I’m intrigued by the fact that John the Baptist, Yahshua and the apostle Peter all began their public preaching ministry with the same message – repent. Now before you quit reading this blog because you think you already know what the word means or you’ve checked repentance off your Christian ‘to do’ list, give me a few more words to prove otherwise.
First for some Scriptural support to the statement above:
1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ” Matthew 3:1-3
17 From that time Yahshua began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39
The problem with understanding the true meaning of repentance is that this message of repentance needs to be understood in context. All three preachers were preaching to a select group of people, the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, who were designated for greatness in the earth. However, they became entrenched in an external law of the flesh (Mosaic/Old Testament Law) which was absolutely compromising every opportunity to fulfill their Yahweh-given mandate to reveal Yahweh in the earth to all the nations by the Spirit.
Now while most often one’s idea of repentance is to fall down on the floor with tears flowing due to the fact that you were caught in something of which there is no escape or repentance is the only option to avoid some really bad futuristic circumstance, its true meaning is quite different. True repentance actually involves a process of changing one’s position and orientation to something, which requires one to change one’s mindset on the issue. Again, the Israelite leaders had used the mosaic law and man-made traditions to control and manipulate the people. Both Yahshua and John the Baptist referred to these leaders as a brood of vipers, hypocrites, fools, blind guides and lawless. Yahshua Himself stated that one of His purposes was to save, or deliver, the lost (wandering aimlessly) sheep of Israel.
This proves, like Israel, your life, family and business may be expressed with all kinds of activity, however, you are ‘lost’ to Yahweh’s purposes and intentions. Repentance is the first step in partnering with Yahweh to establish His Kingdom of heaven here on the earth.
The New Year is always a good time to evaluate and take inventory of your life as it pertains to His purpose and direction. Can you articulate Yahweh’s vision for you and yours? What changes need to transpire to bring your life into proper alignment and balance with Yahshua’s Kingdom?