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Heartfelt Repentance ( 18 )
Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
Heartfelt  Repentance
The congregation of Israel had seen the earth open and the leaders in rebellion go down into its depths. Here the Lord gave his people an opportunity to see and to feel the sinfulness of their course. He gave the deceived ones overwhelming evidence that they were wrong, and that his servant Moses was right, and they should have been led to heartfelt repentance and confession. But reason and judgment had become perverted. All the congregation were, to a greater or less degree, affected with the prevailing jealousy, surmisings, and hatred, against Moses, which had brought the displeasure of the Lord in a fearfully marked manner upon them. Yet our gracious God shows himself a God of justice and mercy. He made a distinction between the instigators -- the leaders in rebellion -- and those who had been led by them. He pitied the ignorance and folly of those who had been deceived.  {ST, September 16, 1880 par. 3}
This failure to fulfill the divine purpose was very apparent in Malachi's day. Sternly the Lord's messenger dealt with the evils that were robbing Israel of temporal prosperity and spiritual power. In his rebuke against transgressors the prophet spared neither priests nor people. "The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel" through Malachi was that the lessons of the past be not forgotten and that the covenant made by Jehovah with the house of Israel be kept with fidelity. Only by heartfelt repentance could the blessing of God be realized. "I pray you," the prophet pleaded, "beseech God that He will be gracious unto us." Malachi 1:1, 9.  {PK 705.2}
With heartfelt repentance and a willingness to advance by faith, came the promise of temporal prosperity. "From this day," the Lord declared, "will I bless you." Verse 19.  {PK 577.3}
Through severe attacks of sickness or by powerful conviction the consciences of some of the guilty have been aroused and have so scourged them that it has led to confession of these things with deep humiliation. Others are equally guilty. They have practiced this sin nearly their whole lifetime and, in their broken-down constitutions and sievelike memories, are reaping the result of this pernicious habit; yet they are too proud to confess. They are secretive, and have not shown compunctions of conscience for this great sin. My confidence in the Christian experience of such is very small. They seem to be insensible to the influence of the Spirit of God. The sacred and common are alike to them. The common practice of a vice so degrading as the polluting of their own bodies has not led to bitter tears and heartfelt repentance. They feel that their sin is against themselves alone. Here they mistake. Are they diseased in body or mind, others are made to feel, others suffer. The imagination is at fault, the memory is deficient, mistakes are made, and there is a deficiency everywhere which seriously affects those with whom they live and who associate with them. Mortification and regret are felt because these things are known by others.  {2T 469.1}
 There is great need today of just such sincere, heartfelt repentance and confession. Those who have not humbled their souls before God in acknowledging their guilt have not yet fulfilled the first condition of acceptance. If we have not experienced that repentance which is not to be repented of, and have not confessed our sin with true humiliation of soul and brokenness of spirit, abhorring our iniquity, we have never sought truly for the forgiveness of sin; and if we have never sought we have never found the peace of God. The only reason why we may not have remission of sins that are past is that we are not willing to humble our proud hearts and comply with the conditions of the word of truth. There is explicit instruction given concerning this matter. Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be urged from the sinner. It is not to be made in a flippant and careless way or forced from those who have no realizing sense of the abhorrent character of sin. The confession that is mingled with tears and sorrow, that is the outpouring of the inmost soul, finds its way to the God of infinite pity. Says the psalmist: "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."  {5T 636.2}
In the last great day every word, every act, will be subjected to the crucial test of the Judge of all the earth. . . . The Lord calls for heartfelt repentance from those who claim to be His people. Self-indulgence is to find no place in their lives. The church of God is to be jealously guarded from every phase of dishonesty, every taint of corruption. The love of Christ is directly opposed to all avarice, all pride, all pretense. The Lord calls for humble, contrite hearts. He will work by His Holy Spirit upon all who will be worked, all who love Him and keep His commandments. And they will make the presence and power of God so manifestly to appear that the enemies of the truth will be compelled to say that God and His angels are indeed the friends and helpers of those who serve Him.  {UL 69.4}
My brethren and sisters, prayerfully consider the exhortation given to those who have left their first love. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works." God is now calling for heartfelt repentance, and for a return to the love that we once manifested toward one another. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."  {RH, February 25, 1904 par. 15}
The outward glory of the temple was not the glory of the Lord. Instruction was given as to what constituted the blessing that was to rest upon the temple. Its restoration in a plainer style than that of the first temple, was to place before the people in a proper light their past error in depending upon the pomp and splendor of outward form and ceremony. The temple was to be erected at this time, also, to remove the reproach of their disloyalty to God. Haggai instructed the people that by heartfelt repentance and by a speedy completion of the temple, they were to seek to be cleansed from the sin of disobedience that had led away from God and had delayed the carrying out of the command to arise and build.  {RH, December 12, 1907 par. 11}
In recent disasters human lives have been wonderfully spared. Should there not be an acknowledgement of the Lord's mercy? Should there not be heartfelt repentance? Should not the liquor-saloons that have wrought so much evil be entirely abolished?  {ST, November 27, 1907 par. 22}
deep  and  heartfelt  repentance
Thorough conversion is necessary among those who profess to believe the truth, in order for them to follow Jesus and obey the will of God -- not a submission born of circumstances, as was that of the terrified Israelites when the power of the Infinite was revealed to them, but a deep and heartfelt repentance and renunciation of sin. Those who are but half converted are as a tree whose boughs hang upon the side of truth, but whose roots, firmly bedded in the earth, strike out into the barren soil of the world. Jesus looks in vain for fruit upon its branches; He finds nothing but leaves.  {4T 155.3}
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