One commentator wrote, “There is no repentance without the fear of God. We must recognize that more than anything else, sin is an offense against the holiness of God. A confession that acknowledges sin without fearing God is a false confession that falls short of true repentance.” The question that the good thief asked the bad thief on the cross was “don’t you fear God, even when you’re dying?” Of course, there was no fear of God there, just a lust and passion to hold on to this life. But the good thief adds a power 2nd statement in his dialogue. He says in Luke 40:43, “we deserve to die for our sins.” It’s the sincere repentance like that of the prodigal son who runs away from his father but then returns and falls at his father’s feet and says, “father, I have sinned.”

I’m stunned that there has been so much uproar against Tim Tebow’s public expression of his faith. Even many professing Christians clamor for him to be quiet and keep his faith to himself. In the society we live in it’s perfectly acceptable for the homosexuals in society to have “gay pride parades” where they flaunt in many disgusting and disgraceful manners their lifestyle convictions. They are celebrated by the world and even given Golden Globe Awards for situation comedies that promote it. Further, the moral convictions of the media have allowed full exposure to such an extent we actually have to block content to protect our children. Many secular concepts are given legitimate press and even positive reviews for their public presentations. But if a Christian quarterback kneels on the sidelines and bows his head in prayer, there is outrage! Focus on the family can air a very tasteful, beautifully produced, 30 second commercial during a professional football game and the reaction, measured by the comments on YouTube and face book demand that the media censor all religious content.

I believe the reason for this is that biblical Christianity is a world view that calls us to face the reality of our mortality and accountability to a God who made us for a purpose. It calls everyone! It involves first of all recognition of my sinfulness and that’s not a popular thing in this world. Throughout the centuries Christians have been vilified, pulverized, and crucified. I hope you notice that the saving faith of the thief on the cross began with the confession, “we deserve to die for our sins.” Death comes to all men, and women! But as I mentioned, it’s the thing we’d rather not deal with. We would rather run from it and focus on the here and now and demand whatever gods may be to suit our needs and meet our desires in this life, like the first thief on the cross who demanded that Christ prove himself in the here and now by exempting him and his co-thief from the consequences of the sin he is unwilling to admit.

“The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15