Repent or Perish! – Arthur Pink

Repent or Perish!

by Arthur Pink

“Unless you repent—you too will all perish!” Luke 13:3

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These were the words of the incarnate Son of God. They have never been cancelled; nor will they be as long as this world lasts. Repentance is absolute and necessary if the sinner is to make peace with God (Isaiah 27:5), for repentance is the throwing down the weapons of rebellion against Him. Repentance does not save, yet no sinner ever was or ever will be saved without it. None but Christ saves—but an impenitent heart cannot receive Him.

A sinner cannot truly believe—until he repents. This is clear from the words of Christ concerning His forerunner, “For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him” (Matthew 21:32).

It is also evident from His clarion call in Mark 1:15, “Repent—and believe the gospel.” This is why the apostle Paul testified “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Make no mistake on this point dear reader, God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

In requiring repentance from us, God is pressing His righteous claims upon us. He is infinitely worthy of supreme love and honor, and of universal obedience. This we have wickedly denied Him. Both an acknowledgment and amendment of this is required from us. Our disaffection for Him and our rebellion against Him are to be owned and made an end of. Thus repentance is a heartfelt realization of how dreadfully I have failed, all through my life, to give God His rightful place in my heart and daily walk. The righteousness of God’s demand for my repentance, is evident if we consider the heinous nature of sin. Sin is a renouncing of Him who made me. It is refusing Him His right to govern me. It is the determination to please myself; thus, it is rebellion against the Almighty. Sin is spiritual lawlessness, and utter disregard for God’s authority. It is saying in my heart: “I do not care what God requires—I am going to have my own way! I do not care what God’s claim upon me is—I am going to be master over myself!” Reader, do you realize that this is how you have lived?

True repentance issues from a realization in the heart, wrought therein by the Holy Spirit, of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, of the awfulness of ignoring the claims of Him who made me, of defying His authority. It is therefore a holy hatred and horror of sin, a deep sorrow for it, and acknowledgment of it before God, and a heart-forsaking of it. Not until this is done will God pardon us.

“He who covers his sins shall not prosper! But whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). In true repentance the heart turns to God and acknowledges, “My heart has been set upon a vain world, which could not meet the needs of my soul. I forsook You, the fountain of living waters, and turned unto broken cisterns that can hold no water. I now own and bewail my folly!” But more, it says, “I have been a disloyal and rebellious creature—but I will be so no longer. I now desire and determine with all my might to serve and obey You as my only Lord. I flee to You as my present and everlasting Portion!”

Reader, be you a professing Christian or not—it is repent or perish. For everyone of us, church members or otherwise, it is either turn—or burn! Turn from your course of self-will and self-pleasing; turn in brokenness of heart to God, seeking His mercy in Christ; turn with full purpose of heart to please and serve HIM—or be tormented day and night, forever and ever, in the Lake of Fire! Which shall it be? Oh, get down on your knees right now and beg God to give you the spirit of true repentance!

“Him has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior—to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death!” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Arthur Pink

 

Christian, what hast thou to do with sin? Charles Spurgeon

Romans 6:6  That henceforth we should not serve sin.

Christian, what hast thou to do with sin? Hath it not cost thee enough already? Burnt child, wilt thou play with the fire? What! when thou hast already been between the jaws of the lion, wilt thou step a second time into his den? Hast thou not had enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all thy veins once, and wilt thou play upon the hole of the asp, and put thy hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time? Oh, be not so mad! so foolish! Did sin ever yield thee real pleasure? Didst thou find solid satisfaction in it? If so, go back to thine old drudgery, and wear the chain again, if it delight thee. But inasmuch as sin did never give thee what it promised to bestow, but deluded thee with lies, be not a second time snared by the old fowler–be free, and let the remembrance of thy ancient bondage forbid thee to enter the net again! It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to thy purity and holiness; therefore run not counter to the purposes of thy Lord. Another thought should restrain thee from sin. Christians can never sin cheaply; they pay a heavy price for iniquity. Transgression destroys peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders prayer, brings darkness over the soul; therefore be not the serf and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time you “serve sin” you have “Crucified the Lord afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Can you bear that thought? Oh! if you have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be my Master has sent this admonition this evening, to bring you back before you have backslidden very far. Turn thee to Jesus anew; he has not forgotten his love to thee; his grace is still the same. With weeping and repentance, come thou to his footstool, and thou shalt be once more received into his heart; thou shalt be set upon a rock again, and thy goings shall be established.

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From Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

J.C. Ryle – William Gurnall – SPIRITUAL WAEFARE

—This Christian warfare is no light matter. Give me your attention and consider what I say;—What saith the Scripture ?—” Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.”—”Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”—” Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Strive to enter in at the strait gate.”—”Labour for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life.”—” Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace but a sword .”—” He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”—” Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”— “War a good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.” Words such as these appear to me clear, plain, and unmistakeable. They all teach one and the same great lesson, if we are willing to receive it. That lesson is, that true Christianity is a struggle, a fight, and a warfare.

J.C. Ryle/William Gurnall – SPIRITUAL WAEFARE

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This world is not your home – James Smith

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You are in an enemy’s land; surrounded by temptations; and have a heart that is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. To honor Jesus in your spirit, communications, and every action, should be your constant aim. You are to live Unto the Lord, For Him who died for you and rose again. To this end, provision was laid up in the everlasting covenant, for this purpose the precious promises were made, and with this design the Holy Spirit is given; that you may serve Him in righteousness and holiness all the days of your life. This world is not your home; Satan’s family are not to be your associates; riches, honor, or pleasure, are not to be your objects; you are to walk as in the midst of snares; watchful, prayerful, depending upon Jesus, and cultivating fellowship with Him. Oh, keep your eye on Jesus as your example; walk by His word as your rule; be not venturesome or presumptuous, but avoid the very appearance of evil. Never leave the Lord’s ways or ordinances, to join the world’s parties or please a carnal fancy. Keep close to Jesus, and follow on to know the Lord. Act as a loving child going home to his father’s house.
So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.
– James Smith

Prize the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

 - Robert Murray M'Cheyne

– Robert Murray M’Cheyne

You will never find Jesus so precious, as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then He is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, or a rock rising above the storm! Do not set your hearts on any of the flowers of this world. They shall all fade and die. Prize the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. Jesus never changes! Live nearer to Christ than to any person on this earth; so that when they are taken away, you may have Him to love and lean upon. “Yes, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Solomon 5:16 – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Arthur Pink The Way of Salvation

“What must I do to be saved? Saved from what? What is it you wish to be saved from? Hell? That proves nothing. Nobody wants to go there. The issue between God and man is SIN. Do you wish to be saved from it?

What is sin? Sin is a species of rebellion against God. It is self-pleasing: it is the utter ignoring of God’s claims: being completely indifferent whether my conduct pleases or displeases Him.

Before God saves a man He convicts him of his sinnership. By this I do not mean that he says with everybody else, “O yes we are all sinners, I know that.” Rather do I mean that the Holy Spirit makes me feel in my heart that I have been a life-long rebel against God, and that my sins are so many, so great, so black, that I fear that I have transgressed beyond the reach of Divine mercy.

Have you ever had that experience? Have you seen yourself to be totally unfit for heaven; For the presence of a Holy God? Do you now perceive that there is no good thing in you, nothing good credited to your account, that all the way through you have loved the things God hates and hated the things God loves?

Has the realization of this broken your heart before God? Has it made you mourn that you have so despised His Sabbaths, neglected His Word, and given Him no real place at all in your thoughts, affections and life? If you have not yet seen and felt this personally, then at present there is no hope for you, for God says, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” — Luke 13:3. And if you die in your present condition you will be lost forever.

But if you have been brought to the place where sin is your greatest plague, where offending God is your greatest grief, and where your deepest desire is now to please and honor Him; then there is hope for you. “The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost” — Luke 19:10. And He will save you providing you are ready and willing to throw down the weapons of your warfare against Him, bow to His Lordship, and surrender yourself to His control.

His blood can wash the foulest clean. His grace can support and uphold the weakest. His power can deliver the tried and tempted. “Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” — II Corinthians 6:2. Yield yourself to Christ’s claims. Give Him the throne of your heart. Turn over to Him the regulation of your life. Trust in His atoning death. Love Him with all your soul. Obey Him with all your might and He will conduct you to heaven. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” — Acts 16:31.” Arthur Pink

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The Gospel call is a call to Repentance – Matthew Henry

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“Those who suppose their souls to be without disease will not welcome the spiritual Physician. This was the case with the Pharisees; they despised Christ, because they thought themselves whole; but the poor publicans and sinners felt that they wanted instruction and amendment. It is easy, and too common, to put the worst constructions upon the best words and actions. It may justly be suspected that those have not the grace of God themselves, who are not pleased with others’ obtaining it….The gospel call is a call to repentance; a call to us to change our minds, and to change our ways. If the children of men had not been sinners, there had been no need for Christ to come among them. Let us examine whether we have found out our sickness, and have learned to follow the directions of our great Physician” –  

Matthew Henry (1662-1714) 

Matthew Henry