Repentance as defined in the Bible and referred to in Luke 13 is as elusive as the hedge is for many.  Repentance is not to posses spiritual salvation or to be born-again.  Salvation as taught directly from the Bible is not repentance.  Salvation is more of a choice or a doorway to full repentance, John 3:15-16.

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Salvation is a choice to believe rather than to not believe.  Actually, salvation is unnecessary for one to commence repentance.  However, one must be born-again to fully repent.

Let’s look at repentance.  Most of us are familiar with a 3 year old’s concept of repentance.  When they are caught, before anyone can say anything, they will immediately say they are sorry.  They are sorry alright.  They are sorry they got caught.  Unfortunately, this is not only the repentance of the three year old, it is the repentance of most people.  Others define repentance as a deep sorrow for committing sin.  Sorrow in itself has little to do with repentance.

Both the Hebrew and Greek brings out a much different meaning.  Repentance means to turn away from sin and turn towards God.  It is to change one’s mind and purpose.  For those who repent, it means they are willing to change their mind and purpose eternally.  It means one has turned from sin and towards God.  It results in a new direction in life.  To limit repentance to coming into the faith, is to misunderstand that repentance is a continuous process.

Genesis 3:22-24

22And Yehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23Therefore Yehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

God put our parents out of the Garden and placed cherubim there to guard against reentry.  It will not be easy for us to return to the Garden.  It is going to require repentance to return, Revelation 22:14.

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

T’shuva, repentance, return is essential.  In the future, we will return and the Gates will be opened.  But, notice what is required for return in Revelation 22:14.  One must do His commandments.

What are we returning from?  The Book of Romans brings out God’s assessment, before absolute repentance, Romans 1:28-32.

28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Throughout the history of mankind, people are unwilling to retain God in their minds.  Even today, few retain God in the forefront of their minds.  This includes many believers.  This is because, we like to do what we like to do.  Further, we like those that do those things we would like to do, but we only think about doing.  People have a tendency to live through other people’s sin.  As a result, the spirit of our age is a mountain peak of disgusting behaviors and unrighteous acts.  Paul wrote long ago in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away

Sad to think that in the last 2000 years, we have not gotten much better.  We have only gotten worse as a race.  God exclaims T’shuva, Repent, turn back repent.  We must repentant as individuals and we must repent on a continual daily basis.

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