A well-known conservative radio commentator makes unwise, unthinking, insulting crude remarks, and while facing repercussions, he apologizes. While, he still strongly disagrees with the person who was the brunt of his comments, he is sorry if he hurt her. This has prompted one commentator from the left to make apologies for comments he have made as well. However, he is quick to point out that his comments were not as bad as those by the person referred to above. It is interesting how seldom we hear apologies like these. The person is sorry, but...Why is there always the need for qualiffication. Wrong is admitted, but intentions were sincere. Apologies such as these leave us with the feeling nothing has changed. The offender has been caught at some discretion, is open to consequences, and is sorry, but the sorrow expressed does not indicate any significant promise for modification of behavior.
Similarly, the radio preacher who predicted the end of the world has gone public with his apology. He now sees it was sinful to make such a prediction. He now agrees with those that quoted the verse in Matthew that states no man knows the time of Christ’s return. He is promising to return to Bible study and to the ministry of preaching the Gospel which appears to be good news to those of us hopeful that this preacher’s radio network will once again support the cause of Christ. However, this man never apologizes for the faulty system of Bible study that led him to his erroneous remarks. He makes no mention of the harm he has done to Bible preaching churches across America by his open condemnation of them, nor does he mention that he has reduced the Gospel of Christ that invites whosoever will to come to a “hope so” religion. Has anything really changed?
The Bible talks about the need for genuine repentance. It was the essential part of John the Baptist’s teaching and was proclaimed by Jesus Himself, and it is not to be confused with a simple apology that expresses real or feigned sorrow. Biblical repentance does not justify actions and goes beyond sorrow, proving it is genuine by producing change. True repentance is not just saying you are sorry, but that you will hereafter be different. The apologies cited above are strong in the word department but appear to be weak on actions.
The Bible clearly states that all men (and women) are sinners. That is, we are all going after our own ways, instead of seeking God. Romans chapter one describes us as not glorifying God, turning from Him, refusing to give Him the thanks He deserves. The message of the Bible is that all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God and this sin brings the just result of death—physical and spiritual. Salvation from the penalty of sin comes only when we turn from our own efforts and accept the provision God has made for us by sending His Son to die on the Cross at Calvary. John chapter one tells us to receive Christ and believe on His Name. Apologizing for sin is not enough. We need to repent. We need to turn from depending on our own heart’s desires and receive the living God into our hearts. We need to change. This is possible only by the grace of God.
It is sad to say, however, the message of repentance is no longer preached by the majority of churches today. To talk about sin and the Cross is not popular to many churches not wanting to appear irrelevant, that leave sin and the Cross out of their teaching. In so doing they are leaving out the one message that can change people’s lives for all eternity. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, includes the fact that we are sinners in need of a Savior Who died on the Cross for us, and that receiving--believing in Him brings eternal life. The Gospel is nothing to be ashamed of. It needs no apology.