What is repentance, why is it important, and who preached on the topic?
Webster’s 1828 records that, “Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God.” I would agree, but add that cessation alone is not enough; one must turn away from sin and turn towards Jesus. Quite frankly, if you have no intention of believing in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you might as well just keep on with your abhorrent behavior.
When Holy Spirit conviction gives birth to Godly repentance, the recipient knows full well that a life or death situation exists. To purposely disregard this divine directive is to set a soul on a hellish spiral. The fanatical Christian with his, “REPENT or GO TO HELL” sign might be a little short on love, but his information is nevertheless completely accurate. I suspect that a believer walking more closely with Jesus would not be as harsh, but hopefully would get the same point across.
Who in the Bible preached the need for repentance? Well here’s the short list:
John the Baptist
For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” Matthew 3:2
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
The 12 Disciples
So they (the disciples) went out and preached that the people should repent. Mark 6:12
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
Paul and God
Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious…Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:22 + 30
What does true repentance look like? According to the scriptures three characteristics will be apparent. First, there will be Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), second, there will be humility (Luke 18:9-14) and finally there will be the obvious rejection of the former ways and the turning to God (1 Thessalonians 1:9). These three attributes reflect a godly change of mind, of heart, and of will. Soon after, there will be fruit!
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses to all these things.” Luke 24:45-48
What are your thoughts?
These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands