Scriptures: Luke 3:8-14, Matt 3:8, Acts 3:19, Acts 26:20
Are you aware of these stunning facts?
- 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Less than half of these go to church weekly. Less than half believe the bible is accurate. Majority don’t have a biblical world view.
- A survey of Born-Again Christians (should there be this classification?) Researchers found out that their beliefs and lifestyles are virtually indistinguishable from the world around them. They agree to be only marginally committed to Jesus Christ.
Reality? We have called people Christians who are not! They have not repented! They have carried on with their idols and have not started worshiping the true God! How do you explain nations being populated by “Christians”, and scoring most corrupt nation in the world at the same time? How do you reconcile having over 50% as Christians and alcohol consumption trumps for countries that are mostly non-Christian? If the acclaimed Christian cannot be distinguished by his fruits, he is no different from a pagan.
Repentance is not saying a Sinners Prayer! Repentance is not joining a local church or coming to Sunday service regularly. Repentance is not turning away from sin! Repentance is a change of mind that manifests in the change of actions. Repentance is a total turn around in thinking characterized by a transformation of behavior and outlook on life. You cannot be a Christian and your environment would be in doubt. The same way a dead body is an source of concern to anybody around it, the life of a Christian should be very evident. The first disciples did not go around branding themselves as Christians, people who interacted with them took notice that their lifestyle was akin to Jesus’. The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.
Repentance is a change of your will for HIS will. Your Agenda for His Agenda. Your ambition for His Service. Your thoughts for His thoughts and your ways for His Way. It’s a radical replacement of your life with Christ’s life and your perspective for his perspectives. To repent means to stop thinking as you, to start thinking as Christ who now lives in you.
Repentance is beyond turning away from acts of sin, it includes turning away even from good deeds carried out be self. It’s totally turning away from life in our way and on our terms. Repentance is from sin, and also from dead works. It’s turning away from every output of the old man, and relying on the output of the new man.
Repentance means change of mind! This means a different outlook to things. It means seeing things not from the view of self or flesh, but from Christ’s view. Does your ambition show repentance? What is your working and living agenda? Are you driven by the things that you want for yourself? The things you want to achieve? The things that will make you look important? Or are you living for Christ? Have you had a change of mind about your purpose? What changed when Jesus became Lord of your life?
Do you fall into sin, and regret it? Or do you fall into sin and believe it’s covered by grace? Is there a yearning in your heart for more of God? Are there things you once enjoyed and now find repulsive?
Not only are we to understand how repentance changes us, we should also become catalysts for others to truly repent. The gospel we share is incomplete if it doesn’t radically shift people’s paradigms and cause them to embrace a totally different life style.
When we truly repent, everything changes. Everything! Think deeply about your life, ask God to show you what else needs to change. Also, how are you a catalyst for other people’s change?
What Would Jesus Do?
Jesus preached repentance and on good grounds. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. This means change the way you are living, because God is about to take over. Surrender your life, adjust your ways, modify your actions.