In the Protestant faith, particularly several varieties, there is a huge focus on 'repent - ask for forgiveness - be saved' and often times preachers preach what in the South we call 'Hellfire and Brimstone' sermons where scare tactics are used to convince the listener to repent.  The stress is on what will happen to us if we do not ask for forgiveness from our sins: we will go to Hell where we will burn eternally.  While the theology is true, the technique of stressing the experience of Hell has offended many to the extent that they reject the church, its message, and Christ himself.  People simply don't like being told they are bad and that they have to admit it or else. 


What I do not hear from the pulpit is the other side of the 'Repent' coin: what happens to you when you do repent and experience forgiveness.  The lifting of the burden of guilt and regret is exhilarating!  The knowledge that the Creator God not only hears but cares enough to forgive you is profoundly humbling.  Yes its difficult to admit your errors - your sins - but if you face your errors, admit you've done some wrong things, ask God straight out to forgive you, then for the rest of your life you carry with you a precious gift.  


But back to the Repent Coin and it's flip side...

Look at how King David expressed this experience in Psalm 32:

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit."

Verse 3: "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me." (There's the guilt making him miserable.  If you say you've never felt guilt, you're kidding yourself.)

Verse 5 is the kicker: "Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' and You forgave the guilt of my sin."

Verse 10, and it doesn't get any better than this! "The Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts Him."


And it does, I promise you.

One more thing: It is at that place where you admit you need to be forgiven that you will encounter Christ face to face.  Because He is the one that made it possible for you to be forgiven just for the asking.  Taking that big step to acknowledge He is who He said He is really lifts the latch and lets you in to an existence where you have a personal, 1-on-1 relationship with God.  Yep.