The fact is, you are not a follower of Christ if you have not repented from your sin. That is not only proper theology, but it is rooted in just plain fact. You cannot be going north and south at the same time. In order to go north, you must turn around from going south and head in the opposite direction.
And yet that’s exactly the attempt many church people, many TD’ers, and many self-proclaimed “Christians” make in trying to “follow Christ” while following the world and fulfill their self-centered desires. They are factually in direct opposition to one another! You cannot head north and south at the same time. Jesus made it clear, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matt. 16:24
Could Jesus be any clearer? If you want to follow Jesus (north), you must cease walking in the direction you are heading (south), turn around, and head the opposite direction towards Him. And if you do not, you are not following Jesus. This isn’t being narrow-minded, judgmental, legalistic, elitist, etc. It’s just plain un-religious common sense. You can’t go up and down and the same time.
The word “repent” means to change one’s mind and turn and head the opposite direction. Have you repented from your sin? Or have you “accepted Christ” and tried to just add Him on to your life? To the direction you are already heading? Hoping that adding Him on will result in Him blessing you as you walk in the direction you’ve decided to walk?
If that’s you, you need to truly repent from your life of sin (walking away from the Lord) and follow Him. It’s the objectively right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. It’s the loving thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do. It’s the best thing to do. And … it’s the hardest thing to do. You cannot do it in your own power.
But, if you sincerely plead to the Lord for forgiveness of your life of sin, surrender your life to the Lord Jesus and His will, and plead with Him to help sinful, broken you to turn around and follow Him … He will grant that to you and will help you to do so through THE gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 says, “… Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Let your small group leaders know if you want to discuss this and begin walking North. – Arthur