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If we knew that Jesus was coming back next month, we would all repent of our sins, and probably go out of our way spending all the time we could trying to remember what sins we haven’t confessed and received forgiveness for. I believe that all Christians truly want to come to Jesus as pure as we possibly can. If we knew that Jesus was coming back next month, we would feverishly try to accomplish the goals He had set for us upon conversion that we have procrastinated in finishing before His return.
On the other hand, if we knew that Jesus was returning next month, we would rejoice in the fact that we won’t have to struggle anymore with our flesh, because we will be made completely new with a new body that won’t commit sins. We would look forward to our Lord coming to take us home because we love Him and have been longing to see His face in the flesh. We know that Jesus has forgiven us of all of our sins when He hung on the cross, and only He knows what sins we have not repented of due to not remembering we committed them, or committed them unknowingly. Jesus knows that we are truly sorry for those sins, even if we have not confessed them to Him.
On the word repentance, the Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says that “The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps 51:4, 9), of pollution (Ps 51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (Ps 51:11; Ps 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps 51:1; Ps 130:4).” As Christians, we are always conscious of our guilt; we know that we are polluted with sinful tendencies that we constantly follow; we know that we are helpless to defeat them without God’s help and mercy; we agree with God that we are sensitive to our sin, even if we don’t want to realize it; and we are very aware of God’s mercy and forgiveness, or else we would have all perished under the weight of the sin we carried. The world had a different take on sin and forgiveness.
We, as Christians, know that Jesus will return one day, a day that God has chosen to take us home. The rest of the world is having too much “fun” to want an end to their suffering with sin. I believe that the reason we all don’t give up our sinful ways entirely is because we believe that Jesus’ return is way, way off in the future. There is no immediacy to repent when we know that our parents are away for a week and we can do whatever we want in the house, against their orders, as long as it is cleaned up the day before they come home. Many people will live their lives to the maximum and then confess and repent on their death beds – the eleventh hour confession. Many people today don’t believe that Jesus will return, that we just live and die, and that is it for us. Convincing the world that it needs to repent now before it is too late, is a daunting task in a world where man is God, and God is believed to be dead. Jesus is coming soon. Unfortunately, for many, it will be too soon.
Easton, M. (2008). Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: And Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.
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