Luke 13:3 – I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Matthew 3:8 – Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Luke 5:32 – I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Romans 2:4 – Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Repentance is a very central doctrine in the Word of God. Without it you cannot be saved from hell. Repentance is simply turning from sin to God. It is being truly sorry for the sin you have committed against a holy, righteous God. I do not want to get into a doctrinal dissertation about repentance but rather discuss a few things from these verses about repentance.
- Repentance is Necessary to Stay Out of Hell – Luke 13:3 says that if you don’t repent you are going to perish for all time and eternity. Repentance is the first step to salvation. There are no exceptions according to Jesus. There are not some who get saved without admitting they are sinners and some who do. You have to repent.
- Repentance Requires a Prepared Heart – Matt 3:8 says that it requires fruit in order to repent. The fruit has to be prepared or made “meet”. You have to cut up the apples and the bananas so to say. God has to work in the heart of the sinner to convict him of sin before he can repent. It is not natural for someone to admit they are a sinner and to be truly convicted. There is a preparation in the heart of man that has to occur prior to salvation. God reveals to the sinner his sin through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost convicts him of sin, righteousness and judgment to come.
- Repentance is Not Natural – Luke 5:32 says that Christ came not to call the self righteous to repentance but rather sinners. The self righteous man or woman can not see their sin. They are not even answering the telephone. The reason is simple, it is not natural to admit one’s sin. It is natural to blame others, make excuses and cover our sin. We always try and make ourselves look better than others by comparing ourselves to someone one notch worse than us. Repentance is supernatural. Repentance requires the sovereignty of God. God has to convict the sinner before he can repent.
- Repentance is a Gift From God – Rom 2:4 tells that God, in his goodness, leads us to repentance. It is a gift just like salvation. I think some people almost make repentance into a work. You don’t work up repentance. God leads you to it through his goodness. We have to accept the conviction God places on our heart and agree with Him that we are a sinner. Many a person has rejected that gift of conviction and hence did not repent or turn from their sin. God wants to save sinners. The problem is some people are not willing to give up their sin. As a result they will not repent and turn from it so they can be saved.
Let God work repentance in your heart. He wants you to turn from sin today as much as he did the day you got saved. Repentance is a life long process.