Let us begin with the true fact that belief in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, is a necessary component for salvation.
Jesus said it Himself,
“…everyone who believes in Him may have
For God so loved the world that He
gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…Whoever believes in
Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s
one and only Son.”
With belief as a requirement for
salvation, the question that remains is what constitutes true belief. Anyone can say they believe
in Christ to "hedge their bets" so to speak. But, genuine belief has a signature! It is called a repentant
heart. Repentance is important. Jesus, Himself, in the Word of God, commands that repentance be preached
to all nations.
Let’s look at just a sampling of the many Scripture readings that confirm the necessity
for repentance as a requirement for salvation:
we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do
not live by the truth" ~1
"He who conceals his sins does
not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds
"I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” ~Acts 11:18
"…turn to God in repentance and have faith
in our Lord Jesus Christ." ~Acts 20:21
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" ~2 Peter 3:9
and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the
gift of the Holy Spirit." ~Acts 2:38
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out." ~Acts 3:19
Repent of your
sins is clearly stated in the Word of God as you can see. It is a mark of a true believer. By repenting of your sins, you
are "following" the Lord Jesus Christ's words. Your reward in heaven for your good works is given account after
your conversion to true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to true belief marked by repentance, one’s
good deeds are burned up like chaff in the unquenchable fire.
tells us that there are those that "believe" and yet are not saved.
They are false converts. They will be turned away at the gates of heaven.
True Christians believe in Jesus Christ, they embrace the Word of
God who is Jesus Christ, Himself, they follow its precepts, and each
true believer actually has a unique relationship with Jesus, Himself.
The warnings in Scripture are very clear, yet surprisingly, not widely spoken of.
If there is no repentance, there is no salvation. To merely say that one believes is not enough. Again, anyone can
"hedge their bets" and simply say they believe. Remember,
"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth"
~1 John 1:6
Claiming something and actually living it are two entirely different things.
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." ~John 10:27
To say that one believes is not enough. Remember the fallen angels "believe"
in Jesus Christ; that does not mean that they follow Him. Your actions are a measure of your TRUE belief! Now, remember you
cannot get into heaven on any actions or good deeds you may have done. You do not get into heaven because you did something.
You get into heaven because you believe in His Son. Repentance is a by-product of your true faith and your allegiance
to Christ! There are many who think that they are saved, yet are not TRUE Christians. They are not saved. They do not
"know Him". They do not "follow Him". They do not have a relationship with Him. Some sit in our pews even
Knowing Him is knowing the Word of God which is the bread of heaven. Repentance
is necessary for the remission of sins. There is no forgiveness of sins without a repentant heart; we are still under
His wrath. We cannot be forgiven for our sins unless we repent. We are dead in our trespasses and sins and until we seek repentance,
we cannot be made alive in Christ. The Word of God does not pull any punches on this subject.
God will not
forgive a sinner on the basis that he is sorry. God will only release us from the demands for eternal justice on the basis
that someone else paid our fine. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins. The debt has
been paid in full. All who repent and trust in Him receive forgiveness of sins. Their case is dismissed on
the basis of His suffering death.
Why is repentance
Because, God's children want to please
their Father out of LOVE. Think of sinning as a slap in the face of the Lord or a lash from a scourging like that received
by Christ by the Roman soldiers. When you think of it that way, then those that LOVE God want nothing to do with "hurting"
their Father. And when we do something that would not be approved of by our Father otherwise known as sin, we should
have genuine sorrow and want to not do it again.
is what repenting for your sins is.
Repentance is to turn AWAY from sin. Recognize sin and to turn away from it and RUN the other way! We turn from sin
to the Savior. How do you repent, which is a necessity for salvation, if you do not know what sins to repent of?
Confessing your sins to God is a component
of repentance, yet many people do not confess their sins. You cannot just say forgive me of my sins. Which sins are we talking
about? How do people confess their sins to God, and repent, if they do not know what sins they have committed? How can you
TURN AWAY FROM SIN if you really do not know what you have done that was sinful. How can a man repent if he does not know
what he is repenting for? They do not know what the sins are.
See if you can
answer these questions:
Can you name 10 Beers?
Can you name 10 sports' teams?
Now ask yourself;..................... Can I
name the 10 Commandments?
Which one of these questions can you answer? Why is it that most people can hold in their amazing brain rather insignificant
information like naming beers or sports' teams, and yet, they can't remember what the sins are (i.e. the 10 Commandments)?
a true believer learning the 10 Commandments is imperative to your salvation and witnessing ability.
The simple act of just knowing them is not what it is about. It is to know what the Lord hates and making it what
you hate as well. Place them in your heart so that you can recognize sin and when you fall prey to temptation and fall
short of the glory of God you can seek forgiveness. You will, then, be a much better witness for the Lord as you interact
with the people that God has placed in your path. One of the biggest complaints about Christians and the church is the
hypocrisy that exists. Why is that?
Because, so often people in the church buildings are, in fact, false Christians. They go to church simply as
a way to "hedge their bets" and perform an act of worship without having to change their lives at all. They
think they are doing enough, yet are not. Remember again,
"If we claim to have fellowship
with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth"
~ 1 John 1:6
If you asked someone to name the 10 Commandments amongst church patrons
you would be surprised at how many cannot name the sins. The very standard by which ALL mankind will be judged (God's standard),
and they cannot even name them?
CANNOT look at yourself through man's standard.
will NOT be judged by man's standard. We all fall short of the glory of God. The Law brings about the knowlege
of sin. If we do not know the Law, then we do not have the knowledge of sin.
Ask yourself, “Am I a good person?”
Go through the
Have you EVER told a lie? What does that make you?”
Have you EVER stolen anything; a pencil; EVER? the
value is irrelevant to God; the intent is what's important. What does that make you?.....A thief.
Have you ever
used the Lord’s name in vain? As a curse word? That would make you a blasphemer. God says that all
blasphemers will take their part in the lake of fire.
We have only gone over 3 of the 10 Commandments!
How have you done so far?
God says that if we break one of the Laws of God, we have broken them all and shall
not see the glory of heaven. Only repentance thru the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ shall we be saved from the wrath
“For it is by grace, you have been
saved through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works so that no one can boast.”
We are condemned despite our good works." ~Ephesians 2:8-9