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  • TFRStaff 6:35 am on 2017-02-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Repentance, , , , , ,   

    January 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Competing Voices) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics you will find:

    • Competing Voices (Cody Westbrook)
    • Bible Passages (John W. Moore)
    • Faith vs. Doubt (Jason Jackson)
    • Compromise vs. Conviction (Kevin Cauley)
    • Sin vs. Repentance (Pat McIntosh)
    • Complacency vs. Fervency (Jon Williams)
    • Selfishness vs. Selflessness (Rick Brumback)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

    Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • TFRStaff 6:11 am on 2017-01-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Repentance,   

    December 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (Difficult New Testament Passages) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics you will find:

    • Matthew 12:1-8: Situation Ethics? (Bryan Hodge)
    • Romans 2:14-15: The Law of the Heart (Cody Westbrook)
    • Mark 8:22-26: The Two-Fold Miracle (Steve Lloyd)
    • Hebrews 6:4-6: Impossible Repentance? (Tom Wacaster)
    • Revelation 20 and Premillennialism (Don Walker)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

    Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:55 am on 2016-06-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Repentance, ,   

    Watching the replay for ourselves 

    I spotted a spiritual lesson in the middle of a historic basketball game last night that was too good not to pass along.

    Two players, under the goal, were vying for position when the referee whistled one player for a foul. Well, the accused player couldn’t believe that he would be guilty of such an accusation! The open hands of an innocent plea and a disagreeable disposition of unbelief followed suit…that was until the player looked up at the arena’s replay screen which clearly showed his arm locked around the arm of his opponent; hence: a foul had indeed been committed, he was guilty as charged, he stopped arguing with the referee, and he got back to work.

    The lesson is this: when we look at the gospel and see an error in our lives, there’s no point in arguing with God against it – just look at the replay screen, repent, and get back to work.

    So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:19-25)

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:29 am on 2015-12-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , holy nation, inclusiveness, , Repentance   

    The truly inclusive church 

    Limiting oneself to 140 characters, as Twitter requires, is a challenge. One must reduce to the bare essentials, which often makes for positive results. (Stay with me, this will be worth it, I think.)

    I started Quick Bible Truths on Twitter. With the undesirable tendencies and directions it has taken, I moved the primary content generator from there to a Hubzilla installation. (Unfortunately, not my own, but hosted by another, but he’s a good type.) (More …)

  • TFRStaff 2:18 pm on 2015-08-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , confessing our faith, , , , , Jesus our Savior, , , Repentance   

    August 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (Foundational Principles) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • Jesus, Our Saviour (Cody Westbrook)
    • Hear Sam (Willcut)
    • Believe (Mike Vestal)
    • Repent (Mike Bonner)
    • Confession of Faith (Jerrod “Boogie” Doss)
    • Baptism (Robert Jefferies)
    • Living a Faithful, Growing, Godly Life (Rob L. Whitacre)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:34 am on 2015-02-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Repentance,   

    “I fear any kind of religious stir among Christians that does not lead to repentance and result in a sharp separation of the believer from the world. I am suspicious of any organized revival effort that is forced to play down the hard terms of the Kingdom. No matter how attractive the movement may appear, if it is not founded in righteousness and nurtured in humility it is not of God. If it exploits the flesh it is a religious fraud and should not have the support of any God-fearing Christian.” —via Tozer Devotional.
    • Gerald Austin 5:07 am on 2015-02-12 Permalink | Reply

      I agree that there is a need for a sudden and abrupt change, but “separation from the world” is a long term process. In my opinion of course. I guess my point is related to when the decision is made vs the state of the person vs our (existing Christians) perception of their actions..

      • J. Randal Matheny 4:45 am on 2015-02-14 Permalink | Reply

        By sharp change I took Tozer to mean drastic. You’re right that we’re in a process of learning holiness more and more.

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:22 pm on 2014-12-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , gospel requirements, Repentance   

    If repentance is not part of the gospel, how can it stand in its place in Lk 24.47? 

    Some among us affirm that faith, repentance, and baptism are not a part of the gospel, that only the bare facts of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are the gospel, as per 1Co 15.1-3. (They do this, apparently, to get rid of baptism as a requirement for salvation. Citing this text is problematic, but we’ll let that pass for now.)

    If however their affirmation is indeed the case, how is it that in Lk 24.47 repentance is used to stand for the entire gospel? (More …)

    • Randal 4:25 pm on 2014-12-05 Permalink | Reply

      If repentance is not part of the #gospel, how can it stand in its place in Lk 24.47? http://fellowshiproom.org/2014/12/05/gospel-repentance/
      via jasrandal.withknown.com

    • doncampbell1943 7:06 am on 2014-12-06 Permalink | Reply

      Luke 24:47 is Luke’s account of the Great Commission. As Luke recorded the preaching of the apostles in carrying out this commission, he records some form of the word repentance seven times. None of them used the word “love.” This does not mean that they were not steeped in it, because that is why Christ dies. But the focus in carrying out the great commission must be on repentance, not on how God loves everybody and wants all to be happy.

      • Randal 7:58 am on 2014-12-06 Permalink | Reply

        Very true, Don, good comments. Luke seems to have a special interest in repentance. He also tells stories that show it, like Zacchaeus in Lk 10.

    • Beth 4:01 pm on 2014-12-06 Permalink | Reply

      Most today would say we have to repent of sin, but do they know that repentance is actually a complete new mind? Do they have any idea about changing from serving self to determining to glorify God as God and love the truth that God is Creator and Owner (Rom. 1:18-21)? The ones who have not determined to be disciples have ignored the basic language in the Great Commission (teach=make disciples=mathetuo) and *then* baptize them (disciples).

      With this same thread in mind, look at what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

      Look at Hebrews 6:1, where those weak Christians had to be admonished about their repentance and focus for the future. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.”

      • Randal 7:07 pm on 2014-12-06 Permalink | Reply

        Great post, Beth, we really do need to flesh out the meaning and application of repentance, as well as we’ve done with baptism.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:16 am on 2014-08-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Repentance,   

    A good outline about the change that biblical repentance produces 

    Here’s an article that came from the Montrose Church in Carthage, TN. It’s about the change that biblical repentance produces in our life. I thought some here might want to use it as a bulletin article or as a sermon outline. With all of the “sit where you’re at and Heaven will come to you” type of preaching that is popular, this outline helps to remind us that the kingdom of Heaven is reached by walking the opposite direction of the flesh.


    TEXT: Acts 3:19

    INTRODUCTION: The Biblical definition of repentance is “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 3:19). Cf. Acts 26:20. The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. In terms of the kingdom, it involves…

    A change in one’s allegiance. Kingdom citizens submit their own will to the will of the King. Cf. Matthew 6:10; Romans 6:12-18; Matthew 6:24; 7:21. The King deserves our loyalty, obedience, honor and praise. A change in one’s expectations. If all one lives for is TODAY, tomorrow will grow very unappealing. If there is no hope for the future, there is no power for TODAY. Cf. Acts 1:9-11; John 14:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. The King deserves our anticipation.

    A change in one’s values. Our culture values success, appearance, image, wealth and independence. The values of Kingdom citizens adopt the King’s values and make decisions and choices that reflect His values. The King deserves our cooperation.

    A change in one’s priorities. Priorities reflect personal allegiance, expectations and values. It also determines how I will spend my time and money. Kingdom citizens prioritize their time and money to benefit the King and His Kingdom. Cf. Matthew 6:24-34, especially vs.33. Unless the King occupies FIRST place in out life, He occupies NO place. The King deserves our full attention.

    A change in one’s long mission. Those with no mission in life are aimless and unproductive. James calls them, “double minded.” The King wants His followers to be servants. Cf. John 13:15; Matthew 20:27-28; 25:21. Kingdom citizens humble themselves to serve those in the Kingdom.

    CONCLUSION: Can you say, “There’s a change in my life since the King came along?” Repentance will turn your life around like nothing else will.

    – Mark N. Posey, Pulpit Previews

  • TFRStaff 9:38 am on 2014-04-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Repentance   

    I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that 

    The scripture for today, April 23, is Mark 4:23 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

    “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

    Some of us read a passage in the Bible and say, “I know it says that, but it doesn’t mean that.” We just don’t want to hear it.

    It’s hard to admit we are wrong, isn’t it? It’s human nature. And in the realm of religion, it is even harder because we’re talking about our eternal soul. So reading that we’re supposed to be doing or not doing something that we’ve never followed before is like being on a bridge over a roaring river, and suddenly realizing the bridge is breaking and we are not as safe as we thought we were. Let us take our human egos out of the way. (More …)

  • Michael Summers 10:38 am on 2014-03-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Repentance   

    When God’s People Humble Themselves and Pray 

    I’m re-blogging this from my “Call for Fire Seminar” blog. Christians struggle at times with whether sins they commit can be forgiven. This blog article examines King Manasseh of Judah’s spiritual crisis and compares him with New Testament examples of both Christians and those who had yet to become disciples of Jesus.

    If Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15 could describe himself as chief of sinners, then King Manasseh might have argued that he was next. Manasseh ruled fifty-five years, more than any other monarch of Judah or Israel. During most of his reign, he apparently was a compliant vassal of the Assyrian Empire. Perhaps because of Assyrian influence, Manasseh revoked the religious reforms of his father Hezekiah that had returned Judah to exclusive worship of Yahweh. Manasseh himself participated in the rites of indigenous Canaanite gods and burned one of his sons as a religious sacrifice. This king practiced divination and sorcery. He remodeled the Jerusalem Temple, adding altars to additional gods. In addition to his religious heresy, 2 Kings 21:16 notes that “Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end.” The author of 2 Kings regards Manasseh’s reign as the tipping point that persuaded God that the nation of Judah must be punished for its spiritual rebellion. 2 Kings 21 notes no positive aspects of Manasseh’s religious or political influence.

    2 Chronicles 33 also relates the history of Manasseh’s long reign. Its writer repeats verbatim much of what we read in 2 Kings 21:1-10. However, while 2 Kings portrays Manasseh’s reign as consistently evil and assigns responsibility to the heretical monarch for Judah’s subsequent exile to Babylon, 1 Chronicles records that Manasseh, exiled himself for a time by the Assyrians to Babylon, repented of his multitude of sins and prayed to God for forgiveness. While the Bible does not record Manasseh’s prayer, centuries later someone wrote a prayer based on Manasseh’s repentance as described in 1 Chronicles 33. This apocryphal prayer of Manasseh ends with this plea to a gracious God:

    “Do not destroy me with my transgressions; do not be angry against me forever; do not remember my evils; and do not condemn me and banish me to the depths of the earth! For you are the God of those who repent. In me you will manifest all your grace; and although I am not worthy, you will save me according to your manifold mercies. Because of this (salvation) I shall praise you continually all the days of my life; because all the hosts of heaven praise you, and sing to you forever and ever” (“The Prayer of Manasseh,” from The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by J.H. Charlesworth, Garden City, New York: Doubleday& Company, 1985, p. 635).

    In 2 Chronicles, a forgiven Manasseh returns to Jerusalem, where he initiates religious reforms and building programs that demonstrate the genuineness of his repentance. The Chronicler’s account of Manasseh’s life ends: “The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself – all are written in the records of the seers” (2 Chronicles 33:18-19).

    Manasseh begins his reign by arrogantly turning away from the God of his father Hezekiah. He brings both religious and political ruin to his nation by his policies. Only after being exiled does he humble himself and pray. His repentance and prayer echoes God’s words to King Solomon centuries earlier, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face an 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). God’s promise is extended to people who already are in covenant relationship with him, but have violated the terms of that covenant. Such was the case with Manasseh and Judah, the nation he ruled. In modern times, it applies to Christians who have strayed from God’s will rather than to secular nations.

    Manasseh’s prayer demonstrates the efficacy of calling for fire when one realizes that through his or her own disobedience, they have placed themselves in great spiritual danger. Just as Peter and John counseled Simon to pray for forgiveness in hope that God might forgive him (Acts 8), so worshipers of God who have lost their way today may ask for forgiveness. Manasseh sinned horribly, killing at least one of his children, causing the death of many others, and leading a nation into apostasy and toward political suicide. Even after his repentance, the aftershocks of his earlier sins continued to influence Judah’s history for generations. Even when we repent, we cannot always undo the effects of the wrong we have done. On the other hand, God does forgive him, and Manasseh, despite the magnitude of his earlier sin, accomplishes great acts of service for God during his remaining years. No sin is too great for God to forgive when God’s people, who are called by his name, humble themselves and pray.

    God of grace and glory, Remember how you granted forgiveness to Manasseh and Saul, who became Paul the apostle. Extend the same grace to those who recognize the horror of their own rebellion. Forgive them when they humbly return to you. Saul had thrown disciples of your Son into prison, and assisted in the killing of others, but when he arose and was baptized, calling on the name of the Lord, you forgave him and gave him a mission which transformed his weakness into strength. Give us strength and courage to do your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:12 am on 2014-01-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Repentance, ,   

    Has God Changed His Mind About Repentance? 

    According to some people who profess to know him, God has softened his stance on repentance. According to what they say, Jesus is optional, sin can be rational and salvation is left up to what we want it to be. But is it so?

    I for one say not so! Without a doubt I fail my Lord. Without a doubt sin can creep up on me. Without a doubt my salvation is important to me. But when it comes to God softening his stance on repentance toward him when it comes to unrighteousness there is some very serious doubt that those who say such things know what and who they’re talking about.

    Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

    While preaching to a group of men and women who were living as unbelieving pagans, old-fashioned sinners and individuals outside of the safety of God’s grace Paul plainly said God expects and requires repentance. This expectation and requirement wasn’t for individuals here and there – it was for everyone, everywhere. Judgment is coming and its basis will be upon the righteousness of God; that standard that we all fail to meet at one point in our life with many, many, many more to follow. And the judgment of God will be accomplished by the non-optional and solo sacrificed Savior of the world.

    Has God changed his mind about repentance since Paul preached those words in the first century? Has God softened his stance on the necessity of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? The way we answer the first question determines the way we answer the second, but the way we answer won’t change the way that God thinks.

    There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”” (Luke 13:1-5)

    • a_l_henley 7:43 am on 2014-02-01 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Intrepid Didymus and commented:
      Amen! Where has repentance gone? It appears in our modern Christianity that repentance is null and void. Where are the pastors who preach about sin??

  • TFRStaff 7:09 am on 2013-10-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Repentance   

    I’m Sorry 

    Perhaps one of the most improperly used phrases, the title has lost any real meaning. To the world saying I’m sorry usually means “I got caught” doing or saying something perceived as wrong. However to the Christian, I’m sorry should mean so much more.

    Like many other things, there are two kinds of sorrow; worldly and godly. Scripture tells us that “the sorrow of the world worketh death” while “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10). The Bible gives us a clear example of both types of sorrow. Both examples somewhat surprisingly come from two of Jesus’ apostles. One man denied Christ and the other betrayed Him.

    During the last Passover feast the Jesus celebrated with His apostles, Peter was told that he would deny Christ. Peter denied that he would do such a thing (Matt. 26:35) yet later that evening the denial came (vss. 69-74). What was Peter’s response? Exactly what it should have been: “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly” (vs. 75). His tears and actions after the denial show the repentance Peter had for what he had done.

    On the other hand we have the one who betrayed Christ. Judas also was told of his future actions during the same Passover feast. While they were eating, Jesus told the apostles that “one of you shall betray me” (Matt. 26:21). Notice however in this case that Judas did not try to deny what he would later end up doing. In fact Judas went hurriedly out of the supper to carry out his betrayal. Afterwards, when he realized fully what he had done, Judas was sorrowful yet that sorrow did not lead to repentance but to death: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood…he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matt. 27:4-5).

    It is unfortunate that the phrase “I’m sorry” ever has to be used. The person saying it is admitting to doing something wrong. All of us should try our best to never do anything that warrants an apology. However, in a moment of weakness and/or ignorance we sin in some way, I’m sorry is the first thing that that we should say afterwards. Make sure your sorrow is of the godly sort that others may truly know you mean it when saying you are sorry.

    In Christ, Steve Preston


  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: awe, , , burial, , , dead body, , fountain of life, , , , Repentance, , , , snares of death,   

    (#69) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:14-Don’t Say We Weren’t Warned! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 13:14: “The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.”

    “A fountain of life” expresses a constant supply of that which is essential to life. Municipal water supplies seem to have replaced cisterns and wells, nevertheless the point is that we all die without some source of drinking water. Spiritually-speaking, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Since all of God’s “commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), then everyone striving to be righteous will receive “the word with all readiness” and search “the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things” are so (Acts 17:11). David said with God “is the fountain of life,” and it is through His Word that spiritual life springs eternal. This is what Jesus meant to the woman at the well: “’Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw’” (John 4:13-15).

    An exact parallel to this proverb is in Proverbs 14:27: “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” “The fear of the LORD” is the same as “the law of the wise.” Reverence and awe for God and His Word go hand-in-hand. Many have gone astray who think they “fear God” but ignore or violate His commandments; likewise, others think they have reverence for God’s Word but profane and desecrate His Person and Name. No one “fears God” without keeping His commandments. Many have thought they had faith in God while rejecting: baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); the churches of Christ which Jesus established and “purchased with His own blood” (Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16; Acts 20:28); clear Scripture on marriage (Mark 10:2-12); and repentance from sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

    The purpose for “the fear of the LORD” and “the law of the wise” is “to turn one away from the snares of death.” Nowhere does God promise to save anyone in their sins who do not repent. The common slogans, “God loves me just the way I am;” “I know I’m saved regardless of what you say the Bible says;” “you have no right to ‘judge me’ or my way of life;” have never been taught by God in His Word! In 2 Peter 3:9, we are told, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” There is “absolutely” no justification for those who “continue in sin” (Romans 6:1), but only for those who die to sin and, by baptism, bury their dead body in Jesus’ grave (Romans 6:2-7). Having listed the overwhelming “desire to be rich,” and “the love of money” being “a root of all kinds of evil,” Paul commanded, “But you, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:9-11). “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). If we are not saved, it is not because God hasn’t given proper instruction or warning!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , converted, more excellent, , Repentance, , seduces, ,   

    (#64) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:26-Which Way Are We Leaning? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 12:26: “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

    The contrast is drawn between the “righteous” (those who obey God’s commandments, Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 John 3:3, 7) and the “wicked” (described in Genesis 13:13: “the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD”). The “righteous” should be cautious lest the “wicked” have greater influence on them than they do on the “wicked!” In Malachi 3:18, in the last book in the Old Testament, God keeps the line drawn between the two when He said: “Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” Anyone who is “wicked,” however, may choose to become “righteous” by converting and obeying God. “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-3). God’s invitation to the “wicked” to change is always open, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9; Luke 24:45-47).

    Because the Hebrew allows a spread of translation, the King James Version is also given: Proverbs 12:26: “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. {excellent: or, abundant}                            The way of righteousness is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6); for those who receive Him as He is and come to Him (John 1:11-13); who repent and are baptized in His name “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); and are “registered in heaven” as a part of the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22-23); and “enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus” on “the new and living way” He “consecrated for us” (Hebrews 10:19-20). Truly this is “more excellent” than “the way of the wicked,” which “seduces” them but produces no righteousness! And the wicked have seen this very point! King Saul said to David, after trying to kill him, but David spared Saul: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil” (1 Samuel 24:17). King Joash “did evil” but the Prophet “Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, ‘O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!’ (2 Kings 13:14). In the New Testament, King Herod was pressured to kill John the Baptist, but could not bring himself to do it, “for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly” (Mark 6:20). Even in the King James Version, the “righteous” should not leave the way that even the “wicked” admit is “more excellent.”

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

  • TFRStaff 10:22 am on 2013-08-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brett Petrillo, , , Description of Repentance, , , Repentance, , ,   

    Thieves With A Conscience by Brett Pertillo 

    A group of thieves broke into a building and stole computers and equipment.  What they didn’t know at the time was they were stealing from a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual assault.  Once they discovered this, they felt bad for what they had done.  The following night, they brought back everything they stole in a shopping cart and even included a hand written apology note which said (grammatical mistakes included), “We had no idea what we were takeing.  Here your stuff back we hope that you guys can continue to make a differenence in peoples live.  God bless” (ABC Local).

    First of all, it’s ironic that the same people who were sinning called for God’s blessings.  Aside from this, one wonders what was going through these thieves’ minds.  Did they think returning the items made everything OK?  Even though these robbers made a good decision in returning the stolen items, they were the ones who committed the felony in the first place.  Sometimes people misunderstand what true repentance is.  These thieves likely thought they were making things right and repenting of what they had done, even if they didn’t put it in so many words.  However, it’s clear this was not an action of repentance, but just a rare blip on the conscience meter.

    What does true repentance really look like?  First, true repentance is a 180-degree turn (Acts 3:19).  A person who is walking towards sin completely changes direction, putting his back to sin, and begins walking towards God.  Second, true repentance is found in the person who is sickened by their actions and is committed to changing his ways (2 Corinthians 7:10).  After sinning with Bathsheba, David wrote a psalm that perfectly displays this point (Psalm 51).

    It’s fairly easy to feel and act “sorry” for the things we have done.  Sometimes we will even go so far as to try and smooth things over with those we have wronged.  However, let’s keep in mind that true repentance is about a sincere 180-degree change, feeling guilty, and being committed and determined not to repeat past mistakes.  May we have the courage to repent and turn our backs to sin when the need arises.

    from BP’s Fuel For Thought – Brett Petrillo – Bear Valley church of Christ – Denver, CO

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