Repent or Perish
Steve Doyle, Director of Missions
Creath Brazos Baptist Association
'Repent or Perish'
Luke 13:1-5: Now there was some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Unexplained evil and unexpected tragedies result in the question why? They are designed to point us to God and our need for salvation. Asking why is proof of God’s existence. There is moral evil which is directed against men and natural evil such as weather-related tragedies.
When these tragedies happen, you often see news people interviewing religious leaders and asking why? They wouldn’t have liked Jesus’ answer found in verse 3 of our text: Unless you repent, you too will perish. Jesus repeats His answer in verse 5.
In Romans 2, we are told that God’s judgment is based on truth. Yet it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. We are blessed to be able to go to the Word of God and find answers. Jesus is the solution to our sin problem as He came to reverse the curse given in the Garden of Eden as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.
There are three lessons that tragedies teach us:
- Tragedies reveal our own morality. Our life is in God’s hands and not ours. Job 12:10: In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
- Tragedies reveal our world’s sinfulness. Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Ephesians 5:16: Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. John 9:1-3: As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
- Tragedies reveal our need for salvation. Our sin is great but His grace is greater. Faith and repentance cannot be separated. Mark 1:4 tells us John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. John 3:18: Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Our mission as believers is to share the good news of the Gospel.