[John the Baptist came preaching the word of God and his message was simple and powerful, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus, the Son of God, began his ministry with the same message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
Repentance is a necessary element for salvation, as the Apostle Peter said, “Repent therefore and turn, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). It is through repentance that the door of mercy is opened and salvation is attained.]
Everyone has sinned.
[There are many people in our world, and we are different from each ;other in many ways. But this message is common to all of us: “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Hear yet more, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). God spoke through his prophet Isaiah, “We are all scattered like sheep. We have each gone our ,own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Do you notice the central idea in these passages of Scripture? “We are all scattered.” “All have sinned.” “There is none righteous.” Doesn’t that include you? Your soul, your life is under God. A man or woman who does not recognize God, as the Lord of their lives remains in disobedience and sin. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4).]
Your sins have separated _ you from God. You feel a longing within you that you cannot describe. You may feel abandoned and as if God is not listening to you. Because of this, God points out, “Surely the Lord’s hand is not _too short to save, nor is his ear too thick to hear.” But your iniquities have separated you from your God, and his face is turned _away from you because of your sins, and he will not listen to you” (Isaiah 59:1, 2). Again, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). As you think about your life and your sins, think about God. God is sinless, therefore He is holy, righteous, and just. God says that sin must be judged: “For whatever ,we have done, God will judge everyone, whether good or bad, even every secret thing.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). There is a great gulf between you and God. You must suffer eternal death until you find a _way to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful man! (Luke 16:26) But listen, there is a way—there is hope for you!
Jesus opens the door.
[It is true that God decreed death for sin, but He is also a God of love. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). God loves you even though you live in sin. (John 3:16) God will execute His judgment on sin, and if God were to pour this judgment on man, he would die instantly. So God, wishing that no one should perish, sent His Son Jesus to bear the penalty for our sins so that we might live. The Bible says: “Consider therefore the mercy and severity of God” (Romans 11:22). God’s mercy desires to save man, but His justice demands punishment.]
Jesus came into this world for the specific purpose of saving our souls. He was the holy, sinless, blameless Lamb of God. God’s love for us was ,proven when He took our sins and guilt and placed them on Jesus. Behold his mercy! Jesus now became sin in our place, and He was crucified to _satisfy God’s judgment. He endured that pain and hurt and then died. The price for our sin has been paid. Behold the severity of God.
Repentance, our role.
[Can you see that Jesus died for you? He died for your sins. Who really crucified Jesus? Were the- Jewish rulers, or Pilate, or the Roman soldiers alone responsible? The apostle Peter preached to a crowd of thousands. Peter’s message was absolutely justified: “… this same Jesus you crucified by the hands of unrighteous men” (Acts 2:23). Will you confess your sins by looking at that crucified Jesus?]
By the power of _God’s Spirit you will realize that you are sorely lost. As this feeling weighs heavily on your heart, it will bring a burden of sin and regret. In despair you will cry out, “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner ! ” (Luke 18:13). As God hears your earnest pleas, He will save you. Your burdens will be lifted, and you will be born anew. As you follow Him, you will turn from your former sinful ways to heavenly things. This is the work □of repentance that God brings into the hearts of all who come to Him. Then your heart will be washed clean, and you will find peace, joy, and security.
Finally, repentance produces a deeper appreciation and devotion to Christ and God’s will. When we were hopelessly dying, Christ said, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19)