“…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) “…Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47)
The Greek word for “repent” is transliterated “metanoia.” It is defined as “the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds” (Thayer).
In speaking to Peter, our Lord used the word “convert”; “…when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, “convert” is to turn from one direction to another, showing us that repentance is of the heart and conversion is the manifestation of an inward transformation. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted…” (Acts 3:19). This spiritual experience the Christian goes through reminds me of doing a U-Turn as you’re driving down a highway. You were travelling one direction, and for some reason or another, you turned around and entered another course in your journey.
Repentance is not optional in Christianity. It is the fruit of a root which has been implanted in the spirit of the believer; that root being faith, the faith of Christ. (See Acts 3:16; Philippians 3:9; Galatians 2:20.) John the Baptist told the religious people of his day to, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8). I’m afraid to say that a large majority of Christian repentance today isn’t even fit for the dunghill and is a stink in God’s nostrils. Half-hearted spiritual sacrifices (Malachi 1:7-9) are not acceptable to a Holy God that gave a Lamb without spot or blemish at Calvary’s Cross for the sins of the world. He left heaven so that He might cloth us in His Righteousness. He deserves the utmost holiness.
Modern-day Christianity is teaching a foreign faith that has been spawned in the carnal minds of infidels. They teach an easy-believing gospel that includes no death of Christ and no death to self. They say “Believe and thou shalt be saved.”
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20)
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)
John the Baptist came preaching, “You turn, and you turn, and you need to turn too. Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” And in Hebrews 12:13-14, we are admonished, “And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Friend, are you headed in the right direction? Have you repented with godly sorrow that has so overwhelmed your soul that you have stated, as did Job, “…I abhor myself…” (Job 42:6)? It is my fervent prayer today that if you haven’t, may God send you an angel bearing a sword as you tread your path, to warn you as He did Balaam. “And the angel of the LORD said unto him… thy way is perverse before me” (Numbers 22:32). Who is to say that this devotion may be your warning!
God’s grace is sufficient and His lovecovers a multitude of sins. Will you decide to make a U-Turn today?