For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.(Psalm 97:9-10)
We have been striving to attain the simplest and clearest definition of repentance as possible. We have examined the mental aspects of it, for repentance is first of all a matter of ‘rethinking’ the important things, that people are prone to rationalize, such as God, the soul, Heaven,Hell and judgment, and the plan of salvation.
Everyone has thoughts about these things, to varying degrees of intensity. As humans, with finite lives but with ‘eternity in our hearts’, we can’t avoid such thoughts. There are a large variety of ‘answers’ given to the questions these thoughts raise, the problem is that most of the time these ‘answers; are wrong.
When God grants repentance to a person, he is made to ‘rethink’ the issues of life, death, God, what it takes to be made right with Him, and the afterlife, The gospel flies in the face of such false answers as ‘my good deeds will outweigh my bad”, or ‘purgatory’, and brings us to choose truth or error. This is repentance, metanoia,’a change of mind’.
Furthermore repentance is Teshuvah, ‘turning’ from that which was killing us, sin, the world, the supremacy of SELF, The truly repentant is in a constant process of turning away from these idols. But we aren’t simply turning away, but ever in the process of turning to…God himself.
All we like sheep have gone away, we have turned, everyone to His own way…(Isaiah 53)
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.( I Peter 2:25)
Repentance affects the emotions and deepest affections as well, for the one who is granted repentance from God, now hates the sin that bound and destroyed him, and loves God and his law. God gives us a holy hatred for sin, and by that hatred, we continuously turn away from it.
Repentance involves a revelation from God of the very hatefulness of sin. May God show us all, especially the vacillating christians, that sin is the evil of evils! It is worse than suffering for it is the very cause of suffering and death. It would actually be better to suffer than to sin.
It is impossible to love God without hating that which God utterly hates. We are to pray that we see sin as God sees it, for repentance engages the affections as well as the mind. thus the Psalmist exhorts us, Ye that love the Lord, hate evil. We must hate the evil of our own indwelling sin, and hate the evil ripening in our own generation, which is deceiving and damning many to hell.
But the humanistic ‘love’ preached for the last generation in the Pentecostal and Evangelical churches has confused many if us on this issue. I am afraid that though there is some truth in the saying,”Love the sinner, hate the sin”, there is as much error in it.It isn’t always easy to separate the sin from the sinner, and certainly God doesn’t.
For example, What are we to make of sinners, who love their own sin, and want to parade it into our churches, demanding tolerance and ‘unconditional’ love? This is the confusion that has led to serious compromise with homosexuality, and Islam.
If God grants us the repentance that utterly abhors sin, and refuses to accept the flaunting of it, or to make peace with it in any fashion, either in ourselves or in our churches, perhaps we can help this drowning generation.
There is a pseudo sophistication, which has seduced many of our leaders into a more ‘mature’ and accepting posture towards unrepentant sinners. These false teachers eschew the doctrine of the Wrath of God and of ‘propitiation’, as though wrath and the demand for a substitution are beneath their concept of a loving God.
They don’t believe in the wrath of an infinitely Holy God anymore, therefore they cannot fear God or hate evil. Furthermore their concept of Love is so ‘tolerant’ and accepting, they are actually inviting open homosexuals to come into their assemblies to ‘worship’, and they are actually ‘apologizing’ to them for the ‘intolerance’ of their Christian brothers, who have (rightly) condemned Sodomy in the name of God!
These are the ones who have been teaching in Christian universities, influencing our young Christians, and have infiltrated many pulpits, deceiving, and being deceived. Thus God’s people are in danger, they don’t hae the faith anymore, to resist evil where it should be resisted most, in our churches, they are unsure of what to do.
One would have to believe in a God who utterly and completely hates true evil, and one who had to sacrifice His own Son to satisfy His Holy Justice, in order to resist that magnitude of the iniquity which is being revealed today.
These modern evangelicals are losing their concept of Hell and judgment as well, for the same reason, the preaching of ‘fake love’, and the de – emphasis of the wrath of God and His holy hatred for sin.This doesn’t bode well, for the church’s only real power is the power of truth, we are witnesses of truth. That is our ‘salt’ but what good are we if we lose our savor?
To the two examples I cited, God utterly hates and detests the sin of Sodomy, He calls it Detestable,(Leviticus 18:22)unclean, inconvenient, and hateful!
As for Islam, how could this demonic creation possibly ‘partner’ with the church, the only ‘pillar and ground of the truth’ when everything about Islam is lies and murder? All of the Gods of the nations are demons! Psalm 96:5
We have to beg the Lord for Holy repentance, a change of mind, a rethink, a change of heart that causes us to love the things God Loves and Hate the things God Hates! I close with the words of the apostle Jude, as an antidote to the confusion about Love/Hate in the evangelical church;
These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about[c] by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.(Jude 12-22)