Express Newspaper – Finding Faith Article
By Pastor John Snyder – House of the Lord Fellowship
Saturday March 2018
Salvation is available today, but to receive it, we must repent. We cannot just receive salvation by a mere desire to have it. The door we must go through to salvation is called repentance. Jesus preached “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” (Matthew 4:7 NIV).
In the New Testament, disciples of Jesus “…went out and preached that people should repent (Mark 6:12). When people heard the Gospel message, they were convicted of their sins, and they wanted to enter the Kingdom. The same occurred later with Peter and apostles preaching the Gospel. When thousands were ready to be saved after hearing about the Gospel, they said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’.” (Acts 2:27-38).
Forgiveness, eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit were available to them, but they had to repent to enter in. Without repentance there would be none of the benefits of the Kingdom of God. Peter preached in Athens and said “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him” (Acts 17:30).
To repent is to turn away from sin, and turn completely to God. Repentance is a 180 degree turn. It must also come from the heart and be genuine. It is a total change of direction. To enter the Kingdom of God, we must repent of our sins and can then live a new changed life.
In the Bible, John the Baptist reminded all when he preached: “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near… Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Matthew 3:2, 8). True repentance of the heart is a requirement for salvation and entering into the Kingdom of God.
To believe and receive means to repent, turn to God with all of our hearts, and to turn away from sin. When John the Baptist was put in prison, Jesus preached: “The time promised by God has come at last… the Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News [the Gospel]!” Mark 1:15) Salvation is available today! The Kingdom of God and all that it entails is before us. To believe in Jesus, to receive eternal life, to be forgiven of our sins, to be delivered, to be a child of God – we must repent. God loves us and is waiting for us to receive, repent, and live a life for Him.