GOD SAYS . . .


"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering
to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
  II Peter

   God wants no one to perish.   That is why Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice and died in our
place.   He died for our sins because God's holiness demanded payment for them.   This means that salvation
is available to man if he repents and puts his trust in Christ's payment for his sins.   Unfortunately, many
pass up this free gift of salvation because they refuse to repent.   To illustrate what it means to repent,
imagine if you will, the following conversation between God and man:

God: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall
          be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
  Isaiah 1:18
Man: What do you want to reason together about?
God: Your sin.
Man: What about my sin?
God: I hate sin. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
          It violates my holiness. (II Corinthians 6:14-17)
          It robs you of peace. (Isaiah 59:6-8)
          It brings misery. (Psalm 38:3-4)
          Nothing good comes of it. (Proverbs 10:2)
          It has erected a wall between us. (Ephesians 2:14)
          It has caused your lost state. (Isaiah 53:6-7)
          It condemns you to an eternity in a lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
          And more...

Man: That's your opinion.   I don't see it that way.   (Job 21:14- 15)
God: You mean you won't agree with Me and change your mind about it? (Proverbs 1:24-33)
Man: No, I want to continue sinning.   I don't agree that it is wrong.   My mind is made up.   (Jeremiah
God: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have
  Proverbs 28:13   ... because ... "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
          ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"
Romans 1:18.

   In the conversation you have just read God tries to reason with man about the one thing that will take a
person to Hell - sin.   God is telling man to see sin for what it is - to change his mind about sinning.   In
essence, God is telling man to repent!   Repentance comes from the Greek word metanoia (met-an'-oy-ah).
Meta means to change.   Noia means mind.   Therefore, metanoia (repent) means "a change of mind".
Repenting goes beyond simply admitting that we have sinned.   The following verse shows what is involved
in repenting.

"He [God] looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right,
and it profited me not
; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the
  Job 33:27-28

   Notice what God expects man to realize about sin:

*   "I have sinned" - A person can't even begin to repent until he admits that he has sinned.   Many
      times self righteousness stands in the way of repentance.   But God wants us to change our
and admit we have sinned.

*   "and perverted that which was right" - Most people try to justify their sin.   A common opinion
      is that there are no absolutes to right and wrong.   What's wrong for one person may be right for
      another.   Yet sin is defined by God's holy nature.   Anytime a person goes against God's standard
      and law, they have sinned.   God wants us to change our minds and see sin as a violation of His
*   "and it profited me not" - Man also thinks that there is some benefit to sinning.   To him it may
      bring pleasure or give an advantage over another person or even satisfy a selfish need.   But God
      wants us to change our minds
and realize that nothing good comes out of sin.   It destroys lives
      and creates misery (just look around!) and in the end, when it confronts God's holy nature, it
      condemns man to eternal separation from God in a lake of fire.   God wants us to change our
      minds (i.e., repent) and stop insisting on sinning.

   Let's imagine the previous conversation again, only this time with the man exhibiting a repentant attitude:

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."   Mark
1:15   In other words, you don't have to go to Hell unless you insist on willfully sinning and force
Me to send you there.   Repent and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour.

You're right, I'm lost.   I've been considering my ways and your right about sin.   I'm convinced
there is nothing good about it and I admit that I've been doing it all along and in the process I
have offended You and your holiness.   I change my mind.   I'm not going to willfully practice
sin anymore.   I repent and receive Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

   Notice the change of mind.   Also notice something else about repentance - If a man truly repented, his
change of mind results in a change of will.

"But what think ye?   A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work
to day in my vineyard.   He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
And he came to the second, and said likewise.   And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
Whether of them twain did the will of his father?   They say unto him, The first."
  Matthew 21:28-

   A person who has truly repented and sees sin for what it really is will naturally change his direction from
that of:
   *   Rebelling against God to serving God.
   *   Practicing sin to abstaining from sin.
   *   Doing his own will to doing God's will (repentance should result in a broken self will).
   *   Going in the world's direction to going in God's direction.
   *   Disobeying God to obeying God through His Word.

   True repentance is a change of mind resulting in a change of will that says, "I am wrong, God is right;
from now on I will do things God's way and I will change my attitude about sinning against Him."

   There are many who claim that they have repented, but who don't act like it.   They never truly changed
their mind about sin.   They were never led to repent by godly sorrow (II Corinthians 7:9-10).   In essence,
they are like the boy who gets caught stealing a cookie and says, "I'm sorry" only to steal a cookie the next
day.   No real change of mind had taken place! - i.e., no repentance!!   Or to illustrate with another
example, they are like the man who tells God, "I admit that I've sinned against You; I'm sorry, forgive
but resumes living his old sinful life again a few days later.   No real change of mind and
consequently no change of will has taken place.   The result is no true repentance!!

   Now that we know what repentance is it is important to understand what role it plays in salvation
because repentance alone does not save - it is only the first step.   Faith in Christ's payment for
our sins (and not our own good works) is also required.   Therefore, salvation requires

"...repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."   Acts 20:21

   That is, repentance acknowledges the problem sin creates between God and us, but it takes faith
in Christ to obtain the solution.   Here are some other ways of putting it:

*   Repentance brings us to the door.   Faith in Christ opens it for us.
*   Repentance seeks redemption.   Faith in Christ finds it for us.
*   Repentance wants reconciliation.   Faith in Christ provides it.
*   Repentance sees God's wrath coming.   Faith in Christ diverts it.

   Please examine yourself in light of what you have just read and ask yourself, "Have I ever truly
repented and trusted Christ as my Saviour?"
  If you have any other questions concerning
repentance, faith or salvation in general, please feel free to call, write or visit one of the services
listed on the back [below].



1.   We must realize that we are lost, sinners that are spiritually dead.
* "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."   Luke 19:10
* "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
* "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."   John 3:3
* "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."   John 3:6

2.   As spiritually dead, lost sinners, God's judgment and wrath are upon us.
* "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27.
* "For which things' sake [sin] the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience [sinners]:" Colossians 3:6.

3.   Our good works can't stop this judgment and wrath.   God demands death as payment for sin.
* "Not of works..." Ephesians 2:8,9.
* "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
* "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."   Ezekiel 18:4
* "For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.


4.   God is willing to accept someone else's death in our place.   That someone is Jesus Christ.
* "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for
, to be testified in due time."
  I Timothy 2:5-6
* "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."   Romans 5:8

5.   Jesus has bought salvation for us and now God can offer it as a gift by grace.
* "Ye are bought with a price;" I Corinthians 7:23.
* "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
  Ephesians 2:8,9

How does someone accept this gift?   Through repentance and faith.

REPENTANCE: means to change your mind and adapt an attitude of not sinning against God.
FAITH: means to simply take God at His Word, i.e., believe the verses you have just read.
* "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
   Acts 20:21
* "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."   Romans 10:13

6.   Upon being saved and born again spiritually, we become converted to a new creature in Christ.
* "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom
of heaven."
  Matthew 18:3
* "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."   II Corinthians 5:17


3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103

Speaking the truth in love
Ephesians 4:15


Schedule of Services

Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Evening Service . . . . . . . 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Bible Study . . . . . . . 7:00 p.m.

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]