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Necessity of REPENTANCE!!!
Jasper Abraham Huffman
(SELECT EXCERPTS FROM HIS BOOK, “REDEMPTION COMPLETED,” 1903 [EMPH. ADDED])
B E IT EMPHASIZED, that when man performs his part—the work of repentance— the Father will, without fail, grant forgiveness. It is the human part which we need to understand and to perform, and the divine part will be faithfully executed...
A knowledge of sin will lead to the next step in repentance, which is conviction. Christ said of the Holy Spirit: “When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment” (St. John xvi, 8). It is only when man is awakened to a knowledge of his condition, and is reproved by the Holy Spirit, that he will become convicted, and will sorrow after a godly manner, “for godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” (2 Cor. vii, 10).
When one becomes really convicted, having had the X-ray of Heaven turned upon him by the Holy Spirit, he becomes miserable and very heavy. Sin becomes a great weight to him...
Often, as a consequence of the reproving of the Holy Spirit, man becomes so miserable that sleep, rest, and appetite are lost. It is under this reproval and this sorrow for sin that men are made to cry out, as did those of old, under the piercing, searching power of Pentecost: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” The next step of repentance is that of confession, without which forgiveness cannot be obtained. The promise of forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon our confession of them. Note: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 John I, 9).
...But this is not all. A genuine repentance embraces a forsaking of sin and a restitution for wrongs committed. Not only does the truly repenting one confess sin and indicate sorrow for those committed, but from the depths of his soul forsakes; not simply promises to forsake, BUT DOES FORSAKE ALL SIN.
Says the prophet: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. lv, 7). This is the only way that the Father accepts our repentance.
A certain woman, who was professedly repenting, was asked whether she was willing to lay aside the jewelry with which her body was adorned. She replied that she would not, then turned and asked whether, if she would lay aside her jewelry until she was saved, she could wear them again. She was unwilling to forsake sin, and the result was, in her case, as it will be in any such case, she did not get saved.
The part of repentance called “RESTITUTION” seems the most difficult for man to perform, but the individual who thoroughly repents will make wrongs right. He will restore wherein he has taken unjustly; he will confess untruths of years’ standing, if he is guilty of them; he will pay up old debts, though outlawed...These are works meet for repentance.
Yes, sir; if a man truly repents, he will make restitution. It may be necessary to write letters, to make apologies, to sign bank checks, to hand over some hard cash; but, at any cost, he will fix up past records, straighten up back tracks; [and in modern terms, quit smoking, drinking, fornicating, stealing, lying, etc,] for he will have the spirit that Zacchaeus had when he said: “If I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I will restore him fourfold.” (St. Luke xix, 8). This is genuine repentance, which is the human part for the fulfillment of this stated purpose of the death of Christ, of which the divine part is forgiveness. This blessed experience is offered to all who will accept of it upon Bible terms. IT MEANS MUCH TO REPENT.
The gospel of repentance is not a very popular doctrine, and is almost forsaken. JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS A REPENTANCE PREACHER, and went about crying: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He did not become a very popular preacher, for he made his meat of locusts and wild honey, and wore for his raiment camel’s hair.
The world today is in great need of repentance preachers, who, like John, would condescend to low estate, and, instead of seeking after titles of dignity and honor, would be content to assign to themselves the same humble one which he bore: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Doubtless, if there were more preachers today who would preach the gospel of repentance, there would be more who would be compelled to eat locusts and wild honey, or its present day equivalent, but more souls would be saved.
BUT JOHN FEARLESSLY PREACHED REPENTANCE, and when many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized of him, he said: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (St. Matt. iii, 7, 8).
O, how the standard of repentance is lowered today, until it means little more than a resolution to lead a better life. This is doubtless, in a measure, due to the unfaithfulness of the ministry. There are some who are willing to go part of the way of repentance. Some, after having a knowledge of sin, reach a place where they are sorry for them, perhaps shed a few tears, and then stop...Others advance a little farther, and are willing to, and do, confess their sins, but are unwilling to forsake them. Still others confess their sins and are willing to forsake their present sins, but are unwilling to make restitution for past wrongs; but hope that some way everything will come out all right, and thus go through life deceived.
How many are there who profess to be Christians, who have never made wrongs right?... What such need is a GENUINE REPENTANCE, which will secure for them the blessing of pardon or forgiveness.