In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” Matthew 3:1-2 HCSB
Our church recently added an additional exit from our front parking lot. The state would only allow for the access to be an exit because the lane is only wide enough for one car. We have put up signs that say “Exit Only” and “Do Not Enter,” but inevitably cars come in the exit going the wrong way. None have yet stopped and turned around when they encounter a car going the right direction. The drivers usually drive off of the lane into the grass to get by. It seems they are determined not to follow the signs even at the risk of running into another car going in the right direction.
That is the way that many people approach life now and in the day of John the Baptist. They are determined to go against the laws and do what they want. They don’t seem to care that they are going in the wrong direction. Frequently when people are confronted with their sins, they continue to be self-centered and indulge in ungodly behaviors even though they know such actions are wrong and against God’s laws. John the Baptist was calling for people to repent (to turn from from sins) and go in the right direction.
Challenge: The first step of repentance is to admit that we have sinned. The second step is to turn 180 degrees and go in the opposite direction from the ways of our sin. The third step is to begin following God’s way of living by His Word. God does not expect us to clean up our act before coming to Him. We will still fail from time to time, but we must recognize we are sinners and strive to live in a way that would be pleasing to God.