Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."


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Remember the Duck

In his book, “Will Daylight Come?” Robert Heffler pens this moving illustration.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparent on their farm.  He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods.  He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target.  Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.  As he was walking back, he saw Grandma’s pet duck.  Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.  He was shocked and grieved.  In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching.  Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch that day…  Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.”  But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today,  didn’t you Johnny?”  And then she whispered to him,  “Remember the duck!”  So Johnny did the dishes.  Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, “I’m sorry,  but I  need Sally to help me make supper.”  But Sally smiled and said, “Well, that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.”  And she whispered again, “Remember the duck!”  Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed!

After several days… of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer.  He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck.  She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, “Sweetheart, I know.  You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing.  But because I love you, I forgave you.  I was just wondering HOW LONG you would let Sally make a SLAVE of you.

Like Johnny, YOU and I are guilty of committing sin: “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Romans 3:23).

We CANNOT –DENY IT– or –HIDE IT–.

The GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) is that forgiveness is AVAILABLE!  Jesus died on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sin. (Romans 5:8). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us

God has promised that: –IF WE WILL

place our trust in Him: (Hebrews 11:6), “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

repent of  our  sins  (2  Corinthians 7:9-10),  “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might  receive  damage by us  in nothing.  For  godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised  him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

be baptized (immersed) into Christ (Acts 2:38)  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Galatians  3:27)  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.. and live in faithful obedience to Him” (1 John 1:7),  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

THEN HE WILL– wash away our sins.

You would think…  that once we receive forgiveness from God, Satan would leave us alone, but he doesn’t!  He CONTINUES to accuse us and tries to make us feel guilty.  That’s what he does best – HE’S AN ACCUSER.  (Revelation 12:10).  “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,  Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which  accused them before our God day and night.”  Sometimes we make the mistake of listening to him – REMAIN a slave!

Forgiveness offers freedom – freedom from “GUILT” as well as freedom from “SIN”.

How long will  YOU allow Satan to make a SLAVE of you? Accept the Lord’s forgiveness by TRUSTING and OBEYING Him today!!!

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A Life That Counts

One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobelinventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons of destruction, awoke to read his own obituary.  Of course, it was a mistake.  Alfred’s brother had died, and the reporter inadvertently wrote Alfred’s obituary.

For the first time, Alfred Nobel saw himself as the world saw him“the dynamite King,”; the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives.  This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life.  None of his true intentions surfaced.  Nothing was said about his work to break down the barriers that separated persons and ideas.  He was quite simply “a merchant of death,”; and for that alone would he be remembered.

Alfred read the obituary with HORROR!  He felt that the world must know the true meaning and purpose of his life!  He resolved to do this through his last will and testament.  The final disposition of his fortune would show the world his life’s ideals.  And at that time came into being yearlyprizes for chemistry, physics, medicine, literature — and the famous Nobel Peace Prize.*

If you were to read YOUR OWN obituary today, what would it say?

How would others describe what truly mattered to you?

A wise person has written:

A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove,

how much money I made,or where I lived.  What will be important is that I…

How would YOU finish the quote?  How you answer that question will be reflected in your obituary.  The rest of the original quote is:  “What will be important is that I… made a difference in the life of a child.”  Indeed, to make a positive difference in the life of a child is extremely important and commendable.  However, THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in our lives, when all is said and done is: “WAS I A CHRISTIAN?”  Everything else is secondary.

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS MORE!  Your eternal destiny hinges on the answer…  Because of our sins, WE are lost, doomed to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

However, because of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross, YOU and I can be forgiven of our sins and have the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.  God provides these blessings to those who will: 

  • place their trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”,
  • repent of sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
  • confess Christ (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”,
  • be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  • and live for Him the rest of their lives (2 Corinthian 5:15)  “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”.

Chances are, you will not be reading yoour own obituary. But you have already begun to WRITE it — day by day, moment by moment.

Live YOUR todays for Christ, and tomorrow you will look back on a life that counted!


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The Joy of Soul Winning

Soul-winning is the most important work in the world.  It alone was the sufficient cause for the Word to become flesh and dwell among men (John 1:14). And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”

(Luke 19:10) “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

After Jesus provided the means through His atoning blood by which souls might be won and saved from sin, He sent His disciples out with the incomparable task of winning souls by preaching His Gospel.  But soul-winning is not merely a task or duty, although it is certainly both.  It is also a surpassing privilege that brings manifold joy each time a soul is won by the Gospel.

Soul-winning brings joy to Heaven.

(Luke 15:10) “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.”

Since the first sin, the whole interest of Heaven has been the redemption of the human race.  God spent several centuries bringing His plan of redemption to fruition.

(Galatians 4:4) “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”

Would it not be the wonder of all wonders if the Heavenly hosts were indifferent when men choose to obey the Gospel and be saved?  The populace of Heaven is no less thrilled when the redeemed go out seeking the souls of those yet lost.  How much joy have you hereby brought to the angels?

Soul-winning brings joy to the soul won. 

After his baptism, the Ethiopian “went on his way rejoicing”

(Acts 8:39) “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

The joy of the discovery and obedience of the Truth, the release from the guilt of sin, the entering into a new life, and the hope of eternal life all combine to make the moment of conversion a source of incomparable rejoicing!

Soul-winning brings joy to the soul-winner.

(Psalms 126:6) “He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

There are many joys and thrills to be experienced in the Christian life, but only one outshines that of becoming a Christian: sowing the seed and reaping the harvest of a soul.

Soul-winning brings joy to all the saints.

When Paul and Barnabas reported the conversion of many gentiles from their preaching efforts, “they caused great joy unto all the brethren”

(Acts 15:3) “And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.”

There are some few who could not care less whether or not the Gospel is taken to the lost, but most saints rejoice greatly at the news of every soul won, regardless of who won it.  The genuine heart can never be jealous of nor indifferent to the success of others in winning souls.  No wonder Solomon wrote: (Pro 11:30) “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.”

Give me one soul today

Lead me to some souls today,
O teach me Lord, just what to say.
Friends of mine
Are lost in sin
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care
And few there are who pray.
Melt my heart and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.


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Examples of Righteousness and Unrighteousness

Balak, the king of Moab, wanted Balaam to come and curse Israel (Numbers 22:5-6). God told Balaam not to go (Numbers 22:12). Balak used gifts to try and get Balaam to go even though God still did not want him to go (Numbers 22:22). Balaam, instead of cursing Israel, blessed them (Numbers 23:1-11). In this passage Balaam said, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his” (Numbers 23:10). In the middle of this blessing we find an important lesson. For one to die the death of the righteous, he must first live the life of the righteous. This is something Balaam failed to do. If we want to die the death of the righteous, we cannot follow the example of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15).

Righteousness is truly a biblical subject. The word “righteousness” appears 302 times in the Bible, and the word “righteous” is found 238 times in 225 verses. The Bible defines “righteousness” as simply doing that which is right (1 John 3:7-10; Acts 10:35).

In order for man to be pleasing to God he must be righteous for God is righteous (Matthew 5:6, 48; 6:33; Romans 1:17; Psalm 35:24). To do that which is right (righteousness) one must know what is right. One can know what is right. It is the Word of God; the Bible (Psalm 119:123, 142; John 8:32; 17:17). However, it is not enough just to know what is right, one must do that which is right (Matthew 7:21-23; James 2:17-26; Romans 10:10).

The Bible records many examples of righteous people. Abel was called righteous by the Hebrew writer (Hebrews 11:4). Noah, Daniel, and Job were grouped together as those who were righteous (Ezekiel 14:14, 20). The apostle Peter called Noah a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). Abraham was called a righteous man by the apostle Paul (Galatians 3:6). Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was also called a righteous man in 2 Peter 2:7-8. The parents of John the Baptizer were also described as righteous before God (Luke 1:5-6). Even Pontius Pilate, who did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, recognized that He led a righteous life (Matthew 27:19, 24). And indeed He was Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).

Examples of Unrighteousness
The Bible also gives many examples of those who were unrighteous. Whereas Abel was described as a righteous man, his brother, Cain, was described as a wicked one and a murderer (1 John 3:12). The Bible uses Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of ungodliness (2 Peter 2:6). To be ungodly is to be unrighteous. Many times the nation of Israel was unrighteous. In the wilderness they worshipped a golden calf (Exodus 32:1-6) and because of their hardened hearts, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years (Numbers 13:30 – 14:4; Hebrews 3:8-17). They wanted an earthly king (1 Samuel 8:7) thereby rejecting Jehovah God as their King and they followed the evil examples of the kings of other nations which led to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Jesus condemned the wickedness of the Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-33). Wickedness is unrighteousness. The destiny of the unrighteous is eternal punishment (1 Corinthians 6:8-10; Revelation 21:8).

However, the unrighteousness of mankind can be turned to righteousness. In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul points out the unrighteousness of man (Romans 4:9-10, 23). In the first three chapters of the same book, Paul dealt with the sins of the Jews and Gentiles—all of mankind. This unrighteousness is not inherited (Ezekiel 18:4, 20-24; Matthew 18:3). Unrighteousness (sin) is something that one does (1 John 1:10; 3:4). Paul also shows what is involved in changing from unrighteousness to righteousness in Romans 6:16-18. In verse 17 it states that one must obey from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered (that is, one must hear the Gospel, repent of his sins, confess Christ as the Son of the living God, be baptised for the forgiveness of his sins, and live according to the Word of Truth). This means that one must turn and resist Satan and submit to God (1 Thessalonians 1:9; James 4:7).

It should be the goal of all to die the death of the righteous but we must remember; to die the death of the righteous one must live the life of the righteous (Psalm 166:15; Proverbs 14:23; Revelation 14:13).


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Three Crosses

Jesus of Nazareth was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem on Golgotha or the hill of Calvary (Matthew 27:33; Luke 23:33). Two other men were led to that place of execution along with Jesus (Luke 23:32). All three were crucified, one thief on each side of our Lord (Luke 23:33).

One of the thieves and his cross represents rebellion and arrogance, and depicts impenitent, lost humanity. He scoffed at Jesus: “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.” Remarkably, that thief’s scorn for Christ was greater than his physical pain or the fear of his impending, dreadful death. Jesus, though, had done nothing to arouse this malicious attitude.

This thief crossed the threshold of eternity unprepared and unconcerned about meeting God. Likewise, millions of souls have entered eternity with little or no concern for their souls. Lamentably, they made no preparation to spend eternity in heaven! Many are the souls who even live outside the lowly standards of righteousness established by men; they rebel against civil authority and are often openly without either penitence or remorse when caught and punished. Some sinners claim they have no desire to go to heaven and equally disdain companionship with godly people in this life.

This thief was an unbeliever. If he were to have salvation, he demanded it on his own terms. Further, he wanted to test Jesus; requiring of him miraculous signs. This thief has many cousins possessing a similar inclination living today.

The second thief and his cross represent penitence and depict the only attitude that will lead a soul to be saved. He acknowledged Jesus as the Christ (Luke 23:40-43) and God (Luke 23:40). Even this thief was aware of the public ministry of our Lord. He believed that Jesus was the Messiah or Saviour who was to establish the long prophesied about kingdom. This thief, therefore, attributed innocence to Christ (Luke 23:40). He entrusted his soul and eternity to the man on the middle cross.

The second thief not only was a believer, but he also repented. This thief acknowledged his sins versus the sinlessness of Jesus (Luke 23:40-41) and appealed for salvation to the sole Saviour this world has ever known (Luke 23:42). Christ forgave him according to the terms of the religious law under which they both lived; dependent on and in prospect of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord. Likewise today, men and women can only be saved according to the terms of the religious law under which they live (now, the Gospel); dependent on and with retrospect to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Though forgiven, as often is the case, the penitent thief still had to endure the consequence of his sins (in this instance, death).

The penitent thief also rebuked his sinful cohort and defended Jesus. Followers of the Lord today oppose unrighteousness too (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). Further, we are to defend the Gospel (Philippians 1:17; Jude 3). His conduct demonstrates that it is imperative for penitent souls to turn from their former sins and evil associations.

The middle cross was viewed from contrasting perspectives. The impenitent thief saw a man, evil like himself and an impostor Saviour. However, the penitent thief saw on the middle cross the Son of God; the Saviour (Messiah).

That middle cross is immensely important because on it Jesus Christ suffered vicariously (in our place for us). The thieves died for themselves, but Jesus died for the sins of others (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-24: 3:18).

That centre cross was also the cross of fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 53:4-12). The precious, matchless blood shed thereon saves souls (1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:7). (That blood is contacted when one is baptised into the death of Christ, Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.) The redemption of souls was the mission for which Jesus left heaven and came to earth (Luke 19:10; Matthew 1:21-23).

Man’s part of salvation (Philippians 2:12) includes faith (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), repentance (Luke 13:3), confessing Christ to be Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9; Luke 6:46), which requires immersion in water (1 Peter 3:21). Then Jesus adds one to his Church (Acts 2:47).

In summary, impenitent sinners are lost until they repent. Penitent sinners need to obey the Gospel plan of salvation; the redemptive terms under which we now live. The road to salvation begins with the statement “I have sinned” (Nehemiah 1:6). Jesus Christ’s blood is the propitiation for sins by which God saves men by grace (Romans 3:23-25).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

~ Louis Rushmore ~


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In the Shadow of the Cross

Jesus lived a lifetime in the looming shadow of the cross. He was conceived for Calvary, born to die, begotten for burial and reared for the resurrection. He spent three decades on death row. He was aware of the agony that awaited His body and the anguish that would tear His heart.

We are largely left in the dark concerning His early years. At what point He knew who He was, we do not know, but it must have been early. Mary pondered the things concerning His remarkable birth and early days in her heart (Luke 2:19) and, without doubt, shared them with Him (cf. Luke 2:40). By the age twelve He was “about His father’s business” (Luke 12:49).

He grew up reading the prophecies about Himself. He saw His sacrifice implied (Genesis 4:3-5), prophesied (Genesis 22:8), typified (Exodus 12:5) and personified (Isaiah 53:7). On earth, He was identified by John (John 1:29) and verified by the apostles (Acts 8:30-35). Presently He is glorified in heaven (Revelation 5:12-13).

What was it like to grow up in the shadow of the cross? He was not isolated or sheltered from events that depicted His own future.

Imagine Jesus As A Boy Seeing His First Crucifixion

Gary Stanley has recreated what might have happened in “An Imaginary Conversation Between a Boy and Centurion Soldier” (edited).

The legionnaire leaned against his spear to study the boy standing at the base of the cross. The old soldier had handled hundreds of crucifixions, and this one was no different. Every crucifixion had its victim. Every crucifixion had its Roman sanction. Every crucifixion had its audience.

The guard was a seasoned student of the expression on each spectator’s face. Most feigned disgust and clucked useless sympathies, but their eyes betrayed a morbid fascination. As the day wore on, spectators came and went, but their eyes always seemed the same. By the evening meal only the boy remained. He stood quite still, a bundle of wood at his feet. The guard recognized him; he was a tradesman’s son and often travelled the streets making deliveries for his father.

Above, the man stretched out on the cross coughed. His beaten face made nonsense of once-delicate features. The dying man looked down into the eyes of the boy and his suffering seemed deeper than expression. Each breath caused muscle spasms through his frame. He swallowed and tried to clear the pounding in his head. the boy swallowed too. This was the first crucifixion he had seen. He took in every detail of the scourged and beaten man. The guard placed a hand on his shoulder. “Pretty gruesome, isn’t it?” he said. “This fellow dreamed of being a king, but he is only another revolutionary, an enemy of the state.”

The youngster made no response. “Why so silent, boy? His suffering is almost over. I know, I’ve watched hundreds die. Some say that the last few moments are actually euphoric.” The boy picked up his bundle and walked silently away. It was nearly dark.”

Jesus read His own obituary (Isaiah 53). He knew He would be pierced (Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10) and hanged on a tree (Deuteronomy 21:23). He learned of the thirst involved (Psalms 69:21) and the failing of His strength (Psalms 109:4; Isaiah 53:12). He knew He would be betrayed (Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14) and forsaken by His own (Zechariah 13:7).

Christ grew up reading about Abraham sparing Isaac but knew that His Father would not stop the “knife from falling” on Him (Genesis 22). He studied the Passover lamb (Exodus 12) and knew that He was the substance of that shadow (John 1:29). He went to offer His sacrifices and knew that each one was but a figure of His bleeding wounds (cf. Leviticus 1-5; John 3:14-16).

Imagine Jesus As A Boy Seeing His First Scourging

What must He have thought when He first saw a soldier draw back a whip! He knew that His back would one day be bared to the same “cat-of-nine-tails.” When He heard the moans of agony and saw the blood pour from the wounds, He was looking into His mirrored future. When He heard the crowd’s mockery, He knew He would feel the sting of insult. He must have dreaded being smitten, spat on (Isaiah 50:6), wounded, bruised, and stripped (Isaiah 53:5).

Imagine Jesus As A Boy Seeing His First Funeral

Later, He ended every funeral He attended (Luke 7:11-15; John 11:43). But, suppose He attended one as a boy. What must have gone through His mind, knowing that He would prematurely die and be laid in a borrowed tomb? He knew that they would be unable to get a big enough rock to keep Him in the grave! He had read that He would be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9), but also that His soul would not be left in Hades (Psalms 16:8-10). He knew that He resurrected (cf. John 2:19), ascended (Psalms 68:18; 110:1), anointed (Psalms 45:6-7), and enthroned (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

Have you obeyed King Jesus? He asks that you believe that He is the Son of God (John 3:16), turn away from your sins in repentance (Luke 13:3), confess His deity (Matthew 10:32), be buried in baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and live faithfully till death (Revelation 2:10); Titus 2:12)? Jesus lived in the shadow of the cross, that we might live in the shadow of heaven!

~ Allen Webster ~


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Repentance: The Most Difficult Command

The word “repent” in its various forms occurs more than 100 times in the Bible. This shows the great importance of repentance. Nearly every church requires repentance from sin of those who wish to be members. However, repentance is a greatly misunderstood command of God. It is also a very difficult command. Some have said it is the most difficult command in all the Bible.

What is Repentance?
Sometimes the best way to learn the meaning of a word is first to look at what it is not before looking at what it is. Many people think repentance is just being sorry for one’s sins. This is not what repentance is! The apostle Paul wrote: “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). If one is sorry for the sins he has committed, it will cause him to repent of them. On Pentecost Day, the Jews who heard Peter preach Christ “were cut to the heart.” This shows they were very sorry for their sin of crucifying Jesus, but their sorrow for sin was not repentance. Peter still had to tell them to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37, 38).

If repentance is not being sorry for one’s sins, then what is repentance? According to all the teaching of the Bible, repentance is a change of one’s mind toward sin. It is produced by godly sorrow for one’s sins. The result of this change of mind toward sin will be a change of life. A good example of what is involved in repentance is a parable that Jesus told: “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went” (Matthew 21:28,29). The son disobeyed his father. When he regretted (was sorry) for his disobedience, he changed his mind about his decision. He then did what his father had asked him to do.

Repentance involves restitution. “Restitution” means that we will make right the things we have done wrong in so far as possible. If one has murdered another person, he can not restore that person back to life. He can, however, help the widow and children of the man he has killed. If one has stolen money from another person, when he repents, he must return the money he has stolen. John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees: “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

Who Should Repent?
Those who are not Christians must repent of their sins in order to be saved. Jesus commanded “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Paul told the people of Athens that God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). On Pentecost Day, Peter told the Jews who heard the Gospel and had cried out, “What shall we do?” to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37, 38).

Christians who have sinned also need to repent. When Philip preached in Samaria, Simon, who had been a sorcerer, became a Christian. When he saw the apostles giving the gifts of the Holy Spirit by laying their hands on the Christians, he wanted to buy this power. “But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:20-22).

Why Should One Repent?
We have already learned that godly sorrow produces repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). In Jesus’ parable of the two sons, we learned that the son who refused to obey his father regretted his decision. Therefore, he changed his mind and did his father’s will. His regret (godly sorrow for his disobedience) caused him to repent and obey his father’s command (Matthew 21:28, 29). One will repent if he is sorry for his sins.

One will also repent of his sins when he understands God’s goodness toward him. Paul asked,“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). God loves us and sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:6-8). God’s goodness should make us want to repent of our sins against Him.

One will also repent of his sins because the Day of Judgment is coming. Paul told the idolaters in Athens: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30, 31). Christ is now ruling from the right hand of God in Heaven, but one day He will come again to raise the dead and judge the whole world (Acts 1:9-11; John 5:28, 29 ). Everyone who is living and who has ever lived will be judged (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We must repent of our sins so that we will not be condemned at the Judgment!

When Should One Repent?
The Jews on Pentecost repented the same day they heard the Gospel. They were then baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:37, 38, 41). Since one can not be saved without repentance, then one should want to repent as soon as possible (Luke 13:3). Life is short and uncertain (James 4:13-15). Death is certain and will come to each one of us sooner or later (Hebrews 9:27). We are going to be judged for our sins at the Last Day. Therefore, we should repent immediately! The apostle Peter wrote: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Dear Reader, what about you? Have you repented of your sins? Have you been baptized for the remission of your sins? If not, please do so today so that you will be prepared to meet the Lord.