Vol.II No.XII Pg.3
January 1966

We Must Repent

Robert F. Turner

When John the Immerser began to prepare the way for Christ, he said: "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". And, "Bring forth fruits meet for repentance" (MAT.3:1-f.).

Jesus began His personal ministry by preaching, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (MAT.4:17). He spoke of the destruction of certain wicked men in disasters of His time, then said, "I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (LUK.13:1-5).

The first converts to Christ in the Christian dispensation had to "Repent, and be baptized every one of you -- " and "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, -- " (ACT.2:38,3:19).

Paul told the pagan philosophers of Athens, "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (ACT.17:30). Paul rejoiced that the Corinthian brethren "sorrowed to repentance:" "for godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2CO.7:9-10).

It would appear that repentance is universally needed and demanded -- on the part of pagan, Jew, non-member and member of the body of Christ. The obvious reason is sin -- and where sin exists, God calls for repentance. We must recognize our sinful condition, and sorrow after a godly manner. This means we realize that we are in the presence of God, and are ashamed of conduct, word or thought that is so unbecoming to a creature of our pure and wholly good Creator. The shame we feel, knowing that our loving heavenly Father is aware of our sin, makes us truly humble. We prostrate ourselves, figuratively if not literally, before Him. Pride can not exist in such an atmosphere. The deeds, words or thoughts that brought us to this shame are loathsome to us - we turn from them with revulsion. There is no room for self-pity, no effort at self-justification. Our hearts cry out, "Oh God, I am a sinner!! Be merciful to me!!

That is repentance.

It swallows the penitent -- brings him submissively to the throne of God. It sets the stage for his future conduct. It is an essential element in the Christian system -- set in juxtaposition with the faith in God which makes true repentance possible. It aligns man with the mercies of God, providing the proper setting for his obedience. His faith lives in repentance and obedience, and by repentance faith and obedience are joined. Small wonder that Peter wrote, "The Lord is -- longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2PE.3:9).

Now hear this!! The pride that keeps you from repentance, keeps you from the salvation of your soul. You know you are in error -- but "what will people say -- " "how will friends react"?? Repent -- or perish!!

Current trends, including atheistic psychiatry, say "feel no guilt" - but God says feel, regret, repent, be forgiven -- -and begin a new life.