For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.2Cor7:10
If faith comes by hearing the Word, the likelihood of a genuine repentance in our churches today is almost nil. You Canít find anyone who understands the concept behind real repentance! They all think God Must first Save you in your sins (as a wretched miserable sinner) and then you can Repent. Of course we have made this assertion a thousand times and will probably make it a thousand more before its all over. But herein lays the crux of the matter. To the Pastors, if you can Stop Sinning, you Donít need Jesus because you can then ĎSave yourself!í They all say this. No Exceptions.
However NOTHING could be further from the truth. Merely because a person can stop their wrong doing has no bearing whatsoever on their eternal salvation. It only Proves that they were born with FREE WILL, with BOTH the Ability and the Willingness to Seek God and entreat Him for Mercy. But Fundamental Church Doctrine for the past 1700 years (and especially since the Reformation) Denies man has the ability or will to seek God. Thus the concept of Repentance Proven by Deeds is lost to their thinking. Because DEEDS would give man Ability, which their own Doctrine (article six, Westminster Confession of Faith) states he does not possess!
So Stated: ďThey being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
Now even if they affirm that man is born with free will, as most of them will do, they actually mean he has a LIMITED free will, damaged by inbred sin. Or Sin inherited from Adam. Therefore somewhere along the line (generations) he LOST his ability to respond to God. Consequently God has to somehow OFFSET his malady and compel him to come. (in his sins of course) The Major problem with this theory is itís FALSE!! God Does Not Change your Desires or Direction in life, YOU DO. He is waiting for you to respond to Him. He has Already done His part in the Calling, Drawing, Convicting, and Stretching forth His Hand. He has done so with ALL MEN EVERYWHERE! (Acts17:30-31) Calling them to Repentance and Faith Proven by DEEDS! (Acts20:21, 26:18-20) Itís Fundamental, but NO ONE can see it! They have everyone waiting around for God to make the first move to Change their Desires (so they can sin less and less) and magically regenerate them with the Mind of Christ.
The Problem however (and the reason so few are being saved) is it DOESN'T WORK this Way! The longer you Wait on God to Change you, or give you some magic desire to love Him, the HARDER your Heart will become against His Truth. Why? Because Sin hardens your heart, NOT Make it more Humble. (Heb12:14-17) The more you trifle in sin, believing you were born with some kind of inbred disease you have no control over, the least likely you will ever YIELD to God in a Real Repentance. Once you embrace this lie, of inbred sin, Strong Delusion will follow. But you will swear up and down THIS is what the Bible Teaches and those calling it False are Nuts!
Incident after incident in the Bible Clearly Shows God Working in this Manner entreating man to repentance and faith proven by Deeds. Time and again, God allows for Manís natural ability to respond BEFORE He Acts. That way the outcome is Always Determined by CHOICE, NOT Pre-destination or Election. Of course you can find isolated Scriptures that SEEM to Prove otherwise, but the Weight of evidence is overwhelming. In Nineveh the People Clearly STOPPED their evil doings and sought God. Making NO assumptions at all that God would show them Mercy, ONLY that they Obeyed His Prophet, Stopped Sinning and entreated His Mercy. This PROVES, beyond ANY DOUBT, that Man can indeed Clear himself of Wrong Doing (repent) and SEEK God without Coercion. (Jonah 3:5-10)
Similar incidents happened under Moses Ministry. God was vexed by the peopleís rebellion and had every intention of Destroying them. Yet because Moses entreated Him, begged for His Mercy, He changed His Mind! Cause and EffectÖ.Simple equation! Zacchaeus the tax collector made full restitution for his Wrong Doings BEFORE Jesus came to his house. He knew in his heart the RIGHT thing to do and did it. He didnít expect it to EARN his Salvation, but understood that coming to God meant cleaning up your act. WHY?
Because in Repentance is a Vehement Desire Change! (2Cor7:11) You Believe from YOUR Heart. You OBEY to Receive the Holly Spirit! (Acts5:32) He comes into a CLEAN Vessel. A heart made PURE by Faith! (Acts15:9) Nothing Physically changes. This is Not Magic. You Obey and KEEP Obeying, daily, to keep your heart Pure and undefiled from the world. (1Pet1:22) Thatís how it works. Simple.
Mess up the process with a bunch of Doctrines invented by men to facilitate the sin nature teaching, and you will NEVER Obey God. Because you will Always have an Excuse why you CANíT! Grasp the fundamental difference here. IF Man is Born hating God, Dead in his Sins, Depraved in Nature, because of something he had no control over, HOW can he forsake it? Or Stop his wrong doing? They have made it Impossible for him to Repent as God has Commanded. His Will is in Bondage to something inborn, which is contrary to the Truth. But no one will fight harder to support this false Doctrine than the Church. Itís their bread and butter! Everything is based on it. They would rather burn you at the stake for telling them to stop sinning than STOP and be Saved. So they will invent every excuse in the book to prove you wrong and show others you are a lunatic.
Genuine Repentance involves humility, brokenness and is a humiliating experience. When the true Light of Godís Word floods into your soul, you see yourself as you are, in Rebellion to God! This is what Godly sorrow is about. Deep regret for your sin. A Season of Sorrow. Most people will think you have gone off your rocker. Because their Mind is un-sound, still in bondage to sin, a Sound Mind is frightening to them. (Such was the case in Scripture, ) People Fear someone on the straight and Narrow, focused on God. Why? Because itís NOT the common condition of man! And two Contrary Spirits are at WorkÖthe Spirit of Truth and the spirit of Error. (1Jh4:4-5) They may not be able to articulate it but they do sense it. The Spirit filled Person, Obedient to God, with a Pure Heart of Faith is a Threat to their environment. Why do you think they Killed Jesus and all His followers thereafter? Itís a given, the god of this age is in control of the religious systems and the author of all False Doctrines.
Under Delusion you will Never see your need for this kind of Repentance, not only is it impossible, but you see everyone Saved in the Bible, Ďin their sinsí. In a sense, you hear this as someone telling you to be PERFECT Before you can be Saved. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Stopping your wrong doing has nothing to do with Perfection! It only proves you can DO what is Right! And thatís what God is waiting for. That you DO your Part and He will DO HisÖ..the Purging of Sin by the Blood of Christ, the Cleaning of the heart to make it Pure. (Heb9:14) You CANíT do those things alone. BUT you CAN STOP Sinning by Choice and Seek God. Think about it. IF you NEVER lay a Solid Foundation to begin with, on which to build, the house will fall apart very quickly. (Matt7:21-23)
So if your Salvation is based on a Fallacy (born in sin doctrine) it will crumble and wash away. You DO what is Right to begin with and the odds are you will Endure on the Narrow Path to Life. Never Stop Sinning and youíll remain in darkness and learn to Twist Godís Word to your own Destruction.
All this is not to say that you can Repent anytime you feel like it. Remember: Faith comes by Hearing the Word! Itís the Word that Convicts, Cuts, Judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. If it is NOT Preached in a Manner designed to bring about this Conviction that leads to a godly sorrow for sin, no one will Repent. Of course you can get people to respond to an Ďinvitationí and compel them to repeat some words. They may even ĎFEELí some sorrow and emotion doing so. But this has NOTHING to do with Repentance. When the Word Really Cuts to their heart, the Cry is heard, ĎWhat Must I Do!í NOT:
ĎGee, Iím a poor sinner, born depraved, but God loves me anyhow, I accept Him.í
WHERE in the Book of Acts or the early Church for that matter, was such a thing ever practiced by the Saints? It WASNíT! So WHY has the Present Day Church embraced it wholeheartedly? Simply because their Gospel is based on most demonic fallacy ever invented: The Sin Nature!