A Word on the Subject of Repentance

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Repentance is that state without which no sinner can be saved, and no wandering saint restored. It is not remorse (this Judas had) which lacks the element of piety. Nor is it mere sorrow for sin, for millions have regretted their deeds without a trace of repentance toward God. But it is self-judgment according to His Word, and as in His presence. It is not my back turned upon my wicked ways only, but upon myself-a moral revolution.
Read one of the most remarkable instances of repentance on record-"The men of Nineveh... repented at the preaching of Jonas" (Matt. 12:4141The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (Matthew 12:41))-as found in Jonah 3. There we see the king coming off his throne when he believed, with his conscience, the message of judgment. In pride of heart all are "kings" till grace restores our eyesight. The king laid aside his robe-self-righteousness. He put on another, of sackcloth -self-abhorrence, which is something more than hating an action. I hate myself for my evil deeds, if in God's presence. Then there was fasting, which is self-denial, and speaks of a condition of soul. Only the Lord Jesus can satisfy a soul in this condition:
"Now naught but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There's light and life and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee."
The king further told them to "cry mightily unto God," for as yet they knew not His mercy. But one in a state of true repentance will surely have it all out before God. Finally he said, "Let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands." This also must surely be. Sin is judged, not justified, and there is "fruit meet for repentance" in turning from the evil.
God did not disappoint them when they turned to Him after this fashion, nor will He disappoint anyone who takes his true place before Him.