Living godly requires repentance (from dead works) – if you do not know Jesus and have Him as your Lord and Saviour. This is crucial because, there is a day coming when final judgement will be pronounced on the subjects of God’s moral government. This is where every individual shall receive his or her final reward or punishment on whatever he or she came to do in the body.
God has done everything possible to help mankind live Godly. But he has hidden it in Christ Jesus. Yet, we have rejected Him. So, in Matt. 3:4-8, when John came in the scene, the Scripture says:
Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea and all region around the Jordan went up to him and were baptised in the Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducee’s coming to his baptism, he said to them. “Brood of vipers! who warned you to flee from the wrath to come”?
Consider what Isa. 5:1-4 also says;
Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. “and now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please between Me and My vineyard. What could have been done in my vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then, when i expected it to bring forth good grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?”
What more could God have done for His children – the people of Israel? They had murdered the righteous; worshipped other gods; dabbled in sexual immorality and filthy lifestyles. So when John the Baptist realized that Israel seemed to have the desire to come back to God, he admonished them to repent and bear fruits worthy of repentance – turn from sin to God. You can’t come to God without repentance. Thus, you cannot still hold onto your dead works and remain Godly.
Though the Pharisees and Sadducee came to John’s baptism, John discerned that they did not come for repentance which leads to goodness. Therefore, he called them brood of vipers – the children of the devil. He asked, ‘ who warned you to flee from the wrath of God’. This is because they didn’t come to seek godliness.
In Jer. 12:1, Jeremiah said:
Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You… God is the only judge and His judgements are ever righteous. So, if you remain in sin and forsake godliness, there is no way out for you; but a certain fierce judgement. But you can save yourself by repenting – accepting that you have sinned and pleading for forgiveness.
Matt. 5:25 admonishes that:
Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
Dear one, stop arguing with God for His statues are right. You can never win against Him. You will bear with me that even in our local law courts, when a culprit agrees to the charges against him, and is prepared to submit and amend his ways, the severity of his punishment is reduced. This is the time to embark on godliness. You have the help of the Holy Spirit to do this. John said:
little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2.
You have a case before the Father; but this is the time Jesus can plead that case before Him for you. …. and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ Matt. 3:9. This is not the time to pride yourself with what you have or know; where you come from or where you are going; whom you know or your religious affiliation. No one can plead your case for you. Only Jesus can. Run to Him for life. There is no life anywhere than in Jesus Christ.
only your repentance – godliness, can avert God’s judgement. What will end most people in hell is nothing but failure to live godly and receive God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Your pastor or religious denomination cannot speak for you when you come face to face with God in judgement.
Prov. 6:3-5 admonishes that:
So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; for you come into the hand of your friend. Go and humble yourself; plead with your friend. Give no sleep to the eyes nor slumber to the eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter and like the bird from the hand of the fowler.
Dear one, the matter falls on you now. Come to yourself like the Prodigal son in Luke 15:11-20; and run to the author of life (Jesus). Fall down at His feet and receive His free gift of godliness. He will never condemn you but will take off your tattered cloths and sandals, clean them up, put a new robe on you and a ring on your hand and call you by His name. Then, there will be hope for your life again, for you shall be saved from the wrath to come.
In 2 Cor. 5:9-11, Paul said to the Church of Corinth:
Therefore, we make it our aim , whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we at well-known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
What will be used against you on that day of the Lord is whatever you did with your body. if you destroy your body with alcohol, drugs, sexual immorality and filthy lifestyle, you shall be judged against them. Rom. 14:12 tells us that each of us shall give account of himself to God. Notice the word, ‘each’. Don’t play around with matters of godliness. Repent now! The judge of all the earth will not pervert judgement. He will judge with perfect justice and truthfulness.
And as it is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgement, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin for salvation.
This is the right time you to make amends and secure for yourself a good place in eternity. After your death, it will be too late – you can not plead for second chance. I have realized that John the Baptist – the forerunner of Christ never preached message of prosperity but ‘repentance from dead works’. So do not follow preachers who only preach what will benefit you in this life and do not point out to you the realities of life after death.
Note: the Father will not judge anyone. He has left all judgements in the hand of Jesus Christ. Until now, this Jesus is your advocate. But on that day, He shall be your Judge. Jesus first came to die to save you and to offer to you God’s free gift of salvation. Therefore, sit down and access you life. Are you living in godliness? This includes everyone: kings, pastors, slaves, masters, boys and girls. Whom do you belong to: God or the devil? Accept the fact that you are at fault.
1 John 1:9-10 assures us that:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Don’t be stiff-necked. The little besetting sin you may be playing around with is the very thing which will land you in hell fire.
Heb. 12:1-2 tells us to:
lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
This is the time to receive Jesus and to live godly. If you fail to set off your eyes from the things of this world to look unto Jesus, the pleasures of this world, the pride of life and the lust of the flesh will weigh you down.