Lent Reflection: God‘s universal requirement

Let‘s look at the ministry of Paul, as it is recorded in the book of Acts 17. Speaking about all the time that humanity had lived in idolatry and ignorance of God, Paul said:

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent . . Acts 17:30

God now commands all men everywhere to repent. No place and no person is omitted. It is God‘s universal requirement from humanity. You might ask, ‘Why all men everywhere?’ Let me answer you from the prophet Isaiah.

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way . . . (Isaiah 53:6)

That is our problem: we have turned to our own way. We may not have necessarily committed murder or idolatry or stolen anything—or even lied. But we have all done one thing: we have turned to our own way. Our way is not God‘s way.

And then, Paul continues:

. . because He [God] has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17, verse 31)

Jesus is not only the Savior, He is also the Judge. If we do not meet Him as Savior, we will meet Him as Judge. People will live very different lives if they are not aware of the fact that they will one day face the judgment of Jesus.

In his first epistle, John said, ‘All unrighteousness is sin’ (1 John 5:17). People may ask for a definition of what righteousness is. In many ways, it is like asking to know what crooked is. To answer that question, I would simply show you a straight line. Anything that deviates from that straight line is crooked. It may deviate by one degree or it may deviate by ninety degrees, but it is still crooked. In the same way, all unrighteousness is sin. Many people today have a third category: It is not righteous, but it is not sinful either. That category does not exist in God‘s thinking—anything that is not righteous is sinful.

This Reflection is taken from: 

Through Repentance to Faith

What is faith? And how can you develop it? It starts with repentance: to change the way we think and to act accordingly.


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