Mar 1:14-15 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying,The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
What did Jesus mean by repent?
We must recognize we are sinners, and we are all guilty before God. Many of us have thought that as long as we stay away from the most serious sins like murder, stealing, adultery, that we are good people and that God would surely let us into his heavenly abode based on our view of who we think we are. But who will truly be the one to judge?Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.1Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Hebrews 12:23-25 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Murder, stealing, and adultery are not the only sins that will keep you from eternal life with God; but even having respect of persons, which is judging a person based on external appearances, is worthy of bringing a guilty charge upon us all. Even the many seemingly innocent “personality traits” make us guilty.
James 2:9-10 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Mark7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
For none of us really are good people but corrupt in our lives, what we do, what we think, the motives we use to get what we want in this world. We come short of his standard in everything.
Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Psalm 14:1-3 …The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Do we now say “no one is perfect, that we all make mistakes, we all have faults?” So who can meet up with that standard of holiness that God expects from us? No one can. You see, when we are sinners we are unable to do good or please him in the way he wants us to.“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8 and we are subject to that punishment which justly belongs to those that are guilty.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Romans 2:8-9 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
2Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Who can be saved then, if we are all guilty based on his standard?
There are many, many places in scripture that answer this for us. John 3:16 being the most commonly put forth as the answer.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But to understand more of how he gave his life and what truly is the belief God is wanting from us, I give you more. 1John 2:2 and 1John 4:10 tell us that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. Him being the propitiation means that he is the appeasment to God for our sins. The punishment or payment of wrath, death, and hell for our sins is paid in full by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.
1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
He tastes death for us. Paying that debt to God that is owed for our sins.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Colossians 1:13-14 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
1Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Not because he had to, but because he loved us and doesn’t desire to see us perish, but to have mercy on us and see us healed/saved from our sins.
Romans 5:6-10 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Jesus wants to see us reconciled to God and not enemies; he loved us enough to even experience death for us, that we won’t have to.
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
It’s not the natural death I am speaking of, because we will all experience that; but an eternal conscience death separated from God after we are judged. Revelation 20:11-15(see above)2 Thess 1:8-9(see above)
John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Jesus Christ is the one who justifies or makes right our debt of death owed to God. We can do nothing of our own to have that debt of death paid.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Remember sin cannot appease God in that which we owe him. In Romans 3:20-28 it says
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
So we are only made right with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. We must gain righteousness through faith and not by anything we do of ourselves.
Galatians 3:8-14 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Philippans 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith
Not through righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saves us, regenerating us and renewing us through his Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7) In other words, born again. Not just in the life to come, but in this life now we will be renewed day by day. (2Corinthians 4:16)
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
What must you do to be saved? Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!
Acts16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
Matthew4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Acts3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Acts17:29-30 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Now that we know what we need to repent from, what kind of repentance does God expect? Repentance is to feel sorrowful over one’s sin, so as to cause that person to change their mind and direction in this life. To turn from the old ways to a new life in Christ. 1John 1:9 says ” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” and Matthew 10:32“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”
He will not turn us away if we sincerely repent and believe. A beloved brother and friend of mine Ade-Peters says in one of his writings…
“The Lord Jesus is willing to make Himself known to any sincere heart apart from established man -made order. If you will truly breakdown in sorrow for your sins and open your heart with willingness to receive, I’ve got
good news for you. The nail pierced hands of the Son of God are still outstretched in welcome and benediction. No word of rebuke awaits you if you will come. Christ still awards the robes of righteousness, the sandals of a fresh walk, the ring of His authority and the feast of gladness to anyone who will come [Luke.15:22-23]. As many as believe and receive Him, He gives power to become sons of God [John.1:12].”
For those who would think that following Jesus into a new life is hard, hear his words…
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
It truly is a light load compared to the heaviness of sin and despair that we find in us and in this world.
After we have repented and solely put our trust in Jesus Christ as our savior, redeemer, and Lord, it will be evinced by the true desire to follow him in life. In Acts 2:36-38 the apostle Peter is speaking to those who have just believed and been convicted in their hearts of their sins. “What shall we do?” is their response.
Acts 2:36-38 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 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.
*For more on baptism see this page.
A thing to consider when you are about to give your life wholeheartedly to the Lord Jesus is to count the cost. We see in Luke 14:25-35 Jesus tells those that desire to be his disciples, what that would entail.
Luke 14:25-35 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
He calls it picking up the cross, just like he did. Which is giving up everything we hold so dear in this life. Everything. And if we don’t then we cannot be his disciples.
Matthew 16:24-26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Even our hearts are to be all for him…
Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
Will you allow the God who led you to this page to start a work in your heart, that will lead you to life everlasting and to be a part of his kingdom?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord God is holding out to you the gift of eternal life instead of death for your sins. He is holding out water for your thirst that has never been quenched or satisfied by anything in this life you have lived. A well that will never run dry. John 4:14 ” But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
He doesn’t want you to be condemned, but receive life John 5:24“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” and John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The way to eternal life is only found in one person, Jesus Christ…
1John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
John 14:6-7 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Can you hear him calling you reader? He will not
turn you away!
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Behold, now is the day of salvation!
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)