Saturday, April 27, 2013
Repentance is not Optional
All scripture references are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.
Jesus said in Luke 24:47 "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Repentance is an interesting subject. In Strong's Greek Dictionary, the meaning is as follows:
From G3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): - repentance."
The word "repentance" is found in the preceding form 24 times in the New Testament. I suppose that the above definition could be summed up to be sense of one's guilt for sin, accompanied with a reversal of one's decision or direction.
In Matthew 3:2 at the beginning of John the Baptist's ministry, he told his hearers, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The word translated "repent," has a similar meaning as above. It's as follows:
From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent."
The word "repent," is found in the preceding form 23 times in the New Testament. In Matthew 3:7, John the Baptist called the Saducees and the Pharisees who had come out to hear him "a generation of vipers." (Pretty rough talk.) Then in verse 8 he told them to "bring forth fruits therefore meet for repentance." (See the above definition for repentance.)
So what does all this mean? The Lord Jesus told the Jews in Luke 13:1-5 that they may have supposed that the Galilaeans whose blood was mingled with their sacrifices by Pontius Pilate or the eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell "were sinners above all men." Jesus told them that except they repent they would "all likewise perish." This goes for us too!
The Bible says in 2nd Peter 3:9 that God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." In Acts 17:30 the Apostle Paul told the men of Mars Hill that God had winked at their ignorance in time past "but now commandeth all men every where to repent..." The need to repent is not optional to be saved. The simple message of repentance is that unless you turn to God, turn your back on your sinful ways, you will perish. God does not want you to perish but He has determined that those who refuse His mercy, to turn from their wicked way, those who refuse to make a reversal of their decision and think differently and turn their lives over to the Lord Jesus will surely perish.
Up until the time that the Lord called me to serve Him, I had felt the sense of guilt for my sin but had never reversed my decision. I had never repented because I thought God would never love such a sinner as I nor want me in His holy presence. How wrong I was. I said to Him that day in 1965, "if you will help me, I will serve you from this day to the day I die." That was about 48 years ago. And from that time to this, the Lord Jesus has ever been "a very present help in trouble." (See Psalm 46:1) He will be your help too if you will let Him be. As John the Baptist said, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Put your trust in the Lord Jesus and do it today!