Human beings like to go their own way, paying no attention to rules or laws, with no thought for God or man. They might, from time to time, accept there’s a God in heaven but they won’t have anything to do with Him except on their own terms.
THE NEED TO REPENT
If you think like that, then I plead with you to stop and listen to the good news of the gospel! The gospel of God tells anyone who thinks that way that he’s a guilty, lost sinner and that he’s on his way to eternal punishment. The gospel says that the path he’s on will inevitably lead to a lost eternity, even if he feels he’s on the right track and is quite satisfied with himself.
What should a man do in such a situation? First of all, accept what God thinks about his life. The difficult and painful process that follows will bring about a change of heart and mind, a new way of thinking. That’s called REPENTANCE. It depends on faith, which means believing what God tells me about myself. It will involve a change of attitude, so that I look at things and appreciate them in a different way.
CONVICTION OF SIN
This is an essential requirement for REPENTANCE. The guilty sinner suddenly realises his desperate state before God and the punishment he deserves. In other words, I apply God’s judgment to my lost condition and my desperate state as a sinner. I look at the things I do, my whole life, how I behave, what I pretend to be, in the same way that God looks at them. I realise that all I’ve tried to do up till now to work for my salvation is of no value before Him. I get to the point when I can say with Job:
“I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42. 6).
the work of the Holy Spirit.
For man to admit he’s done wrong and accept that all his efforts to obtain salvation are worthless in God’s eyes, he needs the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. He has to accept what God thinks about him, and allow the Holy Spirit to continue His work. Yes, you have to admit “the kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2. 4).
REPENTANCE AND FAITH GO TOGETHER
You also have to accept that “there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4. 12).
The Lord Jesus makes it absolutely clear:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14. 6).