Are today’s teachers and preachers teaching and preaching repentance? If not, why not? Has the need for repentance diminished? Has God lessened or changed the terms of admission into His kingdom? In Luke chapter thirteen verses 1 through 5, Jesus gives us a stern warning, “Unless we repent, we shall perish.” Some people will utter the word repent, without being sorry for their sin or offence. For example, “A drunken man may come home and beat his wife, the next morning he wakes up and apologizes to her saying he is sorry. She forgives him and continue to be his loving and kind wife.
Next week the Husband comes home with a half of snoop full and beat her up again. The next morning, he apologizes again, and she forgives him. This time he lays of alcohol for a few weeks; but temptation got the best of him and he returned to the bottle, came home and tuned his wife up really good. The next morning when he awoke he came out as usual to apologize, all he found was a note saying, “I can no longer life with an abusive who is always apologizing and making empty promises. It does not matter how many times he said he loved her and said he was sorry, he did nothing to change his behavior. When you see the word repent in the Bible it means to turn from evil and turn to God.
I. What is Repentance?
The first Old Testament Hebrew word for repent is “Metananoeo” which means to have a change of mind and attitude. The second Hebrew word translated repent is “Nathan” which means to be sorry or to regret. The third Hebrew word translated repent is “Sub” which means to turn from evil and to turn to God.
New Testament the Greek words “Metanoeo and Metanoia” translated repent means the same as Sub, “To turn from evil and turn to God.” True repentance is to make a decision that changes the total direction of one’s life.
II. How Repentance Work:
True repentance is threefold; it involves the mind, the emotions and the will.
A. The mind: first we must decide in our mind that sin is evil and that God hates sin. A changed mind about sin produces a changed attitude toward sin. A changed attitude changes our character; and a changed character changes our behavior.
B. The emotions: emotions are an important part of repentance. David said, “I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin (See Psalms 38:18). Repentance is being sorry enough about your sins to stop sinning.
C. The will: a changed mind and being sorry for our sins is not enough to produce true repentance; we must be willing to change our behavior. The Bible says, “let the wicked forsake his ways, 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 (See Isaiah. 55:7).
D. True repentance is a heart that is broken from sin and turn to God. What we ask God to forgive we must be willing to forsake.
III. Repentance Illustrated:
In the story of the prodigal son, we see the perfect illustration of repentance (See Luke 15:11-32).
A. The mind: this young man’s condition caused him to think about his life: and as he thought about his situation he realized that he needed a change (See Luke 15: 17).
B. The emotions: he realized he did not leave home under the best of circumstances, therefore he needed to apologize to his father and seek his father’s forgiveness (See Luke 15: 18-19).
C. The will: this young man knew that talking about his condition and being sorry would not change anything. What he needed was to be willing to forsake his lifestyle, leave the pig pen and return home (vs. 20).
IV. The Importance of Repentance:
A. Both John the Baptist and Jesus started their ministries calling people to repentance, in John Matthew 3:1-2; and Jesus in Mark 4:17. The apostles Peter and Paul preached repentance (See Acts 2:37; Acts 20:21).
B. Repentance helps to qualify a person for forgiveness; and forgiveness leads to salvation, and salvation is the doorway to eternal life in heaven, no one can enter without it (See Luke 13:3, 5).
C. Failure to repent causes a person to lose out on many of God’s blessings in life, plus leaving him or her with no hope of ever going to heaven.
Conclusion of Repentance
Repentance couple with faith in the finish work of Jesus Christ produces forgiveness. If you have never repented of your sins and trusted Jesus for your Savior, today is a good day. God will forgive your sins, remove the burden of guilt, and give you eternal life in heaven.