What is repentance?
Most people think it has something to do with shedding tears of sorrow for past actions or attitudes. It’s feeling sorry for your sins, combined with a desire to change. There’s no doubt that feeling genuine sorrow for your sins is part of repentance, but what if we’re missing another vitally important aspect?
When Jesus began His ministry, He preached a message of repentance in light of the coming kingdom of God (Mark 1:15):
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”“To repent” means to turn around, to change direction. It includes an element of reversal. It’s impossible to repent and stay the same. It would defy the definition of the word.
So what direction do we take? Notice that the call to repentance comes right after Jesus proclaims something: the arrival of God’s kingdom. God’s rule and reign is breaking into human history, and this kingdom is coming through Jesus – the King. Within this context, repentance doesn’t simply mean weeping over our sins; it means we turn around, abandon our own kingdom agendas, and adopt the kingdom agenda of Jesus Christ. To repent is to sign up for God’s kingdom – to be part of His people who are about His business in the world. Keep reading
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