Too often in today’s world, people preach salvation without repentance. They argue that all we need to do is believe in Jesus, and forget that part of believing in Him leads us to repent of our sins and seek Him as our Saviour. True repentance involves a change of heart, it inevitably results in a change of behavior.
Look with me at Isaiah 55:6-7, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Notice in verse 6, Isaiah starts by urging us to seek the Lord before it’s too late. But he also continues the thought in verse 7, saying basically “WHEN you seek the Lord, forsake your wrong and evil ways!”
In Matthew 3:1-2, we read, “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”
In Luke 13:1, Jesus is recorded as saying, “I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
And true repentance doesn’t just involve repenting or changing our mind about the sins and wrongs we choose, while hanging on to those we don’t want to get rid of!
In his book “Holiness”, Thomas Brooks (1608–1680) writes; “Every sin is an enemy to man’s peace, and to a man’s comfort, and to a man’s confidence, and to a man’s assurance, and to a man’s communion with God; and therefore he must set upon forsaking of all [sin]…You must repent of your secret sins as well as your open sins. You must repent of your loved sins as well as your loathed lusts…If your repentance is not universal, it will never be effectual. If a ship springs three leaks, and only two are stopped – the third will certainly sink the ship…”
In Acts 2:38 we read, “Then Peter said unto them, 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.”
All through the Bible we find the truths of repentance. We cannot expect to have e right relationship with Jesus Christ if we refuse to repent and forsake ALL sin! Remember well the warning Jesus gave in Matthew 15:8-9, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”