December 9, 2018
THE TIME FOR REPENTANCE
Writing in the 9th century BC, the prophet Joel opened his book with warnings concerning a plague of locusts. He warned that the locusts were only a small thing compared to the coming Day of the Lord. He encouraged God’s people to repent “while there is time.”
This is a recurring theme in Scripture. Repent, turning away from sin and turning toward God, before the Day of judgment comes. How much time do we have to repent? Only God knows. But the time is short. Therefore, we must turn to God, while we hear His voice. For there is a time when it will be too late.
What does repentance look like? Joel, speaking for the Lord, described both an inward and outward aspect. First, inwardly we are to give God our hearts. This is the Great Commandment. Love God with all your heart. Put God on the throne of your heart. Second, there is an outward aspect. Joel gave three outward signs of inward repentance, namely, “fasting, weeping, and mourning.” Yet, these mean nothing without heart change. But with inward repentance, these three are appropriate expressions.
Don’t ask, “How much time do we have?’ Instead, turn to God now. For “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).