To repent, generally means to change one’s mind.

Consider Jesus’ parable of the two sons (Matt.21:28-30). when asked to work in his father’s vineyard ,one son said, “`I will not, “but later he changed his mind and went. This son changed his mind, and having changed it, he did what he had earlier said he would not do.

Esau was one of Isaac’s two sons and according, to the custom of that time, every first-born son will receive special favors from his father. On the day when Isaac planned to give the once-in-a-lifetime blessing to Esau, Jacob, the younger son, went to his father whose vision was blurred and pretended to be Esau while his brother was out hunting for his father. Isaac mistook Jacob for Esau and granted the most significant blessing to Jacob. When Esau returned home and learned what had happened, he cried out in anguish, “Bless me too, my father!” Isaac refused to transfer to Esau the blessing he had already given to Jacob, even though Jacob had obtained it deceitfully

According to the Bible, repentance involves more than changing one’s mind when salvation becomes an issue. On the day of Pentecost, because of Peter’s preaching, many sinners became convinced and were cut to the heart. They asked “brothers, what shall we do?” Peter told them to REPENT and be baptized (Acts 2:36-38). Neither convincing of being a sinner nor being cut to the heart is repentance, however, both are required before repenting. Otherwise, Peter would not have commanded those who were cut to the heart to repent.

The people on the day of Pentecost were cut to the heart and they were experiencing godly sorrow. Godly sorrow is the remorse one feels when one realizes one has sinned against God, has alienated from God, and is spiritually lost: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Cor. 7:10). One whose repentance grows out of any other motive or sentiment will not please God.

We need to distinguish godly sorrow, which produces genuine repentance, from mere regret, which does not.

Repentance Leading to Salvation needs:

* 1. Conviction of sin – believing that you have sin against God and need His forgiveness
* 2. Godly sorrow – remorse growing out of the realizing that you are lost
* 3. Repentance – A change of mind in which you resolve not to offend God again
* 4. Reformation A change of life in which you put you put resolution into practice

First, there must be faith (Heb.11:6), which comes by hearing God’s word (Rom.10:17). A person cannot be convinced that he has offended God unless he believes in God. Second, there must be remorse or godly sorrow. Thirdly, there must be a change of mind that includes the decision not to sin again. Fourth, there must be reformation in which the behavior following repentance shows the change of mind is being carried out, this is referred to in the scripture as bearing fruit in keeping with repentance.

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matt. 3:8, Luke 3:8)

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached God’s word, which produced in many who heard (i) a belief that they were guilty of sin and (ii) a feeling of guilt, remorse and godly sorrow for their sin. Peter told them (iii) to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Those who felt the guilt of their sin immediately (iv)obeyed and were transformed. (Acts 2:41-47). All of this was repentance that leads to salvation.

Another example is the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The two sons in the family had been taught to know and fear God, but the younger son wasted his share of the inheritance on loose living and harlots. When he lost all of his money, family, friends, respect, he came to his senses. He was convicted of the sin he had committed against his father and God. At that point in his life he was overcome with godly sorrow and changed his mind. He resolved to return home as a penitent sinner. He not only changed his mind but acted upon his decision. He returned with a penitent heart, confessing his sins. In that way, he reformed his life and was restored to favor with his father.

If you think that simply being sorry for what you have done wrong means that you have repented and God has forgiven you, then your understanding of repentance is not agreeable with Bible teaching.. The kind of repentance which does not lead to salvation is of no avail with God. The ultimate result of not repenting as God prescribes is perishing.

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