“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)
Any presentation of the Gospel that excludes the necessity of repentance is false. There, I said it. Many are teaching that simply believing that Jesus died, was buried, and arose is enough, that those who do so are saved, forever. Others encourage the repetition of a “sinner’s prayer”, etc. as the means to salvation. Unfortunately, I believe many people are living a lie, holding onto a false profession of faith made with no repentance. Their lives prove them to be false because they do not produce any fruits of the Spirit.
The word “Repent” is used 24 times in the New Testament alone, 46 times in the Bible. Repent means a change of mind that causes a change of direction. When we repent, we are abandoning our old lives, our old ways, and yes, our sins; and turning to Christ in faith, trusting in His blood, His sacrifice, His death, burial, and resurrection as payment for our sins. There is no “sinner’s prayer” that can save. We are saved by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), not by a prayer. When we repent, we believe “unto righteousness” (Romans 10:9-10), and we will gladly confess Jesus.
God commands repentance (Acts 17:30). Sin is serious business, and preachers who don’t address it from the pulpit regularly are hirelings, scratching the itching ears of those who only want to hear about the love of God, the sweetness of Jesus, etc. The Bible is VERY clear that those who practice sinful lifestyles SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (Galatians 5:19-21) If a man or woman lives in open sin for an extended period with no repentance and no apparent chastening, they are simply not Christians, no matter how many prayers they’ve prayed, no matter how much they believe that Jesus is real, etc.
It is God’s will that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). However, many are trusting on a “profession”, and have never been truly converted. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:3-8), and that conversion is the gift of God’s grace by faith which occurs when a repentant sinner comes to Christ, abandoning his/her own unrighteousness and completely trusting Jesus for salvation.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:45-47)