Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Dwayne Wedderburn | The Power of Repentance

Published:Saturday | December 9, 2017 | 12:00 AM

So, the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them; for word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. (Jonah 3 vs 5-6)

The Lord had set a timeline of 40 days for the destruction of Nineveh because of its widespread evil and violence. Jonah, the stubborn prophet of the Lord, fled from the presence of the Lord and was punished before he obeyed and brought the message of God's wrath which was kindled against Nineveh. The city could only escape destruction if they repented.

The evil and sinful actions of individuals,families, towns, cities and entire nations often attract the anger of God and His judgement. His intention to destroy becomes imminent. His anger is often reflected in unbearable disasters that humanity cannot withstand, resulting in multiple deaths and severe destruction. Today our nation's actions are similar to that of Nineveh's. Evil and violence are pervasive. Individual and collective repentance are absolutely necessary to prevent the wrath and the destructive power God.

 

Repenting is urgent

 

Murders and all categories of violence,rape, witchcraft and idolatry, and varying degrees of ungodly living have been features of our nation for many years. All this stands in contrast with the words of our nation's anthem and pledge which evidence our founding fathers' genuine relationship with God and deep reliance upon Him, words that echo a covenant with God. This covenant involved and included us, the founding fathers' offspring. Like Israel, deviating from God will have devastating effects on us and on our nation. Like Nineveh the destructive hand of God will come up against us if we do not repent, not just in words, but in action.It is urgent that we acknowledge all our sins to God, confessing them to Him and willingly do what is necessary to change the state of our hearts which will influence our actions and propel us into a position of right standing with God. We must change our actions! Godly action is the acid test of true repentance.

We must destroy all our idols and false gods; disassociate from all forms of witchcraft, occultism and Satanism; turn away from violence and bloodshed; and re-establish the true and living God, the creator of the heavens and the earth and of all that they consist, as God of our individual lives and God of Jamaica. It is only by doing this that we will see the prayer of our national anthem perpetually answered and God's multiplied blessings on us, his people of this great nation. Failure to sincerely repent and remain in right standing with God will have devastating effects.

 

Repentance brings peace with God

 

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.(Jonah 3 vs 10)

Man's repentance stirs God's repentance. Jonah brought the message of God's wrath to the people of Nineveh and they repented before God. The anger of God was transformed to mercy.

Repentance is the only act of man that can change the course of intended evil against him. God always gives an avenue for repentance and if that escape route is taken the blessings of the Lord is sure. Provision is made for repentance through the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary's cross. It doesn't matter what we have done and how far we are gone there is no sin that cannot be washed away by the blood of Jesus. There is no state of any man that God cannot change.

God's first option is for man to turn from their wicked ways; destruction is never His first choice. We, all Jamaicans, from the greatest to the least, must bow down before God and ask for His mercy. Like Nineveh, we must repent to escape His wrath; and we must reflect the change in our actions in the immediate and distant future.

- Dwayne Wedderburn is an Apostle at World Harvest Mission Church. Please send feedback to worldharvestmissionchurch