What does repentance mean? True repentance is a change of mind and a change of heart that results in a change of behavior. There are Christians living in habitual sin who believe they are saved but they are deceived. Many have mentally accepted Jesus as their Savior but never repented and made Him Lord of their lives. Mentally agreeing with the fact that Jesus is God is not enough to be saved.
- James 2:19 states that "the devils believe and tremble."
- Jesus said in Luke 13:3, "unless a man repent, you shall all likewise perish."
Too many ministers say, "Just believe. Just pray this prayer. Just receive Jesus." They don't explain that a person needs to turn from sin, ask forgiveness for their sin and follow Jesus. There is a big difference in believing in Jesus as Savior but not in Him as Lord or Master of your life. He must be both in order to be saved. Romans 10:9-10 says, "confess the 'Lord.'"
Why do so many Christians ask questions like, "If I drink, or do drugs, or live with my girlfriend, will I go to hell?" The question I would ask them is, "Why are you looking for a way to live compromised? If you feel condemned about your sin, it's because you are guilty and need to repent and stop sinning." God is longsuffering but He cannot repent for us. The longer we refuse to turn from sin, turn to God and change our behavior, the harder our hearts become. A person becomes more and more deceived and walks on a dangerous, slippery path.
A Christian can be seriously backslidden but if they repent, God will help them. He will warn them to get off their sinful path and attempt to reach them in many ways. What they must understand is that they cannot simply go on sinning month after month, year after year, asking for God's help yet never initiate change. That person must take action to stop sinning. We have a free will and we must exercise it. Jesus commanded us not to sin. It is not a suggestion. He will also give us the help we need to avoid falling back into sin.
Bill Wiese is the author of New York Times bestselling book, 23 Minutes In Hell, the story of his life-changing visit to hell in 1998. Bill has since authored six additional book titles and continues to share his experience around the world. He and his wife Annette founded Soul Choice Ministries in late 2006 and have dedicated their lives to reaching the unsaved. For more information about Bill Wiese and Soul Choice Ministries, please visit us at: soulchoiceministries.org/. You can find more of Bill's teachings at youtube.com/user/BillWieseTV.
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