There is a great difference between repentance toward God versus acknowledgment. Today we are living in an age when godly repentance is waning. The writer had an encounter with a man some years ago. After it was all said and done, the man realized he was wrong. He then stated, to set the record straight, that he had changed his viewpoint. He acknowledged no wrongdoing.
Sometimes we hear acknowledgments similar to this one. When repentance is missing in such acknowledgments, we find our loved ones going back to the former way.
There is a familiar biblical account that tells of thorough repentance. In this account, we often miss the true contents and the results repentance brings.
The account of the prodigal son has always been heart-touching. Let us analyze the account to understand the end result and what it should mean to us today. When the grace of God moved the heart of this young man, he was moved to action. Sometime after this, God impressed the heart of the father. The Scripture says he had compassion for his son, and he moved toward his son.
Repentance is the key in this account. The wayward son left his sinful way and begged for pardon from his loving father. He humbled himself and made this profound statement, “I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight” (Luke 15:21). The beautiful part of this account is that the Scripture does not bring up this son’s error again. God forgave, the father forgave, and the son never went back to his old ways.
When the Lord puts His hand on our shoulder and points out something that He is not pleased with, repentance will put that thing in the past. When we, for record’s sake, only make acknowledgement, this evil will come back again.
May God grant grace in this our day to humble ourselves. God’s love will forget, and the church’s compassion will reach out to us.
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 112, No. 19, September 17, 2014