Sin now. Repent later. No!
MARCH 2, 2023
Sin now. Repent later. No! Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free. And Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re talking, we’re looking at some of the Biblical themes in a book that I wrote. And by the way, I’m not selling books. I don’t get anything for these books. It all goes, if there is, and I’m not a best seller most of the time. It all goes to Key Life. But at any rate, I did write the book and it’s not half bad because it’s Biblical, called Laughter and Lament: The Radical Freedom of Joy and Sorrow. And you can get that most any place. You certainly get it from us or Amazon or a good bookstore. And if they don’t carry it, don’t patronize that bookstore, they are not a good bookstore. It’s a joke, don’t write me letters, but at any rate, one of the chapters in the book is this, Life is Hard and then You Repent. Now, if you’ve been listening for the last few days, we’ve talked about the importance of anger. In a very surprising statement, Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
Be angry, but don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
And we spent considerable time talking about how anger is a part of legitimate lament. And if there is no anger, it probably isn’t a legitimate, Biblical lament. But now let’s talk about repentance. Psalm 51:17 says.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. O God, you will not despise.
That, by the way, is a good definition of repentance. And we’re going to see that as we go along. Now, if you’ve listened to this broadcast so far, you’ve come across the word repentance often. And if you keep reading or listening, you’re going to come across it several more times. That might be enough on the subject, but probably not. You know why? Because at the heart of lament about the darkness, is a demon we really want to avoid at all cost, and it’s our own personal guilt and shame. When demons are kissed on the lips, they lose their power. The demon of guilt and shame needs to be kissed and probably much or more than any other. So, let’s for a while, kiss that demon. In an article in First Things, The Failure of Evangelical Elites, Carl Trueman and I did something when I read that article that I haven’t ever done or very rarely have done. I wrote a letter to Dr. Trueman and told him how much I loved. He teaches at Grove City College. And I got one of my phony doctorates from Grove City College a while ago. That’s a cool gig, man. I didn’t, I ran away from kindergarten and for years I’ve worked with people with doctorates from Harvard and Cambridge and Oxford and Duke and Emory and I sometimes ask them how long it took them to get their doctorate. And they would say, well, five, six years. And I would say I got mine in 30 minutes. All I had to do was speak and they made me a doctor. Well, at any rate, they did that at Grove City College too, but that was years ago. And Dr. Trueman had no idea who I was. But in the article on The Failure of Evangelical Elites, he points out that the effort of evangelical scholars to play with other children on the intellectual playground was naive. Let me read you something, that he wrote.
The leading figures of the enlightenment and their intellectual descendants were engaged with varying degrees of conscious intention in an attack on moral significance of Orthodox Christianity. The Enlightenment did not simply rebel against old ways of thinking about knowledge. It rebelled also against the moral teachings of Christianity. The mainstream of modern thought has deemed doctrines of human sinfulness and Christ’s atonement as incompatible with human autonomy and freedom. This moral and political objection to Christianity is the dominant motif of today’s culture despisers. Unlike the canons of scholarship, the objection that Christianity promotes subservience, injustice, and hatred cannot be accommodated by Christians. Reason is compatible with faith, but the opposite of humility before God and obedience to his commandments is antithetical to it.
Is that good or what? We live in a time, he’s just saying it’s not cool to play with the cool kids. And if you do, you have to sell your soul to do it. We live in a time when old ways and beliefs and Gods are being cast aside and replaced with what I believe to be a utopian, shallow, and very destructive set of ways, beliefs, and gods. It’s not so much that the old ones were good and the new ones bad. It is a new way to commit an old sin that has always been a part of human nature. The cancel culture isn’t anything new. It’s just has a new name. Heretics have always been banished, witches burned, and opposing views censored. There has always been an us versus them syndrome with the demonization of them, there’s always been self-righteousness and condemnation left and right, conservative and liberal and orthodox and unorthodox have always tried to destroy each other. There has never been a shortage of the destruction of our enemies. Sometimes one side wins and sometimes the other side wins. There isn’t a shortage of self justification either. Killers have always put a spin on murder with, and what my friend, George, the president of Key Life, Dr. Bingham says, he says in Tennessee, the murderers say he needed killing. The bank robber who said that he robbed the bank because that’s where the money is, can find a thousand reasons why it is fair that he or she got the money and the bank lost it. You would be surprised by how many innocent people are in prison. I was once speaking at a prison event and met a sweet elderly lady who looked like Aunt Bee of Mayberry. She told me the story of how even though she was innocent, she ended up in prison. Steve, I love Jesus, she said, and I’ve decided that he wanted me here for others who are also here. I noticed looking over the shoulder of that lady, that my friend who worked in the prison was shaking his head and laughing. Later, he told me that Aunt Bee had run a nursing home and poured gasoline over the people there setting them on fire. Steve, don’t buy her story, she is as guilty as sin. I think she really thought she was innocent. Nobody who didn’t, could have been that sincere. And she was that. Jealousy is called love. Envy is called justice. Hate is called legitimate. Sexual sin is called human. Lying is called necessary. All in more places than you would believe, and sometimes in my life. And just so you and I just refuse to exclude myself, and you should refuse to exclude yourself too. In study after study Christians go through divorce, go to prison, lie and cheat on their income taxes and lie and cheat on their spouses at almost or more than the same rate as unbelievers. Every time one of those studies come out, I wince. They show a reality though, that we need to face, and that’s the need for repentance. Now, I don’t, I’m running out of time today and I don’t have time to talk clearly about a definition of repentance. But listen to me, it’s not what you think it is. Repentance is what the Psalmist said about a broken, humble and contrite heart. A contrite heart is a good definition of repentance. We’ll talk about that on Monday. Meanwhile, you think about that. Amen.
And with that, we wrap up another fascinating week of Key Life, taking a tour through Steve’s latest book, Laughter and Lament. And of course, you can order that at keylife.org the very same place where you can listen to previous episodes of Key Life, any old time you want. And don’t forget to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A with Steve and our good friend, Pete Alwinson. So, if you’ve been a part of Key Life for a while, you might know the name Jenni Young. She contributes some wonderful articles to Key Life. One of which is featured in the new edition of Key Life Magazine, and honestly, if I tried to summarize this one, I don’t think I would do it justice. Your best bet is to order your free copy of the magazine today and bonus in the magazine, you’ll also find details on a popular new subscription service from Key Life called Key Life Book Box. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. And if you’d like to mail your request, just go to key life.org/contact to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. Again, just ask for your free copy of Key Life Magazine. And finally, would you perfectly consider partnering in the work of Key Life through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or join the growing number of folks who give safely and securely through text. Just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.