Though repentance is the act of man, yet it is the gift of God. It requires the same power to melt the heart as to make it. As we are deeply fallen from a state of innocence, so we should rise to a state of penitence. Those sins shall never make a hell for us which are a hell to us. Some people have sin enough for all their sorrows, but not sorrow enough for all their sins. Their eyes are windows to let in lusts when they should be flood-gates to pour out tears!
When godly sorrow takes possession of the house, it will quickly shut sin out of doors. There must be a falling out with our lusts before there can be a genuine falling off from our lusts. There must be a sincere loathing of sin in our affections before a true leaving of sin in our actions. It is a hearty mourning for our transgressions, which makes way for a happy funeral of our corruptions!
Sinner, you have filled the book of God with your sins and will you not fill the bottle of God with your tears? Remember, that when Christ draws the likeness of the new creature, His first brush is dipped in water: “Unless you repent–you shall all likewise perish!” Is it not better to repent without perishing than to perish without repenting?
Godly sorrow is such a grace, that without it, not a soul shall be saved; and with it, not a soul shall be lost! Is it not therefore better to swim in the water-works of godly repentance than to burn in the fire-works of divine vengeance? Do not think that the tears which are shed in hell will in the least abate the torments which are suffered in hell!
He who lives in sin, without repentance shall die in sin, without forgiveness. There is no coming to the fair haven of glory without sailing through the narrow strait of repentance. We must mourn for sin on earth or burn for sin in hell! It is better traveling to heaven sadly than to hell merrily!
It is the coldness of our hearts which kindles the fire of God’s anger. “They will look on Me whom they have pierced–and shall mourn!” Zechariah 12:10. Christians! The nails which pierced Christ’s hands and feet should now pierce your hearts! You should now be deeply wounded with godly sorrow for having so deeply wounded Him with your ungodly sins!
– William Secker