…But Now He Commands All People Everywhere To Repent

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

Acts 17:30 – Scripture of the Day (February 19, 2014)

This verse answers the question sometimes asked, “Will God still judge the people in some third world country or in the deepest darkest jungles of Africa who have never even heard of Jesus?”  God overlooked ignorance of his existence and his will in the past…that past specifically being in the time before Paul said this two thousand years ago…but from the days of Jesus and Paul going all the way up to today and until Christ comes again God commands “all people everywhere to repent.”

This shows the great need for evangelism (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).  Why did Jesus tell us to go to the entire world with the good news?  Because he wants all people everywhere to repent of their sins and turn their lives over to him.  If that was not the case, then why did he give these commands?  Not only that, but why bother to share the gospel with your next door neighbor, much less make the attempt to reach someone on the other side of the planet?  The truth is that God shows no partiality.  If he requires you and me to repent of our sins, believe in his Son, and be immersed in water for forgiveness of sins – and he does (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-39) – then he requires the same of every soul on this planet.

He wants us all to repent, the literal meaning of the word being “to change our minds.”  He wants us to change our minds about our sin.  If we do that, if we stop glorying in our sin but instead feel the godly sorrow he feels over our sin (2 Cor. 7:9-11), then we will turn away from our sin and start living for him.  That in turn will lead to our salvation.

Whoever Has My Commandments And Keeps Them, He It Is Who Loves Me…

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

John 14:21 – Scripture of the Day (February 18, 2014)

As I wrote in my last article, my apologies for this being late…in this case by one day.  Life gets in the way at times.  But now we’re back on track.

All who profess to follow Christ will unhesitatingly state that they love God.  That’s a given, and from a certain perspective it’s a good thing.  It speaks of their sincerity and of a heart-felt gratitude they have towards their Creator.

Yet, so many of us profess to love God…while unrepentantly doing things that grieve him, anger him, and displease him.  Consider this…

  • We say we love God but we hardly ever open our Bibles.  Do you truly love someone if you’re not interested in learning what they have to say?
  • We say we love God but we hardly ever pray.  Do you truly love someone if you’re not interested in talking to them?
  • We say we love God but we choose to worship him according to what we think will please him rather than according to his will revealed to us in his Word.  Do you truly love someone if they ask you to give them a certain gift and instead you give them what you think they will like?
  • We say we love God but we then say he has saved us in a way which is foreign to how he has told us he saves us in his Word.  Do you truly love someone if you basically call them a liar, especially over something as important as your salvation?
  • We say we love God but we do not care enough about the souls for whom he sent his Son to die to share with them the gospel as he told us to do.  Do you truly love someone if you don’t care enough to do everything you can to save the person for whom they gave such a high sacrifice?

If we truly love God and his Son Jesus, we will obey their commandments.  And when we sin and fail them, we will repent and try again because we love them.  Otherwise, all we are doing is lying to them, to others, and to ourselves.

The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things…

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9 – Scripture of the Day (February 17, 2014)

First off, apologies on this being two days late.  You know how it is.  Sometimes life gets in the way of the things we have planned.

A popular mantra heard today is the statement, “Just follow your heart.”  “What does your heart tell you?”  The popular 80’s song cries out, “Listen to your heart.”

However, God says the heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.”  So should we follow what our heart tells us?  Should we go by feelings, emotions?  Or is there something else, something better?  God says there is…his holy Word.  We need to get our strength from God’s Word and hope in it (Ps. 119:25, 28, 81).  We are to get life from the Word of God, never forget it, delight in it, keep it, observe it, and, again, hope in it (Ps. 119:107, 109, 141, 143, 145-147).

What are you following?  Your heart…or the Word of God?