Confession and repentance are forgotten concepts in today’s churches, not just modern, apostate churches but also in evangelical, Bible believing, soul winning churches. Evangelical churches do indeed spread the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We all know that Jesus saves, nobody in their right mind wants to die and go into eternal damnation. Many profess to be believers in Jesus Christ but what will Christ say to multitudes after the resurrection? Listen to Christ’s exclusive claim in for an inclusive world.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This is a picture of the modern church; they are doing many wonderful things, they give, in Jesus name, they preach the name of Jesus, they praise the name of Jesus, they give Jesus credit for what they do. But what is missing? Why does Jesus say, “depart from me, ye who work iniquity” this last phrase literally means “you who practice lawlessness.”
They have all the appearances of being a blood bought, Bible preaching, evangelical church but again what is missing. Here’s a hint, it goes all the way back to the first man. The man who ushered sin into the world, the first practitioner of lawlessness; Adam. We all know that Adam sinned, right? But what happened afterward, what was Adam missing after he sinned? In Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve hear the voice of God walking through the garden in the cool of the day. Think about that for a moment, it must have been a large, thick, lush garden. God must have been making quite a racket to be heard in such an environment and we all know God doesn’t do anything by accident. God gives them an opportunity to hone in on His noise and approach Him. But noooo, they decide to hide themselves from God. God is given them an opportunity to do the one thing that’s missing from when they had sinned: telling God what they had done; confessing that they had sinned. Next God gives them another opportunity to get it right and they fail again. God asks; “did you eat from the tree?” Not only did Adam deny personal responsibility, but he also first blamed Eve then actually had the daring to blame God. Adam said ”it was the woman YOU gave me.” No confession, no accepting of personal responsibility therefore, no repentance.
Just as God gave Adam an opportunity, Jesus says in Luke 5:32 says “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The Gospel according to Jesus Christ begins with a call to repentance, a turning away from sin, a turning away from what you once were to who you now are. Repentance is not making excuses for sin or blaming others. Repentance does not minimize or reduce sin to mild indiscretions, or mistakes. Repentance looks like this:
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
What does the church look like with unrepentant “Christians”? A horrible stench in the nostrils of God.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Repentance is necessary for salvation, the malefactor hanged with Jesus confessed and turned away from his sin and turned toward Jesus. Repentance is mentioned 60 times in the New Testament. It is a precondition into receiving the gospel. Look at it this way, how can you be found if you don’t know you’re lost, once you realize that you are lost, you put yourself in the best position you can to be found and that comes by turning away from your sin and turning toward the One seeking to save you. Let’s look at the order of things from Mark, Luke, and The Acts.
repent ye, and believe the gospel.
And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Repentance comes first. What happens when we repent?
joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth
there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Repentance is a vital component in our salvation it’s also just as important afterwards. We are not to accept sin in our personal lives or corporately in our churches. It needs cut out, not excused, it needs confessed not hidden, it needs repented of, not minimized and accepted. All of mankind has need of the Great Physician, Jesus because we’re all sick with this disease called sin. Jesus is calling us to repentance.
Right now, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, waiting to hear something similar to these words; “Son, go and bring my children home.” But He’s waiting on that last “one” that had left the ninety nine when He will indeed return.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.