I want to speak to you on the Doctrine of Repentance. This great subject is found everywhere in he Bible. It was the subject of the Old Testament Prophets. Everywhere they went they were telling people to repent, to give up their sins, to separate themselves from sin, to live the separated life.
John the Baptist had this great subject, as his theme: “Repent” He said, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” He went up and down the countryside preaching to great throngs of People. Now nobody will dent, that this country preacher had great power with God. He did not have to go where the people were, they came to where he was…He emptied the cities and villages, his pulpit was the mountainside and his auditorium was the sky. His crowds were the multitudes, and the one mighty message of his preaching, was to call people to repentance. To tell them to turn, their backs on sin, and their face towards God. And he wouldn’t baptize anyone in water, until they had done that first.
Yes from cover to cover , that is the message found in the Bible. The great doctrine of repentance and the reason it is of such importance, is because repentance is he first step to God. A man cannot come to God; a man cannot be accepted by God, as long as he loves his sin and refuses to repent.
Now what is repentance? Repentance means to change your mind, your attitude. It’s a change of affection. When a man repents, he no longer loves his sin, he abhors it, and, as a result, he flees to Christ for mercy and cleansing. No one can ever be saved, and refuse to repent at the same time! There are no substitutes! No one, of the age of accountability, ever entered into heaven, who did not repent. There are just no substitutes.
Some people try to substitute “Penance” for “Repentance”. But you can punish this old body til it bleeds. You may freeze it, starve it, but if there is not a genuine turning away from our sins, we will not be accepted by God. Some people try to substitute “Morality”, but morality is not repentance. A person might become as moral as Nicodemus us upright as Saul of Tarsus, but what about our sins of the past. One sin can keep any of us out of heaven Repentance must come first. Some people try to substitute church going and baptism, but you can be baptized in all the baptisteries, in all rivers, in all the lakes, and all the seas, by all the Clergymen of the world, but every practiced formula, but unless there is a change in your heart, unless you repent, you cannot obtain salvation. There is no substitute for repentance; it is the first essential step to God.
Why should we repent? God gives us definite reasons in the Bible. Here is one of them. “God commanded, all men, everywhere to repent: As He has appointed a day, in which He will judge the world, in Righteousness.” We need to repent because God says, there is going to be a judgment day. We are going to have to meet the judgment of our sins. Therefore we ought to flee to Christ, who took the judgment of our sins upon himself, when He died upon the cross.
We ought to repent because “God commanded” that is the second reason. To refuse to repent and flee to Christ for salvation is to disobey God. And notice that the Bible says “All Men” and no matter who you are, that includes you. Another reason why we should all repent of our sins is because the Bible says: “Except we repent we shall all likewise perish!” It’s repent or perish the Bible tells us! That is the law that God has laid down for us all.
The very fact, that are this moment, Christ is waiting with outstretched arms to receive us, and forgive us our sins, is strong enough reason, why you should turn your back on your sins, and flee to Christ right now. If you have never, may God help you at this very moment, to repent of your sins and turn to Christ.
He’s Only a Prayer Away.