It is commonly believed that any words of repentance for sin are sufficient to bring about divine memory loss. The formula for convincing God to forgive and forget man’s sins goes something like this: one is reminded that he has sinned; contrition fills his heart; instructions from church leaders are remembered; God is reminded of His promise to forgive and forget; words of regret and promises of improved behavior are uttered; a sense of relief is experienced; all is well once again. The repentant is now free to move on to the next sin, following which the formula is repeated again, and again, and again, ad infinitum. We are assured that any repentance strategy will work: instant repentance following a single sin or future repentance following the bundling of sins–both are time and effort efficient, or so we are led to believe. But what does the Lord say about it? Let us find out the old fashioned way–by studying His Word–there isn’t an app for this undertaking. Therefore we must place our portable life-support system in a drawer, get on our knees and seek the mind of the Master of the universe. Then we must open our Bible and settle in. The following is what an honest search for the mind of God will reveal about sin and repentance. I know from personal experience how this works. I have lived in the belly of the spiritual beast and know exactly what it takes to extricate oneself from it. For a more authoritative testimony from a more reliable source, read the story of an Old Testament repentant named Job.
Most repentance is fake. Proof of this lies in the fact that the act, word or thought of sin, once having been supposedly forgiven, is then repeated, usually very quickly. I have labeled the sin-repent, sin-repent, sin-repent syndrome “serial contrition.” Serial contrition lets one know that he is under the control of Satan. Though one may be uber-religious, head a world-wide ministry, teach Sunday School, have a drawer full of perfect attendance pencils, etc., serial contrition tells him that he has his Savior and Lord situation reversed. This deadly spiritual disease runs rampant throughout professing Christendom. The symptoms of this greatly-ignored infirmity are as follows:
False repenters worship Jesus, wear crosses around their necks and fish symbols on their cars, smile, carry Bibles, read them, quote Scriptures, attend church three times each week, preach, teach, tithe, etc. But at the end of every day, or some time during the day, they find themselves once again asking for forgiveness for having failed God. The problem is that false repenters have taken Jesus Christ as their Savior, but not as their Lord. A Savior is a good guy to have around because of those inevitable sins one commits. However, a Lord is one who must be obeyed without question–thereby eliminating the need for repentance. Impossible, we are told by our self-appointed “Bible Scholars.” Having Jesus as our Savior is all that is necessary in order to remain in good standing with God. We have all swallowed this bait; most are still doing so because 1) it is so easy and 2) false prophets have assured us that it is normal. After all, we are told, we all carry Adam’s sin gene which renders us unable to resist his siren call to sin. Like eye color and height, we have no control over the sin that lives within our spiritual dna. Church leaders, mom, dad, grandma, etc. have assured us that Jesus, knowing our helpless situation, died so that we could commit our inevitable sins and get away with it. All we need to do is repent. Because few people know God’s Word and even fewer believe it, serial contrition has become an accepted part of the so-called “Christian walk.” But does the Lord see it that way? He tells us by pouring forth His Truth from the fount of all spiritual Truth–His Holy Word. Let us drink deeply from it. Whether we do or not has eternal implications. We either drink deeply from His Word or die permanently. Let us develop a deep thirst for God’s Truth. If we do He promises to fill us with righteousness (Mat. 5:6). L.J.