Repentance is Necessary for Salvation.
Isaiah 40:1-3; Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:1-5; Acts 19:4 – Jesus’ way was prepared through repentance (via John the Baptist’s ministry of repentance).
Jesus’ first recorded words in Mark’s gospel are: “The time is fulfilled…repent and believe in the gospel.” (1:15). See also Matt. 4:17.
Jesus’ last words in Luke’s gospel include: “The Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem.” (24:46-47)
Notice that repentance is named alongside faith as the means to receive the gospel and be forgiven.
This teaching is carried on by his followers.
- In the beginning of Acts, when the crowd asks the apostles, “What shall we do?” Peter tells them, “Repent and be baptized…” (2:37-38).
- Near the end of Acts, Paul reminds the Ephesian church leaders: “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable…testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (20:20-21).
See also Acts 3:19; 5:31; 8:22; 11:18; 17:30; 26:20.
Further, in Hebrews 6:1-2, the writer names 6 foundational elements of Christianity. The first 2 are:
- Repentance from dead works
- Faith toward God
Again, repentance and faith are both prerequisite for following Christ, and repentance is listed first.
Faith and Repentance Assume Each Other
Now, sometimes in the Bible you see only faith mentioned as the means of salvation:
- Jesus: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- His followers: “Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’” (Acts 16:30-31)
But other times only repentance is mentioned as the means of salvation:
- Jesus: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)
- His followers: “They were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you…’” (Acts 2:37-38)
The simple solution in light of the totality of Scripture is that when repentance is named alone, faith is assumed. And when faith is named alone, repentance is assumed. Neither are optional.
What is Repentance?
Repentance literally means, “to turn.” It can be seen very clearly in Luke 15 (the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”). After the younger son rejected his father and went his own way, he said to himself, “I will arise and go to my father,” (15:18), then, “he arose and came to his father,” (15:20). Notice the father’s response: “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (15:20).
Thus, repentance, according to this story, has 3 elements:
- A change of will – he decided, “I will arise and go to my father” (instead of following his own way)
- A corresponding first action – “he arose and came to his father” (he took a first step)
- The Father making up the remaining distance – “While he was still a long way off, his father…ran” (in other words, God isn’t waiting with arms crossed for us to make all these changes; He’s looking for a change in our will and He runs to meet us when that happens)
Along with this picture, consider:
- “Repentance from dead works” (Hebrews 6:1; see also Matt. 12:41 cf. Jonah 3:10)
- “Repentance toward God” (Acts 20:21)
The negative side of repentance is a turning away from sin and living for ourselves. The positive side is turning to live for God.
Repentance is, at its essence, a change of will. Said in another way, it is a change of “Lords,” or “Bosses.” Before you come to Christ, you are your own Lord/Boss. Or maybe your friends are. Or your family. But when you come to Christ, He becomes your Lord. Your will is now to follow Him. And such repentance will produce fruit of change in you (e.g. Luke 3:8-14).
Of course, the rest of Scripture (and experience!) proves that you will never achieve this perfectly in this lifetime. But repentance simply means you now reorient your course to strive to follow Christ, even though there will be subsequent times of repentance throughout your Christian journey (sometimes even 7+ times of the same sin in 1 day – Luke 17:3-4).
All Commanded to Repent
- Luke 13:1-5; Acts 17:30 – All people must repent
- 2 Cor. 7:9; Hebrews 6:1; Rev. 2:5,16,21-22; 3:3,19 – even Christians
How We Repent
- God draws people to repent (John 6:44; 2 Tim. 2:25-26): Jews (Acts 5:31) and Gentiles (Acts 11:18).
- Psalm 139:23; John 16:8; 2 Cor. 7:10 – God reveals sinfulness to us
- Philippians 2:13 – God works in us the willing and doing
- Matt. 25:24-30; Phil. 2:12 – We must choose how we respond
Song of Songs 1:4; Hosea 12:6; Luke 15:20 – as we purpose to turn to God, He, in his mercy, meets us and draws us back to Himself by his strength, even if we are “still a great way off” (Luke 15:20).
Jesus as Lord and Savior
- Christ’s blood saves you: Exodus 11-12; Rom. 3:25; 5:9 (Savior)
- Christ’s blood bought you: Exodus 13; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:19-20 (Lord)
- Book of Acts: Jesus’ Lordship emphasized
- Jesus/God called “Lord” (kurios) 105 times: 1:6, 1:21, 1:24; 2:20, 2:21, 2:25, 2:34(x2), 2:36, 2:39, 2:47; 3:20, 3:22; 4:26, 4:29, 4:33; 5:9, 5:14, 5:19; 7:31, 7:33, 7:49, 7:59, 7:60; 8:16, 8:22, 8:24, 8:25, 8:26, 8:39; 9:1, 9:5, 9:10(x2), 9:11, 9:13, 9:15, 9:17, 9:27, 9:28, 9:31, 9:35, 9:42; 10:4, 10:14, 10:33, 10:36; 11:8, 11:16, 11:17, 11:20, 11:21(x2), 11:23, 11:24; 12:7, 12:11, 12:17, 12:23; 13:2, 13:10, 13:11, 13:12, 13:44, 13:47, 13:48, 13:49; 14:3, 14:23; 15:11, 15:17(x2), 15:26, 15:35, 15:36, 15:40; 16:14, 16:15, 16:31, 16:32, 17:24, 17:27; 18:8, 18:9, 18:25(x2); 19:5, 19:10, 19:13, 19:17, 19:20; 20:19, 20:21, 20:24, 20:35; 21:13, 21:14, 21:20; 22:8, 22:10(x2), 22:19; 23:11; 26:15(x2); 28:31
- Jesus/God called “Savior” (soter) 2 times: 5:31; 13:23
Thus, we are saved through:
- Repentance toward Christ as Lord
- Believing/trusting that God came as Jesus to take all our punishment for sins dying on the cross, then resurrected 3 days later so that God has fully pardoned us.
Both are necessary.
Video: Repentance (2h 3m) [external site]
The following transcription came from Brian Holda’s February 12, 2009 teaching on repentance, recorded by Marcus Regan and transcribed by Lizzy Brandonisio.
Go ahead and open up to Hebrews 5. Ok right here in Hebrews, we kind of talked about this last week; there is an important section. We don’t know who the writer of Hebrews is, it’s probably Paul or at least influenced by Paul, but we don’t actually know who he is. We do know this much though; in Hebrews chapter 5 he goes on and he starts talking about this guy here in Hebrews 5: 6 and in another place “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” We’re not going to go into all the stuff about Melchizedek but he starts talking a little about Melchizedek and then he goes on and says 10 He was called by God as high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Basically he’s making a comparison between Jesus and this guy from the Old Testament called Melchizedek. But here’s the important part, in verse 11 Of whom (talking about Jesus and Melchizedek) We have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. Now understand, basically he’s saying “I want to teach you all this cool stuff about Melchizedek and Genesis 15 and Jesus and all these comparisons. I want to show this really cool deep stuff and I’m ready to show you.” If you’re like me you are reading this and saying, “I cannot wait to find out all these cool things” but then he says, “Hold on, I’m not sure I can really go that deep with you right now.” That’s what he says, and then he rebukes them in the rest of this chapter, verses 12-14. He says, “By this time you ought to be teachers but you’re not. You’re actually unskilled in the word of righteousness and all these things”. He rebukes them basically saying to the Hebrews, “You do not know as much as maybe you should by now. Really, I need to make sure you have foundational things first and then we can build off that to go to the deeper stuff.” So he then lists the certain foundational things that you need to know at the root level before we go deeper in Hebrews 6. Now understand, this is said to all Christians, these things you must know. Then once you know these, and establish these, we can go on to deeper things. We need to be a responsible builder though, right? Because if we are talking about building this great house and we start building a window and then we start the drapes and no one ever checked the foundations, we’re very irresponsible and it would be wrecked. In fact, Jesus in Matthew 7 says that all houses that do not have the proper foundation might look really nice for a time, but once the storm comes they will be wrecked. Believe me, the storm has come a little bit and the storm will come more and more in your individual lives and I think on a corporate scale. You’re even seeing it in America, a lot of tragedies happening. And you know what it’s doing the most? It’s revealing foundations left and right. You are seeing people and organizations who you say, “Man, I thought they were so strong. I thought they knew the Lord so well”. But as soon as the storm comes, it shows that they never had the proper foundations. Well the Lord is asking the same of us I believe, he’s saying “Do you have your foundations?” and it will be shown forth in times ahead.
So then he moves into Hebrews 6 and he lists six foundations and that’s kind of what we’re focusing on here. 1 Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. Ok, so he says, “Look, let’s move on to the deeper things. But these you need to know first.” Again, like a master builder of a house. Understand me, if I just put foundations in a house and I don’t put anything else, I’m really not that responsible of a builder either, you need to build on to that. But if I try to build a house without foundations, that’s very irresponsible. So right now what we are focused on, and what we believe God has put on our hearts to teach here, to record it, and to be able to use however God sees fit, is that we build foundations. God willing (verse 3), we want to move on from there and to build up the spiritual house that God has commanded all of us to build that is pleasing to him.
So, of the six listed there you see repentance, faith, baptisms, and understand those first four are really for what we do in this life. Also, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment so the next two really take us on into eternity so we understand what happens in the eternal scheme once this life is over. So this is the very first one we are looking at with these foundations, last week we talked about the Spirit and the Word. This week we are going to look at the first foundation; repentance. What does your translation say? Answer: Repentance from acts that lead to death and it has a letter which says “Or from useless rituals” at the bottom. Oh, I kind of like that, what translation is that? Answer: NIV. Yeah, I like that. So some might say “useless rituals”, I really like that. Ok, anyone else have a different translation from acts that lead to death? Answer: Dead works. That’s what mine has too. Repentance from dead works, or acts that lead to death, or useless rituals. We’ll keep that in mind for later. Ok so the first thing listed, before anything else, is repentance. Maybe not to you, but maybe to some people that is kind of shocking. At least in the way that the gospel is usually preached today it is “You just need faith, that’s all you need”. Has anyone heard that? I have heard it so much. “You just need faith”. Well it’s true you do need faith and in one sense it’s the only thing but faith needs repentance to go with it. We’re going to look at that and I believe you’ll see by the end of this that if the scriptures are true, they always go together. But a lot of people say “You just need faith” or, you know what is a popular thing that is taught today? “Do you know Jesus as your savior?” I hear a lot of people say that. Well of course, you know him as your savior. But you know what it used to be that a lot of people would say? Maybe they still do. “Do you know Jesus as your Lord and savior?” I hear a lot of people today say, “Do you know him as your savior?” Well, what about Lord? What happened to turning to him and that he runs your life now. It’s not taught now and it’s not popular necessarily but it is what the gospel teaches; that the same blood that saves you from sins, buys you. You are not your own anymore, you belong to another. So we have repentance listed first, even before faith, as a foundational principle, understand that.
The next thing to look at when we are looking at what value does God place on repentance is in the Old Testament; The first major prophet, Isaiah. Now understand, does anyone know how many years before Christ Isaiah wrote? Answer: about 700? Yep, roughly 700 years. This is just to give you context. So, by the Spirit of God he is prophesying about things that are happening 700 years from him. That would be like us saying, “In the year 2700, this is going to happen”. Well, only by the Spirit of God could you know such things, right? So here’s what he says in Isaiah 40: 1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. So notice this, a prophetic picture saying, “comfort her, comfort her, her sin has been paid for”. Obviously we are looking forward to the day when all your sins are paid which happened at the cross. Remember, he spoke this 700 years before Jesus came. But he doesn’t finish it there; he shows that something needs to happen before Jesus could come, before your sins could be forgiven. 3 A voice of one calling in the desert “Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” Ok so what is the first thing this voice says? What is the first word? Prepare. Before you can have the day when your sins are forgiven there has to be some kind of preparation work, right? It says there is going to be a voice crying out. This is all Isaiah tells us; there is going to be a voice crying out, he doesn’t say who, he just says some voice that is going to prepare the way for sins to be forgiven. OK, keep that in mind and go to Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament. Anyone know when Malachi was written? Probably about 450 years before Christ. So a couple hundred years after Isaiah he’s going to give us, by the spirit of God, a more specific picture of something that is going to prepare the way for Jesus to come. Look at Malachi 3: 1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord almighty. Ok, now here he says it’s going to be prepared specifically by what or who according to this? Answer: A messenger. There is going to be a messenger who will prepare this way for Jesus to come and the sins to be forgiven and all those things. And then go to the very last verses of Malachi. Malachi 4: 5 Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. Ok, he gives a little more picture. He says it’s going to be like Elijah the prophet; it’s going to come before the coming of the Lord. Maybe you already know this, maybe not. Do you know who this is referring to? Answer: John the Baptist. Jesus even says that he is Elijah the prophet who turns the hearts of fathers towards the sons and the sons towards the fathers. He talks about that I believe in Luke 1. We’re not going to look at that specifically but there is a messenger who had to come before Jesus.
Let’s look at Mark 1. It’s important because God took such time and care to show us that before this great work on the cross could happen there had to be something that precedes it. There had to be, no choices, there had to be. Question: Is it also the end times too? Elijah? Some have extended that, but that’s probably outside of what we are going to talk about tonight. The immediate reference to that verse according to Jesus is John the Baptist. That is the immediate reference. He says John the Baptist is Elijah. I guess there might be by extension of something later but that’s the immediate reference. Ok, Mark 1: 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus, Christ, the Son of God. The beginning of the gospel, which means, you guys know, “good news”. The beginning. We’re going to see the very beginning of the good news. Guess how it starts. The same thing that has been prophesied; there has to be something first before the gospel can come forth. 2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare you way before you.” 3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make his paths straight.’” So he says that, as it’s written, something has to happen at the beginning of the gospel. 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Ok, hold your place there and go to Luke chapter 1 to tie it all together, God willing, I hope. Luke 1: 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him (Zacharias), standing on the right side of the alter of incense. Anyone know who Zacharias was? Answer: John’s dad. Yeah, John the Baptist’s dad. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’” Ok so he quotes that scripture from Malachi and says this is John the Baptist coming. Alright, so we have starting here, John the Baptist had to come first. But what was John’s sole mission? What did he do? It says it in his name. Answer: Baptized. He baptized. What was his baptism? What was it a baptism of? Answer: Repentance from sins. Yes, because look at what it says in Mark 1:4 if you are still there it says John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Understand that this is the culmination of everything. Do you see how God is showing us that before Jesus could even come and the work on the cross and the resurrection, there had to be a messenger who came first, there had to be the way prepared. And what was the message? Repentance. Repentance always comes first. Now, believe me, they do go together and we’ll look at how repentance and faith go hand in hand at the same time basically. But there is a repentance first and then Jesus could come.
Now I want you to think about this. A lot of people say today, “Man, we would just love Jesus to be at this meeting”. Of course in one sense he is because we have him but we say, “We want the presence of the Lord to walk with us.” Guess what? I think the principle remains the same; repentance will come first. You’ll see that every move of God, when God’s Spirit pours out the first thing that happens is that people are convicted of sin and they say, “Wow, we’ve been following our own way”. When true repentance happens, those are the places I would watch, because Jesus comes right after that and in a powerful way. So we see throughout history that there was a repentance that came first. Now I’m not going to look at it at the moment but in my notes I wrote that John stressed true repentance. In fact some people came in Luke 3 and said, “Oh we want to be part of this great religious celebration” and he says, “You haven’t shown me true fruits, true repentance”. We’ll look at that in a little bit. Now understand, it’s not just repentance but true repentance that comes first, and then of course the faith follows. Well is that just an isolated thing? Let’s look at Jesus’ preaching. If you are still in Mark and you have a red letter Bible, the first thing Jesus says is in what verse? Do you see it? Verse 15. Well let’s give the context with verses 14 and 15 and let’s see what Jesus’ message is here. Mark 1: 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent, and believe in the gospel. Ok so he’s proclaiming the gospel, the kingdom of God and look at what he says, the first thing recorded in Mark. The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel. He doesn’t just say believe in the gospel. Jesus’ first word as recorded by Mark in Mark’s gospel is repent. Repent, he commands, and believe in the gospel, he puts the two together. Ok, repent and believe. This is what he says at the beginning of his ministry. Now lets fast-forward a little bit until after Jesus dies and he resurrects. He’s now appeared to people and he’s talking to people. Now go to the end of Luke, Luke 24, the road to Emmaus. Now this is basically one of the first things he is speaking after he has died and resurrected. He’s getting ready for his message to be proclaimed, this great and wonderful gospel. Luke 24: 45 He’s talking to the disciples. And he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then he said to them, remember this is just after he is resurrected and he’s ascended. Look at what he says. “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that what would be preached? What’s the first word there? Answer: Repentance. And? After repentance what does it say? Answer: forgiveness of sins. Yeah, or Remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Look at how he starts it, he says these two will come; repentance and forgiveness of sins. Now understand, oh my goodness, I am all for forgiveness of sins of course, that is the gospel. Forgiveness of sins is not over here and repentance is if you want it or not. In Jesus’ mind they are together. Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached together.
Now let’s see how the disciples understood this. The first Christian sermon, do you guys remember when this is? Acts: 2, Pentecost. Peter is coming, he’s preaching to the masses. And here he’s preaching to them about Jesus. He’s saying, “Look, he’s come, he’s resurrected, he’s amazing. You just need to know this Jesus”. And then you see the response here. After Peter did his preaching, look at the response of the crowds, 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Ok, understand what’s happening here is that they are asking, “We are interested in this message”. Basically it would be like someone coming to you and saying, “How do I know Jesus? How do I become a Christian?” And the answer that a lot of people might give, I don’t think is his answer. They’ll say, “Just believe” and it’s done. Belief is part of it, absolutely; Ephesians says it is by faith. But look at Peter’s answer, by the Holy Spirit, what does he speak? 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. He says three things, basically, that really need to happen to all who are convicted and to all who want to come to Jesus and what’s the first thing he says? This is the first Christian sermon. Answer: Repent. Repent is the very first thing mentioned. He does not mention faith by name but I think it’s basically implied. With repent and believe you always see those two together. So when you repent you turn to Christ and there is belief there too. We’ll talk about that more next week; faith is what we’ll focus on, God willing. And after that it’s repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit. He talks about how you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Baptisms, guess what? That’s the third foundation, so maybe in a couple weeks we will look at that. And water baptism and Holy Spirit baptisms are two of the baptisms, so that’s there too. This is all to come, but the first part that we are focusing on is the very first word he says there, Repent. It is at the very heart of his message and it’s the first thing. Just like Jesus says, “Your disciples will go out and they’ll preach repentance, and forgiveness of sins”. That’s exactly what Peter did.
Well, let’s look at Paul, the one who wrote so many of the New Testament letters and had a revelation of all these great things. Well how does Paul see the gospel? You’ll see in Acts: 20, Paul actually sums up what his whole message is all about. Verse 17 gives the context 17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the edlers of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you public ally and from house to house. So the first thing he says is, “I did not hold anything back with my preaching”. Now, I hope so much that the Lord can say the same thing about me and all of us here, that we could really preach in such a way that we could say that we held nothing back. That’s tough to preach that way because then you are preaching for the Lord’s sake, not for people’s sake. There are always things you don’t want to tell people because it will upset them. But he says he held nothing back 21 I testified to the Jews, and Greeks… what did he testify? What’s his first word there? Answer: Repentance. Repentance towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. That was his whole message, he summed it up. Paul’s entire message, what he testified, is summed up there; repentance and faith. Do you see how it’s the same theme throughout? Jesus says “Repent and Believe”. Peter says “Repent and be baptized” and again, I think believe applies there as well. Paul says, “My whole message is summed up here; repentance toward God and faith in Christ”. That is it, right there, that is the message. Ok, I’m telling you right now, you may have heard a gospel message where they do not even mention repentance or that you need to know Jesus as Lord, not just as Savior, but as Lord. If you have ever heard a message where they do this, I think you have been robbed of what the scriptures teach, to be honest. Because it always will mention repentance involved there. What we are doing, I think, is catering to people but really not helping people in the long run, after all. There is a Proverb that says basically, “He who rebukes harshly will find more favor in the end than he who flatters with the tongue”. This is my concern. How much of our preaching is done where we are trying to flatter people? “Oh you’re great, you’re wonderful, you’re fine just the way you are”. Well, not quite actually… The Lord died, because we are not fine just the way we are.
OK, so the next question is, what is repentance? It’s important to know what it is that they are focused on. We see the value that God places; before Jesus could even come, there had to be repentance preached. Alright, so what is it? Well, the first thing; repentance is not remorse. I think this is very important. Go to Matthew 27: 3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And the said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” 5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. Judas did kill himself, but look at verse 3. Judas, when he saw Jesus was condemned, what does it say? Was he repentant? No, what does it say he ways? Answer: Remorseful He was sad, he was sorry. But there was no change in behavior, it led to death. True repentance leads to life, always. This led to death. So, don’t confuse the two. I want to show another thing, go to Hebrews 12: 16. I’m not starting at the beginning of the sentence because I’m just focusing on one aspect of this sentence. Sometimes these sentences in scripture are kind of long, so I’m focusing on one aspect. Ok, Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau. Do you guys remember what happened with Esau? Linda what happened with Esau? Answer: He sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Yeah, basically he said to his brother, “You can have the birthright”. He was the older brother and he said, “Oh, you can have it. I’m just hungry. I’m famished after hunting”. Ok so Esau, for one morsel of food, sold his birthright. Look at verse 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing…So afterward, he felt bad about his decision. He was rejected, for he found no place for what do your translations say? Repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. He was not able to repent even though he felt so bad that he was crying. So some people might feel terrible and they might be crying, but that doesn’t mean it’s repentance; You can be remorseful but not be repentant, there is a difference.
Alright, so to help clarify the difference go to 2 Corinthians 7. Here Paul pulls it together pretty nicely. Paul is writing here to the Corinthians and he’s pretty honest. 2 Corinthians, Gabe and I have talked about this before, is the most personal of all of Paul’s letters. You want to know the man, Paul? Read 2 Corinthians. I would say he’s the most honest and vulnerable there. So here he actually says, 8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now understand, this is kind of a huge statement. This actually isn’t my focus, but he says, “the first letter that I wrote to you, I actually regretted that I wrote it.” What was the first letter? Answer: 1 Corinthians. Exactly, we have his first letter that’s inspired by scripture but Paul says, “I felt bad about writing it for a little bit. I felt sorry for writing it.” Why did he feel so bad according to verse 8? He says, “because I saw that it made you so sad but I know it’s only for a while”. Have you ever had that happen with someone? You write something or you say something that you know was right but they go away and they just feel terrible. And then you wish you hadn’t said it almost. Well that’s kind of what he’s going through, I think. But look at 9 Now I Rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss form us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentances leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. Ok, so it says that God places sorrows in your heart, and look at how I define it here; Godly sorrow seeks to represent the sorrow that we have when God’s desires have not been met. So if you see something and you know that what God wanted did not really happen, then you are sad about that. That’s Godly sorrow. Guess what that produces. He says in verse 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all these things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Ok so it says that if you were sad, and sought God in this, it showed that there was a true repentance in your behavior. But Godly sorrow produces what? Life. Worldly sorrow? Death. Judas had worldly sorrow; was he sorry because God was not pleased? No, he was sorry because he felt guilty and bad that he had done something bad and made a poor decision and that led to death. So, worldly sorrow I’m defining as if you are sad because things don’t go your way. That’s worldly sorrow. You’ve seen people get so bent out of shape because things don’t go their way; they are gone and sometimes they are wrecked for life because they don’t get something their own way in a specific situation, and this leads to death.
So what is repentance? Let’s get back to that subject. We know it’s not remorse but being sorry can lead to repentance, so what is it? Repentance is an inner change of your mind and an outward change of your behavior, your actions. The Greek for repentance is Metanoia and it’s to change your mind. The Hebrew word for repentance means to turn or return or turn back your behavior. Perfect example, go to Luke 15. I’m going to assume that you know this story and if you don’t, you can read it on your own. It’s an awesome story and probably one of the most popular: the prodigal son story. Starting with verse 11 we see that we have a father and he has two sons. The one son goes to his own living and says, “I’m going to live for myself, give me the inheritance right now.” And he finds out, “When I’m my own Lord, living for myself, it’s really not as great as I thought it would be” So he lives for himself for a while but then look at what happens here in verse 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants’ 20And he arose and came to his father. Ok, so what’s the first thing? In his mind he decided, “I’m going to turn back to my father.” It’s like saying, “I’m going to turn away from how I’m living and turn to God”. In his action (verse 20) he actually did turn around and in his behavior. He did actually, in his mind and his action, make a different decision and he turned back to his father. So repentance, like I said, is a change of mind, and a change of your action, that’s what repentance is according to the bible. So what is the repentance God desires? Hebrews 6:1 says the foundation of repentance from dead works, away from dead works, or useless rituals. That is the first part of repentance. It means you are going one way, you are following yourself or you might think you are following the Lord but you are following your own things and doing all these different things. Sometimes you are doing all these great things for God, like going to church or doing all these things, but that could be a dead work too, understand. So look at what it says, it starts with repentance from dead works.
Look at this, this is important. Go to Luke 13. This is one of the most interesting scriptures and I think a lot of people in their theology don’t consider it. 1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But Unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Ok, wow. Who’s he talking about here in verse 1? Galileans. And what were the Galileans doing? Do you see it? Answer: Sacrificing. Yeah, they were going in and serving their God or at least they thought they were doing all these great, religious things. But look at Jesus’ commentary on the situation. What happened was, they were in the middle of their sacrificing and Pilate came and they were killed. Jesus says unless you also repent of your sins, you will perish as well. He says that even in the midst of their religious sacrifices there was either wrong heart attitude or something that was not right and he said this led to their death I believe this was because they did not repent and turn to God. So, God might desire repentance even in the midst of your religious works. Here’s how I define religious works; they could be works of religion serving false God’s. What’s the first commandment in the 10 commandments in Exodus 20? Answer: no other God’s before me. Ok, no other Gods. So I believe very clearly that God says a religious work that you need to be repentant of is “I’m going to serve Buddha here and over here I’m going to serve Mohammad. I’m going to serve all these different things”. If you are serving a false God, it does say that there needs to be repentance for that. But that’s not the only thing the Bible says is a dead, religious work. What’s the second commandment say? You shall not have other God’s and you shall not? Answer: Make a graven image. Yes, make a graven image, even of God himself you should not make a graven image. Now understand, that’s not serving false God’s, that’s trying to serve the true God in a way that he never told you to do. Do you see the difference? They’re saying, “Well, we’re going to serve God but we’re going to do it the way we know how to serve God. Let’s make this and let’s make this and we’ll serve him in this way”. God says, “I never told you to do that”. Now, I’m speaking to everyone here and I’m assuming that most of you are Christian or at least professing Christian. That second one might hit us more. None of us are saying “Oh we’re going to serve Buddha over here and a little Mohammad on the side”. That’s not the problem, but what could it be? Could it be that the Lord is speaking to us and saying, you think you are serving God but in a way that you fashioned and not in a way that the Bible, the scriptures, that God himself has prescribed. So you’re going around in your religious duties, serving this image that you’ve created and not what God has told you to do. Like in Luke 13 or like in Hebrews. Hebrews was written to Christians, remember. And the first thing that is said is repent from dead works or repent from things that are useless rituals. Useless rituals, going through the motions. “Oh I have to read the Bible because I have to” or “I have to pray” or “I have to go to church on Sunday”. You are trying to serve the Lord in a way you have prescribed and he has not or you’re trying to do it and your heart’s not in it. I believe that word is for you too, and for me too. I’m not saying I don’t do this; it’s all of us. The first thing he says, the very first thing is repentance from dead works. That is the first thing. If you want to say, “God I want you to move in my life”, well, start with the foundations. Start with the first foundation. Ask what are the dead works in your life and I think he’ll point them out.
So the first thing that the writer of Hebrews says is repentance from dead works and if you remember, I have this here in the worksheet, Acts 20:21 says it’s not only repentance away from dead works. So again, I’m walking here and doing these dead works and he says get away from there. It’s repentance away from there but also in 20:21 he says it’s repentance towards what? Answer: God. Toward God and faith toward Christ. It’s repentance away from dead works but also toward God. So in essence, let me give you the best definition I can think of for repentance; it’s a change of Lordship. It’s not on the sheet but that’s how I would define it. Who is the Lord of your life? Because if you are saying, “I am the Lord and I am going to make these decision”, I think the Lord would actually say repent and turn away from your decisions and then decide if I’ll be the Lord. A good test to see if Jesus is the Lord, this isn’t a perfect test but sometimes I’ll ask people this; Can you think of the last time that you did something because you knew God wanted you to or because the scriptures said to and not because you wanted to? If the only things you can think of are things you’ve done for God that you really like to do, that feel great and wonderful for you, but you haven’t done anything that God wanted you to do but you really didn’t, this might be an indicator that you do not know the full Lordship of Christ or at least more lordship than you have. I don’t think any of us have known his true lordship, that’s sanctification and consecration.
Ok, so the second to last thing, how do we truly repent? I’m going to need everyone to go to John 6:34 but lets look at these other passages first and then we’ll go to the scripture that we have here. How do we repent? Let’s say some of you are like me and you say, “yeah, I’m sick of living for myself. I know that it doesn’t please God. But how the heck do I get there?” I don’t know if you’re like me, I’m at least sometime like that. Well how do I change my mind? How does this all happen? Well, God shows exactly how repentance happens. The first thing that we have to take notice of is what you’ll see in these passages. Acts 5: 31 God exalted him to be his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. Where did repentance begin for Israel? God gave it to them, they didn’t just conjure it up. It was given, granted. Whatever that fully means, it was granted to them. It was granted by God to Israel. Well, I’m a gentile, not an Israelite, maybe I’m off the hook, right? Well, let’s read Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Oh man, the gentiles too. Israel is granted repentance but now here God grants repentance to the gentiles. Ok, so we have Israel and Gentiles, who are we leaving out? No one, that’s everyone. But also 2 Timothy 2: 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape form the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. Awesome, so here he is saying you need to correct some people sometimes, they are coming against you, and they are really part of Satan. They may be repentant but, how will they repent according to this? Where does repentance begin according to this? Answer: God. God granting them repentance. Ok Jesus sums it up in John 6: 44. These are Jesus’ own words. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. Ah, no one can come unless there is a drawing by God. So do not mistake this; repentance does begin with God. He’s the one who draws and brings and calls it out of people.
Ok more specific on this, go to Psalm 139: 23 Search me, O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! David is very close to God and look at what he recognizes. How is he able to find out his sinfulness according to that? He doesn’t say, “I’ll search myself” he says, “God, search me”. And look at what Jesus says about this in John 16: 8 When he comes (Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit) he will convict the world of guilt, in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. Ok, the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts and shows there is sin, there is guilt, there is judgment. The Holy Spirit is the one who shows it. Ok, the last thing I want all of us to look at about this is Philippians 2: 13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do you see that? God’s the one working in you to give you a change in desire. Remember it starts with a change of your mind. And he is causing you to act. Remember repentance is a change of your mind and a change of your action. God initiates this whole process, the repentance part. I love God so much because he knows that I can’t do it on my own. He’s willing to initiate, He’s willing to give and he’s willing to grant repentance. I’m not in my own little world. Alright, praise the Lord for that.
However, God does give it, but there’s also another component with that. In fact, the verse right before that, Philippians 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Ok, do you see that? He says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Some people try to preach 12 without 13 and they miss it. But you can’t preach 13 without 12 either. We need both. God initiates the action, God puts it in your heart, God draws you out, shows you your sinfulness, and he puts in the desire, he puts in the ability to do it, but it’s not that he’s going to puppeteer you all the way. He’s going to say, “Ok, I’ve given this to you. Be a faithful steward. What are you going to do now with it”. Just because God gives you a gift does not mean it’s going to be used in God’s way. Can anyone think of a scriptural example of that? Just because God gives you a gift does not mean does not mean it’s going to be used properly. There’s a parable Jesus speaks of in Matthew and Luke. Answer: the Talents. Yeah the talents, he gives this parable, if you can remember this. He gives this parable and says the kingdom of heaven is like this; a master comes and he gives these different amounts of talents or money to do with. Do you guys remember this maybe? He gives one person 1 talent, another person 2, another person 5 talents and then he sees what they are going to do with it. And the person who has 1, does anyone remember what he did? Well, the person who had 5 was able to multiple it and he got 10. The person with 2 multiplied it and he got 4. The person with 1, does anyone remember what he did? He buried it with a handkerchief. As Watchman Nee says, he should have used that handkerchief to wipe off the sweat because he is working but instead he buries the talent. Ok so they have these talents but the one with the 1 goes and buries it into the ground and doesn’t use it. What does Jesus say to that one? What does he say is his destiny? “You wicked, lazy servant! You should have done something with it.” But what’s the destiny of the one. Answer: To be thrown out where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Yes, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do you see that? For me, I do think, and it says in Ephesians that repentance is a gift from God. I believe that. This is where it’s kind of like the predestination and free will but we won’t go there. But God does initiate, absolutely. But there has to be action on your part. You can be wasteful and not use it but God’s drawing your heart to repentance. I believe he’s calling all people in a sense. But if he’s specifically calling you out to repent and to turn to him and away from your own deeds, he’s still asking you for at least some complicity. There has to be some willingness in your heart to say Ok. If there’s nothing more than saying, “I don’t want to do it. I can’t do it on my own, just take my hand and take me there”. God will acknowledge that. I’ve seen it in my life and in others’. At least you are saying, take me there. If he’s pushing on your heart and you say, “I can do it on my own”, that’s a different thing.
Ok, so, is responsibility involved? And how does it all fit together? I think a perfect example can be seen in the next two verses. Go to Song of Songs. Now, Song of Songs is the story of a bride with a king who is her groom-to-be and it’s the romance here between the bride and the king. And I think it was a real bride and king, because Solomon was a king and he writes it, but I think, by the spirit, there are at least principles that God is showing us who are the bride and Christ who is our king. So it’s fun to look at the principles. I won’t go into a lot of details but I do want to show one aspect here, how it starts. Song of Songs 1: 4. This is the bride speaking here. Take me away with you- let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. Does she have the desire to walk with the king, to go with the king? Yes. To be intimate with the king, to go into his chambers? Yes. She has enough desire to cry out but guess what. How does she get there according to this passage? Answer: He takes her. Yes, that’s it. He takes her there. This is important. I think the whole beginning of this beautiful romance here in Song of Songs really starts with her desire, and all she said was “draw me away”. Her feet could not take her there, she could not go on her own strength. “I’m weak, I’m all these things, I can’t repent (this is what I’m getting at) but I want to, take me away” and you watch how fast the King comes and draws you away with his strength which is mightier than any other force in the world, in the universe, and the heavens, and everything else. His force is the best and he can draw you away. But it starts with a cry out and he takes her there and then it starts. Song of Songs is great, but that’s not the focus here today.
Ok the other aspect related to this is Luke 15, which is the story we glanced at earlier, I want to show one other aspect. There’s so much in Luke 15, the prodigal son. I’m not going to do it justice but for sake of time I do want to highlight two things. Luke 15: 20 He arose, and where did he go? Answer: To his father. He arose and he started walking to his father. Now remember, this is a story of repentance and our heavenly father who draws us there. He starts walking towards his father, and this I think is the important part. He starts walking back. He makes a decision. Remember, he’s going this way and he decides he’s going to turn around and start walking back and then, look at this. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. Do you see how repentance works? He has the initial desire, he makes the initial step but then his father came and grabbed him and said “Ok, all I wanted to see was that you made the initial step, that there was a change in your mind and change in your actions. I’ll take it from here”.
Do you have something to add? Comment: Chris and I met at the coffee shop one day before church and heard the bible study there. He had said you don’t have to meet 50-50 or 60-40 you just show like 5% in that effort of taking the step and wanting to know God and have him in your life and he’ll do the other 95% so that was cool. I do believe his heart is absolutely willing. He wants us to see so much. You read especially Colossians and Ephesians and what God reveals to Paul. He’s first having this revelation of who God is and what he has done and his power and all these things. And then it goes from there. And in Philippians, remember God works the willingness in you and there’s still responsibilities he requires of you but he’s the one who’s working and it’s by his strength. It’s so much better. It’s like this, I’ve talked to people before about this. When you understand more of the grace of God and what he’s willing to do it would be like this. So say I say to Marcus, “It’s pretty cold here, let’s go down to Florida”. We both have a strong desire to go to Florida. Marcus says, “I’m going to get there faster than you, I have more desire than you” and he just starts running, takes off and sprints. I go in a car, I sit, I’m not going to be sweating by the end. Who’s going to get there faster? I will. Who worked harder? He did. That’s Christianity because you rest in another power other than your own, you see? So many people try to do Christianity this way. I think we all try to do it the way that in the analogy Marcus did. “I’m going to run, I’m going to do it, I’m going to run, run, run” and you don’t see what the Father is willing to do.
The older son, in the parable, do you remember what it says about him? He gets upset at the end of the prodigal son. Do you remember why? Answer: Because he’d been working the whole time. Yeah, he says this, Luke 15: 29 ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him’ 31 and he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.” Verse 31 is the focus that I am looking at. “All that I have is yours”. You know what though? He knew so little of what the father tried to give him because he tried to work it all himself, on his own. Do you realize? I believe the Lord is saying the same to all of us, that all he has in one sense is ours. I’m going to qualify that a little. It’s not just yours to do whatever. It’s not like he’s the servant and we’re the lord. Not at all. He’s the Lord and we’re the servant. But all that he has is yours. I do believe, and I don’t say this lightly, this convicts me a lot. I do believe that at the end of our lives this will be a lot of us maybe, and I hope none here, I hope not me and I pray about it. A lot will get to the Lord and he’ll say, “All that I had during your time on earth to do Christianity, all of my power was available for you and you squandered it. You tried to do it all yourself the whole time you lived on earth and you have so little to show for it.” It’s like the person running to Florida, you know? You’re exhausted, which is sometimes a good indication that you’re not resting in God’s power because you get so exhausted and you say Christianity is so difficult. You’re exhausted and you have so little to show for it because you didn’t learn what he had to give. So I think repentance is the same, that the Lord initiates, that he draws it out of us, that he convicts us of sins, and he asks us to just agree to go along, agree to receive him, agree to turn. And he says like in the Song of Songs, “I’ll take you the rest of the way there”. Or in the prodigal son. He turns and then the father runs and grabs him, pretty cool huh? Ok, this is a great picture here. These are Derek Prince’s words. “In his own, unregenerate sinful condition, every man that was ever born has turned his back on God, his father, and on heaven, his home. Each step he takes is a step away from God and from heaven. As he walks this way, the light is behind him and the shadows are before him. The farther he goes, the longer and darker the shadows become. Each step he takes is one step nearer the end, one step nearer the grave, nearer hell, nearer the endless darkness of a lost eternity. For every man who takes this course there is one essential act he must make; he must stop, change his mind, change his direction, and face the opposite way. He must turn his back toward the shadow and face toward the light.” Think of that picture. It’s not that he has to retrace all his steps, he just has to turn around and the sun is there, the light of God is there in that initial act of repentance.
Ok, finishing all this. Who needs to repent? Well, lets go to Acts 17: 30 Paul is speaking this. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. All men, everywhere are commanded to repent, that’s who it goes out for. So if you are man, and by man he means a member of mankind, so if you are human and you live somewhere that would include everywhere, that would be you. So if you don’t meet one of those conditions, you’re off the hook. But if you are a human and you live somewhere that would be within everywhere, then you are called to repent. Look also at Luke 13, we looked at it a little earlier. I want to emphasize that it’s not just Paul who’s on his little trip in Acts 17, but Jesus says it himself in Luke 13: 1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. It doesn’t tell us who they are but it’s most likely some of his disciples because they want him to teach and they respect him as a teacher. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” He says, “Yes, a terrible tragedy happened on earth”. And he actually kind of comments that the tragedy was not total coincidence, that there very well could have been a judgment that God brought because there was not repentance with them. But it says, just because that didn’t happen doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Just because you have a great, cush life, doesn’t mean he’s not calling you to repent. He says all men; basically I think he’s agreeing with Paul. He says, “Unless you repent, there is a promise that there will be a perishing because you have not turned to God”. We’ll see a little more of that when we talk about faith next week. All men are commanded to repent. I want to say this too; this includes Christians. Christians do come to God by initial repentance but think about Hebrews 6. It’s written to Christians and it says this is a foundational principle you need to know.
To finish let’s go to Revelation 2: 1 To the angel of the church of Ephesus write… Ok, who is he writing to? The angel of the church in Ephesus. Now understand, Jesus’ definition of church is not a building. It’s very clear that it’s not. He talks about in Matthew and other places. Well, in his earthly ministry he only mentions church twice. Once it’s clear, in Matthew 18 he says it’s the people who are believers. So he’s writing to the people who are already believers and look at what he says in verse 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand form it’s place. He commands the Ephesians Christians and says there needs to repentance. Verse 16 now, he’s writing to the church in Pergamum. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He’s speaking to the church there. Skip now to verse 22, speaking to the church in Thyatira 22 Instead I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. Go to Revelations 3, this is to the church in Sardis. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Go to verse 19, talking to the church of Laodiceans. This is a powerful verse for all those who say, “God is love, he would never do anything to us” 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. This is the evidence of his love. Therefore be zealous and repent. He says it to churches too. So just because we have repented to first come to God doesn’t mean he’s not still asking us and drawing us to repent and to a deeper consecration in that aspect.
That’s basically it. I know that it was maybe a little longer but it’s such an important principle. I think, partially because of what is taught today, it demands a little more attention. I don’t think this would have needed to be given as much attention maybe 50 or 100 years ago. Maybe I’m wrong but I think it was a more a natural message then. Maybe this message has been lost. Like I said, you listen now, how many people say, “Do you know Jesus as your Lord and savior?” and really mean it too? But a lot of times people say, “Do you know Jesus as your savior?” Well that’s great but the Lord has to come with the savior. It’s not two separate things, they have to go together. That’s why it’s repent and believe, which, God willing, we’ll look at in the next foundation, faith.