What Is Stopping You? (Matthew 21:32)

What does it take?  In order to be or do something, it usually requires some preliminary steps or skills.  To run, you first need to walk.  To read, you must memorize and recognize letters, their sounds and words.  But what about something like believing.  What does that take?

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  (Matthew 21:32)

It appears that repentance affects a person’s ability to believe.  It seems that when the publicans and harlots had their lives changed as a result of John’s message, those who witnessed it should have then recognized John as a man from God.  Yielding to that truth would then have caused the listeners to accept and believe John’s message and how it pertained to their lives.  By repenting, they would have enabled themselves to believe.

Repentance continues to be a major aspect of the believer’s life both before and after salvation.  In salvation, man must repent and believe what God had said about him and his sinful condition.  Once man recognizes and yields to this, his entire attitude about himself, his condition and his ability to save himself will be changed.  He then can believe the gospel.  Again, repenting enables a person to believe.

Repentance continues to affect us after salvation.  As we face trials and difficulties, our hearts have a tendency to have fear and sometimes even doubt about the goodness of God.  It is only when we allow God’s word to turn our hearts around and accept the truth of passages such as Romans 8:28, that we then again can believe and trust the Lord.

What action of repentance do you need to do in order to help you believe and trust God?

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No Sign (Matthew 12:39)

There is a difference between seeking direction and desiring a sign as proof before believing.  Probably one of the most noted individuals who sought a sign for direction was Gideon.  Gideon sought a sign out of cautiousness and not unbelief.  Had that not been the case, he would have been rebuke by the Lord.

An adulterous generation seeks a sign because their heart has affinity to another.  Their request for a sign is more out of not wanting to change than it is for desiring the truth.  Their prideful heart digs in becoming unmovable.

This attitude is understandable for the lost, but the saddest of testimonies for the saved.