Author: Ethel Meadows
Truly the world’s greatest need today is Bible repentance. There has never been a time in the history of the world when repentance was needed more, or preached less. Repentance is one of the most disliked, and consequently, most neglected subjects among people in general. Yet for those who would find life and peace through the regenerating work of Calvary, there is no other substitute for it.
What is Repentance?
Job told us something of the meaning of Bible repentance when he said, “I abhor myself and repent.”
Repentance is not only godly sorrow for sin and a determination to forsake it, but includes such loathing of self because of sin, as will result in confession and renunciation of it. Godly repentance will lead to a complete change of conduct, and to newness of life (II Cor. 5:17.)
Who is to Repent?
All men! God commands all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30.) The Lord said, “Except ye repent, ye shall perish.” Luke 13:3.
God’s message for the world today is definitely repentance and turning away from sin. It has always been His message. The message of repentance was heralded forth with fiery zeal by all the holy prophets of old. The Old Testament Scriptures are intermittent throughout with exhortations to repentance as a means of avoiding God’s judgments in the land. And God has not changed His mind about sin.
The grace dispensation was ushered in with the same message. Christ’s forerunner, John the Baptist, preached repentance and faith for the remission of sins, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15. He demanded that their lives prove a changed attitude toward God and sin. (Luke 3:8.)
The importance of repentance is seen in the fact that the Lord began His first sermon with an exhortation to repent. (Matt. 4:17.) He did not even one time throughout His ministry insinuate that salvation by grace could be obtained in any other way than by turning from sin and following Him.
The Lord commanded that repentance and remission of sins be preached in His name among all nations. (Luke 24:47.) He sent the twelve apostles to preach repentance and commissioned the Church to do the same. Peter preached repentance to the religious leaders of his day.
Repentance is to precede baptism. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38.
Why is Repentance Necessary?
That sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:19.) The early disciples all preached repentance, and God’s chosen vessels have not ceased to preach it down through the ages.
The theory of accepting Christ, joining a church, and being baptized, over unconfessed and unforsaken sins is nothing short of deception. For the heart and life remain unchanged.
Jesus said, “…Ye must be born again”, John 3:7, at which time a new name is written in the Book of Life, and without which, joining every church under heaven will avail nothing, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15.
It is impossible to accept Christ without accepting His Word, and without a resolute purpose to renounce sin and to walk in His ways. If old things have not passed away and all things become new, we have not accepted Christ in reality. (II Cor. 5:17.)
Another invention much used by Satan, is the “only believe” theory. There is a time and place for this, but not until every sin has been repented of, and God¹s conditions have been met.
Today people, not willing to endure sound doctrine, have heaped to themselves teachers having itching ears. It is the teachers who have itching ears, straining to know what will please the people, and thereby gain for themselves popularity, praise and worldly gain. And the people would have it so, because they love their sin, many prefer fables to truth. Yet for all this, there is to be a reckoning. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” II Peter 3:10.
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out,…” Acts 3:19. “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.