@ReSound-TruckDriver Good question I think we need to define the word repent carefully. Your father has not repented in the Biblical sense. Repentance in the Bible is not only about turning away from sin, it is even more so about turning toward God. In fact, anything we turn toward other than God is idolatry. We can make an idol out of our own achievement, out of our career, even out of our own ability to control our passions… Anything that we turn to and rely upon instead of God for ultimate life, joy and meaning is an idol. As Jeremiah said of old, it is like a cracked cistern that cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:13 - "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
The Gospel is not about behavior and self-control, it is about finding life in God; about knowing and being known by God. Our behavior flows out of the love we have received from God and the love He has put within our hearts. Our self-righteousness can separate us from God just as easily as our sin, because it makes us think we do not need God. But the whole point of the Biblical narrative is that there is no life apart from God.
John 17:3 - Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 14:6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Here is a short video (more below) where Tim Keller points out you need to help people understand the Gospel is not moralism - it is a third way.
Unless you distinguish the Gospel from moralism, secular people just assume you’re calling them to better behavior Tim Keller
Ravi on Reaching the Happy Thinking Pagan
Ravi Zacharias: The happy pagan is wrapped up in the belief that this world and the success it affords are the greatest pursuits in life. He or she feels no need for anything transcendent. Life has been reduced to temporal pursuits disconnected from all the other disciplines necessary for life to be meaningfully engaged.
Some are completely unreflective; they don’t think enough to know they have no right to be happy. They borrow on capital they don’t have. Many of these people, though, are sophisticated thinkers in their fields-scientists, mathematicians, computer engineers. They are specialists with a glaring weakness: The do not ask the questions of life itself.
Tim Keller on the Gospel and Idolatry
Great resources from Tim Keller on how the Gospel is so much more than just moral conformity.
The gospel is not moral conformity, which is religion, nor is it self-discovery, which is secularism. The gospel is something else altogether