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True Grace - The Book of Revelation
Week 40, 2018
We are told in Scripture that if we have confessed our sins, He has not only forgiven them, but He has also forgotten them. No confessed sin will be held against anyone on that great day. As 1 John 1:9-10 says:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
We previously discussed how the day of The Lord is called “the great and terrible day of The Lord.” We may ask, “Well, which is it?” It is great for some and terrible for others. Obviously, it will be great for those who have confessed their sins and been cleansed, and it will be terrible for those who have not.
So how do we live in order to be prepared for the judgments of God that come in our own time and for the Great Judgment Day? Some of the things that will be hard on us now will make it much easier on us then. Those who can only hear the things that “tickle their ears,” or make them feel good now, will likely have it very hard then, even “terrible.”
As we touched on before, some extreme “hyper-grace” teachers have said that not only does God no longer judge, but repentance is no longer needed after the crucifixion because Jesus already paid for our sins—past, present, and future. That may make sense to those who have not read their Bibles, but it is an ultimate folly and deception that has already led to many to suffer shipwreck with regard to their faith.
A primary way that we prepare for the times and for the ultimate Day of Judgment is we build into our lives and nature a lifestyle of repentance. If the “hyper-grace” foolishness teaches that we no longer need to repent since the cross has already paid for our sins, why then did Jesus call the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 to repent years after His resurrection? The New Testament is clear that God will forgive our sins if we confess them. Confessing them is a beginning, but to repent is to turn away from the sin.
Repentance had to be preached before Jesus was revealed, and Jesus Himself preached repentance. One of the purposes for which The Holy Spirit was given is to convict of sin. This is so we can repent of our sin and turn to the only remedy that can save us from our sin and deliver us from the judgments of God that come because of sin—the cross. However, He “came to save us from our sin,” not just the consequences of sin. He has come, and The Holy Spirit was given, to deliver us from our sinful nature and replace it with His nature.
As we are told in Hebrews 6, we do not lay again a foundation of repentance, but that does not mean that we do not continue to repent. Repentance is a foundation of the Christian life. A foundation is something that you only lay once because you only have one in a building. That does not mean that we no longer use it, but the foundation is what we walk on every day and is what holds the entire building up. That is how repentance is a foundation for the true Christian life.
We must always keep a tender, humble, and contrite heart that is quick to repent when we are convicted by The Holy Spirit. As James wrote, we all stumble in many ways, and as we see in The New Testament, even the most eminent apostles fell into sinful traps right until the end of their lives. It is written, “the righteous fall seven times, but rise yet again” (see Proverbs 24:16). However, you cannot rise up if you do not know that you have fallen.
Virtually every biblical truth does get carried to extremes by some, and even though there are extreme teachings that pervert the grace of God, we need more of His grace, not less. Many are far too sin conscious, too focused on their failures, than they are on the vision we need of His glory that we must have to become what we are called to be.
No doubt many of the extreme teachings on grace are the result of some overreacting to other extreme teachings that keep men under condemnation and striving to accomplish what has already been accomplished for us at the cross. As we discussed, there is a ditch on either side of the path of life, and those who are reactionary often fall into one ditch, and then overreact and fall into the other ditch. The two ditches are usually legalism on one side and lawlessness on the other. Let’s stay on the path of life that is between these ditches.
There is yet a little more to cover about the judgments of God in Revelation, and we do not want to gloss over them, much less discount that which He gave so much attention to. We then come to the glorious vision He has for us, which we are about to cover.
next week 41