verb; ‘to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.’
“Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
Repent is such an Old Testament word, right? We picture grizzled prophets, screeching at guilty sinners.That couldn’t be the heart of our sweet Jesus, could it?
Well actually, we’d be so wrong to think repentance isn’t of vital importance to Jesus. In some of His first recorded words in Scripture, Jesus appealed for people to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As He sent out His twelve disciples into the towns, villages, and countryside, “they went out and preached that people should repent” (Mark 6:12).
The message of His first followers, preached repeatedly throughout the book of Acts, was to “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38).
“Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20).
And as it is written in (Acts 19:2) “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” we may note that after we repent for the remission of our sins and are saved, the next step subsequent is the baptism of the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in a heavenly language or tongues;
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (v. 6)
Even in some of Jesus’ last words we find in the Bible, where He delivered His revelation to John the apostle, we hear Him saying to the churches, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen; and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:5). “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore and repent” (Revelation 3:19).
Over and over He calls to those who will hear, Repent!! Repent!! Repent!!
So repentance; which is this recognition of sin for what it is, followed by a heartfelt sorrow culminating in a change of behavior: a conversion, sounds very much like the heart of our Jesus. And it’s not just a central message of the Bible; it’s the message of the Word Himself, coming to you today, urging and inviting you to repent …. Now …. Today!!
Perhaps you sit in church, week after week, delighting in the salvation of lost people who are turning from their sin and receiving God’s forgiveness and redemption. You watch God move. Yet, it’s hard to truly rejoice in an amazing grace that you don’t really think you need anymore. It’s hard to experience the reality of being forgiven for all eternity when you’re not keeping yourself cleansed and refreshed through the sacrifice of a repentant heart …..
The windows of heaven are bursting with the grace and mercy that God showers upon the repentant. Heaven is leaning over the railing at this moment, wanting you to come to a fresh place of true and total honesty before God. The very thing you tend to push off and hold off; not wanting to deal with your sin, whether from being resistant to forsaking it or simply resigned to being defeated by it, is what heaven is longing to see and celebrate ….
Listen, believer: the awareness of personal sin, laid before Him in repentance, is what keeps the gospel glorious in your life. Repentance is not a place to visit when you get saved. Repentance is where you’re supposed to live as a believer, daily, every single day, returning again and again to the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ; the One and Only Way to be saved, the Only One who can cleanse and forgive you, and you are enabled by the Holy Ghost; the Only power that can overpower the sin that even now seeks to control you. Jesus’ heart is still very much about calling you to repentance, and through it, to freedom, and the blood still flows, as does His mercy and His grace ….
In conclusion, is Christ calling you to repentance today? Know that there are no alternatives to living without repentance. Without His cleansing blood and the remittance, that is to say, forgiveness of your sins, you cannot be saved by any other means. You cannot make heaven your home by simply being a “good person” or your good works, nor can you earn it. Jesus confirmed that fact when He said, “for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
There are no good people in heaven — only forgiven ones ….
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David…. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will hacy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:1-7)
Let us pray ~
Lord God; I humbly come right now and I repent. I don’t want to delay any longer. I admit my to You my stubborn willful heart. I’m sorry for all of my sins, even the secret ones. I’m sorry for being unkind and unforgiving towards others. I need changing and I know I need You. Thank You for making humility and repentance the only gateways to spiritual victory. I know my self-righteousness is as filthy rags before You and I thank You for not abiding it without calling me to account for it. I come to you with thankfulness for Your mercy and Your grace, and for Your patience in waiting for me as I grow in the knowledge of Your Word. I desire that You would fill and refresh me with the Holy Ghost, and set my feet upon the path that You have called me to. Thank You for sending Your beloved Son, Who in His great love and infinite mercy gave Himself for me that I might live. All this I pray in Jesus’ holy name, Amen ….