All throughout Jesus’ ministry, he constantly condemned the religious leaders of his day for being like their forefathers.
He even named out their sins and their refusal to repent. To repent is to make a decision to turn from one’s sins, coming from a conviction of being sorry for committing them. Stephen, one of those chosen to handle the local church ministries in the early church, said to the religious leaders, “You are just like your fathers — you always resist the Holy Spirit!”
Over the centuries, there have been those who were leaders in the church, named after Jesus Christ, who refused to acknowledge sin and to lead the church in repentance. Look at our own American history, in which religious leaders refused to acknowledge the facts concerning the atrocities committed against and the treaties broken with the American Indian. The same happened with the issue of slavery, in which pastors and church members saw no wrong in this social evil.
What about today?
As a Christian leader, may God help me to be willing to open my eyes to the sins against God by our society and to take a stand for what is right. May God help me to take a lead in a prayer of repentance for closing my eyes to problems of injustice and other social issues in our society.
I will be addressing several of these social issues during the next four weeks, including injustice, abortion, suicide, euthanasia, God’s sexual boundaries and the many addictions our society struggles with. It is our responsibility to address them by offering a message of hope and forgiveness and by interceding with a spirit of repentance.