One of the most terrifying passages in Scripture is found in Roman 1. Three times Paul tells us “God gave them over….” He gave them over to what? Well, Romans 1 cannot be any clearer but simply put, to their sin. He gave them over to the wickedness in their hearts. He let them go.
Over the the last several decades, an unholy and untruthful phenomenon has entered the pulpits of America and beyond. Many pastors and preachers forgo the most necessary criteria for entering the Kingdom of God as they preach with a blatant disregard for repentance; a total violation of the pulpit.
So many churches are silent on the subject, which by way is the theme of the Bible and why Jesus came. But we love to hear about love. And then we love to slice and dice the scriptures to fit they way we believe love should be defined. And we want churches and pastors to align their preaching with our views and the ever changing conditions of the culture. And so, many cave and fall to the pressures of a broken and lost people. He gave them over.
We love to talk truth, until that truth infringes on our idea of truth, a truth we have created through opinion, culture or politics. The arrogance we have when we convince ourselves that our idea and way of truth is absolute and more just, and demonstrates more love than the Truth of the Scriptures.
Pastors don’t preach about hell. Why? Well, you don’t pact the pews by telling folks the reality of hell. People won’t line up to hear a sermon that says “without repentance you will go to hell.” You don’t get a hearty amen when you say “many nice people will be in hell.” But it is truth. Nobody wants to hear truth. So, He gave them over.
So, pastors and preachers surrender their pulpit by creating a platform of social and cultural issues to preach a new truth while minimizing the Truth and power of the Word of God. It’s comfortable. It’s safe. And, people love it.
Repentance. Sorry folks, you can’t grace your way out of truth and the truth is, repentance is the only entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven. Repentance leads to the throne. Only repentance brings us to Jesus. Repentance is a complete turnaround and transformation of the heart and mind. Repentance is uncovering the Truth through the Word of God.
The hardest part of repentance is taking on that posture of humility to recognize you may have gotten it wrong. We love ourselves. We will fight to hold onto our ideas and beliefs, even if they contradict God. Well, that is pride. God doesn’t have time for the proud, so, He gave them over.
I don’t ever want to be let go. I don’t ever want to hear Jesus tell me that because of my prideful. stubborn and unrepentant heart He had to give me over. Nope. I am determined to live in a perpetual state of repentance so I can be filled with more of Him and less of me. My hope and confidence will never be in me.
Repentance is hope. It is clarity. It is life and it is salvation. It’s the only Way. Don’t be part of the people that He gave over.