The Bible makes it very clear that repentance for sins is absolutely necessary for us to receive God’s promised salvation. Jesus Christ said, “Unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3,5). What is biblical repentance? Nelson’s New Christian Dictionary (p. 654) defines it as “contrition, the acknowledgment and condemnation of one’s own sins together with a turning back toward God…it includes sorrow, confession, and a determination not to sin again.”
Why do we need to repent of our sins in order to be saved? The basic reason, as the prophet Isaiah declared (Isaiah 59:2, KJV), is that “your iniquities have
Jesus Himself spoke of hell and its continual fire in very sobering terms: “the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22) … “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell”? (Matthew 23:33) … “into hell, where the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43) … “thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched’” (Mark 9:47-48). Hell is a terrible place of eternal torment. It is a place where those who reject the Lord’s salvation are “condemned to hell.” Revelation 14:9-11 describes some persons in the end times who end up in hell and says, “They will be tormented with burning sulfur … and the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever.” Avoid hell at all costs! Is there a solution, a “fire escape”? Absolutely! See the two following verses, which show the way to pass from damnation in hell into God’s merciful salvation and the promise of an indescribably glorious eternal life in His presence.
Jesus said, “…no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again… You must be born again” (John 3:3,7). And He added further: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The new birth—theologians call it regeneration—comes from a twofold response of the lost sinner to God’s grace, as in the two verses above: (1) turn to God in sincere repentance for our sins, and (2) believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to take upon Himself the penalty due to our sins. He died (and rose again) for us, so that our “sins may be wiped away,” and we in turn receive eternal life through Him. This is God’s gracious solution to our sin problem—salvation through repentance and faith in His crucified and resurrected Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, this is the Gospel, the Good News of salvation, in a nutshell: “
Jesus the eternal “Word” (John 1:1) fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah by leaving heaven and being conceived into humanity in the womb of a virgin named Mary. Why did He do this? The answer is found in the words of the angel who spoke to Joseph about Christ’s prophecy-fulfilling conception and birth through the virgin Mary: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name
The bottom line? Jesus the Son of God came from heaven to earth “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). “Lost” in what way? — being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1, KJV), separated from God who is too pure, too holy to look upon unrepented evil. So God sent His beloved Son from heaven to earth to live, minister, and then die for our sins—a perfect sacrifice on behalf of evil, imperfect sinners. Jesus redeemed and reconciled back to God all who will repent of their sins while having sincere faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In so doing, the former lost sinner is born again and becomes a son or daughter of God (2 Corinthians 6:18), an heir of the promise of eternal life in the presence of God and His Son, the Savior Jesus Christ.
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©2020, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons &
Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.