Following the realization of a life lived in sin, repentance of those sins, forgiveness of those sins and a 180 degree turn from those sins, baptism is the next step. This is the point at which God literally erases and forgets one’s past life in totality–as if it never happened. It is also the point at which God gives the seeker His Holy Spirit which enables him to live in obedience to Him. The next step–conversion–lasts until death or the return of Jesus Christ to earth at which time salvation is awarded and rebirth takes place for the one who has “walk(ed) as Jesus walked” following conversion (1 Jn. 2:6), has “purified himself as Jesus is pure” (1 Jn. 3:3) and has “… overcome (Satan) as I (Jesus) overcame (him) ….” (Rev. 3:21). Following these steps, one then “walk(s) in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) until death or Christ’s return. Whether one experiences a total change of life or continues in a business as usual mode revolves around one’s attitude toward sin.
The key to a true and total change of life leading to salvation and rebirth is REPENTANCE. Whether one changes one’s life-walk or remains on Satan’s course is determined by the type of repentance one experiences–whether it is true or false. The quality of repentance necessary to receive eternal life is very different from what professing Christendom proclaims. Most church people believe that repentance means to be sorry for what one has done. This repentance is nothing more than sadness for having been caught. It is nothing like the repentance expressed by King David as recorded in Psalm 51:11. Here the sinning king, having come under true conviction, cries out to God: “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” David hated the sins he had committed and therefore threw himself on God’s mercy, asking Him for grace. He understood that it was the Holy Spirit that supplies the power for one to overcome sin–the result of true repentance. The God to Whom David prayed would one day use that same Holy Spirit power to overcome Satan while on earth (Rev. 3:21). Both men knew that only by the power of the Spirit could they overcome the devil’s seductive, “It’s alright, you’re under grace” call to sin. David knew that he could walk in newness of life only by the power of the Holy Spirit living in him. That the removal of the Spirit from the heart of a man leaves him powerless before Satan is expressed somewhat differently in Isaiah 59:2: “… your iniquities have separated you from your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (your prayers).” God lives in His saints in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Note that Isaiah was writing to God’s people, telling the sinners among them that their sins/iniquities were separating them from the God they claimed to serve. These people had a flippant, “no big deal” attitude toward sin and repentance. Today’s typical, self-professed Christian has the same attitude. This was verbalized by a woman I know who said: “God doesn’t like sin (in a Christian), but He won’t do anything about it.” Why? Because the “Christian” is supposedly saved and born again. All that was necessary for a “sinner saved by grace” to remain in God’s good graces was to repent following each sin. That done, the SSBG was once again “good to go”–free to sin again, and again, and again, ad infinitum. According to churchites, one is well with God as long as one stays repented up. What such churchites do not realize is that GOD KNOWS THE HEART. This woman’s heart was not right with him, which is why He killed her not long after she made the statement written above. The Lord had told me not long before her death what He was going to kill her and why. Though her death was a shock to everyone who knew her, it did not surprise me. God had told me twice before that He was going to kill certain people, which and He did not long thereafter. As was the case with the previous killings, THERE WAS NO MEDICAL REASON FOR HER TO DIE. Her death-causing problem was spiritual, not physical. Watch for many more people to die for no apparent reason in the future. God is going to move in ways thus far unheard of within the human race. Look for the so-called “pillars of Christendom” to fall. L.J.