Radical Repentance

“So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him.” (Joel 2:13-14)

In our evangelical culture we have practiced repentance as a type of cosmetic application, when repentance should, and is always meant to be “radical”.

Radical Repentance calls the soul to the threshing floor…

It engages in the thorough process knowing…
a. the fear of the Lord
b. the worth He has to receive everything of us
c. the nature of holiness
d. the utter sufficiency, magnitude and depth of His grace

Radical Repentance “IS” messy. (Get used to it… We WANT to get used to it…)

Radical Repentance looks for nakedness, despising excuses…

Radical Repentance ALWAYS asks: “What is the eternal King of Glory worthy of?”

Radical Repentance takes time… often.

Radical Repentance is rooted to the voice of the HOLY Spirit unveiling the heart in the light of the Word…

Radical Repentance is one of the key signs of a sober and clear-eyed church, and/or House of Prayer in the hours of tribulation…

Radical Repentance is a life-style choice, not a two-hour annual event.

Radical Repentance is the way of Isaiah 40:3-5, and John the Baptist that prepares us for the return of the King.

Radical Repentance is a “me” thing.

Radical Repentance winces at the mention of “our rights”.

Radical Repentance aims at “meekness”.

Radical Repentance looks for shared ways and common avenues rather than narrow boundaries of separation and distinction… Simply put: It’s an “us” thing. Not a “them back then”, or “them over there” thing.

Radical Repentance is focused on and motivated by the increase of Jesus – or it’s just more hyper-religion.

Radical Repentance looks at the sin and darkness that plagues our culture and asks: “How are my thoughts, narratives, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, spirit and words contributing to this?”

Radical Repentance asks: “How do my thoughts, narratives, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, spirit and words contribute to unbelief, adultery, lack of first-commandment love, insensitivity, hostility, murder, rebellion, superficial worship, idolatry and unrighteousness?”

Radical Repentance looks at abortion and asks: “How am I contributing to the discarding of human life?” Where am I aborting the Word of God? Where am I turning a blind eye to the pornification of women? Where am I insensitive to the distress of minority conditions? etc.”

Radical Repentance looks at gun violence and asks: “How am I contributing to a violent spirit in our culture? How do I turn a blind-eye to the madness in adolescent souls? How am I trusting in the power of a gun to keep me safe? How do I allow my rights to usurp the beatitudes?”

Radical Repentance looks at sexual perversion and asks: “How am I contributing to sexual perversion in my culture? Where do I wink at pornographic content? Where do I excuse predatory sexual behavior? Where do I allow my sexual appetites to rule my relationship(s)? etc.”

Radical Repentance finds no cover in conspiracies. In fact, it knows that “conspiracy” is the alternate state to the spirit of repentance. Radical Repentance prays: “Father, show me where I am hiding myself from You in a lie or a conspiracy.”

Radical Repentance looks at the Sermon on the Mount and allows the Holy Spirit to scrutinize “self” in light of all 55 of Jesus’ injunctions.

Radical Repentance looks at the Father’s heart for Israel and asks, “Where is my perception of of Israel out of sync with Your heart for Israel? Where are my thoughts about Israel and Your purposes for Israel too rooted in the way of the flesh, and not established in the light and promise of Your Word?”

Radical Repentance looks at our lives of prayer and asks, “Where have I allowed myself, and my church to become impoverished in prayer? How is my life of prayer different than Jesus’ life of prayer? How is Jesus calling me and my fellowship to join Him in the place of intercession?”

Radical Repentance looks at Political Idolatry and asks: “Where am I looking for political power to accomplish what I should be investing in God to accomplish? Where have I shunned righteous circumspection that is opening my soul and the soul of my nation to real evil?”

Radical Repentance looks at Idolatrous Nationalism and asks: “Where do I believe and further a lie about our nation? Where do I not tolerate truth to be told and taught about our nation? How am I exalting my nation higher than God does? Where do I love my nation more than Jesus?”

Radical Repentance looks at Racial Hostility and asks: “How are my attitudes contributing toward racial animosity? How does what I say about my nation’s past hurt other people-groups, and diminish the grace of God? How do I fail to champion and celebrate other ethnic groups?”

If the Church in America hopes to offer our curse-filled world a slice of the Kingdom that is honestly preparing individuals for the approaching reign of the King, now is the hour to fill our prayers, our worship gatherings, our ZOOM meetings and our conferences with Radical Repentance.

JSB • July 10, 2022


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