REPENT(ANCE)(ETH)

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matt 3:1-2)

Who hasn’t EVER struggled with this word? Having problems sticking with your acts of repentance?

This one word, REPENTANCE, has the power to create instantaneous internal struggles.

Upon hearing this word, immediately pictures of personal present and past history are vividly painted within the realms of our mind. Ours and anyone else our conscience would point an accusatory finger towards.

It’s my understanding that while listening to the sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” produced by Jonathan Edwards, you would receive a message of God’s great mercy while feeling the heat of hell at the same time. John Wesley could fire up a strong Methodist message of repentance, targeting the free will, while George Whitefield,   Calvinistic Methodist, would rain white hot brimstone at your predestination. They and many other rock-solid fire and brimstone preachers could breathe out heated messages of “repentance” so hot that even the hardest of hearts would squirm under the barrage of hot words. Unable to take the heat, they would thus add to the numbers en masse at the altars, confessing the sins of their blackened souls so as to turn from their wicked ways to become saved from the eternal fires of hell.

FACE VALUE/HIDDEN TRUTH

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matt 3:1-2)

So, what does the Bible say about repenting? Interestingly enough, many of us skim over the word(s) while reading our Bibles, without coming to a complete understanding of the truth of the word(s).

The original languages are beautiful and artistically descriptive. And in order to capture back some of the lost original meanings, we have to do a little bit of digging. Some original Old Testament meanings were more of a physical act of turning away. Much like what is preached in fire and brimstone sermons. These descriptors are in line with the physical character of the Old Testament. The New Testament, however, many times goes after the heart, the thoughts of the mind.  An easy way to look up original meanings is to sift through a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, offering the Hebrew and Greek translations. (Available in hard copy or free online.)

So, what do you think about John the Baptist’s preaching? Actually, the original meaning of the word “Repent” in this portion of scripture means “to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally feel compunction).”

And what about Jesus?

17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matt 4:17)

The original meaning of the word “Repent” in His sermon basically means to CHANGE YOUR MIND.

In fact, most of the original meanings in the New Testament are teaching that in order to truly repent we just need to CHANGE OUR MINDS.

It is then, and only after we have CHANGED OUR MINDS, that the word REPENTED comes in to play with the physical turning away from sinful activity. It seems to me, John the Baptist and Jesus were beginning to teach that the true power to turn away from sin comes, not first in the physical turning away, but in the CHANGING OF THE MIND, MAKING A DECISION, and then the turning away is more successful. And funny thing is, the word REPENTETH includes both the physical and mental aspects of meaning, but it’s only the CHANGING OF THE MIND to accept Salvation that the angels of heaven start throwing a party.

Been skimming over those scriptures of repentance because you feel defeated from lack of ability and strength to turn from “wicked ways?” Slow down, read them again, and think about the words. Look up the meanings. Ask Jesus to help you in your mind to make some good decisions. THIS is where choice comes in to play. You have the power to REPENT, to CHANGE YOUR MIND. Think about the good things and head those directions. And watch. Your body will follow your thoughts. It always does.

 

 

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Categories: FAITH FOR TODAY, INSPIRATIONAL ARTICLES, PRAYER

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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