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Repentance or Forgiveness or Judgment, 3 Amazing Choices!

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Guest Blogger, Teacher, Author Linda J. Quigley Shares A Powerful Blog For All Of Us To Consider!

Scripture is Ever-Living & Always Relevant.

How many times have you read a familiar Scripture verse, only to find it suddenly grabbing your attention in a way you never understood it before? Often, God simultaneously quickens Scriptures and concepts to all His people who listen. Second Chronicles 7:14 is a verse the Holy Spirit is once again bringing to the forefront of people’s awareness. Why are Believers worldwide focused on this Scripture now? Indeed, during these uncertain and perilous times, the Holy Spirit is trying to get our attention!

Humble Repentance.

During the early 1990s, I had an unforgettable and life-changing encounter with a portion of Scripture. It was a very difficult year. The Holy Spirit seemed to be convicting me at nearly every juncture of my journey. Complaining to a friend, I said, “It seems like the Holy Spirit just won’t let me get by with anything! He’s even been convicting me about what books I can and cannot read!” In retrospect, my attitude was displeasing to God, and the enemy was setting a snare for me.

One morning, while reading my Bible, a verse came to my attention; “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Unknowingly deceived by my own self-righteousness, I said to God, “God, how can Your people possibly be this sinful? Surely, we aren’t so bad?” My short-lived pondering of the verse caused me to fail in discerning the Holy Spirit’s gentle alert – of my own dire need for personal application!

For the next year, life’s events continually proved to be sources of irritation. One day, I exploded in a fury of anger that made a volcanic eruption seem to pale in comparison. Appalled by the intensity of anger and rage spewing out of me, I wondered where it came from. Shaken, I found myself overcome with grief and began to weep. “God, how could this much anger be inside me?” Momentarily, the Holy Spirit graciously replied, “Because you continued complaining about My direction in the small things, I withdrew My conviction.” A fear like I’d never known surged through me. Is this what happens when the Holy Spirit pulls back His conviction? Is this how I’ve become so blindly consumed with anger?

For three days, I couldn’t pull myself together. Waves of grief and uncontrollable weeping overtook me. How can a Christian woman have such evil inside without knowing it? I lamented. Broken, I asked Jesus to forgive my sin and firmly resolved to prayerfully examine every future hint of anger that should arise inside me. The anger served as a catalyst, marking my first conscious awareness of genuine godly sorrow compelling me towards repentance. (2 Corinthians 7:9)

Awareness for the Need for Humility & Obedience.

The anger episode impacted me profoundly. It caused me to be ever-mindful of the importance of maintaining an ongoing position of humility and obedience with God. It showed me how desperately we all need Him to expose our sin! I became acutely aware of the necessity for the Holy Spirit’s help in keeping us from our own self-justification and self-deception! Our well-being requires repentance and obedience to be ongoing in our lives! David cried out to God, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret sins.” (Psalm 19:12, 13)

Seared Consciences, Hard Hearts & Alienation from God.

The Bible tells us in the latter days; some will have their consciences so seared that they will depart from the Christian faith. (1 Timothy 4:1, 2) All unrepentant sin sears our consciences and hardens our hearts, becoming an avenue for deception and bondage to ensnare us. (Psalm 107) Our sin alienates us from fellowship with God, something He so desires with us! David, a man after God’s own heart, recognized the pitfall of his sin, separating him from God. (Psalm 66:18; see also Isaiah 59:2)

God jealously loves and desires us! When we willfully disregard or disobey the prompting of His Holy Spirit – our relationships with Him are compromised. Our hearts become hardened, putting us into precariously vulnerable situations.

Rebellious Disobedience.

Even more alarming is that Scripture likens willful disobedience tocrucifying once again for ourselves – the Lord Jesus Christ, and putting Him to an open shame! (Hebrews 6:4-6) The blood of Jesus Christ atones for mankind’s sin. But if we, as Christians, continue in sin – we disgrace His name and the profound sacrifice He accomplished on our behalf!

Lack of Obedience & Grieving the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and shows us how to walk before God in holiness. (John 16:8-11) God’s word tells us we’re not to grieve the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30) Whether the Holy Spirit tells us to do – or not to do something – if we disobey, we grieve God!

Is The Stench of Sin in the Church – A Catalyst for Judgment?

God’s word tells us we are to be holy as He is holy. (Leviticus 11:45) An alarming percentage of modern-day Christians are so anesthetized to sin; their testimonies have become a stench to God’s nostrils! If you don’t think so – I challenge you to consider the current state of the world. There’s a direct correlation between the heart conditions of God’s people and what’s happening in our nations. If you’re not convinced, I encourage you to do a Scriptural word study on “shaking” and “judgment.”

Ignoring God’s Fundamental Element of Repentance – Is a Recipe for Judgment.

It’s very disturbing that many Christians publicly quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14, totally skip over the portion addressing repentance. It’s a grave oversight to disregard a single critical element that God outlines here. This verse contains requirements for God to hear our prayers on behalf of our nations. To think we can appease God with prayers alone and yet neglect humble, personal REPENTANCE (godly sorrow for our sins and turning from our wicked ways)is imbalanced and ineffectual.

Holding huge prayer gatherings and online meetings are great, but neglecting lifestyles of repentance is overlooking God’s blueprint. This is very shortsighted. (Clearly, we’d be remiss by failing to stand in the gap through intercession for mankind, other saints, and for all those in authority.) (Ezekiel 22:30; Ephesians 6:18; 1Timothy 2:1, 2)

My spirit is seriously concerned that the foundational element of repentance is too often being overlooked. An example of the compromised effectiveness of prayer without people responding in humility and repentance can be found in Amos 7:1-9. Despite the prophet’s intercession, and God subsequently relenting of judgment twice – the people’s continual sin eventually brought about God’s judgment.

Following 9/11 (an act of judgment), many people appeared to be “turning” to God, church attendance was up, and prayer for our Nation seemed to abound. Yet, beyond the immediate impact of the tragedy, for the most part, there was minimal godly change affected in our Nation. Could it be that corporate repentance wasn’t sought in conjunction with prayer?

Culture’s Minimization of Sin – Has Infiltrated the Church.

One modern-day example comes to mind that specifically speaks to the minimization of sin and superficial level of repentance in many American Christians. A survey taken of Evangelical Christians in 2017 gives alarming insight into just one facet of rampant depravity in the Church. The numbers revealed: 68% of Christian men, up to 30% of Christian women, and approximately 50% of pastors polled were actively involved in pornography!

Adultery Against God – Will God Become Our Enemy?

Sexual sin is one byproduct of adultery against God! “Nevertheless, I have this against you that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4) How many ways are a significant number of Christians committing adultery against God by forsaking Him as our First love? It’s foolish for us to deceive ourselves into thinking that God doesn’t see and judge – our blatant, and yes, even our most hidden, unrepented sins! Ongoing sin causes us to fall into worse conditions than we were before we came to Jesus! God did not call us to continue in sin, but rather to walk in holiness. If we reject this very truth – we’re rejecting God Himself. (2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 8)

If we, as Christ-followers, rebel, and grieve God’s Holy Spirit, He may turn Himself as an enemy and fight against us! (Isaiah 63:10) Think about it! Our sin and rebellion can result in God becoming like an enemy to us!

Abuse of God’s Grace – Should Cause Us to Fear.

Many say, “We’re no longer under the Law (Old Covenant) – we’re under grace.” Consider what the New Testament (Covenant) has to say about the misuse of God’s grace: “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the spirit of grace? …The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:26-31) “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

God loves us with an everlasting love! Through His loving kindness, He draws us. He is jealous for our love and is not willing to share it with others! We do not want to provoke His jealousy, nor the consuming fire of His judgment! (Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Jeremiah 31:3; 1 Corinthians 10:22)

God’s Love Brings Chastisement and Judgment

Ultimately, we only deceive ourselves if we think our sin is hidden from – or justifiable in the eyes of God. God alone is righteous, and just! When mankind resists Him, God’s great mercy requires Him to resort to shaking and judgment; thus, compelling us to understand our finite nature and need for Him. God is concerned with our eternal destinies, not our temporary comfort. Let us judge ourselves, so we don’t fall under God’s chastisement or judgment – or worse yet – the same condemnation as the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31, 32)

What is Repentance?

Repentance isn’t merely a one-time act of asking for forgiveness. It necessitates our continual positioning in humility and obedience before

God. It requires us to turn away from our sins! God’s desire for us is to embrace true repentance and walk-in obedient holiness before Him. He desires our intimacy!

Let us return to the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and strength!

© Linda J. Quigley 9/2020


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