Repent or Perish – There Are No Other Options For Eternal LIfe
This will not be a flowery or candy-coated message today. It will not be filled with pretty words. It is not a self-esteem message. It will not be laced with any comedy. This will not be a message that makes you feel good about yourself. But it will paint the Biblical way to enter God’s Kingdom when our lives are through here on earth. It will be God’s whole truth and right from Scripture. Please read to the end and then reassess where you are at with Almighty God. Pray and seek His wisdom. Read the Scriptures and verify what I am saying is the Gospel truth – Acts 17:11 – be a Berean. These words of Scripture are the bottom-line, no-kidding, without a doubt truth of salvation and eternal life.
Let me start out with the Christian bottom-line. “Repent or perish”. Now, these are not my words, these are from Jesus Himself. From the Gospel of Luke …
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3- I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” -Luke 13:2,3 (KJV)
He wasn’t talking about a certain class of people or culture or even geographical region but of people that were perhaps wrongfully executed by Pilate. Jesus didn’t comment on anything else other than to exclaim that without repentance, we will perish. His words are stunning, to the point and carry a message that cannot be misconstued, maligned or reinterpreted to mean something more comforting. He was telling them and us that if we don’t repent of our sin before our death – timely or not, we will end up in the waiting room of hell Sheol or Hades!
Bring this down-home to our day … repentance is a doctrine that is almost extinct in most Christian churches and on most Christians lips today. It’s something pastors rarely preach, and people don’t even like to discuss much less practice. But let’s not forget … it’s an essential necessity established by Jesus and found throughout the Old and New Testaments. This is a requirement to enter His Kingdom, and there are no exceptions!
The fact that Jesus’ first sermon was on repentance – Matt 4:17 – should underline its importance to every born-again believer in Christ as their Lord
In fact, John the Baptist came preaching repentance – Matt 3:2; Mark 1:15
Many think that salvation is linked to a one-time casual prayer in which you invite Christ into your heart and poof you’re a Christian. Many Bible experts and prophecy teachers preach and teach this but it is not found in Scripture! Please read Romans 10:9-13 – this is what God says you must do to become born-again and saved.
The doctrine of Biblical repentance then – the act of turning away from one’s sin (a u-turn in attitude and behavior) and back to God – is a foundational Biblical doctrine that CANNOT be swept under the carpet, marginalized or minimized. No excuses will be accepted.
There are very few preachers who are willing to preach this convicting doctrine for fear of losing their “pew-paying patrons”, or losing their eminence (status) in their sphere of influence. (I went to a local “Christian” church for 12 years hearing little about sin, hell, repentance, or Godly sorrow. There were extremely rare altar calls and invitations for salvation – very pathetic.) In omitting this key doctrine they are, in fact, preaching as the Pharisees did and preventing others from entering the Kingdom of God – Matt 23:13. These types of pastors, preachers and/or teachers are nothing but pure cowards and will face a stricter judgment – James 3:1. And … this is not the church nor teaching we as Christians should seek or remain under.
“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” -Matt 23:13 (KJV)
It is essential that every preacher/teacher who is truly and firmly committed to teaching Scripture MUST preach repentance. No question, no excuses, no rationalizations … PERIOD! They/we should instead follow what Paul says in Acts 20:27 and declare (preach/teach) the full counsel of God.
Without a doubt then, repentance is a key theme throughout the Old and New Testaments and a key part of the Gospels. It CANNOT be ignored!
What is it then? Repentance is a turning away from your sin – making a U-turn, if you will, from the words, attitudes, thoughts or actions that cause you to sin. A change of mind that promotes action on our part. i.e. If you lust with your eyes, then quit lusting, confess it and make a commitment to turn your eyes from doing it again and be serious about this change. It is a Biblical practice spoken of often in both testaments. Luke 13:3, 5, says unless you repent you will perish. This underlines its importance in our own Christian lives. God is serious about this, He doesn’t joke around nor play games – Nahum 1:1-15, John 9:31.
“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2- And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3- I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4- Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5- I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” -Luke 13:1-5 (KJV)
Scriptures emphasize and underline the importance of repentance because it is necessary for changing our attitudes, behaviors and essentially our whole life. We must be willing to change otherwise God is not willing to forgive our sins according to scripture. Some other scriptural examples of the Lord forgiving us if and when we repent are found in Ezekiel 33:10-20, Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 6:16-30 & 26:3, Acts 3:19.
You see, confessing your sin is only part of the requirement for receiving God’s forgiveness. 2 Peter 3:9, says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance. And Acts 3:19 states “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” Acts 8:22 further says, “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you“
So we can see then that seeking God’s forgiveness for our sin requires that we confess and repent – actively deciding to turn away from committing it again. In this way, Jesus sees the attitude of our hearts to actually mean what we say in confessing our sins.
Repentance example: Even King David confessed his sin with Bathsheba and repented of it as written in Psalm 51.
Repentance – the Old and New Testaments echo this as the main theme, after salvation. Read what Proverbs says about those that hate the knowledge of God and don’t fear the Lord. This can be equated to a disregard of His word as written in the Bible, no confession of sin, no repentance of your sin, no fear of God, living an unholy life, etc.
“Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29- For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:” – Prov 1:28-29 (KJV)
So I interpret this to mean that in our Christian walk before He will even hear our prayers we are required to confess our sins and repent of them as often as needed (for me personally, this is daily). I myself am an ugly sinner and only by God’s Grace through Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the Cross do I have peace that my eternal destination is with God, with Jesus in heaven.
But you and me must strive [daily] to read and seek the knowledge of His laws, precepts, statutes and commands written in the Scriptures. And we are to walk in the fear of the Lord – Acts 9:31; Deut 10:12. Hard and tough words today, I know, but ultimately the truth. Understand that repentance is not a one-time thing, it is part of our daily walk with our Lord, our Savior, and our God. Psalm 66:18, Prov 28:9, Isa 1:10-15.
-BPWatcher, Internet Preacher and Bible Prophecy Watchman
“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” -John 9:31 (KJV)