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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Keep My Commandments!, continued
"The time has come," he [the Lord Jesus] said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15—NIV)
And repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47—NIV)
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. (Acts 26:20)
To repent and believe are one act, actually. True belief always results in repentance.
Since to repent is a "work," repentance is not always preached today. The preaching is "believe and receive" not "repent and believe." There is a world of difference between "believe and receive" and "repent and believe."
To repent is to turn away from the world, the lusts of the flesh, and self-will. Each day we are to renew our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. Each day will bring to our attention a new area of our personality from which we need, by the Lord's help, to turn away. Each day we press into the Kingdom of God.
Our salvation is not a one-time occurrence. Salvation is always "today." The moment we cease repenting and believing, in that moment the forces of decay and death press into our personality.
The moment we cease brushing our teeth the forces of decay seek to enter. Tooth decay is always present, looking for an opportunity to cause harm. Worldliness, lust, and self-will are always present, looking for an opportunity to bring death into our personality, to drive from us the Kingdom of God.
"Repent and believe." This is one of the greatest commandments of all and the means by which we enter the Kingdom of God.
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." (Mark 1:17—NIV)
It is my personal point of view that one of the most damaging burdens placed on today's Christian believers is that we all are supposed to be personal workers; we all are to go out into the world and get souls saved; we all are to have "a passion for souls."
Whenever there is a damaging burden it has originated with Satan. What does Satan have in mind by oppressing believers with this unscriptural responsibility? It is to get their minds off the Lord and onto their own dead works. It is to keep the believers in guilt and confusion because the great majority of them do not have the Divine grace that will enable them to be a personal worker or to go into all the world and "save souls. Neither do they have the "passion for souls" (where did this unscriptural concept originate?).
It is scriptural to have a passion for Jesus. It is not scriptural to have a passion for souls. I think this expression reveals the influence of Humanism.
This writer has on occasion felt the passion of Christ for particular people and in one instance for an entire nation. I expect to visit that nation in the day of the Lord! That emotionally wrenching experience will probably be vindicated at some point.
But usually I go about my business without any great "passion for souls." I always have a passion for Christ but not always for souls. I must be a heartless believer, although I am giving my life, in obedience to Jesus, to attempt to explain the way the new covenant operates.
The Lord did not command us to go fishing but to follow Him!
To be continued.