“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10.
The power of Godly repentance and the danger of worldly repentance.
Jesus Christ talked about repentance many times. The first preaching words came out of Jesus, the Son of God, in his public ministry was to repent. He said, Repent, for the kingdom of God has come near.” The words of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ and introduced Him into this world also said the same thing. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” The current generation of our days says do not judge me. I am not that bad. You are ok, I am ok, and all is well. However, the fact of the matter is all is not ok. The Bible, the Word of God, says there is no other way to enter into the kingdom of God other than the way of repentance by coming to God. Repentance is the pre-condition for salvation and eternal life for entering into the kingdom of God. Repentance means a change of mind that results in a change of our action and behavior because we genuinely repented about our sins and wrongdoings. Repentance has to be genuine. If genuine repentance did not happen, it would not do any good at all.
Our today’s insight says what produces genuine repentance. There is genuine and false repentance. It is essential to understand the difference. Bible gives the difference. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Let me tell you the difference. I am sure you already came across many people who are in profound grief and remorseful in life because of the consequences of their sins. When people faces lose, disappointments, health problems due to their sins and wrongdoings, they feel deeply sorry, remorseful and hurt over the results. They would say why did I do what I did? I should not have done it. Now, here I am going through the consequences. They are sad and sorrowful about the results or the experiences their action caused. This is worldly sorrow. It leads only to death.
However, in contrast, Godly sorrow first look upward and admit their sins to God. It says, Lord, I sinned against you, and I am so sorry that I hurt you. Joseph when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife day after day to lie with her, he said to her this- How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” David when he committed adultery and murder, and when Nathan, God’s prophet confronted him, he said, “against you only I sinned.” You see, all of our sins are ultimately against God.
Bible places two characters side by side to explain this truth. King Saul and King David. King Saul disobeyed and rebelled against God’s commandment. But not even one time he admitted God that he sinned against Him. Eventually, he lost all hope and killed himself. In contrast, King David said to the Lord, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;” His first response was to God. He said my sin was against you, Lord. I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight. Secondly, David said, “Cleanse me Lord that I will be clean; wash me Lord and I will be whiter than snow. He said Lord hide your face my sins and blot out my iniquity. He also said, “Do not cast me from your presence Lord or take your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51). God forgave David restored and blessed him again because He sought God’s forgiveness.
Another classic example of worldly sorrow that leads to death is Judas who betrayed Jesus Christ. Bible describes this incident in Matthew 27. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood. The chief priests and the elders said what is that to us, it was your responsibility?. So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. Judas was remorseful, sad and knew he betrayed innocent blood. However, he never looked up to God and sought His forgiveness. He talked to Chief priests and elders. Speaking to elders, chief priest and human religious Gurus would not get our consciousness free of the burden of guilt. God will in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Juda’s sorrow was based on his guilt, but it was just a worldly sorrow. He did not look upward to God for forgiveness. His repentance was not genuine. It was an example of false repentance.
Remember, Godly sorrow always look upward to God, and seeks God’s forgiveness. Let me tell how it works. The Holy Spirit of God who works in our hearts lead us to the feet of the cross of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, where he shed his divine and sinless blood for the remission of our sins. There is no other person or place can and will do this for us. Judas just talked to chief priests and elders. He never sought God for forgiveness. David sought upward for God’s forgiveness. However, Judas threw the thirty silver pieces to the temple, went away and hanged himself.
Beloved, you see, the difference between the Godly sorrow that leads to salvation and leaves no regret and worldly sorrow that brings death?
Which route are you going to take? The way of worldly sorrow that brings death or are you going to enter the narrow gate of Godly sorrow that brings repentance that leads to salvation and no regret? God is calling you to the come to the feet of the cross of Jesus Christ, the savior of the whole world, who already paid for all of your sins by his divine and sinless blood once and for all. There is power in Godly repentance when you come to Jesus Christ and seek his forgiveness, and there are danger and hopelessness in worldly and false repentance. God wants to give you a bright future and hope if you come to His Son, Jesus Christ now.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? Father in heaven, I genuinely repent over my sins. Lord, I admit against you only I sinned. I sincerely and genuinely come to you for your help now. I know Jesus Christ died and rose again for all my sins. Please wash me by the power of His blood so that I would be clean again and become whiter than snow. Thank you for the forgiveness you granted me. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”