In trying to learn how to stay out of hell and get to heaven, we must explore several  different areas such as repentance, forgiveness, Baptism, and witnessing our faith to others, doing the will of the Father.  Repentance is a word used often but understood little.  Many define repentence as simply saying you are sorry for your sins; but it goes much further than that.
Repentance is a change of thought and action to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from the one wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, turning away from  sin against Him, and resolving to live according to His law. It always includes an admission of guilt, and includes a promise not to repeat the offense; it includes an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.

In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' means: 'to think differently after'. Repentance is an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct. A "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness". One of the key descriptions of repentance in the New Testament is the parable of the prodigal son found in the Gospel of Luke 15 beginning at verse 11.

The Parable of the Lost Son

 11"There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

 13"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

 17"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got up and went to his father.
      "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

 21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.[b]'

 22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

 25"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

 28"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

 31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

  The story of the prodigal son  is not simply a story about salvation. It is a story about how a long-separated father and son were reunited. It is a story about a dad who did much more than take his boy back. In fact it is a story about how a father lavished his love on an erring son and sat down with him, in fellowship, at a splendid and joyous banquet.

The story of the prodigal son is the story of the sinner's restoration to fellowship with God our heavenly Father. Repentance is always about that, even when the repenting sinner is already a Christian!


  Repentance is more than just what you do after you do something wrong. Repentance means to change your mind about sin and about God. Repentance is the word that most accurately describes what you get when you try to fit everything together that the Bible says about growth toward God. We are to repent so as to remove the obstacles that keep us from abiding in Christ. Doing this, involves getting our heart to hear the truth of the scriptures so that God can use His word to change us from the inside out. Much with us has to change but thinking about repentance this way makes actually doing it realistic.
Deep level change isn't going to happen just because you know something in your head. Being effective at "changing your mind" requires taking steps to train your heart that it is right, good, and safe to turn and draw near to God. You have to take steps to calm your fears and build your faith. You have to become a teacher and your own heart has to become your student. By this, you can change from the inside out. Repentance should be as important a practice in your Christian life as prayer or reading the Bible.

  The benefits of repentance are that you find freedom from unwanted and sinful behaviors, damaging pursuits, harmful reactions, long term addictions, and co-dependence. You also experience a "refreshing" from the "presence of the Lord." By repenting so as to experience God's presence, your single-hearted love and devotion toward God will increase greatly. Abiding in Christ becomes realistic. The deeper Christian life becomes practical.  Repent with joy because of God's grace to draw near to you without His holding back! Rejoice your heart to believing that when you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8)!  

There are  Steps to Repentance:

1.    Feel Godly Sorrow
"For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." (Psalms 38:18)

o        First recognize that you've committed a sin against God's commandments.

o        Feel true sorrow for what you've done and for disobeying our Heavenly Father.

o        Feel sorrow for any pain you may have caused toward other people.

2.    Confess to God

o        Pray to our Heavenly Father and be honest with him.

o        Tell him of your sin(s).

o        Confess only to Yahweh or Yahshua, no one else.

3.    Ask for Forgiveness

o        Pray to God for his forgiveness.

o        Forgive others who have hurt you.

o        Forgive yourself and know that God loves you, even though you've sinned.

4.    Rectify Problems Caused by the Sin(s)
"And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof."
(Exodus 22:12)

o        Make restitution by fixing any problems caused by your sin.

o        Problems caused by sin include physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual damage.

o        If you can't rectify the problem sincerely ask forgiveness of those wronged and try to find another way to show your change of heart.

5.    Forsake Sin
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.   (Proverbs 28:13

o        Make a promise to yourself and to God that you will never repeat the sin.

o        Recommit yourself to obeying God's commandments.

o        Continue to repent if you sin again.

6.    Receive Forgiveness
"Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." (Jeremiah 31:34)

o        The Lord will forgive you when you truly repent with a sincere heart.

o        Allow his forgiveness to come upon you.

o        When you feel at peace with yourself you can know you are forgiven.

o        Don't hold onto your sin and the sorrow you've felt.

New Testament repentance is not confined to the unsaved or to the moment of conversion. It may take place repeatedly within the Christian experience, whenever there is a need for it.

  Repentance also is not a condition for eternal salvation. Faith alone, not repentance and faith, is the sole condition for justification and eternal life. 
Of all the New Testament writers, Luke speaks the most frequently about repentance. Yet, in one of Luke's most famous stories, a badly shaken Philippian jailer inquires of Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" The answer they give to him is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31). There is not a word here-not a syllable!-about repentance. Paul and Silas did not say, "Repent and believe," but simply, "believe."

"But," someone will say, "does not the Bible also declare God's demand for repentance?" Indeed it does, and perhaps nowhere more forcefully than in Acts 17:30 where Paul declares: "And these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.). Simply put, we may say this: the call to faith represents the call to eternal salvation. The call to repentance is the call to enter into harmonious relations with God.

If the issue is simply, "What must I do to be saved?" the answer is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Ac 16:31). If the issue is the broader one, "How can I get on harmonious terms with God?" the answer is "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).
Along the course of Christian life, the believer will need to repent many times as the Scriptures clearly attest. And although no one will be saved more than once, the fact still remains that God demands repentance from all and He conditions their fellowship with Him on that.

The Gospel of John does not reference repentance at all; not once.  But "No evangelism that omits the message of repentance can properly be called the gospel, for sinners cannot come to Jesus Christ apart from a radical change of heart, mind, and will."

In Luke 5:31,32 Jesus tells us , “Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call [ invite] the righteous, but sinners, to repentance”. 

"I am here," says our Lord, "to bring spiritual health to those who are sick with sin. I have come to invite sinners to the banquet of repentance."

That is what repentance is all about. It is all about the sinner finding spiritual health. It is all about the sinner "sitting at the table"-having fellowship-with God. Without repentance, repeated whenever the need for it exists, there is no fellowship with God.
God desires fellowship with repenting sinners. Thus to repent is to rediscover our direction and to experience true "life" in harmony with our Maker. The call to repentance is the call to harmonious relations with God.  We must conclude that the call to repentance is broader than the call to eternal salvation. It is rather a call to harmony between the creature and His Creator, a call to fellowship between sinful men and women and a forgiving God. And it is necessary if you want a relationship with God.

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