Listen, Repent, Receive!

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

In the last congregation that I served we lived in a house owned by the congregation, otherwise known as a parsonage. After several months of being with the members of the congregation, just by chance, we learned that the previous pastor’s wife had caused a fire in the parsonage, burning about half of it down. After hearing this from members and non-members alike, eventually we heard the full and most accurate version of what happened.

The pastor’s wife had been outside raking and burning leaves. She was raking the leaves onto an old tarp and throwing the leaves onto the fire from the tarp. When she was finished for the day, she put the rake and the tarp into the garage, and then went inside the house to take a shower and to rest. She was awakened suddenly by a banging on the front door, and the neighbor boy screaming at the top of his lungs, “Fire! Fire!” Startled and shaken, she came to the door in her bathrobe, to find out that the garage was going up in flames as she heard fire truck coming down the street. Sparks in the tarp had set the garage on fire.

Sometimes we all need to be startled and shaken out of our own self-deluding sleep of sin and awakened into true repentance. It may not be an easy or pleasant experience, but a very necessary one if we want to avoid spending eternity in the fires of punishment. We shouldn’t think that this message of repentance is rude or insensitive, because the intent of the message is to spare us the painful torment of the flames. We should be thankful that someone cared enough about us to take the time to point out the great impending danger before us.

The season of Lent is the time for us to hear and heed the startling and frightening shouts to repent. God cares enough about us, not only to send us the urgent warning, but also to send His Son as our Savior from the flames of torment. Take the extra time to hear the warnings. Be startled and shaken awake spiritually by them. Listen to God’s promise and fulfillment of a Savior from eternal punishment and for eternal life instead. He loves you and wants to save you.

Listen, repent, and receive His gift of salvation!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Paul Pett

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