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2 Corinthians 7:9-10 - Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Have you ever been caught in the act of sinning against God? Did true repentance follow the exposure or were you just sorry that you got caught?
Sorrow in and of itself is not repentance.
I believe many in the body of Christ today have been sorry for sins they committed against God, but they did not allow the sorrow to lead them to repentance.
Notice the word godly in the verses listed above. Godly sorrow produces repentance. Worldly sorrow does not produce repentance. Worldly sorrow is based upon selfishness and a refusal to face up to the truth. Godly sorrow produces repentance which in turn produces a hatred for sin.
When a person has truly repented of sin, they will not make the mistake of going back and repeating that same sin again. They will hate that sin. Repentance brings a change of heart and therefore a change in behavior.
Charles Finney declared, "The true convert abhors sin on account of its hateful nature, because it dishonors God, and therefore he desires to repent of it."
True repentance leads to true conversion (salvation).
Why are so many so called Christians falling back into sin? Could it be that they were never truly saved in the first place? Could it be that they had never genuinely repented of their sin?
Has the present day church compromised in the way we present the gospel to the lost? Are we preaching a watered down gospel message or possibly even preaching another gospel?
Galatians 1:6-9 - I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Notice how the Apostle Paul repeats himself in these verses. Repetition signifies something of great importance.
Paul wanted the Galatians to understand the seriousness of preaching another gospel. Anyone who did so was accursed.
I wonder how many five-fold ministers today are accursed as a result of preaching another gospel. This should put the fear of God in every one of us.
The messages and writings of Charles Finney are so precious to me personally. Finney was a man who never minced words when he preached. Much like John the Baptist, his message was one of repentance. He wasn't interested in numbers or how many prayed a sinner's prayer. Finney wanted true converts and God honored his request.
It has been noted, that 85% of Finney's converts were still living for God seven years after their conversion experience. Compare that with 1% today.
True converts are those who will be able to stand when persecution comes. They will be able to pass the tests and praise God through the trials of life. They will be fearless as they stand before the enemy and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I believe that God is raising up an army of true converts, both young and old, that will possess the gates of the enemy. His power will not only be proclaimed through these people, but His power will be manifested through them in great and mighty ways.
I sense a Holy Ghost revolution coming, in the realm of the Spirit. The younger generation (and some of the older generation) will not be satisfied with the way the body of Christ is currently functioning. The box of religious thinking and tradition will not be able to hold these anointed warriors captive because they will be marching to the sound of a different drum.
May God give us ears to hear what He is saying and grace to obey His commands. For without Him, we can do nothing.
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18 Mar 2005
To quote: "Has the present day church compromised in the way we present the gospel to the lost? Are we preaching a watered down gospel message or possibly even preaching another gospel?"
The answer is yes, and it's a disaster! We need more, more, more of this kind of article, Donna.
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