II Corinthians 7:8-10 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Repentance is described as the voluntary change in mind of a sinner when he turns from sin. It’s the start of life anew. It’s a change of mind, feeling, and purpose. When I say “feeling” remember that we are not saved by feelings. We cannot gauge our salvation on our feelings. Why? Because our feelings constantly change. Our salvation is based on the Word of God.
A change of view is the intellectual part of man. Repentance is not simply recognizing sin. Most people recognize they have sinned. In Exodus 9 Pharaoh recognized his sin. Did he repent? NO! Repentance is not fear. Why? Fear doesn’t last. Now, you can be scared enough of hell to be saved. But fear itself won’t save. There is a real hell. Being there will not be a party. The Bible says there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Constant pain. When you’re in pain, do you feel like a party? Absolutely not! But the man who thinks he’s dying and calls for the preacher, says he got saved, but when he’s better he forgets about?? That man didn’t get saved. His fear went away and he forgot all about it. If not he’d have gotten into the Word and into church. Repentance changes a person. It cleans up your mouth and changes where you go. Your desires will change. Likewise, the sorrow of being caught can bring people to the Lord, but I wonder if many genuinely repent or they’re just sorry they got caught. Repentance means to realize you have sinned and to repent (turn from your sins). Repentance is not conviction. Many are deeply convicted but remain lost. In the Bible we read the story of the rich young ruler; he was convicted but went away sorrowful, not obeying what Jesus said. Felix was under conviction; he was deeply troubled by Paul’s words but remained lost. By Paul’s testimony Agrippa said he was almost persuaded to be a Christian. Conviction saved none of these.
You must change your mind. Your destination is hell if you don’t. You need a notification of a change of address. Calvary makes that possible. When I say you need a change of feeling, there is to be genuine sorrow for sin. You don’t think of what you’d give up or changes you’ll need to make; you don’t consider what others will think. Paul said he was sorry he caused them pain but glad it brought about their repentance. True repentance brings a change of purpose. You want to turn from sin. David asked the Lord “create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.” The prodigal son was determined to go home to his father and left the hog pen. Revelation 2:21 says And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. It’s speaking of Jezebel, but God gives us all space and time to repent. Be thankful he does. You have the right to refuse this free gift of salvation. Cain refused to repent and that brought about the judgment of God.
God doesn’t force anyone to repent. We choose to; we have a free will. In life you may be made to do many things, but God will never make you repent and be saved. But one second in hell will make you realize that you should have. Remember hell is neve rending. Choose to repent and let the Lord change your life!