Love, Acceptance, And Forgiveness
Often missing in the proclamation of the Gospel today is the element of repentance. "I thought all you have to do is to believe in the Lord," one fellow said. Yes, you need to do that but it's not that simple. The Bible says that even the devil himself believes that Christ is the Son of God. James said that demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), but don't expect to meet any of them at the feet of Jesus in Heaven.
Why has the message of repentance been so neglected if it is so important? Repentance is tough. It's unpopular. The message of repentance has a way of repelling people, of making them think, "Giving up my wrongdoing is too difficult." Sometimes we enjoy sinning, doing what we know is wrong, and would prefer to think that God knows we're human and forgives us just the same. So we ask ourselves, "Why is repentance necessary, anyway?"
The sad truth is that without the element of repentance, a person may believe he is OK when he is still in his sin. The popular message of "love, acceptance and forgiveness," makes people feel secure and comfortable. But Jesus Himself said, "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:22-23).
Repentance isn't what you do. That's restitution. It's how you feel about what you have done. And it's vital if God is to accept and forgive you.
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:32