Righteous response to calls for repentance

Christian, Church member, brother, sister,

Have you ever came into contact with a good street preacher? Not the unhelpful one that never gets to the good news of the Gospel, but one who clearly exposes sin, preaches the Lordship of Christ and gives you hope by it? Did you, as a Christian, get mad when you walked by and he called you to repentance?

I have. And I was wrong.

For the most part, street preachers are generally out tossing around repent bombs. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as we have a correct understand of what repentance is, and so long as he isn’t just preaching law with no gospel. Either way, repent bombs are being tossed to and fro not knowing who they will land on, and there is nothing wrong with this. If you have a biblical understanding of yourself, you understand that there is always need for repentance. It matters not whether you’re a baby Christian, non-Christian, Muslim, murderer, Chuck Norris, or the pastor of a mega-church. If you are standing on this side of the final advent of Christ with me, than there is sin somewhere in your life and you need to repent of it – for your good, joy, and the glory of God. So, this street preacher – this faithful brother who is spending his leisure time faithfully proclaiming the Gospel – should be given a great big hug, and should be asked out for coffee to see how you can help fight for one another’s holiness and for Christ’s Kingdom.

Most of you should agree with this, and I believe you will. But here is my question: why should your response look any different if said street preacher is calling you to repent specifically of apathy towards child sacrifice? And what difference does it make if he is on the corner in the city or standing out in front of your churches meeting space? Has your need for repentance and faith changed simply because you are about to gather together and worship the living God? Or are you simply being impatient and lazy because you don’t know this guy, his understanding of the regulative principle, or whether or not his elders have gone through a well known denominations ordination process? There are three possibilities here, keeping you from welcoming this brother with open arms and a repentant heart: self righteousness, pride, laziness, or perhaps the whole ungodly triad.

If an unknown brother comes to you for help – with the Gospel and exhortation towards good works – what is your response? Do you invite him in so you can hear more from him to see how he may help? Or do you begin accusing him of ecclesiological heresy? What does the location matter? Who cares if he is “targeting” you? Act like men. Christian men.

You and I are not above exhortation from anyone, whether they be seminary trained or not. I don’t care if a heathen Clinton supporter inconsistently calls you to repent of lying. You need to repent. I need to repent. Sin is lurking at the door, we must rule over it. Invite your brother to join you in smashing it to pieces. Babies are being murdered – this is not the time for self righteousness, pride, or laziness. Love God. Love your neighbor. And especially love your street preaching brother or sister.

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