Call to Worship October 1, 2023

“Reasons which enforce repentance:

4. We have by sin wronged God

There is a great deal of equity in it that we should repent. We have by sin wronged God. We have eclipsed his honor. We have infringed his law, and we should, reasonably, make him some reparation. By repentance we humble and judge ourselves for sin. We set to our seal that God is righteous if he should destroy us, and thus we give glory to God and do what lies in us to repair his honor.

5. If God should save men without repentance, making no discrimination, then by this rule he must save all, not only all men—but all devils. And so consequently the decrees of election and reprobation must fall to the ground. How diametrically opposed this is to sacred writ—let all judge. There are two kinds of people who will find it harder to repent than others:

(1) Those who have sat a great while under the ministry of God’s ordinances—but grow no better. The ground soaks up the rain that falls on it—yet ‘bears thistles and thorns, it is useless. The farmer will condemn that field and burn it.’ (Heb 6:8). There is little hope of the metal which has lain long in the fire—but is not melted and refined. When God has sent his ministers one after another, exhorting and persuading men to leave their sins—but they settle upon the lees of external formality and can sit and sleep under a sermon—it will be hard for these ever to be brought to repentance. They may fear lest Christ should say to them as once he said to the fig-tree, ‘May you never bear fruit again!’ (Matt 21:19).

(2) Those who have sinned frequently against the convictions of the Word, the checks of conscience, and the motions of the Spirit. Conscience has stood as the angel, with a flaming sword in its hand. It has said, ‘Do not this great evil!’ But sinners regard not the voice of conscience—but march on resolvedly under the devil’s colors. These will not find it easy to repent: ‘They are those who rebel against the light’ (Job 24:13). It is one thing to sin for lack of light—and another thing to sin against light. Men begin by sinning against the light of conscience, and proceed gradually to despising the Spirit of grace.” (Thomas Watson, Doctrine of Repentance)