However we know from reading Habakkuk that he sought God’s working to bring repentance to His people of Judah. Thus, there is a call for change and a call for the people to follow God even with the impending gloom of being besieged ahead. There is not offered up a reward for repentance, not a tangible one that is, but instead simply a call to show that God disciplines His people and desires them to repent and follow His ways.
This made me think about how often we, and I have been guilty of this, speak of a reward type scenario when we speak of repentance. We say such things as “Turn or Burn”, or some such statement, implying that the true reward of repentance is not going to hell and thus an avoidance of eternal pain. This is indeed true but it may give a wrong impression and often may even lead to a false Gospel that is focused on man and not God. When we tie repentance to some tangible benefit as in a sales pitch we have played into the humanistic manipulative methods of the market place. We have said if you do this God will do this.
We should realize that if God has truly changed ones heart simply being shown their sin in light of God’s softening their heart will bring repentance. A repentance that flows from seeing ones gross and detestable sinful self in front of a holy and just God. Thus if trials and persecution continue repentance will not be hindered because it was not for the “good life” one repented . Instead, it was because God had changed ones heart to truly see their sin as God does such that repentance was all one could do no matter what follows.
This then makes heaven not about us but about God and being before Him to worship Him for eternity. Let us make sure our evangelism is grounded in glorifying God and not lifting up man. We need to trust God to be the one that changes hearts and not our evangelical sales techniques. God has promised to change hearts ( Jer 31:31-34) let us preach as if He truly does.
By the way here is a link to the sermon series on Habakkuk: Habakkuk Series