“Do you think a person can repent without first confessing?” I asked Stan one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring breakfast.
Rather than answer directly, Stan said, “If you’re going the wrong way, how you going to get turned around to go the right way if you don’t acknowledge you’re going the wrong way?”
“Okay,” I replied. “Can’t make a U-turn in my life until I admit I need to make one.”
“That’s right,” Stan said. “And this happened just the other day with a friend of mine. He called and asked if I wanted to go to lunch at a new place he had heard about.”
“Which one was that?” I asked.
“He said it was called Hal’s Hamburgers and he thought it was over in Easton, but he didn’t know for certain. He said we would find it.”
“Finally,” Stan said with a laugh, “but it was almost in time for dinner rather than a late lunch!”
“We drove around, and we drove around some more,” Stan replied. “My friend just kept saying that he knew it had to be somewhere and if we just kept looking we would find it.”
Continuing, he added, “Finally, I asked him why didn’t he just admit he didn’t know where he was going and ask someone for directions.”
“He did. The first three people said they had never heard of the place. The fourth guy said he had been there, but it wasn’t in Easton, it’s in Weston, and we needed to turn around and go there or we would never find it!”
“So,” I replied, “until people admit they are going the wrong way, there’s little chance they will get turned around to go the right way. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “Doesn’t matter if people want to get to Hal’s Hamburgers in Weston, want to get to heaven when it’s time, or want to walk closer with God on this side of eternity, it’s not going to happen until they confess they’re going the wrong way. Then they can repent and go the right way!”
Bible verses to consider:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4.
And I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her immorality. Revelation 2:21.
Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:2.
Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with your repentance. Matthew 3:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of repentance so I could accept your free and gracious provision of life with you eternally when my time here is completed. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth (and that truth to me). Thank you, too, for the opportunity to repent on this side of eternity so I stop going away from you and turn around to follow you. Too often I do not admit or confess that I’m going the wrong way and, because of that, I have no opportunity to repent and go the right way with you. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead in seeing and confessing I’m going the wrong way so I can repent and go your way. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you repented for eternal purposes and know you will spend eternity in God’s presence, rather than being separated from him forever? If no, why? Do you not realize it’s a free and gracious gift that only needs to be accepted? Do you not think that eternity is a long time for such separation? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in admitting and confessing you are going the wrong way on this side of eternity and you need to turn around (repent) and go the other direction? If you sense the need for confession so you can repent, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?