Volume: 803 March 29, 2021
Many “Second” Chances
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5
In Luke 13:2-4, Jesus reports two terrible tragedies that occurred. One was a man, who some believe might have been the notorious Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37), whose death was ordered by Pilate (Luke 13:1). The other was the unusual end of 18 people when a tower fell on them (Luke 13:4).
Of both events, Jesus asked His listeners if they thought the deceased were terrible sinners to have had such horrible deaths. Apparently, the one that Pilate killed had committed some horrific infraction against the government. Although most likely caused by accident, the other tragic deaths appeared to be a judgment from God.
Although not all deaths and hardships are judgments from God, sometimes they are. Jesus addressed those that are by answering His questions by saying, “… except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).
Jesus explained with the use of a parable (Luke 13:6-9) to help his listeners understand why God sometimes allows terrible things to happen to those who are blatantly sinning. The parable is about a fig tree that would not produce any fruit. The man who owned the tree was not happy that for several years it had not given fruit. He was going to give it one more chance to produce fruit. If it did not, he was going to have it cut down.
When one is in sin, God is very patient and merciful. He could easily bring a sinner’s life to an end, but He gives him multiple chances to stop his sin and change his lifestyle. As with the fig tree, there may come a time that a person will not turn from their sin, and God will end their life.
What a warning to those that think they are “getting away” with sin! There will come a time that God’s mercy will not be poured out on one’s ignoring God’s commandments. There is always a payday for sin someday. Turn from violations against God, and ask for His forgiveness today!
“You cannot repent too soon because you do not know how soon it may be too late.” — Fuller
The Nature of Repentance
As explained by John the Baptist’s ministry, repentance is a conviction of the fact of sin — a painful conviction. A conviction that never produced humility, never sighed, never wept, and never sought solitude for prayer and reflection is not an element of true repentance.
Repentance is a serious and painful apprehension of the danger of sin’s involvement. Hence John asked the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees [‘religious,’ but ungodly sect members] come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Mat. 3:7 There can be God’s wrath for continuance in sin.
Repentance is a humble confession of sin. The people generally confessed to John, for he could not enter into the particulars of each case. To God, they confessed their sins in detail.
Repentance is fruitful. Under its influence, the churl (bad-mannered people) becomes kind, and the unjust become righteous. Those who had formerly been careless of their spiritual interests wait upon God in using every means of grace.
Repentance is despairing but can bring hope. The people who were awakened under John’s ministry felt that in themselves, there was no help. He taught them to seek Christ the Saviour.
“Being sorry you got caught in the commission of sin is not always repentance. Repentance is sincerely desiring you had never done the iniquity in the first place and doing all you can, with God’s help and forgiveness, never to do it again!
- Stopping sin, bad behaviors, and habits does not get one forgiven.
- Stopping sin, bad behavior, habits, and living a better life does not give anyone entrance to Heaven. One must be saved (John 3:3) to go to Heaven.
- Stopping sin, bad behaviors, and habits may ease your guilt. It will not reduce your guiltiness between you and the Father unless you ask for forgiveness (Romans 10:9).
- Stopping sin, bad behaviors, and habits can be good “works” if you think it will clear your sin-slate with God. Good works that we can do will get no one to Heaven:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8 -9
- Not stopping sin, bad behaviors, and habits when the Holy Spirit convicts one’s heart may harden one’s heart from further hearing His convicting “voice.”
“Deathbed repentance is burning the candle of life in the devil’s service and then blowing the smoke into the face of God.” — Billy Sunday
Tears of Repentance
The tears of repentance differ greatly from the tears shed over the loss of some things or friendships. They are different from tears of disappointments. Real tears of repentance are those that the Lord blesses because of a heart that wants to get right with Him.
“… Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” Luke 6:21
Those are the tears of repentance, which Peter shed when he went out and wept bitterly (Mat. 26:75). They are the same tears that Mary Magdalene shed when she washed her Lord’s feet. They are the tears that burst from our hearts when we looked upon Jesus, whom we pierced because of our sins, and when we remember unrepented sin.
“Late repentance is seldom true, but true repentance is never too late.”
The Bible and Repentance
Gleaned from Bible Readings for the Home, pg. 89-90
- Who is called to repentance?
“I [Jesus] came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32
- What accompanies repentance?
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” Matthew 3:8
- Who awakens the soul to a sense of its sinful condition?
“And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:8
- What will the truly repentant sinner be constrained to do?
“For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” Ps. 38:18
- What is the result of godly sorrow?
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” II Cor. 7:10
- What leads sinners to repentance?
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Rom. 2:4
“If we put off repentance another day, we have a day more to repent of and a day less to repent in.” — Venning