From Sorrow To Salvation
2 Corinthians 7:10 – For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
This verse was my wake-up call. Let me give you a backstory: you know when people say they grew up in the church? That was me. Both my parents are pastors and were in ministry before I was born. People tend to think that automatically means that as a pastor’s child, you’re saved too. But their salvation is theirs and not a familial one. But Philippians 2:12 does not say fight your family’s salvation with fear and trembling, it says fight YOUR salvation with fear and trembling. Although I would always go to church, attend Sunday school and mid-week services, I didn’t have a relationship with God. Fast-forward to second year in uni, I lost my way. I was just doing the most and got lost in the things of the world. But deep down, I knew I was missing something. I knew there was a gap somewhere in my life but I kept filling it with the wrong things: everything that was contrary to the will of God for my life. Things changed for me one night on my way home from uni, I’d had such a long day and had spent forever waiting for the bus. When I got off at my bus-stop, I cried the entire walk home and didn’t know why. I was proper sobbing and when I got home, I sat on my bed and tried to talk to God. I promised that I would do better, that I would be better. I didn’t keep that promise. Months after, my mum came to visit and declared that we fast and pray. I knew I couldn’t go into that without repenting and when I tried to talk to God again, I was led to read 2 Corinthians 7:10. Let me in this moment, point out that “sorrow” is used in this verse to mean guilt or a state of remorse. The revelation made me shake. The entire time, all I was feeling was worldly sorrow which only leads to death. I wasn’t ready to die so I questioned God: “how do I crossover to godly sorrow and be saved”?
This is the understanding I got:
- Godly sorrow is the guilt you feel over hurting God. It is sorrow that is in accordance to His will and is pleasing to Him. It is good, it produces repentance and it leads to salvation. Godly sorrow is more than feeling guilty, but being sorrowful to the point that you’re determined to never repeat your offence again.
- Worldly sorrow on the other hand, is the guilt you feel after being caught or after doing something that backfires on you and causes you to be punished or humiliated. You feel bad temporarily and you don’t make any attempts to do better. For example: a person embezzles money from his clients and is caught. He loses his reputation and loses favour with men and he feels sorry that he didn’t live an honest life. That kind of sorrow has no thought about God in it at all.
I feel as though, a lot of people don’t know that sin hinders man’s relationship with God. Or maybe they know, but like me, refuse to acknowledge it. I’ll explain what I mean. When I was in the world, I justified everything I did by thinking that just before I die, I’ll give my life to Christ and I’ll make heaven just like the criminal on the other side of Jesus on the cross who He promised will be in paradise with Him (Luke 23:39-43). But what if I die without notice, I don’t wake up from sleep and I don’t have a moment to confess and accept Him? What happens then?
God made me understand that it’s really not hard to get right with Him. 1 John 2:1 says “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sin of the whole world”. The Bible makes us understand that Jesus lives to intercede and mediate between God and men if only we come to Him. And that’s exactly what I did. We are not perfect. I am by no means perfect. I fall everyday but I make sure I get up because I must be blameless on judgement day. Sometimes, I try and picture what would happen if I don’t make heaven. The only way one can be blameless is to repent and be restored if and when you lose your way.
- Ask God to forgive you;
- Tell Him you desire to know Him more; to be more like Him. Let that be the confession of your heart;
- Keep Him at the centre of your life & pursue righteousness;
- Then watch the Holy Spirit begin a new work in You.
Can I tell you something? It’s not too late and I hope this song encourages you.
We Fall Down by: Donnie McClurkin