Does God Require Us to Repent?
Does God Require us to Repent?
Repentance is at the core of being truly saved and forgiven in your walk with Christ. Continuing reading the scripture to see how God requires us to repent. Repentance is an action, to change, and turn away from. You are to turn away from your sins, change your mind, and your heart, and turn to God. You say to God I will change the way I live, turning away from sin. Billy Graham says change your mind, and He will change your heart. Change your mind, and He will come in and regenerate you, and you will be born again.
I have recently heard ‘Christians’ say that you are not required to repent to be saved. The reference they used was the criminal on the cross. She stated he only believed. But, this concept is severely flawed. God knows our hearts. And, the criminal on the cross that Jesus said would be with him in paradise knew he deserved to be there for the life of sin he had lived. He repented in his heart and was remorseful for his sin.
What is Confirmation Bias?
Too often people will cherry pick certain verses, or stories from the Bible, taking them out of context to support their narrative. While on the other hand, they will discount any and everything that goes against their narrative. This is referred to as confirmation bias. Where we only accept and look for the smallest thing to support our bias, but readily reject a mountain of evidence that goes against our bias.
The original Bible did not even have chapter and verse breaks. It was never meant for us to pull one verse and build our life on it. The verses I present to you today regarding repentance, I urge you to read the full chapter to truly under the verses in their context. But, I share these snippets with you to show that God does require a repentant heart.
What is a Self-Serving God?
The world we live in so frequently builds a self-serving God. What is a self-serving God? It is when we make God in our image. When we create a God that is okay with our sin, we justify our way of living based on verses taken out of context or teachings we have heard that are not biblical. It’s creating a God that is not Biblical.
Does God Require us to Repent? What Does the Bible Say About Repentance?
Acts 17:30 says, “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”
It is so clear that it is not up for interpretation. “But now he commands ALL people EVERYWHERE to repent”.
Matthew says, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Luke says, “O, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
Psalms says, “Repent, all of you who forget me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you.”
Mark says, “So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.”
Again, Luke says, “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
Now, if we are not required to repent, then why would there be joy when a sinner repents? Would this not instead say that there is joy when even one sinner believes if we only have to believe?
Acts says, “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.”
It’s saying if we repent our sins will be wiped away. So what’s the opposite of that? If we do not repent our sins will not be wiped away.
Revelations says, “I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.”
If you do not repent you are choosing not to turn away from your immorality.
Ezekiel says, “If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.”
I do not know how much more clear the Bible could be about the importance of repentance. Seeing this Christian mislead so many others in their walk with God disturbed my heart so deeply.
Zephaniah says, “Gather before judgment begins before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord fall and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins.”
It is giving us every chance before that final day of judgment to repent. Turn away from your sin before there is no more time. That we must act now before the Lord’s anger begins.
Test What is True and Righteous
I urge you to always question anything to the Bible before ever believing it. We have to know the true word of God. And, God calls us to test what is true and we can righteously judge false teachers based on their fruit. On that day of judgment, the excuse of not knowing or believing what someone else told you will not work. Once we choose to make Jesus the Lord of our lives, it is our duty to learn the Bible and apply his commands and will to our lives.
Follow the “Training Manual”
For example, you would not start a job and then continue not learning anything about it. If you did, you would not be very good at it or last there long. Instead, once you accept that position, you take it upon yourself to learn and train. If you make a mistake and come to your boss saying, “Well, I didn’t know”; but it was in the training manual you were given, he’s likely not going to take that as an excuse. He’ll say it was your job to study the training manual you were given and follow the rules once you accepted this position.
We are to Seek God in All Our Ways
In the same way, it is our responsibility once we accept Jesus and get saved to follow His training manual, AKA the Bible, and apply it to our lives and obey Him. We are to seek God in all of our ways and make Him Lord of our lives. And, seek forgiveness for our sins and repent. We do live under grace, but that does not give us free range to continue living a life of sin.
Examine Your Heart
You cannot willfully and knowingly continue to sin and be considered repentant. And, as we have read, God not only calls us to seek forgiveness for our sins but to repent to be truly forgiven. When you have repented, you have turned away from your sin. Are we going to have slip-ups? Of course! It happens, we are human, full of fault, and our flesh is wicked. We have to examine our hearts. We cannot continue living a life of sin willfully and knowing it is a sin without remorse or Godly sorrow if we have truly repented in our hearts.
What brings sorrow to God should bring sorrow to our hearts. Sin, especially habitual sin, brings sorrow to God’s heart, as it should ours. But, there is some sin that can take time to overcome, and we can only overcome that sin through Jesus. The issue comes in when you know what you are doing is wrong, and you continue doing it anyway without remorse, or a repentant heart, abusing God’s mercy and grace.
Unconfessed and unrepented sin separates us from God.
Psalm says, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.“
The sin we allow to linger in our lives hinders our prayers.
Proverbs says, “God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.”
One translation even says, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”
“The Modernized Gospel”
That’s how serious the Bible is about sin. I am not sure how any true follower of Christ could insinuate that you can go through life without repenting and be truly saved. In my opinion, that would be a false convert. But, that is an entirely different post I will do later. I want to stress the importance to you so your soul is not led astray. My heart breaks for those deceived like I once was and I started this blog to help share the true Gospel, not the modernized false gospel.
We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds such as Romans 12:2, and are called not to conform to this world. I have been told that I need to modernize the Gospel. But, I know the true word that calls me to be transformed by the Gospel, and not to be conformed to the world. The true gospel heals, transforms, and shines light into the darkness. The worldly gospel leads an already misled world even more astray into the darkness.
Sin Corrupts our Relationship with God
Get sin out of your life and get on fire for God! I can promise you the feeling that comes from truly having Jesus as Lord of your life is better than anything the world has to offer. The high is better than any drug, a peace stronger than any pill, a comfort better than any one-night stand, and I could go on and on. God is so good.
All throughout the scripture, we see how much sin corrupts us and our relationship with God. We must be diligent in keeping sin out of our lives. If something is a stumbling block for you then run! For example, if watching certain shows causes you to lust, do not continue allowing that stumbling block in your life. Just like you take measures to protect yourself from a car accident like wearing a seat belt, stopping at stop signs, or red lights, take protective measures for your soul.
Protect Your Soul
It seems like our soul is the one thing we do not actively protect when it needs the most protection. Get prayed up, read the Word, apply it to your life, build a relationship with God, turn from sin, put on the armor of God every day, and live a life like you never imagined.
“Day after day, God patiently wishes you to discover Him at the deepest possible levels. The spiritual practice of repentance is the pathway into this most intimate of all human/divine interactions. Repentance, turning away from the world’s ways and fleshly desires, is the way to enter his kingdom.”
-Rivers & Streams in the Desert Book Below
Reflections Of A Repentant Heart: a journey through repentance and restoration
Repentance: What is means and Why we must do so
River & Streams in the Desert: The Forty Forties of Scripture-A Forty-Day Repentance Devotional
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