9/21/10 Jonathan, 29
Trying to explain the need for repentance when witnessing seems so simple, yet is so impossible for people to grasp. It too quickly becomes associated with the good works that the Bible says can't earn salvation. The basic sin of selfish pride we need to repent of is the very thing that keeps us from repenting. At the park today I met a young man (Jonathan) who obviously lives hard and fast. He said he believes he will go to hell if he doesn't change his sinful ways. From what I could tell his hope and faith lies in his ability to turn his life around before its too late. In fact, he said if he died today he would go to hell. I explained that he is right - but warned him that if he could change his ways and never commit another sin for the rest of his life, he would still be just as guilty as he is today. A right relationship with God can't be earned by our efforts at doing good or being sorry for the bad we've done. Our righteousness comes from Christ alone and I explained that to Jonathan. So must we repent to earn God's favor? No, but the heart that has truly been made new in Christ can't help but respond with repentance. There is no other way. If the Jesus we respond to is only our Savior and not our Lord, he's not the real Jesus but only the result of our selfish wishful thinking. At least Jonathan knew that much.