Recently, I listened to a sermon by Francis Chan regarding salvation, repentance and receiving the Holy Spirit. My 8 year old listened to it with me and afterwards he asked me what it means to repent. I told him that it means to turn away from sin and go in the opposite direction. I gave him an example of how I repented when I began to follow Jesus. I told him that 4 years ago I began reading my Bible passionately for the first time in many years. I couldn't get enough Jesus. I explained how Mommy was not a very nice person before she started following Jesus. I would be mean to people who didn't live like I did or parented differently than I did. I told him how mean Mommy and Daddy used to be to each other before we started following Jesus. I explained to him that we believed in Jesus and we knew that He was God, but we did not follow Him or obey His commands. And that the Bible says in James that even demons believe in Jesus, so just believing in God is not enough to get you into Heaven. It was when we began applying the Word to our lives and being obedient that we received the Holy Spirit and truly became followers of Christ. The first act of repentance I did was write letters to those I had hurt with my words or actions. And I sent them. It was one of the hardest, yet freeing things I have ever done. It helped restore so many of my relationships. We began serving in the Church and the Lord revealed to us soon after that He was calling us to be foster parents. We tried to say no two times, but the Lord’s presence left us each time we did. We finally surrendered to His calling and will for our life because we couldn't stand to be without Him and look what He did with that.
The more we obeyed, the wider our eyes were opened to the Lord’s truths. Before this time, our faith was built on sinking sand, but NOW, we could not be snatched out of the Father’s hand no matter the circumstances. Please be assured that salvation requires repentance of your sins. If you have not
Luke 13:24 He replied, “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but fail.”
John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
John 14:21 Jesus said, “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
Acts 2:38-39, Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles – all who have been called by the Lord our God.”
James 2:19-20 “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”
"Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You’ll notice that He didn't add, 'But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians—you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.'
Pray. Then read the Gospels for yourself. Put this book down and pick up your Bible. My prayer for you is that you’ll understand the Scriptures not as I see them, but as God intends them." –Francis Chan, Crazy Love