REPENTANCE FROM UNBELIEF LEADS THE SAVED TO REPENTANCE OF SINS
Acts 2:38, “The 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.”
The word “repent" can be defined as changing ones mind, reasoning, or opinion. In essence the word “repentance” means, “to change ones mind.” It could be defined as “a deciding to change” or “a deciding to go another direction,” but basically it means to change one’s mind or direction. II Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”
All we have to do is find out what makes a person lost spiritually. Then if we can change what makes that person lost then he or she can be saved from an eternal hell. Thus, one must repent from whatever it is that makes that one lost without salvation. John 3:18, “But he that believeth not is condemned already.” Why is a person condemned? Simple, because “he believeth not.”
If he is lost because he believes not then what must he do in order to be saved from going to hell? He must repent! Repent from what? Repent from believing not! If it is believing not that makes you lost then it is changing to believing that makes you saved.
John 3:18, look at the last part of that verse, “because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.” What is it that makes a person lost and on their way to hell? Not believing in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Which means if you do not believe on Jesus to pay for your sins and to take you to Heaven you are lost! John 3:18, “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed.” Thus, a man is lost because he does not believe on the Son of God for payment of his sins.
Man then must repent of that which makes him lost in order to be saved from a devil’s hell. John 3:36, “He that believeth not the son shall not see life.” What is it you do not do to see life? Believe not the Son of God. The verse goes on to say, “But the wrath of God abideth on you.” What do you have to do in order to have the wrath of God abiding on you? Believe not the Son of God.
Believing not is what makes one lost and on their way to hell. You must repent or change your mind about something you are doing to trust in to keep out of hell to what God says is THE way to heaven, which is to believe on the Son of God for payment of your sin penalty of hell.
You believe in your mind and your will. So, you must change your mind. You must change from “I will not receive Christ” to “I will receive Christ.” Consequently you must undo to be saved what you do that makes you lost. What do you have to do to go to hell? Believe not on the Son of God! What do you have to do to go to heaven? Believe on the Son of God for payment of the price of your sin!
John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”What kept these people from having life? Not coming to Jesus! If you do not come to Jesus for payment of your sins you will die and go to hell! What you have to do in order to go to heaven is to change your mind and come to Jesus for payment of sin.
You undo to be saved what you did to be lost. You are lost because you do not come to Christ and you are saved because you do come to Christ for payment of the penalty of sin. What you are repenting of is not coming to Christ and not believing on the Son of God.
IN THE BIBLE YOU CAN REPENT FROM SOMETHING OTHER THAN SIN
Repent means to change one’s mind. If a person decides to go to town and then decided not to go to town he has repented. If a person decides to be married and then decides not to be married he has repented.
Matthew 27:3, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.” Was Judas saved? No! Judas was not repenting of his sin! Judas realized he had made a bad deal. He changed his mind about what he should have done, but he never repented of being a sinner. You can repent of something other than sin.
By the way, Judas went to hell and yet repented. Everybody who lives in sin sooner or later repents of it. There is a difference between that and repenting of not believing on the Son of God. You can repent of a sin or sins without repenting of the sin of unbelief. It is the sin of unbelief that sends one to hell. Thus, it is the repenting of the sin of not believing that sends one to hell. Judas repented but was not saved.
Genesis 6:5-6, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Does that mean that God sinned? No! You can repent of something other than sin.
God who cannot sin, lie, or do wrong repented in Genesis 6:6. God repents, but does not commit sin. Repentance does not always have to do with sin, but it does always have to do with the changing of one’s mind.
I Samuel 15:35, “And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” God chose Saul to be the king of Israel, but he changed His mind! God repented that he had made Saul king. You can repent of something other than sin.
Exodus 32:14, “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” God and Moses are having a disagreement and the Lord repented. Hold it, God is not speaking of sin here. He is talking about punishment here! God repented! Did God get saved here? No! God simply changed his mind here!
The same is true in Jonah 3:9-10 and Amos 7:3, 6! Repentance does not always have to do with sin. It is not always sin you are repenting of and it is not always salvation as the issue in repentance! The wife says, “I think we’ll have roast beef Sunday. No, no I think we’ll have fried chicken.” Hold it, she repented, but it was not sin she repented of.
REPENTANCE FROM SINS IS ALWAYS DIRECTED TOWARDS GOD’S PEOPLE - EXCEPT FOR THE SIN OF NOT BELIEVING WHICH IS DIRECTED TOWARD’S THE UNSAVED
You do not clean up and then get saved! You get saved and then clean up! Not believing is what condemns a person to hell. Believing is what un-condemns a person! Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22; 3:19 repentance from sins is directed toward God’s children in Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, etc.
Not one person in the Bible was saved by repenting of his or her sins! Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” They did not say repent! They did say, “Believe.” This is the only verse in the Bible that goes directly to the issue of being saved and it does not say, “Repent.”
Jesus does not forgive sin! Jesus paid for the price of sin with his death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus does not forgive sin for he paid for sin himself. He forgives sinners by paying for their sins.