Friday, April 5, 2019

Reflection - Jonah Gets a Second Chance - True Repentance

Source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 6, Question 2, Page 89.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Retrenched form work twice, go into retirement, and developing spiritual relationship with God again.
PHOTO: What is required for true repentance?
Though Jonah's preaching was minimalist, it produced maximum results. True repentance can result when God, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers. Describing the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said that the Spirit "will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement" (John 16:8-9). This same Spirit was at work when Peter preached at Pentecost. As a result, those present "were cut to the heart" (Acts 2:37-38). It is significant that they then asked Peter what they ought to do to be forgiven, and on Peter's instruction, they repented and were baptised.


How did the people of Nineveh show that they truly repented?
A similar thing happened in Nineveh. On hearing Jonah's short but terrifying message from God, the Ninevites responded by believing God (Jonah 3:5). They must have sensed the authority of God in what they heard, and seen God behind the prophet delivering the warning of impending destruction. Then, they took concrete steps to show how serious they were in repenting.

First, they proclaimed a fast, "A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth" (Jonah 3:5). When news of what was happening in Nineveh and Jonah's disturbing message reached the king - he too joined in the fast. Not only that, he also issued a decree calling for all to do the same, and to cover themselves with sackcloth as a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance (Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:3; Daniel 9:3). Notably, the people did not wait for this decree. They had spontaneously acted in similar fashion after hearing from God through Jonah.

Second, they prayed urgently. The king's decree stipulated, "Let everyone call urgently on God" (Jonah 3:8). This was a call for prayer. Repentance and prayer are always connected.

Third, they renounced their sins. The royal decree further stipulated, "Let them give up their evil ways and their violence" (Jonah 3:8). The people knew that if they were to avert disaster, they had to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8); they could not carry on with their sinful actions and wicked ways, and still hope that God would be merciful and spare them disaster. It is an affront (insult) to God for people to go to church to ask for His forgiveness without any intention of giving up their sins. True repentance involves believing God's word, responding with humble repentance, and turning away from sin to God.

The response of the king of Nineveh also offers us some lessons. Upon hearing the bad news, he immediately rose from the throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down in the dust (Jonah 3:6).

First, the king's response symbolises the actions of a repentant soul turning to God for mercy. Such a person dethrones the self that has been holding court and asserting its will in his heart, and replaces it with humility and mourning for its sins. That's why Jesus said that those who mourn would be comforted (Matthew 5:4). The self that rules in every person's heart must come down from its throne so that the Son of God can take its place, and it must bow down and pay homage to the true King. Only then will peace come into a person's soul.

Second, the king of Nineveh played the role of shepherd to his people by guiding them to turn to God in repentance. After preaching his message of destruction, Jonah does not appear to have shown the city's people the way to God. Perhaps he saw no need to minister further in Nineveh. Or perhaps he felt that it was enough to tell them that their end had come, and leave them to their own devices. But the king acted wisely, providing priestly leadership and guidance to his people, and thus ensuring that they did the right thing in repenting and renouncing their sin. As believers, we have a role in helping others repent and turn to God.


When God saw the people of Nineveh express true repentance in their hearts and in their actions, He allowed them to experience true forgiveness.



What lessons can you learn from them, for yourself, and for your church?
True repentance can result when God, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers. Through His Holy Spirit, we will responded spontaneously and deeply by taking concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting.

Putting on Spiritual Sackcloth - a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance
Like the Ninevites, we are advised and encouraged in Joel 2:12-13 to come before God in humbleness of mind and heart, with a repentant attitude and mournful spirit. We can do this through fasting and putting on spiritual sackcloth. We need to put on spiritual sackcloth, coming before God in humility to seek the understanding and wisdom we lack, repenting as necessary, and striving to overcome the works of the flesh, the enticements and attractions of the society we live in, and the constant attacks by unseen spiritual forces. "So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Joel 2:13).

Pray urgently
Repentance and prayer are always connected. The call for prayer may be met with fear, and anger for being incompetent and irresponsible. A pilot flying a plane with engine trouble may call for urgent joint prayer, but there will be backlash from the passengers. A pilot may not be in a suitable position to provide priestly leadership and guidance to passengers. Other believers' help will be most appropriate to lead urgent prayer for everybody to have a safe landing.

Renounced our sins
To avert disaster, we have to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. It is an affront (insult) to God for people to go to church to ask for His forgiveness without any intention of giving up their sins. True repentance involves believing God's word, responding with humble repentance, and turning away from sin to God.

Dethrones ourself
Like the king of Nineveh, the self that rules in every person's heart must come down from its throne so that the Son of God can take its place, and it must bow down and pay homage to the true King. Only then will peace come into a person's soul. And "there is a future for the man of peace". (Psalm 37:37)

Church assume the role of shepherd
Like the king of Nineveh, the church assume the role of shepherd by guiding us to turn to God in repentance. The church acting wisely, provides priestly leadership and guidance, ensuring that people do the right thing in repenting and renouncing their sin. As believers, we have a role in helping others repent and turn to God.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, and taking these concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting, in our hearts and in our actions, God may allow us to experience true forgiveness. "The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him." (Psalm 37:39-40)

"Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever." (Psalm 37:27-29)


When might repentance be superficial or hypocritical?
When repentance might be superficial
The elements of true confession and repentance are missing. People expect God to deal with their despair and heal their wounds, but they make no mention of their waywardness. They feel the pain of the consequences of their sin, but fail to confess the sin that is residing in their hearts. They want healing, not cleansing, and they want happiness, not holiness. They're offering sacrifices and participating in religious services, but there's no difference in the way they live their lives. (Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24) There is no depth of thought and very little inward reach behind their pleas.

Genuine repentance begins with a deep awareness of our sin. (Luke 18:13; Psalm 51:1-6) It involves the recognition that sin is sin, sin is serious and sin is offensive in God's sight. Repentance involves a profound sense of the evil of sin, a sincere sorrow that we have committed it and the resolution to forsake it.

When repentance might be hypocritical
A person who engages in hypocritical behaviour could be called a hypocrite, their behaviour, an act of hypocrisy. “Hypocrite” came to describe one who is never genuine but always play-acting. The basis of hypocrisy is insincerity.

A repentance is hypocritical when it is not genuine, just like 'superficial repentance'. Jesus mentions “fear” five times in these verses, teaching that a basic cause of hypocrisy is the fear of men. People will do almost anything to avoid embarrassment or harm. When we are afraid of what others may say or do to us, we try to impress them to gain their approval, and our human nature will stoop to deception to accomplish its purposes.

The remedy for hypocrisy is reverent fear of God, the fear that conquers all other fears, because the person who truly fears God fears nothing else. The apostle John teaches that the love of God casts out fear (1 John 4:18, 19). Thus, we can ignore the negative things people say and do. With God standing by us, why should we fear the criticism of others (Hebrews 13:6)? They can do no more than kill the body, but God can destroy both life and body (Matthew 10:28). Since Christ is the ultimate and eternal Judge, it is logical to put the fear of God ahead of everything else.
Picture posted by ahmed naji on 06 November 2013
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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2019/03/reflection-jonah-gets-second-chance.html



What is required for true repentance? How did the people of Nineveh show that they truly repented? What lessons can you learn from them, for yourself, and for your church? When might repentance be superficial or hypocritical?

What is required for true repentance?
True Repentance [1]
Though Jonah's preaching was minimalist, it produced maximum results. True repentance can result when God, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers. Describing the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said that the Spirit "will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement" (John 16:8-9). This same Spirit was at work when Peter preached at Pentecost. As a result, those present "were cut to the heart" (Acts 2:37-38). It is significant that they then asked Peter what they ought to do to be forgiven, and on Peter's instruction, they repented and were baptised.



True repentance can result when God, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers.
PHOTO: True repentance can result when God, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers. Describing the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said that the Spirit "will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement" (John 16:8-9).
Picture posted by Fr. Guillermo A. Arboleda on 14 January 2018 - Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In baptism, God calls Christians to die to self-righteousness.

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https://www.stmattsav.org/single-post/2018/01/13/Baptism-in-the-Holy-Spirit-1st-Epiphany-B?fb_comment_id=1093511940701821_1123989454320736


In 1907, a revival broke out in Pyongyang, Korea, after a group of believers were convicted of sin and repented. Missionary William Blair gave an account: [30]

The evening meeting connected with the Bible conference began January 6th, in the Central Church (in Pyongyang), with more than 1,500 men present. Women were excluded for lack of room. Different missionaries and Korean leaders had charge of the evening meetings, all seeking to show the need of the Spirit's control in our lives and the necessity for love and righteousness . . . After a short sermon . . . man after man would rise, confess his sin, break down and weep, and then throw himself on the floor and beat the floor with his fists in a perfect agony of conviction . . . Sometimes, after a confession, the whole audience would break out into audible prayer, and the effect of that audience of hundreds of men praying together in audible prayer was something indescribable. Again, after another confession, they would break out into uncontrollable weeping and we would all weep together. We couldn't help it. And so the meeting went on until 2 a.m., with confession and weeping and praying . . . We prayed to God for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon the People and it had come.


William W. Blair

PHOTO: William W. Blair
In 1907, a revival broke out in Pyongyang, Korea, after a group of believers were convicted of sin and repented.
"We prayed to God for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon the People and it had come."
Picture from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/William_W._Blair.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_W._Blair



How did the people of Nineveh show that they truly repented?
A similar thing happened in Nineveh. On hearing Jonah's short but terrifying message from God, the Ninevites responded by believing God (Jonah 3:5). The Hebrew text emphasizes the word "believed" by placing it at the beginning of the sentence, showing that the city's populace responded spontaneously and deeply. They must have sensed the authority of God in what they heard, and seen God behind the prophet delivering the warning of impending destruction. Then, they took concrete steps to show how serious they were in repenting.



The Holy Spirit is at work in Nineveh.
PHOTO: The Holy Spirit is at work in Nineveh. On hearing Jonah's short but terrifying message from God, the Ninevites responded by believing God (Jonah 3:5). Then, they took concrete steps to show how serious they were in repenting.
Picture posted by Find the Shepherd on 05 January 2016

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https://www.findshepherd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/%E5%B0%BC%E5%B0%BC%E5%BE%AE%E5%9F%8E%E7%9A%84%E7%99%BE%E5%A7%93%E6%84%9F%E8%B0%A2%E7%A5%9E%E7%9A%84%E6%81%A9%E5%BE%85%E4%B8%8E%E5%AE%BD%E5%AE%B91-The-people-of-Nineveh-thank-God-for-his-grace-and-forbearance_.jpg - (尼尼微城的百姓感谢神的恩待与宽容1-The-people-of-Nineveh-thank-God-for-his-grace-and-forbearance_.jpg)
https://www.findshepherd.com/mans-repentance-is-rare.html



First, they proclaimed a fast, "A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth" (Jonah 3:5). When news of what was happening in Nineveh and Jonah's disturbing message reached the king - who was probably not the ruler of the Assyrian empire, but the provincial governor of the region - he too joined in the fast. Not only that, he also issued a decree calling for all to do the same, and to cover themselves with sackcloth as a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance (Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:3; Daniel 9:3). Notably, the people did not wait for this decree. They had spontaneously acted in similar fashion after hearing from God through Jonah.



First, the people of Nineveh proclaimed a fast
PHOTO: First, the people of Nineveh proclaimed a fast, "A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth" (Jonah 3:5).  When news of what was happening in Nineveh and Jonah's disturbing message reached the king - he too joined in the fast. He also issued a decree calling for all to do the same, and to cover themselves with sackcloth as a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance (Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:3; Daniel 9:3).
Picture posted by The Church of Almighty God, blogadmin, on 12 September 2018
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https://www.holyspiritspeaks.org/wp-content/uploads/the-sincere-repentance-in-ninevites-hearts-2.jpg
https://en.blog.hidden-advent.org/the-sincere-repentance-in-ninevites-hearts/



Second, they prayed urgently. The king's decree stipulated, "Let everyone call urgently on God" (Jonah 3:8). This was a call for prayer. Repentance and prayer are always connected.



Second, they prayed urgently.
PHOTO: Second, they prayed urgently. The king's decree stipulated, "Let everyone call urgently on God" (Jonah 3:8). This was a call for prayer. Repentance and prayer are always connected.
Picture posted by Walk in the Light on 15 February 2019

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https://www.hearthymn.com/ninevites-repentance-God-s-mercy-jonah-3-5-10.html



Third, they renounced their sins. The royal decree further stipulated, "Let them give up their evil ways and their violence" (Jonah 3:8). The people knew that if they were to avert disaster, they had to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8); they could not carry on with their sinful actions and wicked ways, and still hope that God would be merciful and spare them disaster. It is an affront (insult) to God for people to go to church to ask for His forgiveness without any intention of giving up their sins. True repentance involves believing God's word, responding with humble repentance, and turning away from sin to God.

 

Third, they renounced their sins.
PHOTO: Third, they renounced their sins. The royal decree further stipulated, "Let them give up their evil ways and their violence" (Jonah 3:8). The people knew that if they were to avert disaster, they had to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8); they could not carry on with their sinful actions and wicked ways, and still hope that God would be merciful and spare them disaster.
Picture posted by amyxaveria on 01 October 2018

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https://amyxaveria.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/unico-ii-parte-3/



The response of the king of Nineveh also offers us some lessons. Upon hearing the bad news, he immediately rose from the throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down in the dust (Jonah 3:6).

First, the king's response symbolises the actions of a repentant soul turning to God for mercy. Such a person dethrones the self that has been holding court and asserting its will in his heart, and replaces it with humility and mourning for its sins. That's why Jesus said that those who mourn would be comforted (Matthew 5:4). The self that rules in every person's heart must come down from its throne so that the Son of God can take its place, and it must bow down and pay homage to the true King. Only then will peace come into a person's soul.

 

The response of the king of Nineveh also offers us some lessons.
PHOTO: The response of the king of Nineveh also offers us some lessons. Upon hearing the bad news, he immediately rose from the throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down in the dust (Jonah 3:6). He dethrones the self that has been holding court and asserting its will in his heart, and replaces it with humility and mourning for its sins.
Picture posted by The Church of Almighty God, blogadmin, on 12 September 2018

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https://en.blog.hidden-advent.org/the-sincere-repentance-in-ninevites-hearts/



Second, the king of Nineveh played the role of shepherd to his people by guiding them to turn to God in repentance. After preaching his message of destruction, Jonah does not appear to have shown the city's people the way to God. Perhaps he saw no need to minister further in Nineveh. Or perhaps he felt that it was enough to tell them that their end had come, and leave them to their own devices. But the king acted wisely, providing priestly leadership and guidance to his people, and thus ensuring that they did the right thing in repenting and renouncing their sin. As believers, we have a role in helping others repent and turn to God.

 

The king of Nineveh played the role of shepherd to his people by guiding them to turn to God in repentance.
PHOTO: The king of Nineveh played the role of shepherd to his people by guiding them to turn to God in repentance. The king acted wisely, providing priestly leadership and guidance to his people, and thus ensuring that they did the right thing in repenting and renouncing their sin.
Picture posted by Rob Price on 27 July 2016 - True repentance

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https://i0.wp.com/livingchurch.org/covenant/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/4119676167_3a948b4e37_z.jpg
https://livingchurch.org/covenant/2016/07/27/true-repentance/



When God saw the people of Nineveh express true repentance in their hearts and in their actions, He allowed them to experience true forgiveness.


What lessons can you learn from them, for yourself, and for your church?
True repentance can result when God, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers. Through His Holy Spirit, we will responded spontaneously and deeply by taking concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting.

Putting on Spiritual Sackcloth - a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance
Like the Ninevites, we are advised and encouraged in Joel 2:12-13 to come before God in humbleness of mind and heart, with a repentant attitude and mournful spirit. We can do this through fasting and putting on spiritual sackcloth. We need to put on spiritual sackcloth, coming before God in humility to seek the understanding and wisdom we lack, repenting as necessary, and striving to overcome the works of the flesh, the enticements and attractions of the society we live in, and the constant attacks by unseen spiritual forces. "So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Joel 2:13). [2]

 

Putting on Spiritual Sackcloth - a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance
PHOTO: Putting on Spiritual Sackcloth - a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance
"So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Joel 2:13).
Picture posted by Flickr Hive Mind
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https://hiveminer.com/Tags/神的爱



Pray urgently
Repentance and prayer are always connected. The call for prayer may be met with fear, and anger for being incompetent and irresponsible. A pilot flying a plane with engine trouble may call for urgent joint prayer, but there will be backlash from the passengers. A pilot may not be in a suitable position to provide priestly leadership and guidance to passengers. Other believers' help will be most appropriate to lead urgent prayer for everybody to have a safe landing.

 

Pray urgently
PHOTO: Pray urgently
Repentance and prayer are always connected. A pilot may not be in a suitable position to provide priestly leadership and guidance to passengers. Other believers' help will be most appropriate to lead urgent prayer for everybody to have a safe landing.
Picture posted by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on 21 June

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https://static.billygraham.org/sites/billygraham.org/uploads/pro/2013/06/29182137/6-21-Tears-of-Repentance.jpg
https://billygraham.org/devotion/tears-of-repentance/



Renounced our sins
To avert disaster, we have to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. It is an affront (insult) to God for people to go to church to ask for His forgiveness without any intention of giving up their sins. True repentance involves believing God's word, responding with humble repentance, and turning away from sin to God.


Renounced our sins
Renounced our sins
PHOTO: Renounced our sins
To avert disaster, we have to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. It is an affront (insult) to God for people to go to church to ask for His forgiveness without any intention of giving up their sins.
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https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2019/03/reflection-jonah-gets-second-chance.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2019/03/woman-in-singapore-dies-5-days-after.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2019/03/sgh-ranked-worlds-third-best-hospital.html



Dethrones ourself
Like the king of Nineveh, the self that rules in every person's heart must come down from its throne so that the Son of God can take its place, and it must bow down and pay homage to the true King. Only then will peace come into a person's soul. And "there is a future for the man of peace". (Psalm 37:37)



Dethrones ourself
PHOTO: Dethrones ourself
Like the king of Nineveh, the self that rules in every person's heart must come down from its throne so that the Son of God can take its place, and it must bow down and pay homage to the true King.
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Church assume the role of shepherd
Like the king of Nineveh, the church assume the role of shepherd by guiding us to turn to God in repentance. The church acting wisely, provides priestly leadership and guidance, ensuring that people do the right thing in repenting and renouncing their sin. As believers, we have a role in helping others repent and turn to God.

 

Church assume the role of shepherd
PHOTO: Church assume the role of shepherd
Like the king of Nineveh, the church assume the role of shepherd by guiding us to turn to God in repentance. The church acting wisely, provides priestly leadership and guidance, ensuring that people do the right thing in repenting and renouncing their sin.
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With the help of the Holy Spirit, and taking these concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting, in our hearts and in our actions, God may allow us to experience true forgiveness. "The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him." (Psalm 37:39-40)



With the help of the Holy Spirit, and taking these concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting, in our hearts and in our actions, God may allow us to experience true forgiveness.
PHOTO: With the help of the Holy Spirit, and taking these concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting, in our hearts and in our actions, God may allow us to experience true forgiveness.
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"Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever." (Psalm 37:27-29)


When might repentance be superficial or hypocritical?
When repentance might be superficial
The elements of true confession and repentance are missing. People expect God to deal with their despair and heal their wounds, but they make no mention of their waywardness. They feel the pain of the consequences of their sin, but fail to confess the sin that is residing in their hearts. They want healing, not cleansing, and they want happiness, not holiness. They're offering sacrifices and participating in religious services, but there's no difference in the way they live their lives. (Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24) There is no depth of thought and very little inward reach behind their pleas. [3]

 

When repentance might be superficial
PHOTO: When repentance might be superficial
The elements of true confession and repentance are missing. They want healing, not cleansing, and they want happiness, not holiness. They're offering sacrifices and participating in religious services, but there's no difference in the way they live their lives.
(Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24).
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Genuine repentance begins with a deep awareness of our sin. (Luke 18:13; Psalm 51:1-6) It involves the recognition that sin is sin, sin is serious and sin is offensive in God's sight. Repentance involves a profound sense of the evil of sin, a sincere sorrow that we have committed it and the resolution to forsake it. [3]

 

Genuine repentance begins with a deep awareness of our sin. (Luke 18:13; Psalm 51:1-6)
PHOTO: Genuine repentance begins with a deep awareness of our sin. (Luke 18:13; Psalm 51:1-6) Repentance involves a profound sense of the evil of sin, a sincere sorrow that we have committed it and the resolution to forsake it.
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When repentance might be hypocritical
A person who engages in hypocritical behaviour could be called a hypocrite, their behaviour, an act of hypocrisy. [4]Hypocrite” came to describe one who is never genuine but always play-acting. The basis of hypocrisy is insincerity. [5]

Hypocrites inhabit every walk of life, trying to impress others in an attempt to hide who they really are. In the Christian life, a hypocrite is someone who tries to appear more spiritual than he really is. Such a person knows that he is pretending, and he hopes he will not be found out. His Christianity is a shallow charade (mockery).



 In the Christian life, a hypocrite is someone who tries to appear more spiritual than he really is.
PHOTO: In the Christian life, a hypocrite is someone who tries to appear more spiritual than he really is. Such a person knows that he is pretending, and he hopes he will not be found out.
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A repentance is hypocritical when it is not genuine, just like 'superficial repentance'. Jesus mentions “fear” five times in these verses, teaching that a basic cause of hypocrisy is the fear of men. People will do almost anything to avoid embarrassment or harm. When we are afraid of what others may say or do to us, we try to impress them to gain their approval, and our human nature will stoop to deception to accomplish its purposes. Sadly, many of the Pharisees were more concerned about reputation than character—what people thought about them than what God knew about them. Nothing can really be hidden (Mark 4:22), which makes hypocrisy foolish and futile. So why keep pretending? [5]


 A repentance is hypocritical when it is not genuine, just like 'superficial repentance'.
PHOTO: A repentance is hypocritical when it is not genuine, just like 'superficial repentance'.  Pharisees were more concerned about reputation than character—what people thought about them than what God knew about them.
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The remedy for hypocrisy is reverent fear of God, the fear that conquers all other fears, because the person who truly fears God fears nothing else. The apostle John teaches that the love of God casts out fear (1 John 4:18, 19). Thus, we can ignore the negative things people say and do. With God standing by us, why should we fear the criticism of others (Hebrews 13:6)? They can do no more than kill the body, but God can destroy both life and body (Matthew 10:28). Since Christ is the ultimate and eternal Judge, it is logical to put the fear of God ahead of everything else. [5]

 

The remedy for hypocrisy is reverent fear of God, the fear that conquers all other fears, because the person who truly fears God fears nothing else.
PHOTO: The remedy for hypocrisy is reverent fear of God, the fear that conquers all other fears, because the person who truly fears God fears nothing else. They can do no more than kill the body, but God can destroy both life and body (Matthew 10:28).
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"Come, let us return to the LORD" But let's do more than just pretend or offer God our superficial repentance. Let's contend and deal with our sin. Let's take some time today to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and convict us of any sin lurking in our souls. Let's confess our sin before the Lord and honestly acknowledge our guilt so He can cleanse us and change us within as we earnestly seek Him." (Psalm 51:2, 10; 1 John 1:8-9) [3]


Come, let us return to the LORD
PHOTO: "Come, let us return to the LORD" But let's do more than just pretend or offer God our superficial repentance. Let's contend and deal with our sin. Let's take some time today to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and convict us of any sin lurking in our souls. Let's confess our sin before the Lord and honestly acknowledge our guilt so He can cleanse us and change us within as we earnestly seek Him." (Psalm 51:2, 10; 1 John 1:8-9)
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Dear Lord, We learn that true repentance can result when you, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers.
Dear Lord, We learn that true repentance can result when you, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers.
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, We learn that true repentance can result when you, the originator of the message, works in the hearts of its hearers. This same Spirit was at work when Peter preached at Pentecost. As a result, those present ‘were cut to the heart’, repented and were baptised. A similar thing happened in Nineveh. On hearing Jonah's short but terrifying message from you, the Ninevites responded by believing God. Through the Holy Spirit they responded spontaneously and deeply by taking concrete steps to show how serious they were in repenting.

They put on Spiritual Sackcloth as a sign of mourning, humility, and repentance.

Second, they prayed urgently. Repentance and prayer are always connected.

Third, they renounced their sins. True repentance involves believing your word, responding with humble repentance, and turning away from sin to you.

Like the king of Nineveh, the self that rules in every person's heart must come down from its throne so that the Son of God can take its place, and it must bow down and pay homage to the true King. Only then will peace come into a person's soul. And ‘there is a future for the man of peace’ as mentioned in Psalm 37:37.

We pray for your help to do the same.

We pray too that our leaders, and our churches assume the role of shepherd by guiding, and ensuring that we turn to you in repentance, and renouncing our sin.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, and taking these concrete steps to show how serious we are in repenting, in our hearts and in our actions, please allow us to experience your true forgiveness.

Lord, we do not want our repentance be superficial or hypocritical. Change us deep within and keep our heart sensitive to our own sin. Today by the power of the Holy Spirit, show us any incline toward sin that exists in our soul. Bring to light every dishonouring nature, wrong understanding, and misguided purpose. Then teach us how to replace each one with God-honouring, Christ-exalting attitudes and actions.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
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Reflection - Jonah Gets a Second Chance - True Repentance
Question from source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 6, Question 2, Page 89.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012






Also from the same author, Robert M. Solomon

"Faithful to the end", A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
Reflection - Faithful to the end (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



"Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon

Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html


 

Reference
[1] From "God in Pursuit" Lessons from the Book of Jonah, Copyright © 2017 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-801-6, Part III: Jonah 3:1-10, Chapter 6 "Jonah Gets a Second Chance", Page 84-87.

[2] Gary Montgomery, Sackcloth: A Spiritual Tool, posted on 22 February 2013, https://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.CGGWeekly/ID/627/Sackcloth-Spiritual-Tool.htm

[3] Krista Williams, Prone to Wander, A Superficial Repentance, https://first5.org/plans/Prone%20to%20Wander/ff_ptw_6/

[4] Vocabulary.com Dictionary, hypocritical, https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/hypocritical

[5] Martin G. Collins, Bible Study, Beware of Hypocrisy, posted on March-April 2015, https://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/BS/k/1665/Beware-Hypocrisy.htm

[30] Allen D. Clark, A History of the Church in Korea (Seoul: Christian Literature Society of Korea, 1971), 160-162.


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1 John 4:18, 19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+4%3A18%2C+19&version=NIV

Acts 2:37-38 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+2%3A37-38&version=NIV

Hebrews 13:6 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13%3A6&version=NIV

Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+6%3A6%3B+Amos+5%3A21-24&version=NIV

Joel 2:12-13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A12-13&version=NIV

Joel 2:13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A13&version=NIV

John 16:8-9 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+16%3A8-9&version=NIV

Jonah 3:1-10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jonah+3%3A1-10&version=NIV

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Luke 18:13; Psalm 51:1-6 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18%3A13%3B+Psalm+51%3A1-6&version=NIV

Mark 4:22 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+4%3A22&version=NIV

Matthew 3:8 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+3%3A8&version=NIV

Matthew 5:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A4&version=NIV

Matthew 10:28 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10%3A28&version=NIV

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Psalm 37:27-29 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+37%3A27-29&version=NIV

Psalm 37:37 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+37%3A37&version=NIV

Psalm 37:39-40 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+37%3A39-40&version=NIV

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