Wabush, a town in a remote portion of Labrador, Canada, was completely isolated for some time. But recently a road was cut through the wilderness to reach it. Wabush now has one road leading into it, and thus, only on one road leading out. If someone would travel the road for six to eight hours to get into Wabush, there is only way to leave—by turning around.
Each of us, by birth, arrives in a town called Sin. As in Wabush, there is only one way out–a road built by God himself. But in order to take that road, one must first turn around. That complete about face is what the Bible calls repentance, and without it, there’s no way out of town. (Illustration by Brian Weatherdon.)
Do you believe the law of the pendulum? The law of the pendulum is: A pendulum can never return to a point higher than the point from which it was released. Because of friction and gravity, when the pendulum returns, it will fall short of its original release point. Each time it swings it makes less and less of an arc, until finally it is at rest. This point of rest is called the state of equilibrium, where all forces acting on the pendulum are equal.
How would you handle being subjected to this law? Imagine hanging from the steel ceiling beams in the middle of the room was a large, crude but functional pendulum (250 pounds of metal weights tied to four strands of 500-pound test parachute cord.). You are then invited to climb up on a table and sit in a chair with your head against a cement wall. Then 250 pounds of metal is brought to your nose. Holding the huge pendulum just a fraction of an inch from your face, it is released. At the far end of its swing, it pauses momentarily and starts back. Would you believe the law of the pendulum under those circumstances?
REPENTANCE AND BELIEF
Repentance and belief are two of the essential commands found in the Bible. Without repentance we cannot truly believe. Without belief we do not truly know what we are repenting of.
L Berkhoff in his systematic theology writes, “True repentance never exists except in conjunction with belief, while on the other hand, wherever there is true belief, there is also real repentance. The two are but different aspects of the same turning–a turning away from sin in the direction of God…The two cannot be separated; they are simply complementary parts of the same process.
Jesus says, “The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news. ” Mark 1:15
What’s the good news?
The Good News is that when we trust God’s grace to save us through the work of Jesus, our sins are forgiven, he gives us purpose for living, and we’re promised a future home in Heaven.
In Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus knew who and what the good news was. CLICK HEREto read the story.
Lets take a look at the Story of Zacchaeus and see if we see God’s commands to repent and believe, and how this story can challenge us to better submit to what the scriptures teach us about Christlikeness.
Jesus, I want to leave my old life of sin and follow you. I believe in you, become my Lord.
Confess your sins before the Lord, turn from them and live a new life.