Call to Repentance 1. If our Lord and Master Jesus Christ says: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17), He wants the whole life of the believer to be one of repentance. 2. This repentance begins with a new consciousness and grief about the former wrong behavior not only as individuals but also the church as a whole. 3. If there is true repentance it leads to the individual and the church hating sin and departing from both it and wrong behavior - not through their own power but through the grace and power of Jesus Christ. 4. God promises the repentant forgiveness and a new beginning: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13,14). The Present Situation of Society 5. People today indulge in many types of sins such as godlessness, pride, lovelessness, occultism, disobedience, abortion, immorality, adultery, homosexuality, drug abuse, lies, greed and robbery (Exodus 20:2-17; Romans 1:18-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19-21). 6. Certainly such sins have always been committed, but today many of these are openly tolerated and are put on a pedestal. "They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32). 7. In many countries laws that forbad blasphemy, pornography, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, drug abuse and the like have been slackened or annulled. 8. A society that tolerates or even openly encourages such activities that the Holy Scripture says are "sin" or "abominable" in God's eyes, digs its own grave. It is ready for judgment. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). 9. Many nations today are in a similar situation to the Roman empire before its downfall: The internal cause of its downfall was the moral decay. 10. It is only a question of time before the national and social systems that reject God's commandments today, will collapse. The Failure of the Church 11. In this situation the churches local and world wide should take their commission seriously to be "light" and "salt" and to oppose these developments (Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:11). 12. If they don't do this they stand under God's judgment concerning the unfaithful watchman: "When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood" (Ezekiel 3:18). 13. Individual people and groups within the church are fighting courageously against current trends, but together as a whole, churches in many nations are losing their sense of purpose and fail to preach the Gospel and to defend God's laws. 14. The church which succumbs to current trends and ideologies loses its sense of direction.