by Phillip Vanwinkle
OCTOBER 16, 2015

Myths of Repentance #4

Myth #4: I will DELAY my repentance and everything will work out fine.

If you have been following these blog posts, this should be the next idea following some of the other myths. This idea goes along with the previous ideas. And it really comes down to one thing. I am not humble enough to do what God said. I know God said to repent. I know that I should repent NOW!!! But if I do, someone might think bad of me. So I will delay my repentance and then, I can “SAVE FACE” and everything will be okay.

This is the problem. We don’t mind repenting as long as we can still “look good” while we are doing it. It is basically saying this: “I will do what GOD says, as long as I am not humiliated in the process.”

And the problem with that attitude is that it goes against EVERYTHING that God has said about pride and humility. Jesus said “blessed are the poor in Spirit;” those who are humble enough to do what God says, regardless of what it costs them.

“Blessed are they that mourn.” How is that Jesus?  Mourn over the sin that you have done, and that mourning, that grieving will cause you to take the necessary actions to be forgiven.

But we think that somehow we can still “save face”  and repent. And the truth is, they are polar opposites. Saving face is completely about PRIDE. While repentance is completely about HUMILITY.

You remember the account of Saul as recorded in 1 Samuel 15. You recall how that Saul was told by God to destroy the Amelekites. He was supposed to completely destroy them, the people the king, the animals… nothing was to be left. Remember that?

But when he went in, he spared the king, and then, decided that he would take some of the oxen and animals and use them for themselves.

But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. 10 Then came the word of Jehovah unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And Samuel was wroth; and he cried unto Jehovah all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning; and it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a monument, and turned, and passed on, and went down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of Jehovah: I have performed the commandment of Jehovah.

Samuel comes to see Saul after he already knew what had happened. And notice what Saul says: “Hi there brother, Everthing is okay here… yep, I did exactly what I was supposed to do. I have performed the commandment of God.”  Vs 13

14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

Oh… you did the commandment of God huh? Hmm… well, what is that noise? What is the lowing of the oxen and I can hear the sheep, what’s that about?

15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

Oh,that… well let me explain… first “I” didn’t do it. It wasn’t me. “THEY” have brought the best of the sheep and oxen, so that we could sacrifice them to God… isn’t that good?

Hey, look, we are using these sheep to sacrifice to God. So God should be pleased with us; right? Was Samuel fooled?

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what Jehovah hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, Though thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel? And Jehovah anointed thee king over Israel; 18 and Jehovah sent thee on a journey, and said, Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

It’s not true Samuel says, You are lying—you are misrepresenting the truth. You claim these things but, you are not telling the full story, you are not telling the full truth.

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of Jehovah, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah?

So, tell me… why didn’t you obey Saul? You know what you were supposed to do. Saul, why didn’t you obey?

Saul is going to stick with his story. He is still refusing to make things right.

20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of Jehovah, and have gone the way which Jehovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the devoted things, to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God in Gilgal.

“Hey, why you saying those things about me? I have obeyed! I have done what God said. But it was THE PEOPLE who took the spoil. It wasn’t me- the people did that. … and they had a good reason…they wanted to offer it to GOD.

They wanted to lay their gift at the ALTAR. Notice, did God accept their gift?

22 And Samuel said, Hath Jehovah as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

You want God to accept those sacrifices after you are stubborn and refuse to do what he says… No! It doesn’t work that way. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Don’t come to me with these gifts at the altar, when you refuse to do what I say.

Ahh, but wait a minute… there is a lesson there for us isn’t there.

Phillip have you done something against someone in your past… and you refuse to make it right. And now you come and lay your gift upon the altar and expect that God will be pleased with it? NO! The answer is found in (Matthew 5)when he says, FIRST go make things right, then come and put your gift on the altar.

Now notice Saul starts to repent. He almost gets it right but, he still puts the blame at someone else’s feet.

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of Jehovah, and thy words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship Jehovah.

Saul knew what he had done and he knew he had done wrong. And yet he says, well, still… I went along with it, but in reality it was still the other people’s fault.

Be that as it may, Samuel, go ahead and forgive me, so that I can worship God.

Sounds good right?

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee; for thou hast rejected the word of Jehovah, and Jehovah hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his robe, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, Jehovah hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent.

He says, “just like you tore my robe. God will tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to one who is more deserving than you. And God won’t change his mind about it.”

We might have thought that would have been enough to make him TRULY repent, but notice:

30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honor me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship Jehovah thy God.

It is still about the people. Honor me before the people. Look I have sinned, true. But honor me before the people, and then let me worship God.

And I don’t know really what happened as far as the HONOR he was seeking… but Samuel would turn with Saul, and Saul would worship God.

But the honor which should have followed Saul. The honor of having the man of God coming to visit the King over and over again, was no longer going to happen…

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death; for Samuel mourned for Saul: and Jehovah repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

It’s a very sad picture of this “man of God.” This man who at one time God greatly favored only now, God had a change of mind about Saul.

And why? Because he did not obey, and because he was too caught up in “saving face”… he was too caught up in what others might think about him. He was too caught up in what the PEOPLE WOULD THINK. That he simply would not repent, and do what God said.

So as we close this series of lessons on repentance, let me ask you this. Are you so caught up in saving face, that you will not Repent? Are you so caught up in trying to  “LOOK FAITHFUL” that you refuse to make something that you have done wrong, to repent of it, and make it right?

If you have, then let me urge you make things right with others if need be… and then, go and offer up your gift to God. For to obey is better than sacrifice.

We have shown in this series of lessons, that the Myths of Repentance are not true. One cannot simply feel sorrow—and thus based upon his feeling only he is forgiven. Also, no amount of “time” will forgive, un-repented sin. We saw that – no amount of “GOOD WORKS” will forgive sin that remains unforgiven.

And that we cannot delay our repentance to “save face” and somehow expect for us to receive forgiveness.

Friend, if you have sin that is not forgiven because it has not been treated properly, then make it right, and then come and lay your gift at the altar to God.

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