First, the bad news… 😩

Has anybody ever told you that you need to “repent of your sins” to become a Christian? What does that mean exactly?

What is it that is so offensive to God?! Are you supposed to be able to remember every little thing you’ve ever said, thought or done that may have upset Him and sincerely repent of it or can you just do an en masse “I’m sorry for everything I’ve ever done!”? If you forget even one single offence, does that make you unacceptable to God?

And even if you can repent of everything and ask Jesus to save you and be Lord of your life, what if you slip up again? What if you then think or do something you shouldn’t have, in spite of your best efforts? Does that mean you are back to square one and your salvation has been lost again? It’s all a bit difficult to understand – an impossible situation to navigate! It’s just too hard! And, if it’s so hard to be saved, how could you possibly believe that God loves you unconditionally?!

What does REPENT even mean? To be on your knees, full of sorrow and bitter self loathing for how truly awful you are…??!!!

Well, just hold it right there for a moment and take a deep breath.. This is why the gospel is called the GOOD NEWS!

You CAN come to Jesus – just as you are – struggling, sinful, separated from God. He knows you better than you know yourself! Let’s face it, if you could clean yourself up by just reciting a long list of your faults and failings, you would not have need of a Saviour!

The English dictionary definition of “repent” is to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin. (Sin means missing the mark as an archery term!)

The biblical definition of repent from Strong’s Concordance (a book which explains word meaning from the original text and language) in the new testament is:

Greek: μετανοέω
Transliteration: metanoeō
Pronunciation: met-an-o-eh’-o
Definition: From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards that is reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.

And in the old testament is:

Hebrew: נחם
Transliteration: nâcham
Pronunciation: naw-kham’
Definition: A primitive root; properly to {sigh} that {is} breathe strongly; by implication to be {sorry} that {is} (in a favorable sense) to {pity} console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): – comfort ({self}) ease [one´ s {self]} repent ({-er} {-ing} self).

And also:

Hebrew: שׁוּב
Transliteration: shûb
Pronunciation: shoob
Definition: A primitive root; to turn back ({hence} away) transitively or {intransitively} literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat;

So you can see there is a whole general sense of stopping, sighing, reconsidering, turning away from; as well as being sorry… A whole attitude change!

So, firstly, see your need! Know that humans exist in a fallen world where all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! (See Romans 3) There is no real peace to be found in this world, no hope for the future beyond what we try to make for ourselves, and we are all destined to die… and then what?!! There is so much to question about the human condition! But at the end of the day, our biggest problem is pride, just like Lucifer… It takes humility to admit that you need someone to rescue you.

The bible says…
John 3:16-17 NKJV
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. [17] For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

That sounds promising! So for you not to be condemned, and not to perish, is why Jesus came, so that through Him the world – and YOU – might be saved!

What do you have to do to be saved then?
Know and admit you have need of a Saviour and believe that Jesus is that Saviour! He is the only one who can save you.

Believe there is a God who knows everything about you, who loves you anyway and wants to have a relationship with you. You are not beyond hope! Jesus made a new covenant, a new agreement, with Father God on our behalf. Adam broke the relationship, but Jesus came to restore it!

Because, through Adam, all of mankind now belongs to the family line that was messed up, we needed someone to stand for us who was not of that bloodline, someone who had always loved the Father and been in a perfect relationship with Him. Jesus fulfilled that quality, but needed to become like us in order to represent us – humankind – so He was born as a human.

There is nothing we need to DO or even can do, but simply believe in Him, who He is and what He has done for us by giving Himself in our place and taking the punishment that we all deserve for rejecting God. The repentance is tied in with believing, because until we have revelation of who Jesus is and become “born again” – indwelt by the Holy Spirit – we can never really turn away from our sinful nature and the path we were walking in our own strength. Repentance is a heart change.

So, if you do not know Jesus, I can assure you that HE knows YOU! He loves you, He longs for you to see Him and say, “Jesus! Save me!” Someone once told me that they would never ask Jesus to die for them and could therefore not accept His sacrifice as being made on their behalf. But if you were homeless and freezing on the roadside, would you reject the offer of a blanket and a hot drink just because you didn’t buy them yourself, or would you receive them with gratitude to the one who cared enough to stop and give them to you?

God’s grace is freely given to us in the name of Jesus. Don’t let pride or misunderstanding get in the way of your eternal future!

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