“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying,Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1,2).
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
The Bible is full of warnings which tell us that we must repent. But what does it mean to repent? Let me give you an example. Imagine you’re driving down an unfamiliar, lonely two-lane
road and you see a sign that says, “Road Closed 1 Mile Ahead.” You think to yourself, “that looks like an old sign that somebody forgot to put away: I can probably ignore it.”
Pretty soon you see another sign that says, “Road Closed 1/2 Mile Ahead.” Frustrated at the highway department for leaving so many signs around, you continue driving. Cresting a slight hill, you come upon temporary barriers which have been placed across the road, and as you slow to a stop you see why the signs were there. A bridge has been washed out by a flooded stream, and there is no way to continue driving without plunging into the raging torrent below.
At that point, you “repent”; you decide that driving forward doesn’t make sense anymore, and you turn around and head back the other way. Then you begin to wonder, “what if I had driven this road in the dark? What if I hadn’t seen the barrier in time to stop?”
Jesus said that we never know when we’re going to reach the end of our road here on earth, and that we need to repent in order to be ready for what’s after this life.
“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).
What do we need to repent of?
1: We need to realize that living our way (as opposed to God’s way) leads to eternal separation from Him in the Lake of Fire.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).
2: We need to agree with God that we are sinners who need to be forgiven.
“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:22).
3: We need to remove our trust from any religion, work, or other person—and put our trust completely in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again.
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
What’s next? When we turn from our way to God’s way and put our trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, our lives will reflect the change of direction.
“Repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20).,
THESE ARE THE TOP ISSUES IN THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Which issues matter most to you? According to the websites of the major candidates, the issues listed above reflect the main points of emphasis in this year’s election. If you’ve been paying attention to the debates, ads, and campaign speeches, you can probably identify which candidates are responsible for pushing many of these topics forward.
Regardless of who wins the election this November, these issues will continue to be at the forefront of our national discussion for years to come. Why is that? Why do some problems never seem to go away? Part of the reason is the gridlock which seems to define our government. Neither side wants to lose, so the divide between left and right becomes more entrenched every day.
On another level, though, we see that the issues facing America have their roots in human nature. We want what someone else has. We don’t want to share what’s ours to meet the needs of others. We argue and fight to protect what we think we deserve. We are envious. We are greedy. We are selfish. We hate.
Where do these problems originate? What can be done to fix them? While each candidate has a plan to deal with the symptoms of our society’s ills, none of them can fix the root cause. Jesus said, “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22).
The main problem we have in America is the same issue which has plagued mankind since the beginning of history—the problem of sin in the human heart. Despite our best efforts, we will not find the remedy to this problem in any policy or president. There is only one person who has the answer for sin. He is not a Republican, nor is He a Democrat. He is Jesus, the Son of God.
Jesus came to earth to solve the problem of sin. Before He was born, His mission was announced by an angel: “He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). When He began His ministry of teaching, healing, and performing miracles, He was introduced as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Our sin must be put away before we can walk with God and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. When Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, He “suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). He was then raised from the dead so we can be forgiven and set free (Romans 4:25).
Jesus said, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). To receive the blessing of salvation from sin, we must turn to God in repentance—we must shift our position from unbelief, sin, and self-righteousness—and put our trust in Jesus. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
When you stand before God some day, He probably won’t ask who you voted for in the 2016 election. The only question which will really matter then is the one I ask you now: “What will you do with Jesus?”
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
The Bible is the only inspired, inerrant authority for Christian Faith, and it contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Justification is by faith alone. The full righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith (comprised of His active and passive obedience) is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are remitted.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Christ is Prophet, Priest and King; the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Salvation comes by God's grace or "unmerited favor" alone — not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God.
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)
All glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action — not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.
Based on SCRIPTURE alone, we can affirm that justification is by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, because of CHRIST alone, for the GLORY OF GOD alone.