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Video Script: Repent or Perish! (9)

Little Johnny hits his playmate in a dispute over a favorite toy. His momma first says, “Tell Bobby you’re sorry for hitting him.” Then, after the apology, she makes little Johnny promise not to hit anymore. What she has required of little Johnny is repentance. If he modifies his behavior, he proves himself and all is well.

God requires the same of us. Sin is the bane of mankind. All are guilty, and as Paul tells us, “The wages of sin is death.” All of us desire to escape the consequence of our sin. God tells us clearly that in order to do so, we must repent.

In Luke 13 some individuals came to Jesus, telling Him about some rather infamous sinners in the region who had been physically punished for their sin. Jesus asked them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-3).

Those are sobering words. Unless you repent, you will all perish. Now, it is not God’s desire for man to perish. In fact, He has put off the final judgment to give men time to escape. We are told by Peter, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God does not want men to be lost, but He will, nevertheless, condemn men if they do not repent of their sins against Him!

What is repentance? Well, we illustrated it a moment ago with Little Johnny. Repentance is not merely an apology for past behavior. Repentance is change! That is intrinsic in the word. The Greek word used in scripture indicates a change or reversal in thinking and action.

The concept can be clearly illustrated by looking at Peter’s address to the Jews on Pentecost in Acts 2. Peter had preached the gospel of Christ to these individuals, and as a part of that message, convicted them of their own culpability in the death of Jesus. “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Some who heard the message exhibited sorrow for their sin. As the text says, they were cut to the heart. They asked Peter and the others, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37), and Peter answered them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (vs. 38). For their sins to be remitted, or pardoned, they were required to repent. We are told that same day 3000 souls did as Peter commanded. Where they once had consented to the death of Jesus, they now changed, accepting Him as Lord and committing themselves to His service. They repented. This change brought them to salvation. Luke writes, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (vs. 47).

Men today struggle with the idea of repentance. For me to repent, I have to acknowledge my sins. I must admit that I have done wrong. I must humble myself.

You know how hard it was for little Johnny to apologize. He cried about how it was his toy, or about how Bobby started it, or how it just wasn’t fair. But until he apologized and changed, his mother was not satisfied. The same thing holds true with God. It doesn’t matter who started it, it doesn’t matter how unfair life can be, it doesn’t matter whether there are mitigating circumstances. Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5).

So, you have to ask yourself, are you willing to admit the sins you have committed against God? Are you willing to change from a self-willed life to living your life for Jesus? Are you willing to Repent?