Why Repentance?

This is a Primary Message for All Today

This is a central and foundational concept of the Bible! It is a clarion call for the whole world!


It was at the core of what they were tasked to preach to the people.

Jeremiah 25:4 And the LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear.
Jeremiah 25:5 They said, ‘Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.
Jeremiah 25:6 Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’
Jeremiah 25:7 Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the LORD, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

This is the underpinning of a prophet’s message. This is why God sent prophets.  It was a warning and message from God to repent.

This concept of repentance is not just an Old Testament or antiquated idea:

Significant Part of John the Baptist’s Message

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Jesus Christ Begins Ministry With Same Message

The Baptism of Jesus Mark 1:9-11
The Temptation of Jesus Mark 1:12-13
Jesus Begins His Ministry Mark 1:14-15

Mark 1:14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.

It is still an imperative for the church to proclaim that same message today!

Church’s Job Today

Luke 24:46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

This same message of repentance will continue into:

The Future

Preached to the Church

Revelation 2-3 mentioned eight times to the church to repent.

Preached to the World at Large

Revelation 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
Revelation 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

[Revelation 16:8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl….] Revelation 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
Revelation 16:10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.
Revelation 16:11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

If this is the case then we really need to know and understand this subject of vital importance! Hebrews 6 labels it as one of the basic and foundational doctrines of the church. It is imperative that we know and fully comprehend this teaching


Here is a common and yet inadequate defining of the word: feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin

What it is not:

  • Feeling
  • Something that you can work up
  • Sorry only in that you got caught


The words translated into repent carry this connotation of sorrow, but it so much more than that

Repent is to:  think differently; reconsider; change one’ s mind;
It is to turn and change direction — it implies action!

Turn from What?

Luke 5:30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Luke 5:31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

It is a turning away from sin towards righteousness (which is even implied in this verse).

What is Sin?

Simple definition of sin: 1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Sin is the breaking of the law.

Which Law?

Mankind had made many attempts at compiling knowledge and laws: Philosophy, Science, False Religion. But the reality of it is found in the next verse:

Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Jeremiah 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with justice; Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.

There is only one law that is perfect, holy, just and good (Romans 7:12; Psalm 19:7; James 1:25)

Only true religion ultimately has the answers to morality and how we are to be and how we are to act.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Breaking the Law of God which is the ONLY complete and accurate moral law there is and it is:

  • the one that we are to follow
  • the one that when we do not keep it, we sin
  • it is what we need to repent of when we go contrary to it

God-given Formula For Prosperity and Happiness

We have God’s way for us written down in the words of the Bible. We know:

  • The Bible is true
  • There is a God
  • The Bible is His Word
  • His Word is inspired

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration (“God-breathed”) of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So we can take scripture at face value.

All of this is for our benefit:

2 Timothy 3:15 …. are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

We are NOT to Break the Law

These laws reflect the characteristics of God. When we walk in this way of life, we are emulating God — becoming like Him and putting on the mind of Christ.  To NOT do this, to walk in our own ways or the ways of the world – which is contrary to God, that is sin!

Penalty of Sin

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God does not want to give eternal life to any one who does not completely want His way of life. We have two options: Eternal Life or door number 2.

The choice is yours:

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Deuteronomy 30:20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days….

Everyone has Sinned

Now here is the issue: whether we have done these things in ignorance or weakness – WE ALL HAVE SINNED!

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

How is the Situation Remedied?

There are two parts to it:

God’s Part in It

He Gave His Son

John 3:16 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.

1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Our Part in It

What is our part in the remediation of the predicament that we find ourselves in?

We do not want to sin. We do not want to be found in this state or condition.

It is a gift from God

2 Timothy 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
2 Timothy 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (Acts 5:31, 11:18)

Without it we do not see the difference:

2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

We Must Repent

We cannot continue to go against God and His way, His word, His law. As we begin to realize how wrong our way and direction is — so therefore we must repent!

How Do We Repent

CHANGE the Way that We Think

There is a conviction that we must have. We recognize what we are doing wrong. We begin using the word of God as a mirror; as a compass; as a map.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return [shûb] to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

There is an awareness that we must have that we are not right and good or on the appropriate path.

Luke 18:9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Luke 18:10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luke 18:13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

CHANGE What We Are

We must recognize what we really are!

Notice the conclusion that Job, who was upright and blameless (Job 1:1 ), came to:

Job 42:5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
Job 42:6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

This is the ongoing battle as described by Paul, a man very zealous for the word of God (Galatians 1:14) — who had persisted in the faith for decades when this was written:

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Romans 7:25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

CHANGE What We are Doing

The first obvious step should be:

Stop Sinning

1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
1 Peter 4:2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
1 Peter 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
1 Peter 4:4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
1 Peter 4:5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Produce Fruit that Show Repentance

As often is the case, God does not want us to merely stop doing the wrong, He wants us to do what is right.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

The “works” that we did have were dead – we have been called away from that. We are to head towards different works:

Acts 26:20 ….they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

These works show that we are truly repentant. If we believe differently, we should act differently.

This is our Call to Action

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness [this is repentance], and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

God is patient and longsuffering – but there will come a time when that will run out for us.

Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlookedbut now commands all men everywhere to repent,
Acts 17:31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is …not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:11 Therefore…what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,