The Change of Mind

The Change of Mind

To repent means to “change the mind.” But this change of mind is not merely a new way of thinking about Christ and salvation. It is much more profound, affecting the deepest attitudes and actions. When a person repents, he comes to God hating what he once loved and loving what he once thought so little of. Such an intense change in thinking about sin and Christ results in believers and doing “works befitting repentance.” Acts 26:20 As a person thinks, so he or she acts.

The young man was dying—without Christ.

“I have a habit,” he said, as he looked up from the bed that had been moved into the living room for his last few weeks on earth. “I know that it is sin and that God does not permit it. I want to continue my habit, however, and I honestly don’t intend to stop it. On the other hand, I desperately want to go to heaven. May I become a Christian?”

How would you answer this question?

I responded by saying that it was impossible for him to be converted to Christ while at the same time loving his sin. It is true that anybody who comes to Christ will come with sin. In fact, he or she will come precisely because of that sin—that is, to be rid of it and its awful result. But to come to Christ while loving and cherishing sin is totally impossible. It is like an airplane trying to fly in two directions!

Was I being cruel? No, in fact, I was as loving as I possibly could be. I wanted the man to know the truth about repentance because Jesus had said, “I tell you . . . unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3

When the apostle Paul walked up Mars Hill in Athens to contend with the philosophers of his day, he was perfectly frank about their need to repent. He courageously declared that God “commands all people everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30 If God demands repentance from all people everywhere then you and I are also included.

What is repentance?

To repent means to “change the mind.” But this change of mind is not merely a new way of thinking about Christ and salvation. It is much more profound, affecting the deepest attitudes and actions.

When a person repents, he comes to God hating what he once loved and loving what he once thought so little of. Such an intense change in thinking about sin and Christ results in believers and doing “works befitting repentance.”

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