Your perfect golf outing is ruined when you receive a $200 ticket for going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone. What most closely describes your emotions?
- Disgust at yourself for being careless, getting caught, and wasting money.
- Abject sorrow for breaking the law, mixed with a desire to never speed again.
I’m pretty sure that every driver is going to identify with point “A” above. But the scenario above shows us that there are two types of remorse. The regret that comes the most easily, both to children and adults, is the type the stems from consequences – imagine that terrible feeling when you spot the policeman’s lights in your rearview mirror! It’s very easily felt any time one gets caught for doing something wrong.
But the next kind of remorse, shown in point “B” above, is actually real sorrow based on the failure to meet God’s “speed limits” – His rules for living. Have you ever taken time to think about His many rules you’ve sped past? Even the simple ones like, “Love your neighbor as yourself” are impossible to keep! How in the world could sinners like us ever enter heaven? This is a deeper, introspective issue that all people consider at some time, whether they admit it out loud or not. It can feel scary, even worse than the feeling of being pulled over by the police, because it is actual dread over one’s eternity after death. Do you ever feel this kind of “sorry”?
In the Bible, this kind of sorrow is called repentance. Jesus understood that many people try to think about “religion” later. He knew that the people like to shelf those larger, uncomfortable issues for later in life. That’s why He urged everyone, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15) TODAY is the day to repent! Don’t plan to meet Him with a “man, I got caught!” but with confidence! How can a person do that?
God wants you to be truly sorry for your sins, but He does not want anyone to despair. The good news is this: God took away the eternal consequences of your sins by punishing Jesus instead of you. Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection you are forgiven, right now! There’s no need to wait. Run; don’t walk, to Jesus’ cross, where your eternal reward awaits. Heaven is yours!