Saturday, October 8, 2011

KISS: Keep It Simple, Sailor. The Gospel isn't complicated

I invite you to listen to this very convicting and wonderful sermon on How to Recognize True Repentance by Pastor Don Green. It was delivered last month at the Truth Matters conference. You can listen to the sermon or read a transcript, but listening to it is the best way for you to have the impact. I was deeply moved by it, and was uplifted as always by the true words of Jesus in the Gospels the pastor shared throughout the sermon.

Fall surely is a great time of year. The air is freshened, the colors are out, and the seasons are changing. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Adam Clarke's commentary of those verses says, "Every thing has its time and season. God by his providence governs the world, and has determined particular things and operations to particular times. In those times such things may be done with propriety and success. However if we neglect the appointed seasons we sin against this providence and become the authors of our own distresses. God has given to man that portion of duration called time; the space in which all the operations of nature, of animals, and intellectual beings, are carried on. But while nature is steady in its course, and animals faithful to their instincts, man devotes it to a great variety of purposes, very frequently to that for which God never made time, space, or opportunity."

God is our first season and our last season, and He is the season at all times. Make sure your relationship with Jesus is not a seasonal activity, one that comes and goes, but is everlasting and sure. All else comes and goes, His love is eternal. Stay within it in prayerful attitude, grateful for blessings for all the things He sends to us in their own due season.

JESUS AS FORGIVER

The Lord is sovereign. He wields all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18) and that means our Lord has been given all authority to judge. He specifically said so in John 5:22. Repentance is the simple truth of the Gospel. It isn't fixing social ills. It isn't reaching out to have conversations with other religions. It isn't simply "accepting Christ" as if WE have to find HIM acceptable.... It is personal awareness for your own sins, mourning over those sins, and appealing to Jesus for forgiveness of those sins, and finally, turning from those sins by making Jesus Lord and submitting to His will in us. It is repentance.

When I was living aboard the sailboat with my husband, there is a common adage all sailors know. It's KISS, "Keep It Simple, Sailor". When you're out in the middle of the ocean you depend on each other and the systems aboard your boat to stay alive and make port safely. Everything is stripped away, and it's just you, the boat, and the wind. KISS meant that the more complicated you make the systems aboard your boat, the more likely it is that they will fail, putting you at risk of death.

The Gospel is simple. Christianity, especially American Christianity, has made it complicated. We have been told that somehow we are failing if we are at odds with Catholics, or Mormons, or Muslims. Repentance isn't to exhibit a display of hatred of other people's sins. While it is OK to be upset at homosexuality or gay marriage or abortion, it should not be at the expense of mourning over and hatred of our own sins. We have been told that we must be peaceful and unite in our common love of love. Not so. Jesus is singular. He isn't to be melded with other religions, He isn't to be ignored, and He isn't one of many paths. He is THE way, THE truth, and THE life. "Repent, and ye shall be saved. Refuse to repent, and ye shall perish." (Luke 13:5) Jesus only, sin, and repentance. Keep it Simple, Sailor. We repent, and then we call others to repentance. That's it.

Remember to KISS, Keep it Simple, Sailor! It is all about Jesus, our sin and His forgiveness.When was the last time you actually cried over your own sin? When was the last time you were broken and ashamed before God at the creature you used to be, and cried in joy at the grace He has afforded you to become a new creation? Think about it. If it has been too long, a good dose of prayerful repentance does the spiritual body good. "II Corinthians 7:10, NIV. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."


2 comments:

  1. I've always thought that the gospel is simple enough for a broken heart to truly accept and too simple for the mind to be satisfied. God is so gracious and knows exactly what we need to hear to turn to Him in faith.

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  2. I cried just this weekend over the change God has made in my heart. And I love that He's going to just keep doing it until the perfect comes!

    Woe is me, I am undone! Even now, having grown as I have in Christ, I am still a pitifully weak and sinful creature apart from Christ. Praise be to the king of Kings, our Savior, Jesus Christ!

    Emily, extendingeagerhands.blogspot.com

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