My closest friend Mark Thomas is a pastor’s kid (PK). Before his father Dr. Bob Thomas passed away, Mark was presented an opportunity to attend a meeting with his father that gathered together the top Evangelical Theologians across America. They were there to discuss their projects regarding the interpretation of God’s Word presented in the Bible.

All of these experts on scripture agreed on one thing. They concurred that the Biblical verse of greatest importance is as follows: “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” — Matthew 4:4

I was 8 years old when my father Vernon Henderson brought me along on an evangelism call. I never forgot the question he asked the young married couple as follows: “If you die tonight and God asks why He should allow you to enter into Heaven, What would you say?”

I’ve been asking that question of So-called Christians a lot lately. Often times I hear responses like “I’m a good person” or “I do good things”.

The Bible says, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” — Luke 6:46-49

After murdering Uriah in a futile attempt to hide his sin with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba who he impregnated, David the king was confronted by Almighty God speaking through the mouth of His prophet Nathan as follows: “Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword … Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all … and under the sun.’” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

The aforementioned scripture reveals the only response to the question my father asked of the young couple we visited. The only possible response is a mere two words as follows: “I REPENT!”

The Bible’s story about Job presented in the book of the same name magnifies what I just shared with you the reader.

First, Job was the very best. The Bible says, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” I goes on to say, The LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”

Lastly, two verses in the story of Job are all important as follows: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye [heart] sees You; Therefore I retract,
I REPENT in dust and ashes.” — Job 42:5-6

Ask yourself, “Why did the most righteous man on earth find it necessary to repent?”

The answer?

The Bible says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”

And finally the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 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.”

In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist mentions the purpose of his baptisms: “I baptize you with water for repentance.” Paul affirms this in Acts 19:4: “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” John’s baptism had to do with repentance—it was a symbolic representation of changing one’s mind and going a new direction. “Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River” (Matthew 3:6). Being baptized by John demonstrated a recognition of one’s sin, a desire for spiritual cleansing, and a commitment to follow God’s law in anticipation of the Messiah’s arrival.

Mark Henderson