THE PROBLEM OF SIN

Most people are comfortable even happy with their life of SIN. If you are a Rock Star earning lots of money with lots of young girls wanting to be with you, regardless of the cost, then why would you want to repent? The Gospel is not good news to this Rock Star not unless the Holy Spirit convicts him of his SIN.

Nevertheless, as ambassadors of God, we are called to beg people on His behalf to turn from their SIN, to come back into relationship with Him but on His terms. They need to know their eternal destiny is at stake. However, we must also convey to them the extent of their Creator’s love for them (Jesus died that they might have life).. But, ultimately they must want to be in relation with God, to love Him as He loves them and as a result are prepared to repent i.e. turn from their sinful life and keep His commandments.

SIN IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

“Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:4-5

The most unexpected aspect of Jesus coming Millennial Kingdom on this earth is Satan’s part in the story. We are told an angel seizes him and bounds him with a great chain, throws him into “the bottomless pit”, shuts it and seals it over him. Note that only another angel was needed to do it. My guess is the angel Michael. Satan is bound for almost the entire 1000 years.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.Revelation 20:1-3

Why must Satan be released?

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed themRevelation 20:7-9

Jesus and the resurrected Saints have been ruling and reigning for 1000 years. Mind you, we are told they rule with a rod of iron. Even with Jesus ruling and Satan bound, Sin is still a major problem. It is a heart problem, people still want to be God and not have anyone, even their Creator to rule over them. Remember, despite being in the presence of God, Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against God. It will still be a major problem with Jesus and the Saints ruling and reigning in the Millennium. The number that rebel is like the “sand of the sea”.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

REPENTANCE IS FOUNDATIONAL TO LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

From the time Jesus began to preach He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

Repentance is foundational to living the Christian life. We are all simply a repentant prayer away from a restored and joyful relationship with God.

It is significant that the “end times” message to all seven churches in Revelation is one of repentance.

In Revelation, John gives a different message to each of seven churches. Nelson Walters in his book “Revelation Deciphered” has correctly connected these messages to the seven churches to the prophesied seven seals and the last seven years on this planet before Jesus returns to rescue Israel and establish His Millennial Kingdom.

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Recommend Nelson Walters youtube channel

Nelson shows how the message to each church relates to the events unfolding in each of the seven years as outlined in the seven seals and the riders of the four horses. Check out my post on May 11th 2021 “Connection between the Seven Seals and the Seven Churches” Jesus also gave corresponding messages to the disciples in the Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:3.

In the first year when the first seal is opened the Antichrist comes on the scene (rider on white horse). The Church at that time in the first year (Ephesus): The church is doing some good things but “you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

In the second year when the second seal is opened, the Antichrist is permitted to take peace from the earth and people slay one another (rider on red horse). The church at that time (Smyrna): “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be testedRevelation 2:10

In the third year when the third seal is opened, famine comes over the earth (rider on black horse). The church at that time (Pergamum): “you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (eat food sacrificed to idols (take the Mark of the Beast in order to get food?) and practice sexual immorality). Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:15-17

In the fourth year when the fourth seal is opened a fourth of the earth is destroyed with the sword, famine and pestilence (rider’s name Death on pale horse). The church at that time (Thyatira) “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols… those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.Revelation 2:19-20, 22-23

In the fifth year when the fifth seal is opened, John sees under the altar the souls of the martyrs (not yet resurrected) that have come out of the great tribulation and they are told to wait awhile longer until their numbers are complete – more Christians to be martyred on earth. The Rapture has not occurred at the fifth seal so a Pretribulation Rapture is not possible. The church at that time (Sardis). “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.Rev. 3:2-4

In the sixth year when the sixth seal is opened. John sees the signs in the sky which immediately precede Jesus coming to rapture the Saints and to pour out His wrath upon an unrepentant earth. “I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale… Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?Revelation 6:12-17. The church at that time (Philadelphia) “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name... Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.Revelation 6:8-12. The Philadelphian church obviously represents the church that is raptured.

At the start of the seventh year when the seventh seal is opened there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour. Just prior to the seventh seal being opened or at the same time there is a trumpet blast and the dead in Christ are raised first and then the Saints alive on earth are taken up to meet Jesus in the clouds.

The church at that time (Laodicea): We are given a picture of the church which is left behind: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.Revelation 3:15-17 Whilst they are left behind and will be recipients of the wrath of God, Jesus still says to the church at Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. They are still able to repent and be saved but will experience the wrath of God.

The final words to all the “last days” churches is repent so let us make sure our relationship with the Lord is maintained by true repentance each day. May God grant you the wisdom and strength to stay focused on His call on your life in these last days before His return. Continue living eternal now.

HISTORY PROVES GOD RESPONDS WHEN NATIONS REPENT

In the year 1849 in the United States a major cholera epidemic broke out and quickly spread. Soon  more than 150,000 died.  The death rate was far higher than today’s covid19.  In response President Zachary Taylor called for a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer – a solution that had been called by Americans many times previously, beginning with the Pilgrims.   Within days the epidemic was stopped. God responded.

Abraham Lincoln called three times during the Civil War for such Days of Humiliation

The Lord has allowed today’s global pestilence. New more virulent virus strains of the Covid virus are emerging worldwide. God typically uses catastrophes whether it is pestilences, famines, floods, wars to cause nations to repent and turn to Him. Read the story again of Jonah and Nineveh (Jonah 3:6-10).  If sincere repentance happens, “God will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:12-14). Abraham Lincoln called three times during the Civil War for such Days of Humiliation, He said, “But we have forgotten God; we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplies and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Yet this simple but humbling solution is ignored by not only our nations leaders but most church leaders.  I would suggest we are living in the last days Jesus spoke of prior to His return to rule and reign on this earth. Jesus said, lawlessness will abound like the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. Apostasy in the church, a great falling away, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)
 
Personal and national repentance is typically not on the agenda of most political leaders and most churches. In that vacuum, you and I, are called to be examples, if necessary to start a prayer network, certainly to join other prayer networks, participating, for example, in Global Days of Repentance.  The next Global Day of Repentance focuses on Australia on February 7, 2017. If you want to join in then do so by going to: www.globalrepent.com

CALL TO REPENTANCE

Call To Repentance (CTR) songs are designed to convict the listener of his own sin. Here is an example of CTR lyrics, from Keith Green’s Asleep in the Light (1978). Where are the CTR songs today?

“Oh, bless me, Lord! Bless me, Lord!” You know, it’s all I ever hear!
No one aches, No one hurts, No one even sheds one tear
But, He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, And He cares for your needs
And you just lay back, And keep soaking it in
. Oh, can’t you see such sin?!
‘Cause He brings people to your door and you turn them away as you smile and say:
“God bless you! Be at peace!” And all Heaven just weeps ’cause Jesus came to your door
You left Him out on the streets

Most contemporary worship songs today focus on comfort and assurance whereas CTR songs point out our shortcomings. CTR songs are anything but positive and encouraging.

Most of today’s praise songs are sung from the perspective of the disciple, CTR songs are sung from the perspective of God. In praise and worship, we are the speaker, telling God how we feel about him. With CTR, God is the speaker, telling us how he feels about us.

 it’s easy to see why CRT songs seem so out of place in church today. It’s easy to tell God how wonderful he is. It’s hard to hear how depraved we are.

I believe Keith Green’s songs are the slap in the face we need today to spur us on to greater obedience. They focus on our actions, not our emotions. They demand change. And they challenge rather than comfort.

HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY

REPENTANCE BRINGS  HIS JOY.  

There can be no better witness to others who are in fear. You and I were born for this very time, to be anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. He alone made it possible for us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to those needing hope all around us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today. He is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry as we go He will lead and His power is evident.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1

That is a wonderful “assignment” each day from the Lord. As we submit our will to His will, we are perfecting holiness in Him and truly living eternal now.

The LORD is in charge.  He’s allowing the Covid 19 pestilence and the economic and political chaos to shake us like never before, certainly in my lifetime. Hopefully, it will awaken Christians in all nations, so that His people called by His Name will repent and pray.

 “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our prayers and daily repentance will support this process for His Will to prevail. 

NATIONAL REPENTANCE THE ONLY SOLUTION

The following letter to President Trump assembled by Pastor Jeff Daly of Global Day of Repentance, http://www.globalrepent.com, presents the only way forward for the USA ie. a call to national repentance.

“Tonight, FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

The United States is in a crisis. The President and First Lady having tested positive for the COVID19 virus is a sign that the pestilence allowed by the Living God has come home to the White House.  God has a cure for that pestilence.
It’s time, IT’S WAY PAST TIME, for God’s Solution. 
God’s Solution:  personal and national repentance. 
Yes, prayer events are great; and a powerful move of the Spirit took place on the Mall recently with The Return,  Franklin Graham’s Prayer Walk, Jonathan Friz’s 10 Day ministry, and Redigging the Wells of Revival.  Now it’s time for the next step: a call made by our forefathers—ten earlier Presidents among them—proclaiming a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer. 
I hope you’ll call for such a day Mr. President.  One of your predecessors, President Taylor, called for such a day in 1849 to stop a cholera epidemic. Within days the plague ended. 
This is not just a political battle for the future of the nation. It’s a spiritual battle against the spirit of Liberty that God planted in this nation.  We need to use God’s Strategy to defeat the enemy. 
During the dark days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed three such days. In his April 30, 1863 proclamation, the President noted, “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.”   He went on to say, “Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”  And his conclusion was, “It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Mr. President:  It’s time for God’s Solution, personally, and in sacred assemblies, even at the local church level.  In the face of national crisis, the Living God has His Strategy, just waiting for us to make the next “chess” move.  
Humble yourself before Him, Mr. President, and call us all to join you on a given day. That will be our spiritual “get well card ” to you and to the First Lady. 
Over the past 400 years of this nation that process has worked every single time— close to 800 separate times! 
As we humble ourselves He lifts us up!
God bless you, sir, 

TODD WHITE REPENTS

Thank God that Todd White’s faith has changed radically in just a matter of months. He is now preaching a gospel of repentance.

Todd White - Lifestyle Christianity/YouTube screenshot

“When you come into the Gospel because you came in for a better life,” Todd explained, “you’ve come in for the wrong Gospel. When you come to Jesus because He’s gonna give you this and He’s gonna give you that, you really didn’t surrender. See, what you’re saying is, ‘I’ve come to get this.’ What you’ve done is a taste test to see if it’s true. It’s the same thing as getting a buzz: ‘Well, I’ll try this Jesus thing. Maybe there’s a buzz in it.’ That’s not Jesus.”

He went on to preach, “Your goal as a Christian is to be conformed to His image, is to be transformed into His image, into His likeness, and to actually walk like Christ walked. Jesus didn’t despise sinners, but He hated sin and He addressed it all the time.”

White told the congregation he has been spending time recently poring over the words of New Zealand-born minister Ray Comfort and 19th century theologian Charles Spurgeon.

Sixteen years after coming to Jesus, the Lifestyle Christianity pastor — a former drug addict and atheist — said he is just coming to realize the importance of preaching the law of God, because doing so reveals our need for a savior in Jesus.

“Here’s the deal,” he told the audience. “One day, you and I are going to all face the Lord. It’s the truth! Are you guys with me? Is this too much? I’ve been going through it, buddy. I’ve been in a new place to bring the reality of the law into a witness, to show a person their need for grace. How can you want to be found if you don’t know you’re lost? How can you want to see if you don’t know you’re blind? How can you want to live if you don’t know that your dead?”

It’s necessary to preach not just a “God has a wonderful plan for your life” message, but one that is more holistic, one that reveals our sinfulness and God’s holiness.

White said he has felt like he hasn’t been preaching “the whole Gospel. “I repent,” he said emphatically.

The turn around is amazing as in May of this year, Todd spoke out against a documentary series that condemned the prosperity Gospel and his preaching of it. At the time, he rebuked the show, “American Gospel: Christ Alone,” as “demonically inspired.” And he was quick to reject the suggestion he was “a heretic.”

On Facebook, the creators of the series said they “are obviously very encouraged” by White’s “change of direction in this area, and pray that this is sincere and not just a response to pressure.”

They have also invited White to sit down for an interview for the third installment of the “American Gospel” documentary series, set to release next year.

END TIMES JUDGEMENTS ARE ALREADY UPON US

Sister M. Basilea Schlink, wrote a remarkable book, Repentance -The Joy-Filled Life

Considering her book was written in 1959, after reading this excerpt, you will realise how much more appropriate the message is for us now. Apostasy and lawlessness abounds just as prophesied by Jesus. The following is from the last chapter of her book.

“The end-time judgements are already upon us.  Now is our last chance to repent and to allow God to judge us personally, so that we can escape what is to come.  That will be the grace of the rapture —delivered from a world in the throes of judgement and caught up to the Lord ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).  But not all who call themselves believers will be taken (Matthew 7:21).  When Jesus comes again, He will be revealed in His majesty and divine glory.  No one can enter His immediate presence or take their place beside Him unless they have been sanctified and remade in His likeness (Hebrews 12:14) .  As we allow the Lord to judge us, chastening will do its transforming work in us.  ”

Repent!Like a trumpet blast from heaven the call sounds forth with tremendous urgency.  Time is running out.  Who will hear the call and pass it on?  The Church needs to take up the challenge, so that nations are impacted and a movement of repentance gains momentum all over the earth.  Where there is repentance, the hand of the Lord is stayed and judgement deferred or tempered with mercy. “It is not just for our own sake that God wants us to repent.  More is at stake.  In a world headed for destruction we as believers bear responsibility for our nations and for the human race at large.  Soon the time of grace will be over.  Soon God’s patience will run out, and His wrath will descend.  Have we any idea of the full extent and horror of these judgements?  

“Here in Germany our hands are stained with the blood of six million Jews.  The day of reckoning will come.  Our repentance, our weeping and mourning, needs to correspond to the enormity of our deeds. 

“Tragically, it is the Church that is storing up God’s wrath.  

We have missed so many chances to repent.  Are we going to continue along this road? At the first coming of Jesus it was the religious who resisted the call.  Sure of their own rightness, they objected when John the Baptist tried to shake them out of their complacency. ‘Why this constant emphasis on repentance? It’s so one-sided.’  Today anyone who consistently preaches repentance can count on similar reactions. ‘Fanatical.  Unbalanced. A gloomy brand of Christianity. This is not the Good News.’ But the call to repentance is at the heart of the Gospel.  Contrition and repentance lead us straight into the joy of forgiveness. “If we want Jesus to draw near, if we want to be delivered from judgement, there is only one way—repent!  This is the call of the hour.  Grace lies in store for those who lives are marked by repentance.  In a world headed for the fullness of judgement, theirs will be the fullness of grace.  

When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, He will gather them to Himself. They will be changed in an instant.  Once humiliated, now they are exalted. Once they came weeping, wearing the garment of repentance.  Now they wear the dazzling white wedding garment and, shining like the sun in the kingdom of their Father, they go in to celebrate the Wedding Feast.  Matthew 13:43 “The greater the threat of judgement, the greater our repentance needs to be.  And the greater our repentance, the greater the pardon and glory.  Repent!  That is God’s message to us in these end times.  Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it (Luke 11:28, Revelation 1:3,22:7).  Blessed are those who respond to God’s offer of love. Here and now they will have a foretaste of heaven. More wonderful still, they will be prepared for their Lord, to celebrate with Him the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.’ He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.’ (Revelation 22:20).”

Thanks to Jeff Daly of repentday.com for this gem.

REPENTANCE ESSENTIAL TO RECEIVE GOD’S BLESSING

In 1863 President Lincoln implemented three days of humiliation, fasting and prayer with this declaration: “It is the duty of nations as well as men to own their own dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognise the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

God does bring calamities and disasters such as firestorms, earthquakes and tornadoes for His purposes. It is invariably to make people realise they are not in control of circumstances in the world He created and maintains. Importantly, it is also to to get His own people to pray. Moreover, God tells us in advance in His Word that in the “last days” before Jesus returns that these disasters will increase in frequency. Just one of many signs, God has given us, to show we are in the last days before Jesus returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem.

When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:13-14

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.Luke 21:25-26

Image result for pictures of latest firestorms

“See that you do not refuse Him (GOD) who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him (JESUS) who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:25-28