Have you noticed that not many pastors preach on the topic of repentance anymore? Repentance has gone out of fashion, true humility is out and pride is in. Did God approve of that idea?
Luke 3:2-9 ... the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (ESV)
Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (ESV)
Luke 15:4-10 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
We've all heard or read the parable of the prodigal son. The son foolishly squandered everything his father gave to him, until realizing his foolishness, turned back to his father in humble submission asking for forgiveness, and everything was restored to him. But what about the other son, the one that "didn't need" repentance? He always remained with the father, did what he was told to do, was possibly happy that his good for nothing loser brother was gone and now all attention could go to himself. He got angry when his brother returned, rather than rejoice with his father. Let's take a look:
Luke 15:28-32 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"
Pride is a terrible thing, hatred and anger is at the root of it, and Jesus said he who is angry with his brother is guilty of murder. Does that not require repentance? Does that not call for humility before a holy God who can cast people into outer darkness (no vision) and fire (feelings of torment) forever? None of us are perfect, we must all approach the Lord in humility asking forgiveness for the things we have done, for the sorrow we have caused him and our fellow men.
Have you repented of your sins before the feet of Jesus?