Repentance isn’t usually a positive word. Repentance sounds negative and feels condemning. It brings up images of old street preachers with megaphone crying “Repent; the end is near.” Maybe that’s the reason we hear so little about repentance. When was the last time you hear a sermon on repentance? Repentance doesn’t seem to fit into the current positive Christian message.
However, repentance is an important Biblical word and principle. Repentance always proceeds a new work of God. Before God moves two things must happen; We must ask, we must repent.
Repentance is the pathway to a new work of God in our country, our churches, and our lives.
We need repentance because our sin keeps us from experiencing all God has for us. Here is what the prophet Isaiah said.
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. – Isaiah 59:1-2
For the Christian, repentance is all about lordship. As a Christian, your sin is forgiven. When Christ died on the cross, all your sins were forgiven when you placed your faith and trust in Christ.
However, sin is a choice to move away from God. It’s choosing our desire over God’s will for us. It is a choice of disobedience. The book of James says it this way.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. – James 1:14-15
For the Christian, sin is always a choice. We choose to follow our own lusts instead of the leading of the Holy Spirit. Repentance is returning to the Lord. Repentance is turning from our sin and once again making Jesus Lord and master of our life.
I’d like to focus on one area where Christians need repentance. It’s a silent sin of the modern Christian. It is destroying families, relationship and lives. A quick look at the statistics and it’s easy to see we need repentance.
As Christians, we have lowered our standards and allowed the culture to influence what comes into our homes and lives. I’m talking about Pornography.
Pornography has become a significant issue in Christian families. A recent Barna research report quoted in Charisma Magazine revealed that 77% of Christian men between 18-49 reported viewing pornography at least monthly. Pornography is not just a men’s problem. Although there is little research on Christians women and pornography, a 2007 Nielson Ratings Report showed that 1 out of 3 visitors to adult sites are women. Our children have become targets of the porn industry. According to Forbes magazine, the average age a child is first exposed to pornography is 11. By the age of 14, 94% of children have seen pornographic images.
Pornography has become immediately available on our televisions, laptops and cell phones. It’s time we did some spiritual housecleaning if we are going to see God move in awakening.
Let’s ask God to bring about repentance when it comes to pornography in our homes and our lives. Repentance is not only being sorry for a sin but leaving the sin behind. It’s not enough to confess our sin regarding pornography; we must turn away from it.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Join me in asking God to bring about repentance and freedom for those who allow pornography in their lives.
Father, we pray together standing against pornography in our brothers and sister’s lives. Convict us of this sin and help us to repent and turn from it. So many of our Christian brothers and sisters are struggling with this sin. Some have become addicted and are controlled by pornography. Father, we pray for freedom and deliverance for them.
Father break the bondage that comes with this sin and bring freedom and purity. We pray they will turn from this sin and seek after You. We pray as our brothers and sisters in Christ repent; You bring about a spiritual awakening in their lives and let it spread through their church and into their community.
In Jesus Name,