Would you have peace like no other? The kind of peace this world cannot offer, neither would it give if it could. The counterfeit is experienced by drugs//alcohol or other synthetics of many kinds. Those we know are a temporary and false type of peace, and very destructive to say the least.
Here I would like to introduce a word called “repentance.” It means “change,” to turn around. To look where one’s life has gone wrong and to sincerely commit to change one’s lifestyle as completely as necessary, whenever necessary. It’s not easy and it takes a powerful impetus to even begin. But with the right Power behind you helping, it becomes easier over time.
Let’s use King David of the bible as an example. David found that Power in his love and commitment to God.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
This is when one finds that he has absolutely no excuse or plea. David is telling God, “I haven’t a single excuse, I have no plea, there is nothing to be said for me. There is no reason for what I have done. The whole thing was the result of a complete willfulness. I am altogether wrong. I have nothing to plead for an excuse.”
I want to point out that this is an absolutely essential part of repentance and of conviction of sin. We must examine ourselves in this respect. Let me put it bluntly by setting it to you like this. As long as you are in the position of trying to justify yourself, you have not repented. As long as you are clinging to any attempt at self-justification and self-righteousness, you have not repented. Surely the repentant one is the person who, like David, says, “There is not a single excuse. I see it clearly. I have no justification. The things that I see in my life—I hate them. I should never have done them. I did them willfully; I knew it was wrong. I admit it! I openly confess it—‘so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.’”
Do I feel that God is rather hard on me when He condemns me? Do I think that God would be dealing unfairly with me if I ever found myself in hell? If I do, I have not repented. I would emphasize that the test of repentance is this—that a person has looked at himself, and at his own heart and life, says to himself, “I deserve nothing but hell, and if God sends me there, I haven’t a single complaint to make. I desire nothing better!” That is an essential part of repentance, and without repentance, there is no salvation.
If you would enter God’s peace, a peace beyond description, an eternal peace here and hereafter, requires repentance. To enter into the peace of God requires repentance before the God of Peace. It’s not easy. He knows it’s not easy. That is why He is right beside you waiting to help you from beginning to end, through His Son, the Savior Christ Jesus. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.* That is why I call Him my Savior.
“To the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of Him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Strengthen what remains and is about to die
for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard;
obey it and repent.
But if you do not wake up,
I will come like a thief
and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes.”