THE SOCIAL REPENTANCE OF NINEVEH
To begin with, I want to greet you a Merry Christmas! We won’t even be talking about social Christianity, social repentance, and salvation if not for Jesus who came to the world as a baby. His main purpose, to let the world know of God’s love. Prophets all point back to God. Jesus is the strongest message from the Lord. He tells us the Father’s message loud and clear, repent and turn away from your sins. Turn back to me.
Social repentance, in short, is defined by a large-scale salvific operation, where conviction and confession before God capture a particular people en masse. However, repentance requires individuality, but there are instances in the Bible where one can witness what is understood as social repentance. Look, for example, at the people of Nineveh, who were defined by the prophet as a “city of bloodshed, utterly deceitful, fully of booty—no end to the plunder!” (Nah. 3:1 NRSV). The city of Nineveh was a place of violence, and its people were hoarders of massive wealth and stole from those beneath them.
Consider the sickened, estranged people of Nineveh and their sin. Even in their depravity, God sent the prophet Jonah to beseech them to repent and turn to God, and when he had done so,
“The king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: ‘By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not parish,” (Jon. 3:6-9 NRSV).
Even in our own depravity, Jesus came for us. He came to save us. This is the motivation why we need to go to our society and preach repentance. It’s because of this sacrificial love that Jesus had for us. During this season, more than the presents and the parties, let us remember the essence of social Christianity. What does it mean to preach repentance to society? Is it a voice of condemnation? Or is it a voice of compassion?
Authentic repentance is never a spiritual action alone, but encompasses a change in one’s very disposition, hurrying them to practice that which is good and abandon that which is evil. Social repentance necessarily carries with it this same implication, whereas individuals who repent of their sins turn away from their evil ways as an indicator of their authenticity, it is the same with societal reorientation towards God.
Grow in your knowledge of Jesus and your faith. Start the week right and join us with our LIVE conference call as we discover the Prophet in the Marketplace. Here are ways to join:
1) Call 515-604-9266
2) Go to startmeeting.com, and use the login: BishopJordan
What can you do today to preach the authentic message of repentance to your community?
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