An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Again

by Pastor John Hamel


“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)


Repentance.  That’s a word at which many balk today.  Let’s take a look at that word and see what you, the reader, think.


First I’d like to define “Repentance” for you.  


The original Greek word used by Jesus is “metanoia.”  It means, “to change one’s mind.”  It’s more specifically a turning from sin and a turning to God!  


So, in order for one to respond to Jesus’ call to repentance, that individual must change their mind about living a life of sin and turn back to Holy God.  This is the point where so many people balk.  “I’m not a sinner.  I’m as good as anyone else.  I don’t need to repent for anything,” they insist. 


Well, being “as good as anyone else” won’t cut the mustard with God.  That’s being “self-righteous” and God rejects that.


“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)


This is precisely what Jesus was referring to when He said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.  He was referring to the “self-righteous”, those who think they’re “as good as anyone else.”


How about you?  Do you think you’re as good as anyone else?  Are you trusting in your own self-righteousness to get you into Heaven?  


If so, Jesus said you’re in for the disappointment of your life.


“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)


You can’t get into Heaven by being self-righteous.  You can’t get into Heaven by being “as good as anyone else” because “as good as anyone else” isn’t good at all!


“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)


By declaring that you’re as good as anyone else, you’re also admitting that you’re as bad as everyone else.  Acknowledging that is the first step into repentance.  You know in your heart that “as good as” isn’t good enough.  It isn’t good at all.  That’s why we all needed Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin.


“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Corinthians 5:21)


There’s only one way to get in good with God.  That’s by changing your mind about living a life of sin and turning to God through Jesus.  


By simply saying, “Jesus, I get the picture.  You died for me, a sinner.  It’s time for me to stop cooperating with sin and start cooperating with You.  You can count me in from this point on.  No more sin.” (Romans 10:13) 


That’s repentance - an idea as old as man himself! (Genesis 3:1-24)   That’s why some dub it “archaic” and “old-fashioned.”  


But, after all, man’s sinfulness hasn’t changed for thousands of years.  Why should the cure for man’s sinfulness change? 


REPENTANCE ... An idea whose time has finally come, again!


Be Blessed ... John and Barbara Hamel



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