December 9, 2020
CHRIST RESTORES THE LOST YEARS WHEN WE REPENT The prophet Joel prophesied of a day when the Lord would judge the sins of Israel with an army of locusts that would devour all their crops, vines, and fruit trees. Even the buds would be eaten, so that the harvest would be affected for years. Yet,
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).
December 9, 2016
The prophet Joel wrote that “everyone” who calls upon the “name” of the Lord would be saved. His prophecy was first written to the Jewish people and he surely didn’t foresee that this ‘everyone” would one day include both Jew and Gentile alike. The apostle Paul quoted Joel to emphasize that this “everyone” made no distinction between race, only between hearts–– that believed (Rom.10:9-13). Yet, this “everyone” must be one “who calls on the name.” What is this “name?” The apostle Peter makes it clear in his first sermon preached at Pentecost when he declared, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12). The “name” is “Jesus!”
December 9, 2015
The prophecy of Joel opens with a word of warning and judgment, describing the coming “day of the Lord” (“yom Yahweh”). Yet, it also contains a call to repentance, inviting God’s people to “return” to Him. He gives the warning to bring about repentance. But not many will listen.