A true religion teaches the necessity of repentance but how many of you know how to repent so far? Repentance must be an act of tears, not for yourself, but for humanity and for the aching heart of God. Have you experienced that kind of repentance? A repentant heart can say, ‘ ‘Now I realize what a poor and miserable son I have been. I have pierced Your heart over and over, never even realizing that You existed’ my Father. I have broken Your heart and now I come to You and need Your forgiveness.” This is the first repentance.
How do you know that your repentance can be accepted by God? You can see proof in your own resurrection. When your heart has grown in such a way that you totally put yourself on the side of God and in looking at the world shed tears, you know that your tears are no longer for your selfish purpose. Then you know your heart is with God.
Regardless where the heart of God moves, no power under the sun can deter it. It moves straight forward, all the way to the end. As the father, God is ceaselessly going after His own children but He will never tire. When you put yourself totally on the side of God you are like a parent trying to save your dying children. How can you as a parent get tired or bored? You cannot help but go straight after hue inanity, until every soul here on earth is saved. If you feel as their parent, there is no way you can get tired. Our road may be getting tougher and tougher and our tears may come more frequently, but does that mean that we are retreating or giving up the mission? No, that will spur us on even further.
First of all, have you ever cried out before Heaven and Earth, “God, I have been a sinner, I have been the worst kind of criminal in Your sight. Please forgive me”? Have you shed such tears yet? Have you said to God’ “I have no more personal ambition. I only ask for Your mercy upon me”? Have you ever totally given yourself to do God’s will, feeling that if you receive God’s mercy there is nothing you cannot do? This is the first step, the freshman course.
In many cases people look for a convenient God who will smilingly accept everything they are already attached to. Such people want God to come in a very narrow gate. How about you, right now, in your own heart? Have you ever thought about yourself as the worst kind of sinner, who would give up anything to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness? Have you experienced that? By sincerely feeling that repentance, you can liquidate your entire fallen past and disengage yourself from the consequences of the fall.
From your individual tears and misery you can make a gigantic leap from one world to the other, from the human level of tears to the level of God’s tears. You can do this because you can disengage yourself from the iniquity of the past, freeing yourself from all the attachments behind you.
That point is critically important. You have been crying your own tears, but at this point of repentance you can meet the tears of God and be embraced by the merciful, loving God. You are then experiencing the grief and agony of Adam and Eve, but at the same time you are experiencing the suffering heart of God. The two start at one point. You must pass through that experience. Unless you pass through that realm, you will never understand the love of God, no matter what.
Words alone are empty. What you need is to shed so many tears that your eyes swell shut and you cannot bear to open them in the sunlight. We need men who are able to shed the tears of God. Nothing can happen with dry eyes. It is in tears that most of the re-creation process takes place. In that atmosphere alone can the re-making of a new man, society, nation, world and new universe take place. That’s why the declaration is made in the Bible, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” By repentance you can come nearer to the kingdom and to union with God.
The Return to Tears
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
October 16, 1977