Friday, January 13, 2017

Regeneration not Reformation

Submitted by Sam Nobles

"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation." (Matthew 12:43-45)
Jesus indicted the wicked generation of His time of cleaning themselves from the idolatry that had once plagued them, but they never accepted Him as Messiah. Israel had reformation, but they hadn’t experienced regeneration. Jesus was telling them, “Although you’ve swept your nation clean of idols, seven times as many demons will flood you because you are rejecting Me.”

Reformation apart from regeneration only leads to greater frustration. This spiritual principle applies sociologically, culturally, and individually. There’s a move today attempting to bring reformation to our communities in the name of Jesus. This sounds spiritual and good, but the truth is, our communities do not need reformation - our communities need regeneration. People need to be born again. The work of the gospel is from the inside out. Jesus called us to be fishers of men, and you can’t clean the fish until you catch them.

People who try to clean up their lives or their communities through reformation will sweep the house clean, but seven times the demons will come back. The evil that follows will be greater than the initial evil unless there is rebirth.

Do you really think we’re going to stop drug abuse through slogans like “Just Say No”? Do you really think that gun violence will end if you try and take people’s guns? We tried in Prohibition. We closed down the distilleries. We boarded up the breweries. We thought we could change this country through legislation. But do you know what followed? Illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin came on the scene — seven times the greater evil.

Should we not then be involved in community activities and political undertakings? Of course we should be involved. But as you are involved, you must realize your ultimate goal is to see people changed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Reformation without regeneration just makes things darker. The real issue is that people must be born again. Therefore, it is not our job as ministers and ambassadors of Christ to get people to clean up their acts. Our call is to introduce them to the Person of Jesus in order that they might be born again.

Scripture to Claim:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

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