sorrow that is according to the will of
God produces a repentance without
regret, leading to salvation, but the
sorrow of the world produces death." 2
Those who choose to continue in sin will
eventually become hardened. The parable
of the fig tree in Luke 13 is my
favorite Scripture to use when
explaining that God is patient but He
does not wait forever. Once God sees
that a person is not going to obey Him
and bear righteous fruit, He takes the
Holy Spirit and then sends upon them a
"spirit of delusion: that they may
actually believe the lie they have
chosen to receive.
In Romans 1 we see the same thing - God
gave the rebellious over to a depraved
mind to practice the evil desires of
their heart.. Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10
are additional supportive Scriptures.
Paul warned that the fallen may
experience a sorrow that cannot lead
them to repentance.
Jude wrote of those who were "twice
dead" or "doubly dead" - these are those
who were once children of God but who
later returned to the fallen world. This
is a frightening truth and has always
sobered me and caused me to examine the
motivations of my heart.
Being a Pastor, I have seen this happen
to people. When a person crosses over
from the divine nature to the fallen
nature he no longer loves God and the
truth, or the ways of God. His heart has
become ruined and apostate and desires
the things of the world.
This, however does not prevent his
conscience from rising up in protest
from time to time. He may experience
sorrow and temporary guilt in his
conscience which may move him to rise up
against his fallen heart and temporarily
suppress it’s desires - but eventually
the heart prevails, because - "Out
of the mouth the heart speaks" and "As
a man thinks, so he is."
The heart is the real you, which is why
God declares, -"My
people always go astray in their heart" and
why the spiritually weakened David
in me a clean heart and renew a right
spirit in me, O’ God!"
Until a complete hardening takes place
when the conscience gives up to the
fallen heart, the person will experience
inner turmoil and highs and lows.
Because of a guilt-driven conscience he
will be bothered by knowing that he is
living a less than committed life. He
may live a carnal life all week yet be
commentarily pierced when he hears the
Word of God read or spoken. This is why
so many of the same people fall before
the same altar week after week but
obviously have no power to walk in
Christ without the indwelling of the
Holy Spirit unquenched.
rejoice, not that you were made
sorrowful, but that you were made
sorrowful to the point of repentance;
for you were made sorrowful according to
the will of God, so that you might not
suffer loss in anything through us."