My last writing was on the words repent and repentance, dispelling the common misunderstanding of these words, and declaring what they actually mean. To repent means to change your mind, and repentance means to have had a change of mind.
I first began to follow Christ through the seeker sensitive movement over ten years ago; at least I thought it was Christ that I was following. The church I was going to began to read, “The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren”. We had broken up into small groups, we were to read 1 chapter from the book a day for 40 days during our own time; and then once a week the small group would meet and watch a video, after the video we would have discussion time. Now I remember this well, because it was a great pivotal point in my coming to the Lord. I read the book each day without fail, and meet with the small group. Then on whatever chapter that a prayer of salvation had been explained, I prayed the prayer asking Jesus into my heart.
Now I do not believe that I came to repentance and faith at that time, I couldn’t have, I didn’t even know what the gospel was, so how could I believe in what I had not heard? “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) This however, God the Father would use to draw me to His Son Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. I had enjoyed the quite time every morning reading and reflecting on the things of God and praying, so I decided that I would start reading the bible every morning, first thing before anything else that day. I began reading at Genesis 1:1, and read all the way through the bible. And I kept reading, day after day, weeks became months, and months became years, and I kept reading. In fact, I read the bible every single day without fail for 6 ½ years before the Lord granted me repentance. I have now, to the glory of God alone, been in the word of God everyday for over 10 years.
I was in a church were the gospel was not preached in full. It was almost the gospel but there was always something missing or something added to it. Sin, righteousness, and judgment were almost never mentioned, occasionally it was, but in a manner so as not to offended anyone. During that time, I was hearing a message that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life; but was reading in scripture about how God is Holy, righteous, and just. This caused a dilemma for me; I was hearing that God is all love and mercy, but reading in scripture that God is righteous and just. How could He be both? It was not knowledge of my sin that led me to the cross, I knew I was a sinner and was in willful sin; it was the righteousness of God that led me to the cross. To cut a long story short, in December of 2009 God would grant me eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ my Lord; revealing to me His righteousness, my total sinfulness, and the gift and beauty of His only begotten Son, who paid the price for my sins in full. I believe in using the Law to bring the knowledge of sin as taught by Ray Comfort, and LivingWaters, as proclaimed by the apostle Paul; Romans 3:19-20, Romans 7:7, Galatians 3:24. But even more than that, I believe in declaring the attributes of God. That God is Holy, righteous, just, love, mercy, and grace; pointing them to the cross, as being the only Way God can be both just and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).
The very moment that the Lord saved me I knew all had changed. God had taken out my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh; He sprinkled clean water on me and put His Spirit within me. He lit a fire deep down within me that I could not satisfy with anything other than the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe in the Gospel, therefore I must go preach the Gospel. So I began to search how I might go about sharing my faith; researching on the internet and reading books, comparing all that I saw, heard, and read to the word of God. This eventually led me to LivingWaters and the Way of the Master. From that time on, the Lord has continued to grow me and mature me into the evangelist that I am today.
All that being said, I believe in the Gospel, therefore I must go preach the gospel. Tomorrow, I and some other brothers and sisters will spend the day in Jacksonville, TX, doing what we often do, preach the gospel publicly, pass out gospel tracts and bibles, talk with people about our Lord and Savior. Many will look at us as if we are foolish, or even crazy, some will be annoyed or even angry at us. We do not care, we are a reproach of men and despised by the people, even so we will be there because we love them and love our Lord. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17)
Now why did I not preach the gospel during those 6 ½ years after I prayed a prayer asking Jesus into my heart, nor even care to do so? The answer my friends, I was not born again. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27) “Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again. 'The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:5-7)
We truly are saved by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. And if you have been saved by God, you will be used for His purpose. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) We are in a true battle; many in America call themselves Christian and do not even know what the gospel is, they revile at the preaching of the gospel. If you truly believe in the gospel you are saved and will be used by the Lord. All that being said, I believe in the Gospel, therefore I must go preach the gospel.
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ