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Repent and Turn to God

Let’s take just a moment to look at this phrase “repent and turn to God”. It seems to be such a simple little phrase but it is very, very important within the kingdom of God.

Some people think that if they just turn to God that he will be very happy with the change in their heart. On the surface that would seem at least like a possibility but it is only a possibility if you choose to ignore scripture. It is not sufficient to just turn to God. Instead it is of critical importance to repent and/then turn to God. It is extremely important to do both things and this should be virtually simultaneous decisions. It’s not being “good enough” to touch God but rather understanding that God, through Jesus Christ, saves repentant sinners. The man in the Bible that called out, “God have mercy on me, a miserable sinner”, is the one that is still saved today. Without the heart felt plea born out of a life suddenly repulsive to the acknowledged sinner there is no salvation.

My not being a theologian or a scholar of the Greek language means that I will not be trying to fine tune the meaning of the word “repent”, suffice it to say, for this brief post, that if you repent in this context it means that among other things you have recognized the critical importance of the necessity for you to stop doing things that are offensive to God and begin to do things that are pleasing to God.

In the end, you determine to live a new life style not just so that you can avoid going to hell someday but rather you make a major lifestyle change because you realize that your old lifestyle was just displeasing to God. To repent, again, means you change your actions and priorities not to avoid eternal damnation but instead the emphasis is on changing simply because you recognize that God is so wonderful and loving and kind that he really deserves better from you. But even this is not enough all by it’s self for those that are legitimately concerned about their eternal destiny.

In addition to changing your life style so that you stop doing things that are offensive to God and begin doing things that are pleasing to God it is also a necessity that you seek to build a relationship with God. Otherwise you are nothing but a do-gooder who is just “on the wagon” for a while and naturally enough this change in lifestyle is likely to be either temporary or done with a heart that is still fundamentally evil.

In order to build that relationship with God you need to seek his forgiveness for the sins that you have already committed as well as the sins that you will commit in the future and the only way that He can forgive you is if you accept the death and resurrection of Christ on the cross as being the full payment for your sins.

Repent and turn to God? Yes, the emphasis here is to point out that simply turning to God is, according to Scripture, insufficient to gain you salvation. Most of the lost hypocrites in churches around the world have turned to God, so they say, but those who continue to live the same ifestyles outside of the forgiveness available through Jesus Christ are not saved and by definition are not Christians.