The Forgotten Word
Number two: the curse of guilt. Our poor heart will never, ever find rest apart from repentance. Isaiah 57:20: "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." Like the heaving waves of the ocean in a storm is our troubled heart. One may wonder why they can't sleep. You wonder why you are irritable. You wonder why you have no joy. You wonder why there is no song. You wonder why there is no faith, try repentance.
Here is the third reason. Not only the command of God, not only the curse of guilt, but the condition of grace. Now thank God for the grace of God. You are not saved by works but if you don't repent, grace cannot work in your heart. Jesus said "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." I am telling you Christ died in vain for us if we will not repent. If we do not repent, we will perish.
What does repentance bring? It brings a new heart. It brings a new hope. It brings a new home. Why repent? The command of God, the curse of guilt, the condition of grace.
As Jesus tells us in the parable at the close of the gospel lesson, God is a patient God who wants His children to come to Him. Our response to God when we encounter the brokenness of the world is not to blame Him, but to come to Him in repentance, as He waits for us.
God does not want to see His children separated from Him, He will wait, He will give them many chances to change their ways, to repent, to build a relationship with Him. God is more than an angry judge, He is a patient, kind, loving father. He gives His children many chances to rely on Him, to bear fruit. He helps in any way possible so His children will be strong, grow tall, as the fruit tree grew tall.
Does individual sin equal individual suffering? No!! God through Jesus does though equate individual sin to individual forgiveness. God is a God of love and mercy.