Repentance and the Church

Rev 2:5: “…except thou repent.”

v 16: “Repent…”

v 21: "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not."

v 22: "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds."

Rev 3:3: “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.”

v 19: “be zealous therefore, and repent.”

0 Comments

  1. John Carmack,

    Might it be possible that those of both the United Association and the COGWA Association may be in the following situation and just can't "see" it yet?

    "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" Revelation 3:17

    For one to just repent/change: how easy is that to accomplish? Really? Or, might a lot of help be needed?

    Thankfully, if this may be encouraging, God is in the "business" when it comes to that word "repent" or "repentane." He seems to have a lot more to do with repentance than perhaps we have given Him credit for. For example, we have this:

    "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." Acts 11:18

    Repentance is something God grants, but currently not to most in this world (John 14:17), which cannot even receive God's Spirit.

    Another example of God's involvement?

    "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans 2:4

    God's GOODNESS would be available to LEAD one to repentance, but is that enough?

    "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" 2 Timothy 2:25

    It appears that repentance is something that God GIVES one…if He wills that to happen for some purpose of His.

    If God does not at this time grant/give repentance, then how will it happen?

    To our knowledge if Hitler were resurrected today and he said: "I repent:" who would believe it? That may sound like an extreme hypothetical situation.

    On the other hand the man will be resurrected some day, and God's Spirit will become available to him. Might he then be of a repentant attitude? Can he repent without God granting/giving him that repentance by His goodness, which it appears he never received while living on this earth.

    Of course, time will tell. We do have God's inspired words via the apostle Peter where it is stated:

    "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

    To will or not to will? That is a question. If God wills that repentance be granted, then who will change that?

    Anyway, I was just thinking that there may be a lot more to this repentance (Heb 1:1), than something that we think a human being might simply achieve on his/her own.

    John G

  2. @John G: That's some good thoughts. If someone, like Hitler, doesn't have their mind open, then I don't see how they can repent.

    BTW, I've had some discussions with someone who will vehemently deny that Hitler will be given "a second chance", which I disagree with.

    On the flip side, though, Jesus is talking to the churches in Revelation 2 – 3, and it appears as a command to them. Why? Their minds should already be open.

    So, I would hope that UCG, COGWA, LCG, PCG, etc., would be capable of repentance as needed.

    It has been said that the only sin that will not be forgiven is the one not repented of. I believe that to be true.

  3. Both sides certainly are preaching repentance. That was Clyde Kilough's topic in the final message of the 2010 UCG Feast at Daytona Beach — not long before the schism happened.

    But what I don't hear ministers on either side say is: I repent."

    And as I heard a UCG Pastor say in a sermon almost a year ago, quoting Luke 17:3-4: there's NO forgiveness without repentance.

    Methinks therein lies the problem.

  4. @Richard: Well, I think I mentioned before I don't agree with that. Jesus forgave on the cross, after all, and the Jewish religious leadership certainly wasn't repenting of doing it at the time.

    I'd argue that your pastor has confused forgiveness and reconciliation. You can forgive without repentance, as hard as that may be; it is possible. Reconciliation requires at least one party changing (repenting). Otherwise, it isn't reconciliation but just putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

  5. John where are your Scriptures that back up what you are saying? "And as I heard a UCG Pastor say in a sermon almost a year ago, quoting Luke 17:3-4: there's NO forgiveness without repentance."
    I am beginning to think you just shoot comments off the top of your head without thinking about contradicting Scripture and hurting other peoples feelings. How Christian is that?
    I commented for the first time on your blog a few days ago and it was ridiculed by you and then you attack the one person who seemd to be understanding my delima in being able to understand you. (as it seemed to me)

    Do you think that you are better than God, who does require repentance before forgiveness is granted? show me the Scriptures! Stop play god with all your statements about other COG groups as if you can see the way God sees!

    Bob

  6. Bob wrote: "John where are your Scriptures that back up what you are saying? 'And as I heard a UCG Pastor say in a sermon almost a year ago, quoting Luke 17:3-4: there's NO forgiveness without repentance.'"

    I don't understand your question. I'm not the one who wrote that. My response was:

    "@Richard: Well, I think I mentioned before I don't agree with that. Jesus forgave on the cross, after all, and the Jewish religious leadership certainly wasn't repenting of doing it at the time."

    Lk 23:34 clearly says, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Ro 5:8 says Christ died while we are yet sinners.

    "Do you think that you are better than God, who does require repentance before forgiveness is granted? show me the Scriptures! Stop play god with all your statements about other COG groups as if you can see the way God sees!"

    No, I am not better than God. That is why I am required to forgive even when personal feelings get in the way.

    And, some of those COG groups really need to take "God" out of their names. They are worshiping something or someone else. PCG particularly comes to mind.

  7. Earlier Bob wrote: "…Do you think that you are better than God, who does require repentance before forgiveness is granted? show me the Scriptures!…"

    And John Carmack responded with writing this:

    "…My response was:

    "@Richard: Well, I think I mentioned before I don't agree with that. Jesus forgave on the cross, after all, and the Jewish religious leadership certainly wasn't repenting of doing it at the time."

    Lk 23:34 clearly says, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Ro 5:8 says Christ died while we are yet sinners…"

    Excellent scriptural back-up and response to Bob! And to supplement those thoughts we have the apostle Paul's inspired words about God's reconciling whether repentance is evident to or not:

    "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19

    Then again, it is God who is able to give, grant, one repentance by His goodness in accordance with His will and His own purpose.

    And God is faithful…

    John G

  8. @Bob: BTW, my intent was not to ridicule you. Rather, I assumed you would figure out that it was an introduction to a series, seeing as they are titled "Book of Judges".

    I knew you were a new commenter, but it seems that some are quick to judge without understanding even the basic rules of netiquette, let alone what Scripture says.

  9. I am sorry and at fualt on this; "John where are your Scriptures that back up what you are saying?" I did not make myself clear–this was in response to; "Well, I think I mentioned before I don't agree with that. Jesus forgave on the cross, after all, and the Jewish religious leadership certainly wasn't repenting of doing it at the time."

    I do not believe the Scripture ever contradicts itself and Christ's on words to Peter in Luke 17 and Matt.18 indicate that it is when one repents, he is to be forgiven. In the case you sighted–it was obvious that those people did not know what they were doing but in the case of Luke 17–it seems they did.
    What am I not understanding about this?

    Bob

  10. @Bob: I'm a little tired at the moment, so I hope I am correctly understanding the question and clearly answering.

    Let's see what Lk 17:3-4 actually says:

    " 3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

    " 4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

    In v 3, it actually sounds like someone is offended and is following Jesus' words in Mt 18 to "go to your brother". They are simply variations of the same commands. In addition, v 3 says to "rebuke him", which may either mean he didn't realize the depth of what he did or even that he had offended the other at all.

    Not only is it parallel, but Mt 18:15 really points out the goal of the encounter:

    "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."

    If I ask you, "What did Jesus come to do?", various people will undoubtedly give various answers, and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong answers, either. In the very same chapter, Jesus said, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost" (v 11).

    What was lost? Who was lost? Everyone is lost until Jesus saves him or her. It is the same topic as the rest of the chapter: reconciliation. Jesus came to restore a relationship between God and man because sin separates them. Since we cannot overcome this on our own, Jesus came to bridge the divide.

    Returning to Lk 17, then, we see in v4: "And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

    How often? As often as asked. How quickly? As soon as he asks. Why? So the relationship isn't destroyed.

    That's what I meant by you can forgive without the offender repenting, but you cannot restore the relationship unless someone does.

    Even more important, we should be willing to be forgiven as quickly and as often as we would want God to forgive us. Why else would Jesus say, "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Mt 6:15) unless He thought it was important for us to think of ourselves as the chief of all sinners and be willing to forgive others at the drop of a hat?

    God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of mercy. We are supposed to be building His character, becoming like Him and in the image of Jesus Christ. True, He will rule with a rod of iron, at least initially, but let us not forget that He was willing to be crucified so we can be shown mercy.

    Furthermore, Christ left examples of forgiving without being asked (Mt 9:5-6) and commanded us to forgive even just when thinking of the offender while praying (Mk 11:25).

    BTW, I almost neglected to point out another important principle: If we refuse to forgive, who is acting as judge?

    "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Mt 7:2).

    Again, how do we want God to treat our trespasses?

  11. FWIIW, I'd like God to treat our trespasses as follows:

    "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:3

    John G

  12. John D, I do appreciate your time and explanation. However, and this applies to @John G as well;– "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:3—Is this not dealing with two different situations? One is the COG and brothers who may sin against each other and God—the other is the world who does not know God and has not been called–does not even know it is sinning the majority of the time.

    If what we are looking at forgiving one another as just a blanket "one fits every situation" then why does God require us to forgive EVERYONE and EVERYTIME regardless of repentance, and yet God Himself does not forgive UNTIL repentance is evident?
    There must be more to it than what is being presented here.

    Bob

  13. Bob,

    What verse(s) do you believe show that "…God Himself does not forgive UNTIL repentance is evident"?

    For your consideration I would like to say the following:

    Thankfully, God is not a respecter of persons…whether we are talking about Cog people or people of the world; however, God is currently working with His sealed Firstfruits (Romans 8:28-30; Revelation 14:1-5) and not the world (John 14:17 "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive…").

    Additionally, we have this:

    "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," Titus 2:11

    Perhaps you can provide some verse with repentance (kind of like "string" attached) associated with that grace???

    In conclusion, I do believe the following says what it means and means what it says:

    "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19

    John G

  14. "… why does God require us to forgive EVERYONE and EVERYTIME regardless of repentance, and yet God Himself does not forgive UNTIL repentance is evident?
    There must be more to it than what is being presented hereand yet God Himself does not forgive UNTIL repentance is evident?
    There must be more to it than what is being presented here.
    "

    What about the event where Stephen was stoned to death. Paul was there. If Stephen was unable to forgive, what kind of spiritual position would that put him and Paul in the Kingdom?

  15. [There must be more to it than what is being presented hereand yet God Himself does not forgive UNTIL repentance is evident?]

    A good question that illustrates the difference between man and God.

    God expects us to forgive others because all humans need forgiveness. We are all in the same boat as human beings. (Mat 7: 1-5).

    But that's not the end of the matter. As Christians we forgive because we commit judgment to God even as Christ did when he was crucified – "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

    So now through "Christ in us" – we can forgive others for offenses against us. It is not just because we were sinners too (a duty) – it is for praise to God as we share in the Christ's very work and service. (I Peter 2:19).

    Ultimately though, all sin and offenses are committed to God who judges with perfect judgment. Through the process of salvation, God is creating a future world for mankind where there will be no sin or offenses or presumably the need for forgiveness.

    As the ultimate and righteous judge, God requires repentance first for His forgiveness. But even that is a gift as was mentioned earlier – and He grants it to everyone in their due time.

  16. A lot of good comments! Is this appropriate to think about just a few weeks away from Passover or what? A lot of good points have been made.

    Norbert's mention of Stephen and Saul/Paul should remind us that everyone is a potential child of God. The only real difference between those who are called now and those who will be called later is the timing.

    If we fail to forgive someone, that is likely to cause an even greater offense even now. In the second resurrection, will this offense cause them difficulty? If so, are we guilty of offending a "little one"?

    Stephen Doucet pointed out as well that God is the Righteous Judge. Today's sermon I heard points out that repentance is to God. When you read Ps 51, who did David say he committed a sin against? Uriah? Bathsheba? No, to God!

    I'd like to really strain how we traditionally look at forgiveness, though. Hopefully for this, you can -ahem- forgive me. I'm going to push at this a lot, as you will see.

    God is merciful, and He is patient. In a very real sense, He is granting us all a forbearance now. Otherwise, this earth would probably resemble a burnt-out cinder. Is this in itself not a type of forgiveness?

    " 43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    " 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    " 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

    ~ Mt 5:43-45

    What is interesting about that is that God "maketh" and God "sendeth", indicating activity. It isn't that He "allows" it to happen, but rather He causes it to happen. To both the just and the unjust!

    I have heard it said before that God's goodness should draw us to Him and cause us to stick close to Him (Ro 2:4). If we view God as wanting a relationship with His children, then this should make a lot of sense.

    Now, I'll draw your attention to:

    " 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

    " 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

    " 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

    ~ Ro 5:6-8

    So, now the question becomes a little more complex.

    Does God forgive when we repent? Or, is repentance a step we must towards accepting His free gift of eternal life (think Ac 2:38)?

    If we were not required to forgive others unless they repent, it would be pretty awkward to see them come up in either resurrection and for them to see us, as Norbert pointed out.

    What is forgiveness? Isn't it forgetting about trying to make someone "pay" for some slight or wrongdoing? When you really think about it, the emotion that causes the hurt and anger must be actively put out. It takes work to forgive, but once it is forgotten, does the work really continue? Isn't the real work in keeping the fires of hurt and anger going? What if the person dies? I knew a relative that could not forgive someone, even though they were dead. How silly is that?

    … to be continued …

  17. … continued from above…

    And, what is the opposite of forgiveness? Unforgiveness, isn't it? How does it manifest itself? A grudge, right?

    So, does God really want us to carry around a grudge towards anyone? Forever? One day, we might know someone who chooses the Lake of Fire. They will not have repented. Does that mean we are to carry a grudge forever?

    A better question: Will God carry a grudge towards anyone forever?

    My Bible seems to say the wicked will be forgotten. Their deeds, their actions and even the memory of them will die with them.

    Is that a type of forgiveness? I'm not sure, but I think it might be. It is an act of mercy because they and everyone else around them no longer suffers from the sin they inflict.

    The real question, though is: Will the second death really be because they are being punished, or is it really a matter of them choosing to not accept eternal life under God's sovereignty?

    Or, to put it another way: Have they already in one sense been forgiven but failed to take the necessary steps to secure eternal life? Isn't the real crime lightly esteeming Christ's shed blood for them that bought their forgiveness, which can only be rejected one time once their understanding has been opened?

    Mt 25:24-25 shows how one man viewed his lord. Please consider that if you choose to answer.

  18. BTW, John G asks some pertinent questions as well. Didn't mean to leave them out of the conversation, since he provides some other verses I did not.

  19. @John G; "What verse(s) do you believe show that "…God Himself does not forgive UNTIL repentance is evident"? Mark 16:16 & Acts 5:32,
    Just off the top of my head, come to mind, but I know there are others–but I do understand that a true Christian has to have a heart that is willing and ready to forgive and is looking for the opportunity to do so. Why would you go to your brother if not for him to see the need to repent?

    Bob

  20. @Bob: With all due respect, I don't see the words "repent" or "forgive" in those verses.

    "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

    ~ Mk 16:16

    Notice that one must first "believe", which means their eyes are open, they understand the truth and they accept the truth. They must be "baptized", which is an outward sign of accepting God's gift of eternal life. This looks more like the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus, as I stated earlier.

    "And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."

    ~ Ac 5:32

    After baptism, so this is way far after the fact) and the laying on of hands, the Holy Spirit is imparted to a person. Since baptism must come after repentance, I don't see what this has to do with the subject.

    There is a given order: Eyes open (or, if you prefer, the Father calls and draws the person to Jesus), understanding of the basics of Scripture, conviction based upon that understanding that you are a sinner, repentance, count the cost, baptism, laying on of hands and receive the Holy Spirit.

    What's missing in the above? Forgiveness. It has already been taken care of. That doesn't mean a person isn't still obligated to accept that forgiveness and Christ's sacrifice, however. If they truly repented, then I don't see how that wouldn't naturally follow.

  21. well John now I AM a little surprised in YOU!@Bob: With all due respect, I don't see the words "repent" or "forgive" in those verses.

    Do the verses that Bob gave not seriously IMPLY repentance? Can one really have salvation (be saved) or recieve the Spirit without repentance being first? And now I am beginning to perhaps see a little of what Bob might be getting at.
    The same thing WOULD apply to the passages he gave, would it not? who can recieve the Holy spirit with out repentance and obedience? what did Peter say?:
    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "REPENT, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
    (NKJ) AGAIN;
    Acts 3:19 "REPENT therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,"–it certainly appears here to put repentance as a first step before any forgiveness and salvation is offered.
    Bob, I think you may be onto the fact that in any given situation there are some unspoken words that pertain to this subject of forgiving that does relate totally back to repentance coming first. Thank you. I will give this more thought.

    Anony Jon

  22. Anony Jon wrote: "Can one really have salvation (be saved) or recieve the Spirit without repentance being first?"

    Obviously not. I said "There is a given order: Eyes open (or, if you prefer, the Father calls and draws the person to Jesus), understanding of the basics of Scripture, conviction based upon that understanding that you are a sinner, repentance, count the cost, baptism, laying on of hands and receive the Holy Spirit."

    What I'm saying is that it appears that forgiveness has already occurred.

    "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." ~ Lk 23:34a

    However, you cannot accept that forgiveness without repentance because it is only through repentance you even realize the depth of your sin.

    At any rate, if there is a verse that says, "Repent and you will be forgiven," then I cannot find it. Rather, what I read seems to say forgiveness is being actively offered, and it is our responsibility to accept it.

  23. Once again John, I see you virtually agreeing with Bob but very hesitant to say so and, as UCG does so much of the time stubbornly hanging on to having it YOUR way. Can you not accept that you may not be using this passage; "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; "for they know not what they do." ~ Lk 23:34a–in the context and with the meaning that is intended? Could it be that Jesus is pleading with the Father not to hold these sinful deeds against, so that they might come to see their fault and have their chance at conversion or at least Judgement? Where as the COG is under judgement now, very possibly two different situations as Bob has said?

    Anony Jon

  24. @Anony Jon: And once again, you show you'd rather have an argument than a discussion. Show me the verse that says, "God will not forgive you until you repent." It does not exist. Not only that, but I have given biblical examples of Jesus forgiving without requiring repentance.

    And, I do totally agree with one of Bob's statements about who do we think we are if we are to forgive without requiring repentance while God does. Are we better than God?

    While I agree that God is sovereign and it is His prerogative to do what He wishes, I also have seen that same argument used to back all sorts of bad theology, to include an eternal hell.

    Now, we all know the concept of an eternal hell is not in the Bible. So, now I'm asking where in the Bible is the phrase I'm asking for.

  25. John D @Anony Jon: And once again, you show you'd rather have an argument than a discussion. Show me the verse that says, "God will not forgive you until you repent." It does not exist. Not only that, but I have given biblical examples of Jesus forgiving without requiring repentance.”
    The verses i gave you certainly do imply repentance first–but you focus on the physical word repent not being there so they were invalid!

    I assume by this comment that you must believe there are contradictions in the Bible and only the Scriptures that you have sighted have more validity—Anony Jon gave two Scriptures that I did not and both of them puts repentance before any forgiveness, so can you not see that it is in reality YOU that would rather have an argument than a discussion, with an open mind to the possibility that you are not seeing this subject as the Bible really presents it. YOU need to go back thru the Bible—do a word search on repentance, both old and new T—using the word repent—and if you do not see many occasions where God does not forgive until repentance is seen—and the basic intent of those passages is "God will not forgive you until you repent." I do not project myself as being any better than anyone else nor do I have more wisdom in these matters so that I cannot learn from them—but it seems that you feel what you present is superior to what someone else may say and remain in a closed minded position.

    I am taking the time to give you some examples in the hope you might shake yourself out of your close-minded-ness and possibly be willing to learn something from the Scriptures, as I percieve two mindsets at work here! (Rev.3:17) One is seemingly Philadelphia, from some who comment, and the other is more of Laodicea. I think that I may very well need to follow the example of the editor and stay clear of this Blog—no offense intended—John you are too narrow minded in your approach to some of the comments and very loose with others. Any that seem to directly challenge your understanding are not taken as possible help meant for you, but as an attack or “argument” is what it seems to me.

    Luke 13:3-5 (Christ’s own words) "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
    4 "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (NKJ)
    Rev 2:5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place– unless you repent.” (NKJ)

    Bob

  26. Bob wrote: "I percieve two mindsets at work here!"

    Actually, two different types of spirits. The tone of your post says it all.

  27. What about three different mindsets? The proverbial what I think is right, what you think is right and then there's what God knows is right.

  28. I've been reading these comments off and on for awhile now… and I'd like to offer a couple cents on it myself…

    First off, the verses cited don't say anywhere that repentence precludes forgiveness. It says that repentence precludes salvation. Which is entirely different.

    Forgiveness is the foundation of all salvation in that Christ has already forgiven. If Christ had not forgiven us already, as step one, then the rest of the process completely falls apart.

    As well, there seems to be confusion between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness is something that is personal and done on the inside as an an act towards another person. It's an act of love. There are verses about forgiving your brother when he asks you, but what's the intent, what's the spirit of those verses? It's that we are to be forgiving people and not hold grudges. We should come to a point that forgiveness is almost automatic at the time of an offense (turning the other cheek and whatnot).

    But forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same. This was touched on much earlier, but it didn't seem to really go anywhere. And I think that's where this argument is boiling down to. Some consider that forgiveness and reconciling are inextricably linked, but they are really two separate areas. And reconciliation (with each other or with God) cannot happen without repentance and forgiveness.

    Reconciliation is the culmination of the other two parts, which happen independently of each other. Repentance for the sinner, forgiveness from the offended, and that can happen in either order.

    So here's an example. I'm sure everyone has had times in their life that someone has said something hurtful to you without realizing it (maybe joking about a sore spot in your life). Do you hold onto that hurt and offense or forgive the person without them having to say sorry. Holding onto that offense will eventually lead to bitterness and a spirit that is decidedly Ungodly. And some people may never apologize–whether due to ignorance or just not caring even if they are made aware of it.

    But their actions have no bearing on what we're supposed to do. We're supposed to be Godly, period, and have Christ living in us. If Christ forgave us while He yet lived and we yet sinned, then we can–we must–do the same for those that offend us. And it's not just for the sake of the other person you forgive them, nor for the relationship, but for your own spiritual health and salvation.

  29. Just thought I would mention that Mr Kilough gave a very good seminar on this topic during the Branson family weekend. It's called "Burying the Mule" and touches on the areas of reconciliation, repentance, forgiveness, and if you have to forgive before the repent or not.

    I was handling the audio recording for Springfield, and I think a congregation in Arkansas was also recording video and audio. It should hopefully make it online this week either on the main COGWA page or http://www.cogwaar.org

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