Spirits clothed with immortal body do not and cannot repent, such is the situation with the devil and the fallen angels. They were created by God with the ability to do what they want. So, when they did evil it was their choice to do so deliberately. The devil and the fallen angels did not rebel against God and seek to rule man because they were deceived rather, they just chose to do what they did!
Adam deliberately joined Eve who was deceieved to sin against God 1 Tim2:14. But, Adam and Eve had a chance to repent because they were clothed with mortal body which made them human with spirit. Hence, the human body is not a curse but a blessing from the all wise and Almighty God. He knew man was going to fall but praise God he clothed man with the mortal flesh. The human spirit can only repent while in the mortal body—though it is weak, it serves its purpose in God’s scheme of things!
In Matt 26:41, Jesus said, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Though the flesh is weak, it can receive help from the spirit through the exercise of faith Proverbs 18:14a “When the flesh is bruised, the spirit sustains it”. This is the reason God has gifted all mankind with faith to call on Him for redeemption through His Son Jesus Christ.
Man needs to be humble, wise and repose their God given faith in Jesus Christ!
It is when the spirit becomes unwilling that a major problem is at hand. Then, the body runs riot freely unchecked or unrestrained—this accounts for why man was dominated by the sin-nature and hence practices sinning.
How important it’s for mankind to remember that Eve and Adam’s sin happened because they failed to have faith in God and consequently in His instruction to them. It is only through the spirit in man that man communicates with God by faith and receives grace or power to bring the flesh to submission to God.
Proverbs 18:14 asked a rhetorical question, “a bruised spirit who can bear?” In other words, when the spirit fails to exercise faith in God, it’s crushed and wounded. And, when it suffers, the flesh cannot help it because faith can only be exercised to communicate with God by the spirit while in the body John 6:63, 1 Cor 7:19, Phil 3:3. This is the reason God has appointed to man a time on the earth to repent (receive a willing and submissive spirit) before death because once the spirit leaves the body, it cannot repent while unclothed 2 Peter 3:9, Heb 9:27.
While I am not a strong believer of the testimonies of those who say they died, had a conversation with Jesus, God or God’s angels and came back to life, I do not dismiss it either. Almost all of such testimonies I have heard gave a context which I consider dearly because of the scriptural tilt which is this; they had to come back to their body to repent and accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
After the resurrection of the dead, man will for the first time since God created man fellowship with God clothed with immortal body though still human 1 Cor 15:53. This glorious blessing is entered only through the gospel 2 Tim 1:10. This is mind boggling! All who truly have this hope, cannot be dissauded from pursuing well-doing, ceaseless gratitude, praise, worship and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ the only source to immortality Rom 2:7, Acts 4:12.
It is impossible to consider any soul that fails to take advantage of the privilege the gospel presents to mankind as wise, no matter the level of academic and material achievement or power that soul possesses.
If you have not taken advantage of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, which is meant for your salvation, I plead with you to seriously consider doing so today, even now! Consider these scriptures as you take steps to believe and confess Jesus for the salvation of your soul Isaiah 1:18, Luke 5:32, John 3:16, Rom 10:9-11.
In view of the great redemption we have in Christ and the priviledge of immortality, the scripture both exhorts and admonishes us thus; “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and … all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (1 Cor 1:7, 1 John 3:3 NLT).
The greatest authentication that a believer is still holding to the grace of God with the hope of Christ’s return is the believer’s pursuance of purity. This authentication is for the believer himself or herself because the pursuance of purity associated with looking on to Christ’s return is very personal and does not entail proving oneself to others. Only God discerns thoughts against every action man takes. I believe it’s on this platform that God advises his children to leave judgement (condemning) to Him.
Definitely, we can judge a wrong or evil deed by identifying it as wrong or evil and we must do so as part of godliness, but never are we called to judge another person’s motive.
In conclusion, John 4:24, is a call for us to keep our bodies subject to our spirit and not to let the body defile our spirits which is to say, present your body as a living sacrifice Rom 7:18, 12:1, 21.
God’s graciousness in Christ Jesus is to be accepted and received now while the dispensation of salvation is wide open to the gentiles and especially while we are still in our mortal bodies breathing air.
As saying goes, “Make haste while the sun shines” or, as an African adage puts it, “catch the black goat while there is day light, else, when the night falls, the dark colour of the goat makes it difficult to see clearly to catch it”.
May the love, peace and grace of God abound to you in every way.