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AND REGRET ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS
REPENTANCE AND REGRET ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS
Subtitle: "I Tell You, Nay:
But, Except Ye Repent, Ye Shall All Likewise Perish" Luke 13:3 and
When the Lord says something only once everyone should heed it. But when He repeats a statement verbatim within the same discourse, the added emphasis must not escape our attention!
The statements to which we refer (one of which is our subtitle) and their immediate context are as follows:
"Just at that time there [arrived] some people who informed Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  And He replied by saying to them, Do you think that these Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans because they have suffered in this way?  I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally.  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them—do you think that they were more guilty offenders (debtors) than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally" Luke 13:1-5 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified, emphasis mine).
Apparently Pilate, the Roman governor, had executed some Jews from Galilee and in doing so "mixed" their blood with that of their own animal sacrifices. Such punishment was probably not all that uncommon because the Jewish historian Josephus informs us that many from the region of Galilee were "the most seditious people in the land." But regardless of the circumstances, the Lord's reply probably took them all by surprise. Rather than lament the fact of such a violent demise, He seized the opportunity to make a spiritual point by asking them a question: Were those Galileans greater sinners because they met that horrible fate? His answer was immediately followed by a similar question with only the circumstances being different--that of a tower that fell and killed 18 people in Jerusalem. Were those people more guilty than others living in Jerusalem because they died in that manner? His second answer was exactly the same as the first!
The Jews of that day thought that since they were God's chosen people, only the most wicked among them would ever suffer such a fate. But the Lord corrected that erroneous belief by informing them that they would all die a similar death and be lost eternally, if they did not repent. In other words, in God's sight all of them were condemned sinners and not just those who died under such circumstances. And the only remedy for their situation was repentance and belief in Him as their Messiah:
"He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]" John 3:18 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified, emphasis mine).
The Lord knew that a terrible fate awaited the people of Israel. In A.D.70, the Roman general Titus would come and destroy Jerusalem and thousands would be killed or taken away into slavery. And those who had refused to receive Jesus as their Messiah would die in their sins--being lost forever. However, that is not to say that many believers did not die as well, but because they had repented of their sins and believed, their souls were safe in Jesus Christ.
The message that John the Baptist, the Lord, and His Apostles preached was one of repentance:
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, (2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:1-2 (KJV).
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" Matthew 4:17 (KJV).
The Apostle Paul said:
"Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision,  But made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance" Acts 26:19-20 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).
So it is beyond question that the Bible teaches repentance is necessary for salvation--but what does it really mean to repent? Is it merely regret or sorrow for the sins we have committed, or something much deeper than that?
Over the years multiplied millions have shed tears, expressed sorrow for their sins and made professions of faith. Many of them have done (and continue to do) penitential works to express their sincerity, while others agonize over their past misdeeds and attempt "to do better." But a sad fact is that over time most lapse back into life as usual and no matter how hard they try to be good, it never seems to last. What do you suppose is the problem? Were they not sufficiently contrite?
My friends, such individuals were never born again! The repentance that is associated with spiritual rebirth does involve sorrow for sins committed, but it also results in a supernatural change of mind, heart, and direction! The Holy Spirit of God literally takes up residence within the individual and he is a new creature in Christ:
"Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" 2 Cor. 5:17 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).
And while they retain the sinful nature of their physical birth, their life will no longer be characterized by sin because the Holy Spirit will not allow them to enjoy it!
"But you did not so learn Christ!  Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him],  Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;  And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],  And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Ephes. 4:20-24 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).
The old maxim "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" applies here. If a person has truly repented of their sins--in the sense the term is used in the Bible--their life will never again be the same. The entrance of the Holy Spirit into their innermost being ruins them for this world and the "things" that formerly captivated their attention will gradually lose their allurement as they grow in "grace and knowledge" of Jesus Christ (2 Pet.3:18).
"Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" 2 Cor. 5:17 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified, emphasis mine).
Does this rock-solid scriptural fact characterize your own profession of faith? Do you know deep down in the recesses of your soul that you are a new creature in Christ, or would you have to admit that you are just going through the motions to avoid embarrassment?
If you have no peace of heart about the validity of your salvation experience, we urge you to read our Salvation Page at www.cuttingedge.org/salvation.html and pay particular attention to the 12 "tests" at the very beginning. We put them there so people can tell the difference between God's genuine salvation and Satan's counterfeit. A truly born-again child of grace should be able to give an affirmative answer to all 12--at least to some degree. Babies are not old enough to appreciate the taste of certain delicious foods, but they do like to eat! And the same principle is true of a babe in Christ. Some of the things listed in the tests will be more discernible to mature believers, but even a new Christian will be able to sense a desire to study the Bible, to pray, to attend church, etc., that was not the case before they received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! But if you know those things are missing in your life, please do not pretend to be something you are not.
Zealous preachers continue to do far more harm than good in trying to assure people they are saved, when the individuals know something is wrong and express doubt. I know this to be the case, because I have done it in the past. The desire to lead others to Christ is both understandable and commendable, but we must never overcompensate by trying to convince someone against what they feel in their heart. Satan is going to generate more than enough tares without believers being guilty of aiding and abetting in the process.
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
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God bless you.