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True Repentance
Robbie L. Rogers

If you are a committed Christian you are a leader, you are a priest, a saint, a teacher and many other things, most especially, I hope you are a willing servant in the hand as though a tool with a handle, in God’s own hand; yet, at the same time, in the flesh, we are all acknowledged sinners and must walk out our salvation with trembling hearts, in hopes that we may walk in His Will not ours. That’s why we are here is it not?

Above all we do not want be like Jonah who ran away from what he knew to be God’s Will, not only for his life, but for the people he was supposed to go and speak the truth to. God had to use some mighty peculiar circumstances to drive him back to where he should have been a willing servant to go, to Nineveh.

In a different time, Isaiah prophesied during the decline of Israel, in the shadow of the powerful Assyrian Empire. He spoke the word of God to a people who were in reality “deaf and blind,” they refused to listen to his warnings of the looming disaster.

He warned that the sin of the people would bring God’s judgment. He warned that without repentance God’s judgment would be terrible, yet, God told him they would not listen and that they would be turned over to their rebelliousness because their hardness of heart and calloused lives had taken them beyond being able to turn to repentance.

Furthermore, I believe many of those things that applied to the people of Judah also apply to us today; for, in many ways we are in a world and in a nation of deaf and blind Christians.

“‘Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

“‘And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

And he said, "Go, and say to this people: " 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the Lord removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.  And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump in the land.” Isaiah 6:2-13

Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. He was called to speak out to a stubborn and obstinate people knowing they would not truly listen, but he obeyed. As Christians we are not given the pleasure to simply exist.

Christian ought to be classified as verb and all of its derivatives. We are called to be doers not pew setters, not couch potatoes in life. It was from that stump, often called Jesse’s Stump, that Jesus came from. It was from that seed, that stump, that we were saved.

Isaiah said "Here am I! Send me." And, we too should continually do the same, even going to our Ninevehs.

Nineveh was saved because of repentance. Judah chose not to repent. Nineveh was not a Jewish nation. Judah was. I believe leadership is a key here. The King repented and led his entire nation to a repentance that saved them all.

“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Philippians 3:18-21

Bad leadership in the church is causing all manner of sin to proliferate in the Body of Christ. We see it every day.  I believe the church is reaping the rewards of decades of bad theology and leadership. Where were the watchmen on the walls who saw it coming 40 years ago and beyond. Who literally stole their voices. Why were they silent, allowing the cancer to consume the body to where they turned a blind eye to the nature of sin itself, even debauching themselves and their flock with their vile thinking?

Remember we are servants, though also friends, we are not masters of our fate. It is God, or rather it should be God, who builds a ministry, or gives us words, or for that matter even gives us the ears to hear, and He can either take these things away or bless them according to His will.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philip. 4:4-9

Our duty is to be diligent against all odds, if necessary, and be the good watchman on the wall spreading His truths, letting God do what God will do.... we must keep on working in His service never forgetting His promises, never letting the world, the flesh and the devil steal our victory as we go about proclaiming the truth, begging for a spirit of repentance to come over our land and our people.

We should pray for our leaders! That they might lead us to a continual righteous life. But, just what should we look for in a leader, according to the scriptures?

“If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:6-9

Paul is saying here to appoint elders in every town, in every church, and he tells them what kind of character they must display in theirs and their family’s life. Later he tells them how we should be, as the Body of Christ.

“Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Titus 2:1-8

And he continues on to explain how leaders and the people as a whole are to operate.

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” Titus 3:1-11

I want to add an admonition using Jonah again. After he finally did what God had called him out to do he became angry at God. God in His great wisdom and compassion caused a tree to grow and minister to Jonah’s needs. Then God sent an insect to devour Jonah’s shade. Once again Jonah got mad at God. Even though God sought to explain His actions Jonah’s pride was too strong and he remained much in the same way as he had judged the Ninevites. And, Jonah virtually disappeared from the Bible.

Many of today’s Christian leaders are angry at God in the same manner. In their anger they fail to see their own needs to come to repentance. Instead they blame the decline of their ministry, the church, on God or others. Instead of speaking truths they preach inclusiveness and a watered down Gospel. Neglecting to spell out things as they are they cry out to God asking Him to bless their mess and He often turns away.

As Leaders and we are all such, we must not walk in the way of the world, the flesh, and the devil; instead, as many of you have stated, we must preach repentance. Ask to Lord in prayer what keeps His blessings from flowing from His living waters, for many blessings from God are hindered by our own decision not to obey when we are told and shown what to do or say about a matter. We all have reason to repent.

“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:1-24

That my friends is a call to true repentance; one that can bring total healing, not only to each of us, our families, our churches, and our land. Only repentance must come from us first before it will ever come to our families, our cities, and our nation..