There are at least three ways to respond to being reconciled to God.
First, before I process a short list of ways to respond to being reconciled to God, let me address the assumed position that this presents. If there is a command of Scripture to be reconciled to God then it must first be understood that there is reason for reconciliation. There is a broken condition between man and God. The bible calls this sin. It’s not that there is just something that needs to be tweaked, adjusted, or fine tuned. There is somethings totally and completely ruined that requires a work outside of man to accomplish. This is the great truth of sin. It has put man in a state that he cannot in himself accomplish. He’s spiritually dead and behaving contrary to his created purpose.
Now, take a look at at least three ways humanity responds to the command of God to be reconciled. Semantically, I suppose there’s really only two ways to respond, repent or reject, but for the observation of it I’ll pick up at least three expressions of those two responses.
- Repent. The language of Scripture is God entreating or urging you to be reconciled to God. For God to entreat or urge is not begging or hoping you might choose Him over another. It is from the position of knowing that there is no other way or name in which man might be saved. It is an appeal based on the fact that when God gives spiritual eyes and ears to hear that you will see your previous condition and respond with repentance as you see your previous condition was completely helpless.
- Receive His grace in vain (which is rejection). To hear or see others repent and not know why but seems appealing leads one to put on the appearance of repentance in order to vainly receive blessings in selfishness or pride. Simply repeating a reasonable structure of words, even with tears or sadness, is not evidence of repentance. The unregenerate soul will reject the Lordship of Christ and not love to obey His commands or serve as an ambassador of His kingdom.
- Reject. It’s more complicated than being given two reasonable options to choose between and you receive one and reject another. It is of such that you are a slave to sin and cannot do anything but sin and hate God. (Even in pretense love for God, one hates Him.) It is like you are given the choice between life and death and you only choose death. You would never want to choose anything but rejection of God because you are not even in such a condition to even want to choose life, you’re dead.
This is why, as an ambassador of Christ’s reconciliation, we must properly and carefully represent this glorious kingdom. What we appeal, beseech, urge people toward is a matter of life and death; literally and spiritually.
“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)