A call to repentance
Luke 13:1-5 says, “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 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? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Beloved, God’s word is not only the truth but the sword of the Spirit, which is powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, so powerful that it enters even to the deepest and most inward and secret parts of the heart, fatally wounding the stubborn and openly reviving believers.
So, when God says something, we are expected to listen and adhere. In the above passages, God is repeating something to you. He wants you to prick your conscience, and become attentive to what He is saying, for this is of utmost importance to you, that you listen. And what is He saying? ‘Except you repent, you shall perish.’
Every preacher of the gospel knows that people don’t like hearing about repentance, but it’s one of the most important subjects in the gospel. Preachers are afraid to preach it because people don’t like it. Nobody wants to bring disturbing news to his audience.
The truth is that the gospel, although it is good news, but the beginning of it for the sinner is awful news. Every preacher wants to bring a message of happiness, of a new life, a message of salvation, but God’s word teaches that until one realises that he is born in sin, until he realises he is bound for hell, that he has no hope, that God’s wrath abides upon his head and soul then repents he will not escape the wrath of God – and except he repents, he shall perish.
Of a truth, many do not like to be told they are sinners. They do not want to hear about repentance. They want to listen to sermon, where they will be told that God is good and merciful. The preacher should never mention the sin they are involved in. A good sermon, as far as they are concerned, is one where the preacher talks mostly on God’s goodness and mercy. They would like to be blessed as Abraham, but are not ready to go by Abraham’s righteousness.
Many people, who claim to be Christians because they pay heavy tithes and give offering of big envelope, do not want the Pastor to mention their money is from evil business. Some of them are smugglers, some have beer parlours and shares in breweries, some enrich themselves through bribe taking, some deal on contraband, alcohol, cigarettes, robbery, fraud, kidnapping, extortion, while some are into wrong marriages, fornication, adultery and prostitution. And none of these sinners want their sin to be mentioned, otherwise the Pastor must be changed or they leave the church. They come to church late and leave before dismissal because they have to attend kindred meeting and other business appointments. Any attempt by the Pastor to admonish them will be met with stiff resistance.
If you are among these categories of sinners, the Lord is bidding me to tell you today that except you repent from these sins, except you let go off your wickedness, you will surely perish. It does not matter your position in the church or society, if you refuse to give heed to the Lord’s warning on repentance today, you will likewise perish. God has set before us life and death, good and evil, and puts us to our choice. Repent, therefore, from your sin otherwise you perish. God is not a respecter of person. He says that the soul that sins shall die.
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