The False Repentance of Fear

Exodus 9:27-28, "And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. (28) Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer."

Exodus 9:34-35, "And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. (35) And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses."

These verses are found after the Lord brought the plague of fire mixed with hail upon Egypt. In the midst of the horror of this plague, it seems that Pharaoh repented - after all, he said all the right words! Outwardly, it sounded great, but when the circumstances changed, so did his so-called repentance.

Sometimes, as believers, we make wrong decisions that require repentance. Is it genuine repentance that returns us to the fellowship with the Lord Who died for us, and to Whom we have committed our lives? Or is circumstantial repentance, decided out of fear, in the midst of the terror of self-brought circumstances? This false, fear-based repentance is simply an attempt to manipulate the Lord.

Sometimes, as believers, I wonder if we use fear as a motivation in soul-winning, and then push a lost sinner into making a wonderful-sounding confession that is void of true repentance. We cannot do the job of the Holy Spirit, and when we try, the result is a generation of false repenters, whose manipulation "by prayer" did not work, and who, like Pharaoh, return to their old ways, unchanged and un-born-again.

2 Corinthians 7:10, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."