Repentance is the first recorded message the Bible gives us that Jesus talked about when He began His earthly ministry. The first thing that has to happen for a person to be reconciled to God is the acknowledgement of your sin. If you cannot admit guilt as a result of your sin, then God cannot apply His grace to your life. Grace follows after repentance. God can pour out His love and goodness to you every day, but until you confront your sin and acknowledge it before Him, forgiveness cannot flow on your behalf.
Repentance is to turn from sin to God. When you repent it’s not simply a change of mind but such a change as would reverse the effects of the previous state of mind. Many times people feel guilt and even remorse for the sin they have allowed in their life. They feel bad but not enough to make a change and head the other way. This is like a kid saying I’m sorry because his mom caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. The kid is not having a true change of heart and desiring to set off in the opposite direction. He is only sorry because he got caught. If he would not have gotten caught, he wouldn’t have thought twice about disobeying his mother.
“You don’t avoid sin by avoiding the pleasure of sin, you avoid it by finding the superior pleasure God intended.” — CS Lewis
True repentance acknowledges sin and then makes the adjustments to stay away from doing that sin. Worldly sorrow can work on your emotions and cause guilt for what you have done. In the end worldly sorrow does not lead to repentance. If you are sensitive to the Spirit of God inside you now, He will give you a godly sorrow that will lead you to repentance. Repentance opens the floodgates of God’s grace and salvation.
When you confess your sin, you have looked it square in the eyes and acknowledged it. You are not trying to hide it from God or anyone else. You are saying that you’re not just sorry because you got caught but that your heart is broken because you sinned against God. God said that when you do this, He is faithful and just to forgive you every time and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. What a great promise we have been given! God will forgive you every time.
Some Reasons People Don’t Repent: 1. Ignorance. Many non-believers do not have the knowledge that they need to be reconciled to God. They go about their daily lives living for themselves, empty, and wanting eternal fulfillment. 2. Pride. Many people are so full of pride and ego that they don’t see their need for God or repentance. They feel they have done well all these years without Him, so why should they give anything up for Him. 3. Deception. Others are deceived by Satan into thinking that things are good just the way they are. Some others are in false religions that offer hope in some way other than Christ. They are deceived into thinking that faith in their god is good enough to get them to bliss in the afterlife. 4. The love of sin. Still others love the lifestyle of sin that they are living. They do not want to give up the passing pleasure of sin for what they perceive about God. They do not understand that the sin they are living in is a counterfeit for God.
1. Read Psalm 139. This whole chapter is an amazing account of how precious you are to God. Focus your thoughts on vs. 23-24 as you prayerfully ask God to reveal any sin in your life. If any is there, take time to prayerfully repent before God and expect immediate forgiveness.
2. Find a biblical community to get connected to. Ask God to lead you to the church home where you are to plant yourself and take roots. When you find the place, you are supposed to be, get involved with church leaders to help you grow and be held accountable in this season.