“It was sin that broke that fellowship, but it was suffering that restored it. And if we are to truly enjoy that fellowship with God once again, we must be willing to share in His suffering.” (M. Esther Lovejoy, The Sweet Side of Suffering, p.78)
The sermon’s subtitle was “Technology and Degeneracy Arrived on Parallel Tracks.” The preacher was A.W. Tozer. It was spoken at a time when cutting edge technology was embraced by having a television in your home. Despite the passage of fifty-plus years since its delivery, his words seem truer now than they did when he first spoke them:
“I don’t know whether this will prove anything, but I throw it out for what it may say to a sharp mind ready to hear: I wonder if it isn’t very strange and significant that two developments came in parallel order. The toymakers’ dream came to pass–the invention of all the gadgets and ‘things’ that now mark what we call modern civilization. But, parallel with that, at the same time and among the same people, like two rails of the same railroad track running side by side, there came the most frightful and frightening, incredibly cruel and wicked state of affairs that have ever been known since the days of Noah.” (The Tozer Pulpit, 3:126)
“What is the difference between repentance and remorse? The question demands an answer. Not all that weeps is truly broken. Not every promise of reform produces real change. The Scriptures make clear that ‘godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.’ (2 Cor. 7:10). Not all that appears religious in its regret is genuine repentance. It may be nothing more than remorse …
Remorse is sorry for being caught; repentance is grief over the sin. Remorse is distress over the consequences, repentance is broken over rebellion against a holy God. Remorse is temporary and fleeting, but repentance is lasting and life-changing. Remorse is the embarrassed cry of an unbroken soul being caught red-handed, while repentance is the believer’s cry of horror over the darkness of his own soul. Remorse hides self-will under the cloak of contrition. When the spot light is off, self-will crawls out from under the wraps to ascend the throne once again. Real repentance, on the other hand, comes clean, slays self-will and ushers Christ back to His rightful place on the throne of our lives. Real repentance begins in a moment, but becomes an abiding attitude and orientation to life.
Mere remorse is Satan’s tool to torment a bankrupt soul, to deceive that soul into believing it has done business with God. Repentance is God’s gift to liberate a soul that has been undone before His infinite holiness and to usher it into the new life He offers in Christ.” (Praying Through, 139, 149)
“After God promised to make her husband into a great nation, Sarah waited twenty-five years before she held Isaac in her arms. After God gave Joseph dreams of leading his family, he waited over twenty years before he even saw them again and was able to rescue them from famine. After Moses’ failed attempt to help his oppressed race, he waited forty years before hearing God’s voice call him to lead his people out of slavery. After becoming queen, Esther waited almost twenty-five years before her ‘such a time as this’ moment came and she stood in the gap for her people. After his stunning spiritual encounter, Paul waited more than ten years before he was officially commissioned by the church to the ministry to which we know him today.” (Alicia Britt Chole, Anonymous, 171)