Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” NKJV
John the Baptist came preaching repentance to all the people that came out to him and emphasizing to all of them that their lives should have evidence that true repentance had taken place. Now the One that John spoke of (that he was not even worthy of unstrapping His sandals) comes right behind him speaking the same message. The Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that His purpose for leaving Heaven and becoming a man was to call all men everywhere to repent. God the Father has overlooked all the sins of the past but now wants every soul on earth to turn from their sin to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Although reconciliation with God comes by being adopted into His Eternal Heavenly family by a miracle of regeneration and new birth, yet it is every person’s responsibility to see themselves as helpless, hopeless, horrible, and habitual sinners before this miracle can ever be wrought in their hearts. The sin of man is what brought our Lord to earth and His love for man caused Him to humble Himself to the point of death to take the sin of every man that will repent and trust Him only. Repentance is not like a task that one does but it is an attitude of the heart (the inner man or woman) that sees their sinfulness as abhorring to them and God which produces a heart that cries out for that sin to be taken away or removed. King David understood this when he poured out his heart to the Lord and said, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.” The repentant heart finally comes to see sin as God sees it and turns from it to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. NKJV
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. NKJV
This was the early message from our Lord’s lips to the people as He began His earthly ministry. It was because though Jesus Christ is God, He cannot save any person apart from that person’s heart being so broken over its sinful condition that it desires a life change that makes them walk away from their sin. Listen to what He said, “I have not come to call the righteous (that is people who do not think they are so bad), but sinners (the one who sees his/her filthiness and God’s Holiness in the Word of God), to repentance.” For example, let’s say a person owned a precious rare piece of jewelry but the rare jewelry has only caused them grief, pain, heartache, and misery. Then in order for that person to get relief or refreshing brought into their life they just took that rare piece of jewelry (saying I’m done with it) and through it into the Mediterranean Sea walking away from it and never looking back with regret. This is why our Lord came preaching a message of repentance because no amount of money, or precious piece of jewelry, or any sin known to man is worth holding on to and being cast into the Lake of Fire.
Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul? KJV
“The first spiritual step on the Calvary road of radical obedience to Jesus is repentance. Repentance includes remorse for inward corruption and sin. Repentance is not only remorse. It is a change of mind and heart about sin and righteousness and about Christ. It is a turning from the broken cisterns of the world to the fountain of life.” John Piper
“Many mourn for their sins that do not truly repent of them, weep bitterly for them, and yet continue in love and league with them.” Matthew Henry
“Sin is first pleasing, then it grows easy, then delightful, then frequent, then habitual, then confirmed; then the man is impenitent, then he is obstinate, then he is resolved never to repent, and then he is ruined.” Robert Leighton (1611-1684)
“Deathbed repentance is burning the candle of life in the service of the devil, and then blowing the smoke into the face of God.” Billy Sunday
“Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs to be repented of and his conversion is a fiction.” Charles Spurgeon
“Man is born with his face turned away from God. When he truly repents, he is turned right round toward God; he leaves his old life.” D. L. Moody
“True repentance is no light matter. It is a thorough change of heart about sin, a change showing itself in godly sorrow and humiliation - in heartfelt confession before the throne of grace - in a complete breaking off from sinful habits, and an abiding hatred of all sin. Such repentance is the inseparable companion of saving faith in Christ.” J. C. Ryle
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…