Why is repentance necessary? Our normal carnal, fleshly, sinful nature is not acceptable
in the Kingdom of God and those who continue living so will not be permitted access to the
kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication,
uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath,
selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;
of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice
such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Christians are instructed to put off such godless behavior.
Galatians 5:24 – And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The life of Christ is to be manifested in all true Christians and evident by the way we live:
Ephesians 4:21-32 – If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth
is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows
corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that
you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are
members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working
with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no
corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it
may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were
sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be
put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Note that the following was written to the Church, the Christians at Rome:
Romans 12:1-2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove that is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 13:11-14 – And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;
for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
1 John 3:2-3 – Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Now most Christians seem to think that they will change their thinking and behavior at the resurrection. WRONG! The only change that takes place at that time is in our physical bodies which are changed from mortal to immortal; to be like Christ after His resurrection. The reason we remain on earth after accepting Christ is so that we can learn and mature spiritually to become more like Him.
Ephesians 4:13-15 – till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
We are not to wait till He comes and gathers us to Himself in order to change our way of living some think; that change is for us HERE and NOW. Could this also be why the five foolish virgins were not able to get into the wedding celebration – because their “light” went out? (That light being the life of Christ in them – the light of the world.)
Matthew 25:8-12 – And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Can you now see why repentance is so important. Salvation without repentance changes nothing! Those who don’t change and conform to Him will not be accepted in the kingdom. Change from selfish fleshly indulgent lifestyle into His image by denying self and be loving, giving, and merciful as representatives of His
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
We are all waiting for the foretold harvest; harvest time is when the fruit is ripe! God is waiting to see His desired fruit in His people. That fruit is the “Fruit of the Spirit” which is the character and nature of God that comes through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ – by abiding in the vine.
John 15:1-8 – “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Matthew 13:23 –But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
The seed sown is the Word of God, Jesus as we receive Him, and as we mature His character and nature is formed in us as “fruit”. Some produce 30%, some 60% and some 100%. Verse 22 shows how some do not produce any fruit, or have none of His character and nature.
Repentance, change in the way we live, act, behave, talk and think is needed in the church today. Thus we will be able to have a greater impact on the world for righteousness. Then when we preach repentance to the world they will be more prone to listen because they see the evidence. Action speaks louder than words!