Friday, July 22, 2016


"Sorrow" is suffering distress for whatever reason. It's easy to have sorrow for the death of a loved one! When I think of my poor deceased parents I have sorrow, but the only "sorry" which I have is that I ever disobeyed them and failed to appreciate and spend enough time with them. I did have the utmost respect and love for my parents!

"Sorry" is feeling distress as well. It usually involves sympathy for another. In the case of the death of the loved one, the sorrow is felt because the loved one will be missed. If one truly examines the heart, the sorrow felt is for oneself. It's when one realizes that this person will never be seen in this world again. It's a feeling of lonesomeness which sets in, but the distress is what one feels is for oneself!

Sorrow is manifested by feeling bad even to the extent that a person can't eat and joy is illusive. When I alienate another person I feel sorry for the loss. I am sorry that I alienated that person, but my sorrow is self-centered. I miss that person's friendship. Again, the sorrow is all about me and how I feel!
2 Corinthians 7:10 ( ESV) "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death."
Let us first look at "worldly grief". This is what Lot's wife had. She looked back on her world as it was destroyed before her eyes. It immediately caused he death because God turned her into a pillar of salt! Jesus implied that Lot's wife was grieving over what was (Luke 17:31-33). Of course "the life" Lot's wife was trying to save was not her mortality, but her lifestyle. Grieving the loss of worldly things brings death because things are higher priority than God!

For instance a roadblock to anyone's salvation is "change". People reject salvation because they must quit doing what they are doing and living how they want to live. This road blocked me from Jesus for quite some time. I kept "looking back" just as Lot's wife did! What I saw when I turned around was pleasure. By looking back rather than being sorry that I was a citizen of Gomorrah, I longed to remain a citizen there while at the same time professing citizenship in the kingdom of God. Unlike this world, God does not allow citizenship in two kingdoms because we can only have one King!

Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
"Mammon" are "the things of the world". They destroyed Lot's wife and they destroy most people. Lot's wife was about to be made safe as she fled from the burning city. It is apparent that she had not a heart-felt righteousness because she grieved in remembrance of her loss; the life she had known and the rejection of the changes at hand. Lot's wife could not be saved because she had no sorrow for her part in this sinful city! She wanted to follow God, but the attraction for the world was too great for her. She was moving toward safety, but her heart wasn't in it. She had been mastered by her heart's desires. Satan won her heart and she felt no sorrow for longing for his kingdom.

Now for point 2 of  2 Corinthians 2:10 above. "godly grief produces a repentance". Of course the KJV translates "sorrow" in lieu of grief as the ESV does. They are interchangeable in this context because when one is sorry, one does grieve!

Given that one must repent to be saved:
In Acts 2:38 Peter admonished, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Repentance has a pre-requisite: one must be sorry for the sins which they have committed! The problem with Lot's wife was that she was not sorry. She still longed for what had been. Her heart was in the kingdoms of Sodom and Gomorrah. She died while on the road to salvation!

Let's look at the road to salvation:
  1.  One comes to realize that death is sure.
  2. Because people want to live forever, most seek a way to do that.
  3. Jesus offers the only way to salvation.
  4. To win the gift of salvation they must trust Jesus that he can do what he claims and is who he says he is.
  5. Trusting Jesus is a willingness to follow and obey Jesus.
  6. A decision is made. I can follow Jesus or I can look back at what I have and keep it.
  7. With that decision relying on the grace of Jesus requires that one feel sorrow for grieving Jesus.
  8. With sorrow, comes repentance. One must repent to be saved, but "I'm sorry, Jesus!" must come first.
  9. Jesus forgives the one with a contrite heart and that person is born again.
  10. Those forgiven become a "new person" and new people have changed from old people. Allegiance to the world has been replaced by allegiance to Jesus.
It's this allegiance that Lot's wife had toward the world which destroyed her. As she was being saved she was foiled by memories of pleasure inflicted by Satan's darts as she fled. He tried to pull her back into a burning fire, but Jesus, because of his grace did allow her to escape torment by turning her into salt.  We only hope that she had enough faith to escape eternal torment!

What kept Lot's wife from salvation was a lack of sorrow. She didn't repent because her heart wasn't contrite. She had been accustomed to sinning with freedom with little or no guilt. Guilt is what the Holy Ghost uses to make us feel sorry and that sorrow leads to repentance. The Holy Ghost is Jesus knocking on your door with his Spirit here in earth. That knock must be answered with shame and grief for how a person has disrespected the One who died for him or her.

I "came forward" many times in my youth to seek salvation. I was on the road to safety when Satan shot those memory darts at me. Rather than being sorry, I relished in the pleasure of those memories and looked back with fondness. It's only after I submitted those memories to the Holy Ghost to handle for me did I cry in sorrow and repented. To be honest I still have fond memories of the pleasures of sin and often still sin, but although my flesh is weak my heart is still with Jesus. I will never look back to be mastered by Satan again. I repent as I sin because I feel sorry for disappointing my savior!

Not only are we to feel sorry for sinning against God, but against our neighbors as well! If we fail to show remorse for wronging others, it's sure that we won't feel sorry for wronging Jesus. Sorrow works hand in hand. We can't turn sorry on and off. When we wrong others it's rejection of Jesus' command "to love others as our self". The reason we can't say "I'm sorry!" to others with sincerity is because we look back at our own self. We love "the self" more than others and are in disobedience to God. We fail to grieve for our own sorry state of affairs.

I know some who have wronged me, but failed to say "I'm sorry!" That's not in the vocabulary for some, because it's not in their heart. I grieve when I wrong people. I grieve because I'm sorry that I have hurt them. I can't repent of my wrongdoing unless I am truly sorry! I'm not alone in this. Each and every person must pray that the Holy Ghost will make them feel guilt enough to be sorry for their deeds! When I was able to cry for my wrongdoing is when I knew that I was sorry. I was finally able to grieve because I hurt others and disappointed Jesus.

Right now I have people who should be sorry for their attitudes and behaviors toward me. I have some as well. I pray that Jesus will show me where I need to be sorry. He does that, you know?

With those points made, I felt badly at work because some people hated me to the extent that they avoided me. I came to those people and asked forgiveness if I had wronged them. They accepted because they knew I grieved for the loss of their friendship. With restitution I was relieved of my guilt and we became of one accord. One of these people became my closest ally and friend!

Love is NOT never having to say that you are sorry. Love is being sorry and repenting of it! It's love to be able to say that you're truly sorry. Don't listen to the words of the world. Let God guide you! Unless you can be sorry about wronging another, you'll never be sorry that you wronged Jesus.

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