Chapter Excerpt
(Taken from the opening chapter of Discovering Repentance)
Isa 2:2-5
In the dark of night, a vigilante force pierced the tranquility of the garden with torches, swords, and proxy-power from the religious government to secretly capture a hated man. With the kiss of death, a trusted friend from the inner circle betrayed his leader for simple coin.

It all happened so fast. The spiral of events seemed possessed with a thirst for blood. It didn't take long for the traitor--the Christian known as Judas--to realize the immensity of what he had done.

Overcome with soul-rupturing guilt, he barged his way back into the Temple complex where the religious elite were gathered and confessed that he had "betrayed innocent blood". Unrelieved, he then went out and committed suicide.

In the minds of many, Judas got what he deserved. But those who carry the burden of the Betrayed have a different spirit of discernment.

For one thing, they recognize that every human being is a Judas at heart. We all deserve to be eaten alive with guilt over our extensive sins against a holy God and to suffer a similar fate. But that is not what God desires for traitors, murderers, thieves, or any of the rest of us who struggle with our brand of addictions to sin.

"For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, declares the Lord God. Therefore, repent and live!"
(Eze 18:32)

Those who carry Jesus' mantle of compassion to a betraying and violent world also recognize that confession is not always good for the soul. In genuine remorse, Judas confessed to his treacherous greed, that caused undeserved suffering upon such a good person, and he still died in agony. He was missing a very important ingredient.

It is that illusive ingredient that makes all the difference for us sinners between overwhelming peace and forgiveness on one side and consuming darkness and unending pain on the other. It is the distinguishing key between getting what we deserve in agonizing death and being granted the full pardon of grace in eternal life.

Biblical Repentance

Biblical repentance is far more dynamic than many realize. Sadly, like cheap knock-off products, there are many impotent lookalikes; stop gap measures that give the impression of regret, but stop short of true repentance.

The cheap perfume of remorse doesn't go far enough. Regret is a black market alternative. The church-speak phrase of "turn around and go the other way" operates on defective batteries. And, sorrow is but leftover chips on the table from last night's party.
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Discovering Repentance - Breaking the chains
Kevin Graham, Christian Author
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Practical Theology
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