Repent!

GUWG-U-turnWe continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

Yesterday, we started discussing Jesus’ first recorded sermon: “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

We began by discussing the first 11 words. Today, we’ll focus on the 12th: REPENT.

What exactly does “repent” mean?

The concept goes all the way back to what many believe is the oldest book in the Bible: Job. It says:

He makes them listen to correction and commands them to repent of their evil. If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge. (Job 36:10-12)

The prophet Isaiah recorded these words directly from God:

“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20)

Here’s what God said to Jeremiah:

This is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me.” (Jeremiah 15:19-20)

And here’s what he said to Ezekiel (please note all the exclamation points to make sure we don’t miss the point):

“Say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!'” (Ezekiel 14:6)

“Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:30-32)

Repentance in the New Testament

Jesus’ followers also had a lot to say about repentance. Peter said this:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

And Paul said this:

[God] commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. (Acts 17:30-31)

I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20)

In fact, the theme of repentance carries through all the way to the very last book in the Bible: Revelation. Here’s what it says:

You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:4-5)

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:3)

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

The message is pretty clear:

REPENT!

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)

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