What is the greatest danger facing our nation today? Someone out there just thought, “Liberals.” Another cried, “Islamism.” Yet others felt, “Russia,” “Obama’s last days in office,” “our economy,” “communism,” “millennials” or “those older folks” is what will surely take America beyond the brink of destruction. Surely at least one person just thought, “Trump!” Yet none of these things are our GREATEST danger. The greatest danger to America is a lack of true repentance. And like Nineveh of old, true repentance is our greatest—and our only real—need.
God called Joshua to be strong and courageous in obedience, not in warfare. God took care of the enemies while they walked in obedience to His commands. All our real dangers are spiritual ones. Therefore, let us heed the Apostle Paul’s warning that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” (2 Cor. 10:4) Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons which are obtained by God’s gracious hand. We need to lay hold of His weapons that will pull down strongholds, weapons like repentance, personal holiness, devotions, being thoroughly Christian, with Christ’s pure love shining through our every word, thought, and action.
True repentance is more elusive than “The American Dream” during the “Great Depression.” With America in a continual sexual revolution of degradation, Islamism being more accepted, society embracing the ideas that violent behavior is acceptable and socialism/communism is desirable, and while even the extreme right is moving to center-left, we find ourselves in the midst of a “Great Moral Depression.” We NEED revival; we NEED repentance.
But, what is genuine repentance? What does it mean to repent? Let’s look at godly men of old and contemporary men of God for this answer:
C.H. Spurgeon describes it like this: “True repentance has a distinct and constant reference to the Lord, Jesus Christ. If you repent of sin without looking to Christ, away with your repentance! If you are so lamenting your sin as to forget the Savior, you have need to begin all this work over again. Whenever we repent of sin we must have one eye upon sin and another upon the Cross. Or, better still, let us have both eyes upon Christ, seeing our sin punished in Him and by no means let us look at sin except as we look at Jesus. Aman may hate sin just as a murderer hates the gallows – but this does not prove repentance. If I hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of sin – I merely regret that God is just. But if I can see sin as an offense against Jesus Christ and loathe myself because I have wounded Him, then I have a true brokenness of heart. If I see the Savior and believe that those thorns upon His head were plaited by my sinful words; If I believe that those wounds in His heart were pierced by my heart sins; If I believe that those wounds in His feet were made by my wandering steps and that the wounds in His hands were made by my sinful deeds – then I repent of sin after a right fashion. Only under the Cross can you repent. Repentance elsewhere is remorse which clings to the sin and only dreads the punishment. Let us then seek, under God, to have a hatred of sin caused by a sightof Christ’s love.”
We become very different individuals after repentance has taken place in our heart; we cannot bear what we once were. George Whitefield speaks plainly: “Every man, by his own natural will, hates God; but when he is turned to the Lord, by evangelical repentance, then his will is changed; then his conscience, now hardened and benumbed, shall be quickened and awakened; then his hard hearts shall be melted, and his unruly affections shall be crucified. Thus, by that repentance, the whole soul will be changed, and he will have new inclinations, new desires, and new habits.”
Our contemporary, Kevin DeYoung, well states the dangers of temporary “repentance” and the truth of real repentance. “Genuine repentance [is] not a convenient escape hatch after a weekend or a life of folly. It means admitting specific wrong, recognizing your offensiveness to God, changing course, turning to Christ, and wishing with all your heart you had never made the mistake you now despise.”
Real change only comes by genuine repentance; revival—national and personal—must start here. In Nineveh, from the king to the animals, all showed humility and contriteness of heart. The people mourned and showed “fruit meet for repentance.” America, from the greatest to the least, needs to be brought to brokenness by the Hand of God; we must be blessed with His gracious gifts of conviction and repentance.
This IS our greatest need. This IS our only hope. This is why the American Decency Association is bringing Dr. Joel Beeke, of the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, to our headquarters on February 3, 2017 at 7:00 PM. Dr. Beeke will be bringing a message entitled, “Needed: Genuine Prayer and Repentance.”
Superficial prayer and easy repentance will do us no good.It may bring temporary peace to our minds and give us a false sense of security before God; but in the end, there is no lasting peace, no real revival, and no salvation. These are desperate times. If you care about the state of your own soul and our nation, join us at the American Decency offices—203 E Main St; Fremont, MI 49412—on February 3, 2017, at 7:00 PM. Start praying now for a move of God upon our hearts; bring friends and family; come with expectation.
To support our efforts please click here or mail your gift to American Decency Association (ADA), PO Box 202, Fremont, MI 49412.
American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.