Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
Matthew 3:2 NIV
The word repent is found throughout the old and new testaments. When Jonah prophesied in Nineveh, they repented. (Matthew 12:41) God says in Ezekiel 18:30 KJV “…Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” On and on the Word of God tells us to repent, but what exactly does repent mean? I turned to old Mr. Webster and he said it means to turn from your sin. We know what sin is we have the Ten Commandments to show us that (Exodus 20:1-17) Jesus showed us that lust is the same as adultery and Hate is the same as murder, so we know the standard God uses to measure sin. To repent means to turn from sin. Does that make sense? Jeremiah 18:8 says “If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” God is saying He will repent. God can’t sin. He is Holy.
The Greek word for repent is metanoeō (met-an-o-eh́-o). It means to think differently or reconsider. How are we to think differently? What is the difference in turning from sin and thinking differently about sin? John the Baptist was the voice in the wilderness telling us our savior Jesus Christ was here. (Isaiah 40:3; Mark 1:4) In Acts 19:1-4 when Paul met the disciples at Ephesus he asked if they received the Holy Spirit upon baptism. When they told him it was John’s baptism. He told them that John’s was a baptism of repentance and baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ. John’s baptism was being reborn to a new way of thinking. Before Jesus the Jews went by the Mosaic Law. That was the way to righteousness. We know that no one other than Jesus can live up to God’s expectations of obedience to the law. (Romans 3:10) This new way of thinking was that God’s Son Jesus had come from Heaven as flesh and blood and became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Today a typical response of a lost person as to why God should allow them into His Heaven is “I’m a pretty nice guy.” Just like the rich man in Matthew 19:20, they are trying to make it to Heaven by the law. They can’t! This new way of thinking is realizing that Jesus is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6) In Acts 5:32 we learn that Jesus grants repentance and forgiveness. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we are forgiven of our sins and given a new way of seeing things. We see that Jesus is the only way to Heaven because we cannot defeat sin on our own. We see that Jesus is a light unto our path. He will lead and protect us if we just believe. In 2 Timothy 2:26 we see that God grants us repentance so that we may know the truth. If you start thinking that you are one of God’s children, if you set your eyes on the goal of pleasing God, by worshiping His Son Jesus Christ, then turning from sin will be automatic.
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