“You know,” Stan said, “the more time I spend in the Bible, the more I see about the practical aspects of the faith walk I think I’m supposed to have.”
“That’s a pretty broad statement,” I responded. “Care to elaborate?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Let me give you a concrete example. Earlier this morning I was reading in Mark’s gospel when Jesus sent out the twelve disciples. I think that applies to me.”
“That you’re suppose to be sent out?” I replied. “Out where?”
“Wherever He has for me to go,” Stan said.
“And do what?”
“Just like the twelve,” Stan responded, “preach that people should come to repentance.”
“You mean like telling them to quit sinning?”
“Well,” Stan said, “that’s certainly part of it, but the main thing that has to come first is to repent from being separated from God for eternity. Then the repentance of turning away from sin on this side of eternity is to follow.”
“And that’s an ongoing thing, right?”
“Sure seems that way to me,” Stan replied. “From way too much personal experience, I can say that living as a Christian is a constant process of confessing and repenting. To me, it’s crucial for living the life God intends while He keeps me on this side of eternity. But that’s another subject for another day.”
“For now,” he continued, “what I want to focus on is that preaching repentance is not just for what I call ‘professional Christians’.”
“Professional Christians?” I said. “What’s that?”
“Pastors and staff of the local church who get paid for what they do for the church,” Stan replied. “The twelve that Jesus sent out were not professional Christians; they were disciples who model what I am to do in going out to preach the gospel. And, it seems to me, that the same thing is to apply to each one of us.”
“Each one of us?” I said. “Even if we’re not pastors or staff?”
“Sure seems like it to me,” Stan replied. “Jesus sent out the twelve. I think He wants us to go with them!”
Bible verses to consider:
And they went out and preached that men should repent. Mark 6:12.
We preach Christ crucified. 1 Corinthians 1:23.
And departing, they began going among the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere. Luke 9:6.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20.
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.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the provision of repentance so I could come to you and repent from being separated from you for eternity. Thank you for those who brought that truth to me so I could accept it. I confess that too often I do not present to others the truth of the gospel, but leave that to the “professional Christians.” Please forgive the foolishness of that and help me in following every step of your lead so I do, in fact, present the gospel to each person you intend so they, too, will have the opportunity to repent of their separation from you. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you repented for eternal purposes so you are no longer separated from God and know you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why? What’s in the way of accepting His free and gracious gift? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with preaching the gospel? Do you leave that to the “professional Christians”? If you sense the need for change in how you view who is to present the gospel and help others come to repentance, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?