I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Many people love the New Testament because they see in it the love of God, His forgiveness and mercy. It is in the New Testament which speaks of grace, to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all mankind. But there is one detail that is often overlooked. Before receiving mercy, love and forgiveness, you must repent. In Luke 13:3 the Lord tells us that without repentance, all likewise perish. Therefore, it is impossible to take the good news of salvation if you are not in the disposition to repent.
English evangelist Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) said: “Showing the vicarious sacrifice of Christ to those whose ruling passion is filled with sin, it is giving what is holy to dogs.” Definitely repentance of sins is a step before grace. It is impossible for the grace to be accepted by those who still believe worthy of salvation in his own right. Really, who has not yet repented not be able to understand what happened on the cross of Calvary.
Today many people arrive at the feet of Christ for the wrong reasons. Certainly we all have problems in life. But the search for the Lord must not strive to solve our temporary problems but to solve the great eternal problem of every human being. It sounds harsh, but it’s true what American pastor Charles Finney (1792-1875) said: “When sinners are careless and stupid, and sinking carefree into the hell, it’s time to wake up the church itself.”
What Charles Finney said over a century ago is a reality that exists today. Sin has greatly increased in the world; but people live without concern for their eternal destiny. Instead of repentance, people want to justify their sin before God or require Him to change His law to go unpunished. And meanwhile the church meets only to preach what people want to hear untouched biblical themes that might offend.
It’s time that preachers are lifted to talk to people what the Lord says in Luke 13:3: I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. And surely unrepentant sinner, guaranteed destination is hell, the second death, perpetual perdition. The church must wake up from its slumber and set aside deviant doctrines that herald a false gospel of happiness and prosperity.
Neither Jesus nor the apostles nor the great evangelists of all ages have preached a gospel that promises to solve the problems of the people. The first recorded words of Jesus are in Mark 1:14-15: Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Today the first words of the Gospel come to effect. The time is fulfilled; the second coming of the Lord is closer every day. We see every day the signals before the end. And although only the Father knows the day and time, we must be prepared because we do not know, but it will come as a thief in the night. The Kingdom of God has come and all are called to repent and believe the gospel not to perish. What have you done? If not, make that decision today, before it’s too late. God bless you.