And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. — Luke 22:62
While Jesus was being tried, Peter, who had followed afar off, denied the Lord three times. Afterward, Peter went outside and wept bitterly. His heart was broken, and he sorrowed deeply for denying his Lord and Savior. The beauty of this incident is that the story was not over. After Jesus rose from the dead, He especially wanted Peter to get the news that He was alive. While Peter had denied the Lord, God had accepted his repentant spirit, and Peter would have another opportunity to serve Jesus. Glory to God!
The subject this quarter is on the topic of biblical repentance. While there is national, family, and congregational repentance, this issue deals primarily with the general doctrine of repentance as it relates to the individual. I would that there be more sorrow for sin committed. People are in trouble and are turning to the things of this world in a vain effort to find solutions. The answer is found by falling on one’s knees and with sorrow of spirit seeking God for forgiveness.
Where there is personal repentance, marriages will be restored, relationships renewed, wrongs righted, and holiness will abound. The lack of these things is because people are not sorrowing to repentance. Religious organizations preach Christ, and yet they are silent about repentance. May true ministers of God not hold back in preaching about the necessity of repentance. People want God’s blessings but are too often not willing to pay the price to attain them. There is an experience that supersedes having to daily pray for forgiveness of sin. Shall we preach to turn away from sin only to turn back to the very things we left behind? God forbid. Forsake sin, and there is power through the blood of Christ to live a victorious life over the power and influence of sin.
I am blessed to see people pray for salvation and am happy to hear of people making a start for God, but too often I see people’s experience not lasting. I believe there is a lack of repentance. We need to understand the egregiousness of sin and disobedience and forsake it with sorrow. With joy we need to cling to the Savior. A lasting experience of salvation necessitates a radical turn from all sin.
If you are sinning, you are not saved. Regardless of what others think about your spiritual life, you know if you are a sinner, backslider, hypocrite or a saint of God. If you are not clear in your conscience and heart before God, I entreat you to seize the moment and repent. Turn away from the sin which has beset you and give your heart and life 100 percent to the Lord. He will be faithful to help you maintain and grow in your experience. Will you repent today before it is too late? Will you pray?
Michael W. Smith
If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
—2 Chronicles 7:14