Do We Really Have To Do That?

Repent? How dare anyone tell me I need to repent. I am a good person, why do I need to feel regret over anything I have done or what I am. Repent? Yes according to Scripture it is a must.

Do you hear this word “repent” in your church? If not, perhaps you need to consider changing churches.

Repent. No, it is not a word we hear much about anymore. People don’t talk about it. Most preachers don’t mention it from their pulpits anymore. Most ministers just tell us to come and accept Jesus and receive all He has for us. Well, I don’t believe we can have Jesus or anything He has for us without first repenting. Matthew 9:13 says Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. He came so each person would recognize their sinful condition, repent and then receive His forgiveness. Each promise in the Bible has a condition. To be saved, we first recognize our sinful condition and repent (condition), then receive His shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins and accept Him into our hearts as Lord and Savior (promise). When we fulfill the condition, Jesus will fulfill the promise.

What does “repent” mean? It means to feel regret, feel sorry for, to feel contrition, grieve, mourn or weep over. “Contrition” means regret, sorrow, guilt or shame. To repent means we tell God we are sorry we have sinned against Him and we will amend our life as a result of contrition for our sins. Repenting is really not a one time thing. I think most Christians would say that they feel a need to repent sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes it is something that slipped out their mouth that they did not mean to say, or a bad thought, etc.

To find out if we really need to repent or not, let’s see what God’s Word says about it. Ezekiel 14:6 says….

”Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus said the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

Some are going to say, "I don't worship idols." Are you sure? An idol does not have to be a carved image sitting on a shelf. Most people have things in their lives that they hold in very high esteem, whether it is their home, car, job or the desire for money.  An idol is anything that is placed before God.  God must have first place in your life.  He will not accept second, third or fourth place in our hearts and lives. Remember, the first and greatest commandment is in Matthew 22:37 which says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

Ezekiel 18:30 says…

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, said the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin."

In this scripture God is talking to Israel, so as not to confuse some let’s go now to the New Testament. It speaks more clearly to all of us. The first time we find the word repent in the New Testament is in Matthew 3:1-2 which says,

"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 4:17 tells us that Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17 and Luke 5:32 all tell us that Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Mark 1:14-15 tells us. "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."

Now, what is this gospel that we must believe?  The gospel is good news or glad tidings that tells us Jesus came and hung on a cross and shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins of treason first perpetrated in the Garden of Eden. Since then all humanity is born with a sinful nature. Only repentance of our sins and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior will allow us to reside in heaven for eternity. Friends, the alternative to that is unthinkable.

Mark 6:12 tells us that the apostles went out, and preached that men should repent. Now if we look at Luke 13:3 and 5, Jesus makes this statement twice in three short verses. "...except  ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." That is pretty strong language.  Either we repent or perish. So, is it necessary to repent? Yes, I would say so.

We can be rebellious in our sinful nature and stay a child of Satan (John 8:44) or we can repent, accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and become a child of God. The choice is yours.

This repenting sounds very serious according to the Word of God, so how is it that we do not hear this word from most pulpits today? Why is it the sinner is not being told they must repent?

If you are reading this message and feel you want to become a child of God, just bow your head, wherever you are, repent or tell God you are sorry you have sinned against Him, and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be not only your Savior, but also the Lord of your life. He will.

Then you need to read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in your Bible and ask God to show you His truth. Don't start listening to the preachers on TV but find a good church where God's truth is preached.   If you will read and study God's Word, you will know if the preacher is preaching the truth or not.

I use to tell my sons that if a message tickles their ears and pleases their flesh, it is probably not from God.  But if it touches your spirit, challenges you to draw closer to Jesus and convicts of any sin in your life, then I would say that the message is from the Lord.

May God bless you as you walk with Him

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