What Leads Us To Repentance?

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Hi M____,

Of course God still loves us when we are still in bondage to our sins. After all He created us sinful for His own purposes, so that we could experience “the day of evil” in our lives.

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Who is intended to experience this “day of evil?” Is the day of evil only for extremely wicked men like Mao Tse Tung, Stalin or Hitler? No, that is just what the Adversary is sent to convince us, but this is the Biblical Truth for all men:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens:it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

It is God who has given “the sons of humanity… an experience of evil.” He sends evil spirits to do it, but it is God who is sovereign over all things.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

If one is “failing to see the functioning purpose of grace” he has not been given eyes which can see these verses:

Tit 3:8  [ This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

“Be careful… be sober, be vigilant… I will that you affirm constantly…” all of these and all of the many other exhortations to righteousness and good works in scripture are all lost on  all who buy into the attempts of certain teachers to “turn grace into lasciviousness.”

Jdg 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am happy that you already seem to see and understand that grace chastens us, and that “when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord,” and that chastening is not simply to keep us humble, which it certainly accomplishes, but also both chastening and judgment cause us to “Learn righteousness.”

Isa 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

You and I are “the earth” (Jer 22:29), and we are “the inhabitants of the world.” How do we “learn righteousness?”

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

You ask:

The answer to this question is that speaking the truth does not necessarily change one’s heart to the point that he despises the sin in his life. We are all guilty of speaking the truth while we continue to do the very things we condemn. This is called hypocrisy, pure and simple. Instead of causing us to “forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts,” speaking truth while continuing is sin simply “blasphemes the name of God among the heathen.” So if God still has someone womanizing, and He has not yet delivered that person from lusting after women, then such a one should not bother to tell others that they need to quit committing fornication and adultery. If you are still committing any sin, then don’t condemn others for doing the same thing you are doing.
It will not help you to quit sinning by being persecuted, all it will accomplish is to give the Adversary an occasion to belittle the Words of God and “blaspheme His name among the heathen.”

Rom 2:1  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Rom 2:2  But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

What is it that leads you to repentance? There is simply no way around this truth. It is ” the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.”
Am I here calling you a hypocrite? No, I am not calling you a hypocrite. What I am doing is agreeing with these verses that I, too, am a man, and I, too, have judged others while doing the very thing for which I have condemned others. Perhaps I have not done so in as public a way as some before me, but I have done so. I used to read these very words and apply them to those poor sinners who are one day going to experience all that “wrath of God” which “after their hardened and impenitent heart  [ they] had treasurest up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”
Thank God that he opened my eyes to see that I had to “keep the things written therein… every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Rev 1:3, Mat 4:4).
So accept the Truth of God’s Word that we all need to “be careful to maintain good works,” we all need to “be sober, and be vigilant,” but we also must realize that it is God who is “working all things after the counsel of His own will,” and that we will all have our works “tried with fire,” and we will all “suffer loss” of our lives, and we will all be lead to repentance by “the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering,” of the evil experience which He has given us to humble us and “bring us to repentance.”
There are those who see the humbling part, but deny the need and necessity for repentance. For such repentance is a work of the flesh, which is to be avoided at all cost. Their eyes simply cannot see that “it is the goodness OF GOD, that leads you to repentance,” and that when we are “careful to maintain good works” when we are “vigilant and sober,” and when we “forsake ungodliness and worldly lust and live a godly life in this present age,” it is “God who works in you both to will and to do… His good pleasure.”
It is true that you cannot make war with the beast. What is also true is that “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,” and that it is “by the foolishness of preaching that they that are ours should be careful to maintain good works,” that the holy spirit has ordained that you will be one day given power over the beast who has been given the hegemony, and dominion, over our hearts,  and that we are all “carnal babes in Christ, “until the time appointed of the Father.”

Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

I get letters like yours constantly. There are many young men who are struggling against reoccurring sins which still dominate their hearts and minds and enslave them to the sin which is “by nature… in our members.”
When Christ said “without me you can do nothing,” He did not say ‘Without me you cannot do good.’ “Nothing” means ‘nothing.’ We cannot even be “wicked men” unless “He has made us wicked for the day of evil” in our lives. The apostle Paul understood this clearly because He, too, had lived by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God,” and so he makes this very clear for all who have eyes that are seeing and ears that are hearing:

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [ how] to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

In spite of the frank, straight- forward language of these verses, many still teach that flesh is not “sin, and is not shapen in iniquity” (Psa 51:5). Nevertheless the Truth remains that there is “a law in our members, warring against the law of our minds.” Who created and maintains that “law in our members?” It is Jesus Christ without whom we can do nothing, and in whom we all, for many years, by His design, fail to “bring forth fruit.”

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

And what do we do “in Him?” Do we do only good works “in Him?” is that what the scriptures teach? Here is what Paul had to say to heathen Athenians on Mars Hill.

Act 17:28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

It is so clear that Christ really has “been given all power in heave and in earth,” and that He is “working all things after the counsel of His own will.” What is “His will” for many years in our lives “in Him?” Let’s read the first two verses of Joh 15.

Joh 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

So Christ, in these first two verses, acknowledges that His Father, through Him, is working all things, including branches that “beareth not forth fruit.”
In verse six, speaking of these very same branches which “in me that beareth not fruit” Christ makes this statement:

Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

The natural man will accuse those who acknowledge “the sum of God’s Word” as being the Truth, of believing in contradictions, if we still maintain that God is working all things, good and evil, “after the counsel of His own will.” But verse six is not a contradiction of verse two. Verse six complements and explains how God is working all things by explaining that while all things are of God, God is not Himself evil. He, as God, is capable of using evil to bring forth good.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

It is all “after the counsel of His own will, and it is all “in Him.” But He alone is capable of “calling light out of darkness,” bringing “life out of death” and “working all things for good.”

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

But God is also “working all things after the counsel of His own will” so that “the sum of His Word” tells us that in the final analysis, all men are either “vessels for honor or vessels for dishonor… according to His purpose… His own will.”

Rom 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

So, as contradictory as it sounds to the natural man, God decries our sins, even as He “gives us all an experience of evil.”

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens:it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

I was in my late forties before if began to see any progress in the battle against the beast within me. But I can tell you and all of the others who are fighting this same battle, that “at the time appointed of the Father,” I was no longer a slave to that dictatorial beast. It was such a pleasure, and there was such peace of mind at realizing that the time appointed of the Father had come and I was now able, for the first time in my life, to tell that beast where to go and what to do.

Mar 8:33  But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

Christ rebuked Peter because Peter was the spokesman for all of His disciples, who just like Satan, saw no need for Christ’s flesh to have to die.

Mar 8:31  And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mar 8:32  And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

Matthew adds these words:

Mat 16:22  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

While most Christians subscribe to the false doctrine of Christ’s ‘substitutionary death’ and teach “this shall not be unto thee,” the scriptures teach the exact opposite. Christ Himself taught us that we must lose our life in order to find it.

Joh 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

The apostle Paul let’s us know that this is a daily process which continues in us until this vessel of clay is dispensed with.

1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Then Paul dispenses with the false substitutionary death doctrine with these words:

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Christ’s body is now the church, and it is in this body, which is the church, that what is behind of the afflictions of the Christ in our flesh is filled up. Now what is it that is behind of the afflictions of the Christ? Is not Christ the burnt, meat, peace and sin offerings? Yes, He is. But how is it possible for our spotless head to be the last and final trespass offering? Here is how that is accomplished:

Rom 4:25  Who was delivered for [ Greek – dia, through] our offences, and was raised again for [ Greek – dia, through] our justification.

That last trespass offering is fulfill only “through our offenses,” and it is “through our offenses” that we are chastened and die daily as we decrease and He increases. It is through our justification that Christ was raised again. This the “the secret that has been hidden from the ages and from the generations and is now being made known” to but a few who are elect of God. It is the fact that Christ is now here with us in these sinful clay vessels which unlike our head, do commit offenses and trespasses.
Paul continues to make clear why we must “fill up what is behind of the afflictions of the Christ.”

Col 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  T o whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

The word of God is not fulfilled by Paul without us. Paul himself made that very clear.

Rom 1:12  That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Rom 15:32  That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
1Co 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 4:8  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

Christ nor His Father ever once thought of Christ as being separate from His body, and Paul never once thought of himself as anything other than a “member in particular” of the body of Christ.

1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1Co 12:27  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Christ is “the head,” and we are “the body, and together we comprise “the Christ,” whose afflictions are not yet filled up, and must be filled up “in my flesh for His bodies sake which is the church.” It is our afflictions and the “fulfilling of the seven plagues… in my flesh,” which is “behind of the afflictions of Christ,” and which are yet “for us to fulfill the word of God.”

Col 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

It is you and I who must “fulfill the word of God, and fill up the afflictions which are behind of the Christ.” You and I are also “members in particular of this “body of Christ which is the church” of which Paul speaks.

Col 1:24 Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly.

I hope this all helps you to see, that even your sins are the work of God in you life. I am pleased that you know that grace will chasten and burn those sins out of your life, and you will in time become “careful to maintain good works.”

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12  Teaching [ Greek – paideuo, chastening] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

This will not come when you want it, but nothing in this world, not even the false doctrine of  greasy grace, can keep this from happening in your life “at the time appointed of the Father.” When that time does come, you will no longer be a babe, Greek, a ‘nepios,’ in Christ, but you will then be a maturing ‘son.’ The whole point or becoming mature sons is completely hidden in the English translations of Gal 4:1-6.

Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child [ Greek – nepios, a toddler in diapers], differeth nothing from a servant [ Greek – doulos, a slave to sin], though he be lord of all; [ God knows who are His elect, even as they are on the road to Damascus to kill others of His elect]
Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children [ Greek – nepios, toddlers], were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son [ Greek – uihos, maturing son], made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons [ Greek – uihothesia, We are not ‘adopted,’ we are “born again – uihothesia” Joh 3:3].
Gal 4:6  And because ye are sons [ Greek, uihos], God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son [ Greek – uihos] into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

The day will come when “you are a son” and then you can say ‘you were a carnal… babe in Christ” (1Co 3:1-4). Then you will be careful to maintain good works, you will be sober and vigilant” against the Adversary and his devices. When that day comes, you will no longer doubt that you “can do all things through Christ.” We do labor and we are careful to maintain good works, but it is “Striving according to His work, which works mightily in us.”

Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

So as you wait for that day to come, don’t expect anything less than fiery trials and the lesson that you will “fall seven times,” and come face to face with the fact that you are of yourself totally incapable of waging war against the beast within. We are explicitly told that the beast overcomes the saints. Do we not believe these words? The beast had Saul of Tarsus, one of God’s elect, killing others of God’s elect.

Rev 13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

This is the war you tell me you are now losing. But that is simply because it is not yet “the time appointed of the Father.” Be patient. That day will be here right on schedule, but it will not come without a great earthquake preceding it such as was never before in your life.

Rev 16:18  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

Here is why that must be so:

Rev 15:7  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

God is preparing us to be kings and priests who will be given the rulership of all mankind since Adam. This is not to be taken lightly. It requires that we be tried and tested until our righteousness exceeds that of all the Pharisees of Babylon.
It is a fiery trial but the glory which is to be revealed in us will make ‘all the suffering and struggles against our flesh and the powers and principalities in the heavens, unworthy to be compared.’

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

You will overcome. Thank God that that day is coming, and thank Him that it is not until it is due (Psa 107).

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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