Do you need to repent?
Jesus Christ says you do. In fact, His first recorded words in the Gospel of
Mark are: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye,
and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). John the Baptist said it also: "REPENT ye: for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:2). As well as the Apostle Paul:
"God...commandeth all men every where to REPENT" (Acts 17:30). Even Peter
said: "REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out"
Why did they all say you need to repent? Let's take the next few moments and
answer this question as we look at repentance and why the Bible says it's necessary.
To begin with, when the Bible says "REPENT!" it means "CHANGE YOUR MIND!"
Or, to put it another way, God wants you to change your attitude. The reason He
does is because, whether you realize it or not, He created you to serve Him. And as
long as you insist on running your own life, independent of God's will, you are
showing him a rebellious attitude.
You're not alone. This need for repentance applies to all mankind, God says:
"There is NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE: There is none that understandeth,
there is NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. They are ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY,
they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO,
NOT ONE" (Rom. 3:10-12). We are all born with a rebellious attitude toward God,
it's part of our sin nature. The Bible says: "ALL we like sheep have GONE ASTRAY;
we have turned EVERY ONE to HIS OWN WAY; and the LORD hath laid on him
[Jesus Christ] the iniquity [sin] of us all" (Isa. 53:6). Therefore God looks down
toward mankind and says: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous
man his thoughts: and LET HIM RETURN UNTO THE LORD, and he will have
mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" Isa. 55:7.
Because of our rebellion against God, we need to repent.
Perhaps, as you read all this, you're thinking:
"Don't include me! I don't see a need to repent,
I haven't been rebelling against God."
However, you can be rebelling against God right now, and not even
be aware of it. For example:
You rebel against God when you sin
The Bible defines sin as: the braking of God's law. "Whosoever COMMITTETH SIN
transgresseth also the law: for SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION [braking] OF THE LAW" (1 John
3:4). The law includes all the commandments found in the Bible, and anytime you disobey
one, you are in essence rebelling against God. Note also, there are no lesser degrees of
rebellion when it comes to braking the law, brake one and you've broken them all: "For
whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in ONE POINT, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL.
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law" James 2:10-11.
Lying, swearing, cheating, fornication and any other sin mentioned in God's law, are all
examples of a rebellious attitude. The prophet Daniel, lamenting over the sins of his people,
expressed repentance when he cried out to God: "WE HAVE SINNED, and have committed
iniquity, and have done wickedly, AND HAVE REBELLED, even BY DEPARTING FROM thy
precepts and from thy judgments [laws]" (Dan. 9:5). God commands you to change your
rebellious attitude by forsaking your sinful practices, Jesus says: "except YE REPENT, ye
shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3.
You rebel against God when you are Self-righteous
God says: "For there is NOT A JUST MAN UPON EARTH, that doeth good, and sinneth not."
Eccl. 7:20. That means: "There is NONE RIGHTEOUS, no, not one:" Rom. 3:10. In fact, when
you try to act righteous, God looks down and considers: "..all our righteousnesses are as
FILTHY RAGS" (Isa. 64:6). To insist on acting righteous when God says you're not, is to
display a rebellious attitude. YOU NEED TO REPENT, Jesus says: "...I am not come to call
the righteous [because there are none!], but SINNERS TO REPENTANCE." Matt. 9:13
You rebel when you refuse to admit you are a sinner
The Bible says: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him [God] a liar" 1 John 1:10.
Maybe you don't see yourself as a sinner compared to others. But the Bible says: "For ALL
have SINNED, AND COME SHORT of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). It is God's holy standard
that must be used as the "yardstick," and compared to him we are all sinners. If you deny it,
you are displaying a rebellious attitude. YOU NEED TO REPENT, Jesus says: "except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish" Luke 13:3.
You rebel when you love the world more than God
The Bible says: "LOVE NOT THE WORLD, neither the things that are in the world" (1 John
2:15). Instead God commands you to repent, change your attitude and: "...love the Lord
THY GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" Matt. 22:37.
And Jesus said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). To willfully follow
the world's ideas, fads, traditions and philosophy instead of the commandments of God is to
love the world more than God and thus display a rebellious attitude. YOU NEED TO REPENT,
Jesus says: "REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matt. 4:17
You rebel against God when you don't submit to Him
God says: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: AND
LET HIM RETURN UNTO THE LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon" (Isa. 55:7). God not only commands you to forsake your
sinful ways but He also says to SUBMIT TO HIS SOVEREIGN WILL. Maybe, you have
forsaken, smoking, drinking, fornicating, cussing, etc. But are you just "cleaning up" your
life without handing it over to God? Have you submitted to following His will as described
in the Bible? If not, you're still in rebellion against Him and NEED TO REPENT. Jesus
says: "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" Luke 13:3.
You rebel when you try to earn your way to Heaven
The Bible says: "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."
(Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation can't be earned through church membership, baptism, good behavior
or even good deeds: "NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according
to his mercy he saved us" (Titus 3:5). Jesus Christ paid for our sins by dying and shedding
His blood on the Cross. That's why the Bible says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have
everlasting life" (John 3:16). If you insist on trying to earn your way to Heaven when God
says you can't, you are displaying a rebellious attitude and NEED TO REPENT. God says:
"REPENT ye, and BELIEVE the gospel." Mark 1:15
After reading all this, think about it, Do you need to repent?
If you died today, are you 100% sure you
would go to Heaven? The Bible says you can!
"These things have I written...that ye may
know that ye have eternal life," I John 5:13.
A. You must realize where you stand with God.
1. Your sins separate you and God. "your iniquities
have separated between you and your God,"
2. That includes everyone. "For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;" Rom. 3:23.
B. You must realize that Heaven can't be earned.
1. Not by doing enough good things. "Not by
works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us..."
2. Not by being baptized, joining a church, or
obeying the Ten Commandments. "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."
C. You must be willing to change your direction.
"the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.
1. Self righteousness will cause you to miss Heaven.
Rom. 10:2-3; Luke 13:2; Matt. 5:20; Rom. 3:28
2. Faith in yourself, your baptism, your church will
cause you to miss Heaven, John 1:12; John 3:3.
3. You must repent. "Repent ye therefore, and be
converted," Acts 3:19. "The Lord is...not
willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance." II Pet. 3:9
* Repentance means to change your mind about sin.
D. You must receive Jesus Christ by faith as your
personal Saviour. "being justified by faith,"
Eternal life was paid for with the shed blood
of Christ. Accept it as a free gift. "For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
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