Saturday 16 July 2011

Repentance Is A Most

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It’s all about admitting who you really are…a sinner
And in need of a Saviour


“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief,” 1Ti 1:15.

I know who I am and where I’m coming from.  I am a sinner from the day I was born and will be until I die or until Jesus second coming, whatever comes first.  Being born again does not make me sinless; no, it makes me circumvent the death penalty in the ever-burning hell. That is what is called ‘receiving mercy’. It is an act of forgiveness on the part of Jesus. 

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has ‘ power’ on earth to forgive sins,” Matthew 9:6.

I, on my own power, can not do anything to take away the consequence of my sins…nothing. Furthermore, since the Lord commands me to be Holy as He is in (1 Peter 1:16), I can only sin least in my walk with God. I can’t and will never be sinless.  I continuously need God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness. 

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us”, 1 John 1:10. 

To be saved, all we needed to do was to believe in Jesus… 

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent,” John 6:29.

 Yes, that is true, yet I was wrong not to teach repentance.  We need to repent. We need to recognize who we are.  Repent is the first step to obtaining salvation. 

“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish,” Luke 13:3.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word repent as:
1.      to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2.    to feel regret or contrition
3.     to change one's mind

The definition of Merriam-Webster is quite adequate. The three definitions are part of the sequence a sinner goes through to receive salvation and live his Christian life. Repentance is a complete change of one's mind of our unbelief. It is not necessarily about our attitude toward our sinful nature and its damaged fellowship toward God.   We should not take sin lightly.  Repentance brings us to salvation, which is believing in our Lord Jesus's works.

The first statement that Jesus said at the beginning of His commission was

  “Repent[1], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 3:2. 

 In this verse, Jesus admonished the Jews to start thinking differently, to change their minds.  The emphasis here was on the purpose: to realize that the kingdom of God among His people, Israel, was at hand.  What most Christians do not know is that because of the false teaching of the “Replacement Theology,” it is not understood that Jesus came first to proclaim His throne (Luke 1:31-33).  Daniel prophesied the date when  Jesus would proclaim His Kingship.  No one at the time knew that a Church was to be created as a consequence of the Jewish authorities' rejection of Jesus as the Son of God. As of this day, Israel is still God's chosen people. The Church and Israel have their purpose in the fulfillment of Bible prophecies.

To understand Bible Prophecies, I recommend these articles title:

What Jesus was saying when He made that statement, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” was ‘set your mind on the kingdom; set your mind on what you were told about the Messiah?’ He showed up to pay the price as a redeemer and to reign. The Jewish authorities are the ones who refuse to accept Jesus as the promised Redeemer and king, not the whole Jewish population.  Remember, there were about 3000 Jews later on who repented and accepted Jesus as the redeemer.  That was when the church came to be.

“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 gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. And with many other words, he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them,” Matt 2:38-41.

In this circumstance, repenting means to change one's mind by understanding that Jesus is the one prophesied to take away our sin,  not about feeling regret or contrition. The 3000 Jews heard and understood Peter's message. Peter took the time to quote scriptures such as (Joel 2:28-32, Is 50:5, Ps 16:8-11, Ps 132:11, Ps 68:18, and Ps 110:1). Can you imagine the excitement arising from awareness of the free gift of eternal life from hearing these words?  That convicted the 3000 to repent and be baptized in the Spirit. Repentance was then extended to the gentile,

“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life,” Acts 11:18.

When I look back on my life, I now realize the importance of repentance as a precursor to salvation. I fully realized the sinful nature I had and have today. Believing in God's grace is enough.  Yes, I am saved by faith alone by an act of grace by Our Lord Jesus. And this was only during the Church era.  Many who end up in hell will then believe that Jesus is Lord, the redeemer and the lamb that took away our sins. That will not save them.  They end up in hell because none repented; none believed that they needed salvation. None believed in the work that Jesus did so that they may attain the free gift of eternal life.  They all thought that they were good enough and that their good deeds would balance their bad deeds. Please read “Getting What I've Got Coming” by Joe McKeever.

“Even the demons believe—and tremble,” James 2:19. 

There is no hope for demons. Their destiny is to be in hell for eternity. They know it (Matthew 8:29).  They will be tormented forever in the bottomless pit. Satan and demons are not granted to receive eternal life even if they would repent.  Only humans are.

Yes, it is important to believe that Jesus is Christ. (Matthew 16:16) illustrate that believing - faith is the foundation of the Church. It is by grace and by faith that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 6:28-29). Yet, repentance comes first. It is the realization that we need a saviour, separated from God and in need of Jesus to pay for our death penalty.

Jesus proclaimed the gospel by exhorting the Jews to repent, for His kingdom was at hand.  Today, it is the same gospel, but this time oriented to Jews and gentile; 

“testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” Acts 20:21.  

Please repent, for the rapture is imminent, for Jesus' return is near. If you die now before repentance, your destiny is the same as Satan and the demons, which is in an ever-burning hell where there is no hope, no forgiveness, only torment forever.

So this is the sequence to obtain everlasting life in Jesus: TRUST in the Word of God that clearly states that you are a sinner. Repent is to believe that Jesus is your Redeemer, the One who paid the penalty for your sins.  Ask forgiveness for your sins (Luke 18:13).  That will guarantee you eternal life.

Once we believe in Jesus, we learn to walk with Jesus.  When we stumble and sin, we ask for forgiveness. Not to gain salvation but to stay in good fellowship with God.  So, how do we repent? By admitting our sins and turning away from sins by overcoming them.  How do I overcome sin? Overcome sins with Jesus' help (Luke 10:19, John 16:33). Put your mind on doing good works not to gain salvation, for it is by God’s grace and faith ALONE that we are saved, but as a distraction and to prepare you to reign with Christ. Therefore, stop thinking about the temptation by keeping your mind busy. 

 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”, Romans 12:21.  

 Study the Bible, sing songs, give thanks to God, and do whatever it takes to overcome sins. Jesus is there to help you overcome, not to condemn you.

Quoting Joe McKeever, “That's why, from the moment you first experience His mercy, your life will be characterized by one overwhelming sensation: Gratitude.” Please read  “Getting What I've Got Coming.”

Now, you are ready to learn to walk in righteousness and thanksgiving by resting in the Lord and seeking God's kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Watch for His return (Matthew 24:42, Luke 12:37, 1 Corinthians 16:13).
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life,” Romans 6:22.

Recommended material to read is “Repentance”, by Ray Stedman.

Here is a quotation by Ray Stedman: 
“When God is dealing with people, He seeks to bring them to the place where they acknowledge what is wrong. This is what God wants to do with us. He finds us in our failure, our estrangement, our guilt, our sense of nakedness and loss, and immediately He moves to bring us to repentance. We misunderstand His moving. We think He is dragging us before some tribunal in order to chastise us or punish us, but He is not. He is simply trying to get us to face the facts as they are.”

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Unless otherwise initialled from another version. All scriptures verses are taken from The Open Bible Expanded Edition: New King James Version Copyright © 1985, 1983 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

[1] From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.