Email: Pastor True Gospel
Godly sorrow is the fore-runner for repentance. Repent is to change our
minds from sinning as well as from desiring the things of this world. Desire the
things of heaven so that our life may be one with Christ. May God give
his Holy Spirit to you.
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In the ministry of Jesus Christ, repent is the first word that was preached. John the Baptist preached to repent and prepared the way to Jesus. In Matthew 3:1&2, "John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." In my own language bible, the same sentence is written as: "change your mind for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." So, 'repent ye' means 'change your mind'. What do we mean by change your mind? If I am expected to do something, if I did not do it, and if someone asked me why I did not do it, I may say; that I have changed my mind. That is, if I have changed my mind, I will not do certain things that I would do otherwise. Here, sin is in question. So if I have repented for my sins, I will not do it again. But, if we use the meaning that repentance is to feel sorry, then we may do it again, feel sorry and do it again, feel sorry again, and it will continue. But, feel sorry is only the first portion of repentance. If we take repentance and cut it into half, the first portion is to feel sorry with remorse, and the second portion is not to do it again. If we put both together as one, it is called repentance, that is to change our mind from doing it again.
Most Christians take the blood of Jesus Christ for granted, downplay sin, and preach that salvation can be obtained by a simple ritual or a prayer. God has rejected them, has given repentance to those who come to him, even to Israel as well as to Gentiles, and he desires that all should come to repentance. "Acts 5:30&31 says that, God has raised up Jesus, ... to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 11:18 .. they ... glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is ... longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." So, God wants everybody to come to repentance, and hegives forgiveness. But fake repentance, which is feel sorry but do it again; will make the sinner worse. Jesus Christ preached to repent before he preached the gospel. In Matthew 4:17 he preached repentance. Verse 23 says, "Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom..." He preached repentance as pre-requisite to gospel and then he preached the gospel. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and his disciples, all preached people to repent, it is to change their minds. If people did not repent, they walked away, but rejected them from the kingdom of heaven. Those people hated them.
Repent means, that we should change our minds from sinning. It is to be converted from sinning to, not to sin. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, ..." John the Baptist was baptizing people telling them to repent for the remission of sins. Many came to him; and a few of them were religious leaders. John the Baptist confronted them, since they just came without any intention of conversion. "Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" So, if repentance is not for conversion, even water baptism is of no use.
Matthew 3:8 says "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for Repentance:" God requires fruit for repentance. We must produce fruit. If we have changed our desires, from the flesh and the things of the world, to the kingdom of heaven, then this change will be seen in our lives. This is the fruit and proof of repentance. If we don't have this fruit, then it is not repentance. For an example: If we offend someone, repentance is not only to say sorry for the offense, but also to do restitution, and most importantly not to do such things again to anyone. But Christians have learned to say sorry in a private prayer, without doing any restitution to whom the harm is done, and they will repeat such things again. This is a joke, but not repentance. Sorrow is not repentance, but it is a pre-requisite to repentance. We may divide sorrow in two groups. 1 Godly sorrow. 2 worldly sorrow. "2 Corinthians 7:9 ... ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner ... 10.. godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation ...: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." So, godly sorrow leads to true repentance; and it is a pre-requisite.
"Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Why should we change our minds? Because; kingdom of heaven is at hand; it is in our reach. "Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." So, we must change our minds from the things of the world to the heavenly kingdom. But we always approach God for worldly needs and comforts now; and take eternal things for granted. Usually we claim that we are 'born again' or a 'new creature', attend church often, pray more, talk about God, and so on. These are good things. But we may not desire heavenly things instead of worldly things. We ask God for better health, better job, better things of the world, but not better position in heaven; because heavenly things are not real to us as the worldly things. It proves that we are not the new creatures in the Spirit that are seated in heaven. We must change our minds from the desires of the flesh and of the world, to the mind of Jesus Christ; and it is heavenly minded. "Romans 12:2 be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind... Ephesians 4:23 be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 1 Corinthians 2:16 we have the mind of Christ." It is to renew our minds from all the worldly glory, to spiritual and heavenly glory, which is the kingdom of God.
Repentance was first preached to Jews at the time of Jesus. Let us see what it meant to them as well as what it means to us. At that time, Jews were looking for the Messiah, to take over Jerusalem from Romans, and to establish the kingdom of Israel. In this context, God was telling the Jews to change their minds from the kingdom of Jews, since God brings the kingdom of heaven to them. There will be no more the kingdom of Jews, but it will be the kingdom of heaven. But the kingdom of heaven will be to the obedient people, but not to the rebellious. So, in order to receive the kingdom of heaven, they must obey God. But they continued to be rebellious, and it led to the killing of Jesus, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem and their temple. It was to the Jews on that day. Now, what it means to us Christians of this day? It is to change our minds from the glory of the world and of the flesh, to the glorious kingdom of heaven. But the pleasures of the world and of the flesh; are tangible and real, whereas the things of heaven are neither tangible, nor real to our flesh or to our minds. So, Jesus tells us to be born again of the Spirit, and then the heavenly things will become tangible. So, the key is to receive the Spirit of God. Then this holy spirit will help us. Let us see how it will help us. 1 Corinthians 2 says, "9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (It is exactly the kingdom of God, which is heaven, with all its details.) 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: (This Spirit will reveal every detail of his kingdom to us.) ... 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (So, we have to be careful to receive the Spirit of God, which is holy and godly; but not some weird experience and excitement as the Spirit.) 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (These are spiritual things, which pertained to heaven, but not some peculiar thing which happen in the world.) 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (So, if you are a natural person of wisdom, and of intelligence, you will not receive the things of the kingdom of God.) 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." So, the key is that we must have the mind of Christ, then we will receive the things of the Spirit. Then, heaven will be tangible and real to us. Then it will be natural and easy to desire the things of the kingdom of heaven, and to receive them in our hands.
However, if we are not alert, we may slip because our enemy the devil is always vigilant. We hope nobody slips. But in case, if anybody slips, listen to this. The resurrected Jesus Christ, who is God, visited apostle John and send messages to the churches requiring them to repent again. They have already repented, baptized and joined the churches. When they fell back God requires them to repent again. "Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." This will apply to all of us, if we slip and fall. If we have sinned again, we must be converted back again. God will accept the broken-hearted obedience. However, I like to point out that in the churches Philadelphia and Smyrna, nobody has fallen from the first repentance. They were holding on to their faith and obedience to the Lord. Alleluia. Wish you all the same. But, if you have slipped, donít waste any time, but repent immediately, and get right with God.
Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find
an error according to scripture,
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Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find
an error according to scripture,
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
God Bless You