The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

A Space to Repent

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 12, 2011

Right after delivering the powerful directive, “Unless you repent, you will perish,” Jesus told an important parable:

A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:6-9)

The Lord wants fruit. In the parable of the four soils, He taught that there are four types of people to whom the Word of God comes, and only one of those four soils produces fruit “with patience.” (Luke 8:5-15) Of the three nonproductive soils, one has the Seed/Word of God stolen by satan before it can even germinate, one receives the Word with joy and believes for a while but in time of testing falls away, and one “brings no fruit to perfection,” being choked with “cares and riches, and pleasures of this life.”  It is very important that we examine ourselves to see if we are now in the faith–or if the soil of our heart is currently producing “fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:22)

It is not enough to have had a moment of faith sometime in the past–to have received the Word with joy, to have believed for a while, or to have produced immature fruit which has never been brought to perfection. In John 15, Jesus taught that we must abide (remain) in Him in order to continue to produce fruit. Attached to this command is a warning: all branches that stop abiding in the Vine will become fruitless and wither away. What will be their end?–being cast into the fire!

Returning to the parable in Luke 13, I notice that for three years the owner of the vineyard sought fruit on a certain fig tree. Finding none, he opted to cut it down, lest it overwork the ground for nothing. But the dresser of the vineyard pleaded for one more year, in which he would do everything in his power to make this tree fruitful–loosening the soil around the tree, fertilizing it, etc. This tree had one last chance to produce fruit or be cut down; this tree had “a space to repent.”

The false prophetess in the church of Thyatira had a space to repent, but she had not repented, and she would be judged. She had been teaching believers they could fornicate and partake of the table of demons as well as the table of God (Rev. 2:18-23). These same false teachings are abundant in our churches today, and many have been deceived by them, “having itching ears” that desire to live in sin while professing to know God–they profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.(Titus 1:16)

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

There is a space to repent of these wicked works and wicked teachings–only a space, and a space has an end. There is a day in which we must “seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isa. 55:6) In Noah’s day, there was a space to repent that lasted 120 years, while Noah preached righteousness and worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling, obeying God’s instructions carefully. Jesus taught that the end will come “as in the days of Noah”–while people are at ease, not considering the end of their careless rebellion against God, judgment will come upon them suddenly, and they will find to their horror that the door of salvation has been closed to them.

With Paul, I beseech you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, even as others have done to their own destruction. (2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:15) To hear His voice when you know you have been lukewarm and fruitless, is to receive a merciful space to repent. Remember the lesson in I Cor. 10:1-12–many came out of Egypt, were baptized in the sea, and drank of Christ, only to be overthrown in the wilderness because they did not hold fast to the truth and continue to produce the good fruit of holiness to the Lord.

John the Baptist spoke to the Pharisees, “Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matt. 3:9) I say to my readers, “Think not to say within yourselves, I have had a good beginning and have served in the church, and I don’t need to repent of my lukewarm and divided heart or my friendship with the world–for I say unto you that Christ will spew out the lukewarm and cut down the fruitless!”

While your space to repent remains, draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:8-10)

Begin today to bring forth the fruits consistent with repentance! “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matt. 3:10) The axe is laid, even now, dear reader!

May God bless you.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: