“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5 (NASB)
You ever open your computer screen, scroll through the awful headlines and think to yourself, I’m glad I’m not like them.
I have. My guess is that you have, too.
The Bible reading in Luke today is both awful and interesting. In the first part of Luke 13, Jesus speaks of an incident that apparently took place in the temple. Roman soldiers cut down some Galileans and their blood was mixed with some of the blood sacrifices.
This appalled the Israelites. The Lord’s answer—as usual—is both unexpected and profound. Basically, He states that unless the people repent, they will all suffer the same fate.
Not what the people wanted to hear.
No one likes to hear about repentance.
Repentance means turning around, going in a different direction, admitting guilt. And face it, most of us like going a direction of our choosing. And according to our culture, you should never feel guilt—it’s always someone else’s fault.
Not according to God’s Word. Not according to Jesus.
In fact, let’s go back in the gospels to the first mini-message of our Lord:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 NASB
What does He mean?
Jesus is saying in essence, I’m here. Turn to me. Don’t follow your own way. Give me your life. You need a Savior for your sin.
How about we skip over to John 8. A woman is caught in adultery. The Pharisees try to trap Jesus into going against the Law—read the account yourself. My point is at the end, when it is just this condemned woman and Jesus, He tells her, “From now on, sin no more.”
In other words, turn from your sin and turn to Jesus.
In this culture, we don’t often use the word sin. We say we “made a mistake,” or “were at the wrong place at the wrong time.” Or even, “I was hanging with the wrong crowd.”
All of these may be true.
Philippians 2:9-11 states:
“Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (NASB)
Judgment will one day come to this old earth. Those who have trusted Christ and repented of their sins will be saved. Those who have not will be condemned.
If you are a follower of Christ, be glad. Turn from any known sin.
If you are not, trust Him today. Repent of going your own way.
The Apostle Peter said this in Acts 4:12,
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Copyright © 2018 Pauline Hylton, used with permission.
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