(Repentance Not Included) The Need

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, February 2, 2021 1 comments

by Chad Koons

“Come as you are” is such a welcoming invitation. Thank God that I could come to Jesus just as I was. But the best news came after this invitation, sort of a necessary next step, and it’s something that seems to have been removed from modern-day Christianity. Many have forbidden it, calling it insensitive. It’s been banned from most of our churches, especially from progressive Christianity, and it’s becoming increasingly unpopular amidst conservative congregations. I would wager that 9 out of 10 self-proclaimed Christians cannot even define it.

What is this forbidden next step?


Did that word in capital letters make you feel unsettled? I hit that nerve on purpose; I know that it sounds jarring, cold, and commanding. Perhaps it summons unpleasant memories, recalling someone from our past who seemingly wielded repentance as a hammer against us. For some, it is reminiscent of “old time religion,” a relic from a harsh, ignorant past that we’ve progressed from.

Yet properly understood, repentance is the best news that you can ever hope to receive. It means that you don’t need to be stuck in cycles of sin, but that you can finally be free!

Before I had repented, my life was filled with ungodliness. I had been a liar and a cheater. I had surrounded myself with friends who were even worse off than I was. I had begun involvement with drugs and alcohol. I had gotten pretty deep into witchcraft, satanism, and the occult. All the while, I was going to church and still considered myself a Christian in spite of my ungodly life. Yet in my heart I knew that I was not truly a follower of Jesus and I wanted to change, I just didn’t know how. The Father was leading me to repentance, but no one around me had the knowledge or courage to help me get there. Even worse, many Christians around me were comforting me by affirming my sin!

I was part of a massive problem that is still plaguing the church. God help us, we have created generations of self-proclaimed Christians who have never truly repented of their sin. Maybe we felt sorry for our sin, maybe we modified bits of our behavior for a short while, maybe our remorseful emotions caused a tiny change or two, but it could not last. Christianity without repentance is worse than fantasy; it’s delusion. It’s a delusion that has gripped the hearts of millions through our failing churches who have pandered to our emotional states rather than the saving of our souls.

Like little kids trying to play with a new toy yet lacking the required batteries, “Christians” have been playing with the idea of faith in Jesus without ever including the repentance necessary to get it going. We should have known; I mean it’s literally spelled out for us, had we bothered to read it: “(Repentance not included. Full repentance required).”

What is repentance? Quite simply, repentance means to change the way you think, to change your will and mindset. It’s a decision to serve the Lord with everything in your life. Repentance is also “to turn around,” stop moving in your current direction, turn backwards, and begin walking down a new and different path, to turn from sin and towards the Lord. Repent and believe. I believe that faith is impossible without repentance. Repentance is the very doorway to faith. You can never be a disciple of Jesus without repentance. To repent and believe is the Biblical order.

Don’t take my word for it, take His Word:

Repentance is necessary for acceptance by the Lord. Come out from among the sinners and be accepted by Him. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Repentance is so important that it was the first message that Jesus ever preached! Jesus commanded them to repent. (Matthew 4:17)
Repentance is so important that it was also the first message of the early church! Peter told them to repent. (Acts 2:37-39)
Repentance from sin is a required action, as maintaining a sinful lifestyle will exclude you from God’s Kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Repentance from sin is foundational, it is the first mentioned of the “basic principles” of God. (Hebrews 5:12-6:1)
Repentance is a proof that we know the Lord. (1 John 2:3-6)
Repentance is commanded by the Lord. (Acts 17:30-31)

Now that we understand what repentance is, we can do something about it.

“Come as you are,” yes, amen, and thank God that He allows us to approach Him while still in our sin! He is not afraid of our mess. But thank God that He loves us too much to keep us there! He changes our lives, if we let Him. What does true repentance look like? We take a look at Biblical repentance in the follow up post, “(Repentance Not Included) Part 2” next time.

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Carl Adkins said...

If you come as you are and truly repent you won't stay where you are.