Repentance is a change of mind that results in a seeking of the Lord with all your heart. The concept of repentance is not new to the New Testament. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God told King Solomon that “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” In fact, repentance is a consistent theme throughout the entire Bible.

Jesus preached, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” in Matthew 4:17, “repent and believe in the gospel” in Mark 1:15, and “that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations” in Luke 24:47. The Apostles also preached repentance. In Acts 2:38, Peter told the crowd in Jerusalem to “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Paul told the Athenians that God “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30) and warned King Agrippa to “repent and turn to God” (Acts 26:20). John writes extensively of repentance and the fate of those who do not repent throughout the Book of Revelation.

All world religions, except Christianity, assume a person can attain God’s favor through enough works or the right kinds of ceremonies and worship. However, Jesus simply asks people to repent and believe in the gospel. What does that mean?

It means the Christian turns to Jesus and trusts Him for salvation. They change their heart from an “I can do it myself” mentality to a “Jesus has already done it for me” mentality. A Christian places their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. Such a decision towards faith is a result of a changed heart about one’s way of life. Thus, faith and repentance are sides of the same coin. Because the Christian has changed their heart about their old ways of life and placed their faith in Jesus, they are no longer a peace with their sin. In fact, a repentant person hates their sin; they are repulsed by their sin; they rely on Jesus’ strength to ditch their sin.

Repentance by even just one person causes a great rejoicing in heaven (Luke 15:10). Have you changed your heart and turned from your old ways of thinking and living?
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