THE CALL TO REPENTANCE- REPENT OR PERISH
REPENTANCE– THE KEY TO ETERNAL LIFE
REPENTANCE is the key to eternal life. Without REPENTANCE towards God, there is no SALVATION. REPENTANCE is the key to the kingdom of God. When Jesus began his ministry, he declared that the kingdom of God was at hand and the need for REPENTANCE. Jesus said ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye, and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL’ Mk1:15. REPENTANCE is believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ regarding sin, forgiveness, and holiness. NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
Jesus went everywhere in Judea telling people to REPENT of their sins Mt9:13. He said ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to REPENTANCE’ Lk5:32. Jesus said ‘.. EXCEPT ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH’ Lk13:3, and ‘.. EXCEPT a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3. Thus, without REPENTANCE and being BORN AGAIN, one cannot be saved and go to heaven, but would PERISH in HELL! The apostle Paul said ‘For godly sorrow worketh REPENTANCE to SALVATION not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death’ 2Co7:10. REPENTANCE is the key to heaven and to eternal life!
What is Repentance? Why Repent?
REPENTANCE means to turn away from our sins, seek forgiveness from God, and accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour. The need for REPENTANCE began in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve gave in to the temptation of the Serpent to eat of the forbidden fruit, and fell into sin and corruption. The apostle Paul wrote ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12. Sin and death were passed on to every man, woman, and child that subsequently came into this world. The Bible declared ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ Ro3:23, and ‘.. the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ Ro6:23.
Thus, there is a death penalty on every person born into this world that only faith in Jesus Christ can pardon. This death is not just physical death, but spiritual death where a person would spend eternity in hell and damnation. Only through REPENTANCE can one be forgiven of his sins and be restored unto God. Forgiveness was made possible by Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins Mt1:21. The apostle John wrote ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ 1Jn1:9. REPENTANCE is to seek God’s Forgiveness of our sins, and thus be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
John the Baptist- A Preacher of Repentance and the Precursor of Jesus Christ
John the Baptist, was a REPENTANCE preacher chosen by God to declare the coming of Jesus Christ. John was a coarse person clothed in ‘camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey’ Mt3:4; ‘John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of REPENTANCE for the remission of sins’ Mk1:4. John’s tenure was very short, but his message was very powerful. John was ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, make his paths straight.. all flesh shall see the SALVATION of God’ Is40:3,Lk3:3,6. ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world’ Jn1:29. Jesus was the SACRIFICIAL LAMB to atone for all our sins so we can be reconciled to God!
Multitudes came out to see John the Baptist from ‘.. Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 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? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for REPENTANCE’ Mt3:5-8. Due to his outspokenness against sin, John literally ‘lost his head’ when King Herod ordered his execution because his unlawful wife Herodias requested John’s head on a platter Mt14:1-12. John said ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ Jn3:30, which Jesus did upon John’s death. John the Baptist served as forerunner to Jesus Christ, who took the need for REPENTANCE and SALVATION message to all of us Jn3:16,17.
The PHARISEES and SADDUCEES, the religious leaders then, were pleased to see John killed as he was a great irritant and threat to their power over the people. They were not much different from today when ministers feel threatened by criticism for not preaching against sin and calling people to REPENTANCE. But the religious leaders then did not know that they would have to contend with someone else much greater and much more outspoken than John. Jesus began His ministry after his baptism by John when ‘.. the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased’ Lk3:23.
Jesus Came to Bring Salvation Through Repentance
Jesus, the Word of God, laid aside His heavenly splendor and took upon himself the form of a servant to die for our sins. As a man, he did not seek fame or fortune, but humbled himself even unto the death of the CROSS– a human sacrifice at Calvary to shed His blood for our sins Php2:5-8. His time on earth was short, only 33 years. His divine mission was to seek and save the lost Lk19:10 by calling us to REPENTANCE; that by believing in Him, we should not PERISH’ but have everlasting life Jn3:16. Jesus was motivated by love to save us. He was a loner, a man of sorrow, grief, and agony, who suffered a very brutal death. Though innocent, he was abused, despised, rejected, and crucified by the religious leaders and by his own people.
Regarding Jesus, Isaiah prophesied: ‘Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.. and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin..’ Is53:4-6,10. God laid upon Jesus all the sins of the world. Jesus came to bring us SALVATION. But only through REPENTANCE toward God can there be SALVATION through Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ- All About Repentance
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about REPENTANCE and the turning to God. Jesus said ‘.. except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH’ Lk13:3,5. Without REPENTANCE, everyone would PERISH. Many people know Jn3:16 which states ‘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 few know who said this, and to whom it was spoken to. Here Jesus was speaking in the 3rd person of Himself to Nicodemus, a Pharisee ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus at night Jn3:1,2. Jesus said ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved’ Jn3:17.
Jesus also warned ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it’ Mt7:13,14. According to Jesus many will go down the broad road to damnation, but only a few will find the narrow way to be saved. Like today, people then did not want to hear anyone telling them of their sins or to stop sinning, and that they needed to REPENT or they would PERISH in HELL.
The Born Again Experience- Repentance Required
The need to be spiritually ‘BORN AGAIN’ in order to attain everlasting life was new to everyone including Nicodemus. Jesus said ‘Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3,5. Nicodemus asked Jesus ‘How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jn3:4. Jesus meant a person needs to be spiritually renewed by repenting of his sins, and thus be BORN AGAIN by the Word of God and by the Spirit of God. Paul wrote we are sanctified and cleansed ‘..with the washing of the water by the Word’ Ep5:26. Only by REPENTANCE can we be BORN AGAIN. It is the only way we will be able to see and enter into the kingdom of God, and to go to heaven. Jesus said ‘Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN’ Jn3:7. NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
The Apostle Peter- A Preacher of Repentance
On the day of Pentecost, when 120 people were first baptized with the Holy Ghost Ac1:5, Peter gave a very anointed message before the multitudes regarding the recent past events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. He said ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it … Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same JESUS, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and CHRIST’ Ac2:22-24,36.
The people were pierced in their hearts and asked what they should do to be forgiven and to be saved. Peter replied ‘..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’ Ac2:38. On that day, about 3000 people REPENTED, were baptized and saved, and became followers of Jesus Christ Ac2:41. The key here to SALVATION was REPENTANCE first.
Shortly after, when Peter and John went to the temple to pray, they met a man over 40 years old lame from birth who begged for alms daily Ac3:2,4:22. Peter said ‘Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth rise up and walk’ Ac3:6. The man was healed instantly; he went ‘walking, and leaping, and praising God’ Ac3:8. The people marveled at this and Peter replied that it was not him, but the name of Jesus and through faith in His name that healed this man Ac3:12,16. Then Peter told them ‘REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..’ Ac3:19. Peter later said ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise.. but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should PERISH, but that all should come to REPENTANCE’ 2Pe3:9. Here again, we see the importance of REPENTANCE towards God for the forgiveness of sins. Without REPENTANCE towards God, there is no SALVATION!
The Apostle Paul- Preaching the Cross of Jesus Christ and Repentance
While John the Baptist was chosen to announce the coming of Jesus Christ to the Jews, God chose the apostle Paul to further the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST to the rest of the world. Paul wrote ‘For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..’ Ro1:16-18. He said ‘I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified’ 1Co2:2. Paul said ‘For godly sorrow worketh REPENTANCE to SALVATION not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death’ 2Co7:10; ‘For the preaching of the CROSS is to them that PERISH foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the POWER OF GOD’ 1Co1:18.
During his arrest by the Romans, Paul testified before King Agrippa saying ‘I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them ..throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and turn to God, and do works meet for REPENTANCE’ Ac26:19,20. Paul was chosen by Jesus to preach REPENTANCE to the people: ‘To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me’ Ac26:18. REPENTANCE is a must for SALVATION, and preaching the CROSS is essential for REPENTANCE and ETERNAL LIFE. NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
Today’s Churches- Soft on Sin and on Holiness, No Repentance, No Salvation
The churches’ first and last order of business should be to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Anything short of this is false, a deception, and a total failure. If one goes to church but loses his soul, the church has failed him, and he will PERISH in HELL. In church, we are supposed to learn about GOD, JESUS, and ETERNAL LIFE- how to be saved, and how we should live our lives! If the churches are not preaching REPENTANCE and HOLINESS, they miss the whole point about being a church.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus told the church of Ephesus ‘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’ Re2:5. Even churches need to REPENT or they will be removed and have no part in God’s kingdom. Unfortunately, many pastors, ministers, and denominations today do not believe in the BORN AGAIN experience or the need to be BORN AGAIN. They themselves are NOT BORN AGAIN and NOT SAVED and will PERISH in HELL one day. They just don’t believe what Jesus said it takes to be SAVED: ‘Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3. They don’t believe REPENTANCE and HOLINESS are necessary for SALVATION, and thus they don’t take heed to the words of Jesus. Without REPENTANCE towards God, there is no SALVATION!
Many apostate churches today are very soft on sin and on HOLINESS. They have the trappings of doing church- rituals and programs, entertainment, and a social gospel, but lack the POWER to bring anyone to conviction and a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote ‘Having a FORM of godliness, but denying the POWER thereof: from such turn away’ 2Ti3:5. They don’t talk much about sin, the need for REPENTANCE and for HOLINESS, and to live for God. They also don’t warn about about deception, false prophets, Satan, damnation, hell, salvation, the lateness of the hour, the wrath of God to come, the Great Tribulation, Bible prophecy, and what is happening in the world today and what Jesus said about the signs of His coming. They don’t talk about how to be ready for Jesus’ coming and to be ready for the Rapture.
Many churches don’t make altar calls for people to seek God for forgiveness of their sins and to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour or to recommit their lives to the Him. This is the old-fashion Gospel, and not politically correct. They don’t want members to feel uncomfortable, threatened, or offended, because they may just not return. Church youths are especially ignorant of what is happening, and are not warned to refrain from youthful lusts and sexual sins. Paul said ‘Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart’ 2Ti2:22. Thus, many people go to church as unsaved sinners, and leave church still unsaved. So sadly, many people will not REPENT of their sins, will miss the Rapture and be Left Behind in a world that is literally falling apart, and may eventually end up in HELL.
The Call To Repentance- Repent Or Perish
Jesus said .. except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH’ Lk13:3. PERISH is a very harsh word! What does it mean to PERISH, as also mentioned in Jn3:16? To PERISH is to be destroyed, to spend eternity in hell and in the lake of fire in suffering, torment, and torture. Jesus said ‘whosoever was not found written in the (Lamb’s) book of life was cast into the lake of fire’ Re20:15,21:27. While we are yet alive, this is our only opportunity to humble ourselves, to REPENT, to be forgiven of our sins, and to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. Jesus said ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ Mk8:36. The choice is yours to make. This is the Call To REPENTANCE! NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
The Sinner’s Prayer of Repentance
It is not necessary for anyone to PERISH, but sadly, the Bible states many will PERISH in HELL Mt7:13. But if you believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept Him as your personal Saviour, YOU CAN BE SAVED and go to heaven one day to your eternal blessing. Here is a simple prayer of REPENTANCE to SALVATION which you can humbly pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, or to recommit your life to Him again:
I AM A LOST SINNER AND I REPENT OF MY SINS. I’M SORRY FOR MY SINS AND ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS. I ASK THAT YOU COME INTO MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND CLEANSE ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD. I ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND MY SAVIOUR. THANK YOU FOR DYING ON THE CROSS FOR ME AND THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY SOUL!
IN JESUS NAME I PRAY, AMEN!
God bless you!