What is repentance?

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What is repentance?                 

Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…” NIV Bible

Extra Reading: Acts 3:11-19

After delivering a moving sermon to a group of university students in Pretoria two years ago, one of them asked me this question: “What is repentance?” I paused for a while before making an attempt to answer it. I believe repentance is a change of mind, leading to a change in direction. It is an action of the will by which we turn our back on all known sin. One thing I want to emphasize here is that repentance is being sorry enough to stop sinning. Repentance is a willing and glad change of heart and mind.  The apostle Peter challenges onlookers to “repent and turn to God” so that their sins may be wiped out. He said these words after healing a crippled beggar. The interesting here is that this miracle was performed on their way to the temple to pray. John was in his company.

You see, there are many people who look for physical healing from God, and once they get it, they turn their backs on God. Is this not manipulating God in a way? It is good that Peter mentions the importance of repentance coming before healing. What’s the use of receiving healing and thereafter face the prospect of going to hell after your death, without having first repented before God? Turn your back on your sin, and face God without guilt. 2 Peter 3: 9 states, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”. This simply means that our repentance before God is long overdue. We have no reason to postpone or delay the opportunity. Kneel or bow before the living God and tell Him how sorry you are for your sins.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we confess before you that we have sinned. Please forgive us. We pray for all these, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Rev. Samuel N. Modise 

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