When I worked for the Sheriff’s Department years ago, I will never forget getting a call to the north side of Smith County to help search for a little 4 year-old girl who had wandered off with her dog. When I arrived on the scene, there were already about five other law enforcement officers there, the parents where in a panic, understandably, and a helicopter was on the way. We were given some idea of direction the little girl may have gone and was believed to be with her dog because the dog was no where to be found. It wasn’t long after starting our search that the little girl and dog were safely found and safely returned to her parents.
During this pandemic, the Church has received an urgent call and it’s not for a little girl, but it’s for a word that is lost. Many don’t even know the word is missing and many, if they knew this word was missing would continue on with their busy lives and let others do all the searching. I can’t remember that little girls name, but I do remember everyone fanning out around that house calling out her name as loud as they could hoping she would hear and return. The Church should be calling out this lost word to the world, and that’s why the world is lost and separated from Holy God. The word is “repent.” Jesus said,
“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3
There’s not too many churches today where you will ever hear this word. But why, right? Jesus called for repentance and John called for repentance and so did the apostles, but why has the church lost this word in it’s language? I believe many have lost the word because they have come to believe that a person can receive Christ and keep doing what they have always been doing. I believe that word is lost because they are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. I believe that word is lost because it comes across as harsh and judgmental, but when you hear someone call for repentance, the exact opposite is true. A call to repent isn’t harsh or judgmental, but it is a word of love and a word of understanding. Whoever uses the word and calls for repentance understands there is no possible way to get right with God without repenting. So, repent! Turn away from that sin and turn away from your self efforts believing that by them you will have eternal life. Turn away from walking with the crowd of the world.
If that word is not found, the church will continue to be lost, but if we can find that word and safely return it to the church, a revival just like the ones those parents had can take place.