Repentance hasn’t gone out of style but it seems that talking about it has. Have you noticed that or is it just me?
John the Baptist talked a lot about it. Jesus did, too.
Why do you suppose people aren’t talking about it much today?
I can’t say for sure, but I can offer some ideas.
Maybe it has to do with a misunderstanding of grace. There are those who are of the opinion that since Jesus died for our sins all we have to do is believe in Him and He forgives us just as we are. Repentance doesn’t fit in that scenario.
Perhaps some think calling people to repentance is too confrontational and may offend people. Political correctness can lead to theological incorrectness and that can be deadly.
To repent is an admission that God is right and you are wrong. That is something the sinful nature doesn't want to do.
I fear, however, the real reason that people have lost the sense of urgency over repentance is because they have lost a sense of urgency about sin. Repentance isn’t that big of a deal if sin isn’t that big of a deal.
In the verse above Jesus mentions two times that if you don’t repent you will perish. I don’t know but that sounds serious to me! Especially when you understand that perish means more than just dying – it means eternal death or spiritual death.
According to Jesus it comes down to two clear choices: either you choose to repent of your sin OR you choose to perish in your sin. Either of those is a big deal! Repenting of your sins and finding eternal life is a big deal. Failing to repent and perishing in your sins is also a big deal.
Repentance is having a godly sorrow over sin and turning away from it. Repentance is turning your back on sin and seeking God's Face. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"
I think we ought to talk more about repentance. And we ought to do it! It’s a big deal!