The word “repent” means more than just turning around; it means to change your mind. It means that we change our mind and agree with God when He states we are sinners in need of a Savior. It means that we change our mind from thinking that disobeying God is ok, to the understanding that obeying God is right. It means that we think about sin like God thinks about sin.
When we change our mind about sin, our behavior will change too. Repentance means to change one’s mind with a resulting change of action. If someone has truly repented, then there will be a corresponding change in behavior.
Here are 3 facts about repentance you may not have heard of:
- Repentance is a command. Jesus taught repentance, and in Matthew 4:17 Jesus preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Repent used in the NT is always a command to be obeyed rather than an option to be considered.
- Repentance offers hope. When Jesus was asked to judge the woman caught in adultery in John 8, He told her to “go and sin no more.” He was offering hope to this precious woman who was trapped by sin and empowered her to live differently in light of His forgiveness.
- Repentance brings refreshing. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Man desires to be refreshed by his own actions: what he drinks, what he does, who he is with, or where he travels. God desires that we are refreshed by turning from sin to Him. The result is enjoyable and glorious fellowship with Him.
Perhaps you never thought about repentance being a command. Whether you know the Lord or not, today is the day to turn from sin and turn toward God. Even Christians must obey the command to turn from sin and think about it the way God does. Sin is disastrous and brings death, which is why God commands people to turn from it.
If you are trapped by sin, there is hope and a promise of refreshing! Come to God with your shortcomings and failings, and ask Him for forgiveness. He will forgive you! 1 John 1:9 declares that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you are willing to repent to receive God’s forgiveness, there is not only hope, but the promise of refreshing from the very presence of God.