Heartfelt Repentance :: By Lea Sylvester

Just as recently as 1980, the United States was a creditor nation. The nations of the world owed us money. However, in 30 years all that has changed. Today, we are the greatest debtor nation the world has ever seen. Now it appears the nations of the world are ready to begin taking action against the USA. This will also affect the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

We need to understand the times in which we are living and not get caught “asleep at the wheel.” We need to be wise and prepare as best we can based upon our individual circumstances. God instructs us: “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” Proverbs 22:3.

In the passage of Scripture above, the words “But the simple pass on…” means in “modern speak” “But the thoughtless plow ahead…” How is it that so many seem to not see the warning signs all around them? They are not seeing the evil and preparing, but instead are carrying on as usual.

Over the years, we have seen many warnings that this time of economic disaster would come because of uncontrolled borrowing and the printing of fiat money. Now it is at the door. However, a burning question remains: Is it possible to avoid these coming calamities? Perhaps delay them for a time? What would the people of this nation have to do? God gives us the answer. Through His prophets, God repeatedly warned the twelve tribes of Israel of their coming national demise, captivity and exile because of their sins. But they would not listen. They refused to obey God. They would not repent. They would not change, though God gave them repeated warnings. It is ironic that the only nation to ever repent at God’s warning was ancient Assyria (with its capital in Nineveh), the very nation that took Israel captive.

In Jeremiah’s time, we see that just before the first invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, God gave the people a chance to repent. If they would repent and obey His voice, then God would put off the invasion and hold back His hand of correction and punishment. As it was then, so it is now.

In order for things to change for the better in America, there would need to be a massive national repentance; in religion, government, education, and in the general public must take place. Our people (Christians) would have to repent of their sins and seek the Lord.

Even in the most desperate of circumstances, God gives us the way, through the prophet Joel, to mitigate complete disaster.

There must be repentance from the heart for our sins and transgressions, individually and collectively, “And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” Joel 2:11-13

Clearly, God will not be mocked. We cannot continue to ignore or reject His correction, which has now gone on for more than 30 years. But the majority of people have become entrenched in their transgressions and rebellion. As a nation, we have refused to repent as we continue to reject God and push our fist in His face.

For refusing to repent, here is God’s response: “I have stricken you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name.” Joel 4:9-13

Just as God plead with ancient Israel and just as Israel still refused to listen, so we are doing the same thing today. Even those who try to teach what is right and attempt to turn people from their evil are treated with hatred and scorn.

Repentance and a return to God must take place on an individual basis, as well as on a national basis. More importantly, it has to occur within the churches. We need to seek God with all our hearts – each and every day. We need to seek the true love of God; the truth of God; the knowledge of God; the protection of God. We need to obey His voice as found in the Word of God. He continues His plea to us. Will we listen and return to God? What will we do?

“For I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. Therefore the prudent shall keep silent in that time; for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.” Joel 5: 12-15.

Regardless of whether those of the world repent, this is what we must do as individuals. Remember this fundamental, all-encompassing truth: spiritual problems and sins cannot be solved with human methods or political solutions.

Unless there is a massive national repentance to God Almighty, accompanied with prayer and fasting by all; the small, the rich, the great, the poor, the politicians and bureaucrats, the pastors and priests, the young and old from every walk of life, with confession and forsaking of sin, especially the slaughter of unborn innocent children, God’s heavy hand of national punishment will not be lifted. Rather, His judgments will continue and will intensify like the waves of the sea against our ungodly nations. Eventually, we will be brought low and our enemies will rule over us.

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-9.

Remember the commands and promises of Jesus Christ. He said, “Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8. The Greek text here means we are to ask and keep on asking. We are to seek and keep on seeking. We are to knock and keep on knocking.

In these critical times, we need to truly draw close to God. We need to continue to build and maintain our spiritual relationship with God through constant prayer and daily Bible study. If we do, there is no doubt that we can endure whatever comes in the future with the faith, hope and love of God.

Direct comments to: Sylvester.lea@gmail.com