Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
Unless you repent you will perish. Luke 13:3-5. This is serious. Repentance makes the difference between living eternally and perishing.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
Repent the kingdom of God is at hand. This was the urgent cry of John the Baptist and the call of Jesus to open His ministry among you as one like you. The time of the coming of the Messiah, searched out carefully by My prophets was fulfilled in the arrival of Jesus and He was about to open the Kingdom to those who would receive Him and the work He was about to fulfill.
So what is your part to take hold of so great a salvation? Repent and believe in the gospel. Repenting has to do with believing in the good news about Jesus, the gospel of your Salvation and of the Kingdom, for Jesus is the door to eternal life. And there is a whole new level beyond all you can ask or imagine of what I freely give you in Christ and to know that and operate in it you will have to repent.
Repent in the Greek language in which the New Testament was written is the word “metanoeó (μετανοέω),” which means to change one’s mind or purpose, metanoéō is from “metá,” which means “changed after being with” and “noiéō,” which means “think,” literally, “think differently afterwards.” After what? After hearing the good news about Jesus. Thus, to repent is to change your mind, i.e., renew your mind, after hearing the good news of the Kingdom and the good news of Jesus. And what does renewing your mind to My Word do to you? It transforms you.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may approve what the will of God is, that which is good and pleasing and perfect. Hebrews 12:2.
And the Greek word that is translated “transformed” is the same word used when Jesus was “transfigured” before their eyes. It is the Greek word “metamorphoó (μεταμορφόω),” which is the root of the English term “metamorphosis,” which describes the process by which a caterpillar dies to itself and emerges transformed into a butterfly.
When you repent and renew your mind upon receiving the truth that is in Jesus it will make you a new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17. Repentance leads to renewal and transformation.
There are only four occurrences of the word “metamorphoo” in the New Testament, two occur in the transfiguration of Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Mark, the third occurrence is in Paul’s letter to the Romans that we just discussed about renewing your mind, and the fourth occurrence is in a letter to the Corinthians from Paul:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40.
To repent means to become consistent on the inside and the out. Jesus told the Pharisees that the prostitutes and tax collectors were entering the Kingdom of Heaven ahead of them because at the preaching of John the Baptist they repented but the Pharisees did not.
It is the heart that matters and your outward actions should be consistent with what is in your heart. Call a tree good and its fruit good or a tree bad and its fruit bad. Consistency is the key to repentance; it is undergoing a change of mind and heart on the inside and a change in speech and then actions that follow on the outside so that you are holy inside and out.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Matthew 23:25-26.
Repentance is taking My Word in and then working it out.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.
Your heart and your tongue have to match. The spirit of faith is that you believe in your heart and speak with your mouth. And this involves controlling your tongue.
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and strife exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18.
Remorse and repentance are not the same. Judas had remorse for betraying Jesus, while Peter repented of denying Him. Judas never returned to Jesus. Peter returned to Jesus.
In Hebrew the word translated “repent” is “shuv (שׁוּב),” which means to turn back, return. When the prodigal son in the parable that My Son told had a change of mind (“came to his right mind”) he returned to his father. That is repentance. To change your mind, i.e., come to your right mind, and return to Me. What is your “right mind?” The mind set on My Word. The life built on the solid foundation of hearing and doing My Word. Return to the Rock that is higher than you.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 62:2.
But there are many who harden their hearts and will not repent. Why?
They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. Jeremiah 8:5.
Not repenting and renewing your mind means only one thing, you are holding fast to deceit. And all lies and deceit proceed only from one source—the devil, and it has been like that since the day Adam and Eve believed his lies and did not repent.
When you do not repent, you do not return, you blame others, even Me as Adam did, and stay aloof. An unrepentant heart is hard and it is proud. And an unrepentant heart is often recognizable in one who uses foul language, such as cursing and swearing over their lives and the lives of others. An evil tongue is an uncontrolled, unrepentant tongue.
Proud hearts will not repent. That was Satan’s problem. He will never repent or return to what he had with Me in the beginning. He lost all that beauty because of his pride. I resist the proud and give grace to the humble.
The humble, no matter what evil they have fallen into, I can work with to make them overcomers, for when they hear the good news, they repent, but the proud, I cannot, they will not accept that they are not right. That is why the hearts of sinners opened to Jesus and repented and lived changed lives, like Zacchaeus, the tax collector, Mary Magdalene and the Samaritan woman by the well, much more easily than the hearts of the self-righteous Pharisees.
“Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4.
The concept of remorse and repentance are sometimes used interchangeably but this is not right. They are very different. Repentance brings change in one’s thinking and words, raises the repentant one up from sin to righteousness and a new manner of life. Repentance brings hope of a new beginning, a better life, and a miraculous result. Repentance leads to hope of change. It is a total rejection of the way one was behaving that was contrary to My Word and a firm purpose to change behavior.
Remorse leads to sorrow and shame but brings no change in controlling your thoughts, words, and actions. Remorse makes it look like you cannot change and there is no hope, no way out, and no better tomorrow. People that have remorse will find they just keep repeating the same behavior that made them suffer shame and regret, it just keeps repeating. As soon as they are out of one situation where they are hit with remorse and they cry and beg before Me for forgiveness, they find no relief and the first opportunity they repeat the same behavior again.
Why? They never repented, that is, they never made a firm commitment to Me and themselves to change. They never decided to put down their foot and start taking control of their mind and their mouths but remained permissive about what thoughts they let in and words they spoke.
Remorse is sadness, shame, and blame over what you have done, primarily because of the consequences from your actions and in disappointment in yourself that you refuse to believe that I have forgiven and you make no attempt to renew your mind and get serious about curtailing your words. If you just keep letting yourself fret and worry there is not much I can do to help you. I will give you grace to overcome if you will just return and receive it. You have to know and believe in the love I have for you as manifested in Jesus before you can get out of remorse.
Once you repent, that is, change your mindset to My Word, you will know the glorious freedom of the children of God. There will no longer be any sin or encumbrance that can slow up your race to the finish line. And that is what repenting is all about:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-3.
And what was the joy that lay before Him? Taking away your sins, your shame, your guilt, your blame, your poor self-image, your remorse, your pains, and your diseases. How can you but repent and believe in the good news?
And once you have repented you will know and it will show, for you will no longer spend a good part of your day tormenting yourself in fear, blame, shame, and depression, you will no longer be swearing and cursing when something gets in your way or causes you pain, you will know just what to do! Take My Word and shout it loud and NEVER join the worldly crowd.
You will speak to mountains and tell them to move instead of cowering below them, you will tell the unclean spirit of fear to go in Jesus’ Name, for I, your Father, did not send it or give it to you and you will not entertain it, and you will cast every care that arises on Me knowing I will take care of it swiftly and enjoy your day as you release your faith in blessing the good things you are calling in instead of cursing at things you can move out of the way by simple command using the beautiful truth of My Word.
Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7.
Repenting is all about forsaking your thoughts that are contrary to My Words and returning to Me for I have compassion on you and I abundantly pardon. I put ALL your sins on Jesus and He took your punishment. As far as you are concerned, in My eyes they are gone. I remember them no more. Jesus took them all away from you, received the punishment due them, and now, with the sentence fully paid and finished, He is released from the prison you deserved and raised up to newness of life. The glory. And I raised you with Him. Sin is no longer an issue between us, but you must repent to receive that forgiveness or you will never believe you need it (the proud one) or can have it (the remorseful one that thinks it all depends on his own performance to obtain so great a salvation). Do not get in the ditch on either side, do not let those who are blind to the truth of My Word lead you, but take the straight and narrow Way, the highway where the redeemed walk and praise your way to Zion.
I love you. Return. Repent. Renew. Transform. And live the new life Jesus came to give you, the life of days of Heaven on earth—righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Shalom Blessing. It is there for you, just repent and believe the good news! And you will know if you have taken hold of repentance and renewal if you just listen to your thoughts and words. Great peace have those who love and keep My Words. Care-free you will be. But it is not automatic, you will have to fight the good fight of faith to hold your fortress of peace every day and every night, like Nehemiah when he and the returned exiles were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, they stayed dressed night and day with their sword at their side in one hand as they built the wall with the other. And of course those who blew the trumpets were among them along the walls. Keep your sword of the Spirit with you ready for action at all times in prayer and petition, praying in the Spirit and stay dressed in My armor, it is all about being clothed in My Word.