How important is repentance?
In this generation, political correctness, means avoiding preaching words that may offend people’s feelings; you can seldom hear from a pulpit preacher who preaches about sin. Believing the gospel and repentance from sin must go together. When Jesus began to preach He emphasized repentance. Mark 1:14-15, “…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
(Luke13:1-5) “Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him (Jesus) about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices and He answered and said to them. “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
As of May 24, 2008, in China the Sichuan earthquake official figures states that 60,560are confirmed dead. Few days before China’s earthquake was the Myanmar Cyclone were the death tolls rises to 77,738. On September eleven two thousand one, when the Trade Center in New York was crushed down by the terrorists, thousands of innocent people died. Why did this happen to those innocent souls? And then there was Tsunami, a giant tidal wave that washed out thousands of people in Indonesia. People’s questions were unanswered.
Jesus faced the same question long time ago but His answer is short: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Does repentance have anything to do with calamity or a disaster? If you have repented of your sins and become a Christian, is there any guarantee that you can escape from a disaster? It might be for some reason that God will spare your life in a miraculous way for the purpose of testifying that God is real, alive and is in the business of saving souls. But Christians are not immune to calamity.
Take for example an incident that occurred in a Penitentiary in the Philippines where Australian missionaries went and visited the prisoners to conduct a service to the inmates, telling them about Christ and how to be saved. It happened that there was a riot inside the prison. Those missionaries died at that moment. The question is: Why did they die when they were there to work for the Lord?
Christians are not invincible to disasters and calamity. We are not supermen physically. If we are in a wrong place and in a wrong time even if we are super spirituals we cannot escape from a disaster. In the first century, Christians were not able to escape from the mouth of those hungry lions.
Christians surely have repented for their sins otherwise you cannot be called a Christian. But why do Christians die in a calamity? Maybe there were Christians who died on 9/11 and on Tsunami along with other people who are unbelievers. Who knows?
When Jesus mentioned, “perished”, it means, “Perished of a man’s soul”. If a man dies without Christ, his soul will perish to eternal damnation. When a Christian dies, he just passed the door of death. Christians are not afraid to die because our souls will not perish. Death is our graduation. We will be with the Lord forever. (2nd Corinthians 5:8) To be absent from the body, (means to die physically) and to be at home with the Lord, (is to be in Heaven)
Repentance from our sins is so crucial because death is inevitable. Death cannot be avoided or cannot be prevented. All of us will die whether we like it or not. In (Hebrews 9:27) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” That is why repentance is important. Why do we have to repent?
Repentance: First, we have to acknowledge, to admit or to accept that we are sinners. (1st John 1:8-9) “If we say that we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
To repent is to feel sorry, to regret, to be stung by one’s conscience because of our sin and then confess to God and accept God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ because He died on the cross for us.
(Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The first man that God created sinned against God by disobeying God’s simple command, which was not to eat the forbidden fruit. (Romans 5:12) “Therefore just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
One of Satan’s many methods or tactics for hindering people to repent is through his teaching of the Theory of Evolution. Actually this is the religion to those who believe in it. If man evolved from the monkeys, we don’t need repentance. Theory of Evolution is Satan’s direct assault to God’s Word, the Bible and to prevent people from believing that God created man. The devil knows that his final destination is the Lake of Fire so he wants to drag as much as possible all souls with him to eternal damnation. Sorry for the people who choose to be enticed by Satan. But the most deceiving of all is preaching sugar-coated gospel to allure people to join the church just to make converts without real repentance.
(John 1:8-9) “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”