First Baptist Church of Niles
Have you repented?
A common question that is asked when concerned over a person’s relationship with God is, “Have you received Jesus as your personal Savior?” In other parts of the world the question comes in a different form. It begins with, “Have you repented?”
The Apostle Paul said he witnessed to these two things: “Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21. John the Baptist’s ministry began with the word, “repent” as did Christ Jesus’ ministry. The Apostles in Acts continued this theme. “Now, we know that salvation only comes by grace though faith in Christ alone. It is not of works lest any man should boast.”
However, saving faith is a repentant faith, always. Missing this, many make a profession of faith, even say they are “born again” but their lifestyle never changes. This may be the greatest cause for the demise of our culture in America today. I recently heard the testimony of an outstanding Christian minister who was raised in a well known Christian home. He testified that he always believed in God but, as so many young people, was having too much fun to change his rebellious life style. Finally, when the Lord worked the change in his heart, he truly turned to the Lord and found joy he had never known before.
What is repentance? It is a change of mind, but oh, what a change it is. It is a change of mind about everything. Someone wrote a small poem about it years ago,
“Repentance is to leave the sins we loved before
and to show that we in earnest grieve by doing so no more. “
Salvation and eternal life comes to the heart broken over sin that turns to Christ in sincere and humble trust. In a sense this describes the entire Christian life.
As I heard a minister once say, “I repented many years ago and I’ve never stopped.”