Repent – for the Kingdom of Heaven draws near

Repent … before it’s too late.  That’s been the stark warning of Scripture since the time John the Baptist first strode into the desert, then baptised Jesus in preparation for his mission on earth.  But now there is an immediacy we have never perhaps experienced before, because Christ’s return is near.  Time is short. 
Selfishness and greed 
Contempt for traditional family
Same sex marriage
Denial of biological sex, as made in the image of God
Lack of respect and compassion for others
The list goes on and on.  By its evil, self-indulgent and self-focused choices, mankind has placed itself under judgement.   When Jesus died on the Cross, He set us free from bondage to sin.  To all those who accepted, and accept, Him as Lord, He has given the gift of life, restoring us, by the Spirit, to that direct relationship with God for which we were first created.  But just because He died and rose from the dead does not mean that salvation is automatic for the whole of humanity. There is still a spiritual battle raging over the earth, with the devil fighting might and main to enslave as many as he can ahead of the Saviour’s return, and to destroy creation.   To enter into and have life, we need to choose.
But, sadly, so many in this generation have rejected God, opting instead for short term consumerist and self-serving indulgence, deludedly asserting it’s their human right to have whatever they want, at the time of their choosing.  
This is very far from freedom, and by no stretch of the imagination are such choices a ‘human right’.  Rather, it is the giving of allegiance to Satan, welding individuals into bondage to sin, from which by themselves they will never be able to break free.   Such life-style choices can lead only to death, and it is because of this – and the growing power of evil that such choices have both enabled and fed – that God is now coming in power.   In truth, what the Bible calls ‘the day of the Lord’ is very near.  It is a day of glory and restoration – but it is a day that starts in darkness and suffering, as evil is rooted out, exposed, and dealt with. 
For our own good, God will allow this present evil to spread only so far, because He loves us too much to allow us to remain in Satan’s thrall.  He has given us every last chance to repent and put our house in order – withdrawing His protection so that we might even now recognise and turn from the evil we have allowed.  

Covid, escalating violence, the energy crisis, global financial collapse … these are the sour and bitter fruits of Godlessness.  But God holds the key.  The good news is, He could stop the approaching devastation in a heartbeat – more than that, He stands ready to intervene and help – but He will only do so if we turn from our ‘wickedness’, back to obedience to Him, and ask.
Without doubt, there are dark times ahead for the whole world.   Humanity is not going to hell in a handcard; rather it is hurtling towards it in the latest model hybrid SUV or Ferrari, and the brakes have gone.  And it may well be true that the majority have gone too far down the road to turn back, so that judgment, in the form of world war, disease, famine, poverty, and the like, has become inevitable.  But, for Christians, though we too face tribulation, there is nothing to fear, because, in and through Christ, we are children of God and have life.  Whatever may come, we have the strength and protection of the Lord, and the promise of life to come.
For those caught in sin, there is still time, even at this late hour, to repent and to find life. But this world, with its corruption and evil, must pass, in order to allow the greater and better to come.
So the message to all remains.  Each one of us has a choice, and should choose to follow, not the crowd, but the Lord.  Repent, therefore, while there is still time.  Turn to the Lord, because in Him you will find love, healing, fulfilment, joy… all you need.  
Repent and choose life.

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