUT NOW IT’S TOO LATE. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. ALL THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T RECOGNIZE AND WELCOME GOD’S PERSONAL VISIT.” (MSG) 

Then, Paul adds, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NLT).  

So, are you “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” (Titus 2:13 NAS)? Are you living as though it’s near, by staying grounded in the Word? Are you diligent at home and at work, grabbing every opportunity to sprinkle salt and shed light? (Matthew 5:13-16, “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?

You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)? If you are being salt and light, don’t stop, if you aren’t, get started!  

In a Nutshell: Repent…While There’s Still Time! 

Matthew 3:8, “So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin];” (AMP) 

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.” 

“Repent is perhaps the most hopeful and encouraging word in the Christian vocabulary.” (Jeffrey R. Holland) 

 “True repentance hates the sin, and not merely the penalty; and it hates the sin most of all because it has discovered and felt God’s love.” (W.M. Taylor) 

“There is no repentance in the grave.” (J.C. Ryle) 

“Genuine repentance must bear the seal of a corrected life.” (Lewis F. Korns) 

“No one can begin a new life, unless he repent of the old.” (Saint Augustine) 

“Regret is not a proactive feeling. It is situated in disappointment, sorrow, even remorse. It merely wishes things were different without an act to cause a difference.

However, repentance is different. Repentance is an admission of, hatred of, and turning away from sin, before God.” (Monica Johnson) 

“Repentance is not only turning from sin but running to God for forgiveness.” (Tim Conway) 

“Sin and Hell are Married Unless Repentance Proclaims the Divorce.” (Charles H. Spurgeon) 

 “Only through repentance and faith in Christ can anyone be saved. No religious activity will be sufficient, only true faith in Jesus Christ alone.” (Ravi Zacharias) 

J.P. Olson

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