Summary: Sometimes in the church we throw around words and due to their constant use we forget what the meaning of the word actually is. One of the most misunderstood words we use is the word "repentance". What exactly does repentance mean and how important is r
What Does it Mean to Repent of Sin?
The word repentance is not a popular word in today’s society. It is not popular because if we call people to repentance then we are admitting that people are doing something wrong. People don’t like to be told that they are wrong or have been living the wrong way.
When you think of repentance, what do you think of? Perhaps you think of a preacher standing on a street corner, yelling for people to repent? Maybe you think of John the Baptist and his bold preaching.
Sometimes I think that repentance is a word that we just throw around sometimes and we do not fully understand what it means to repent of sin. This morning, and every message for that matter we hope and pray that each heart is open and receptive to hear God’s Word. Even to be convicted, brought to repentance, implement change in the life. However, there are some grave hindrances to sincere repentance. This morning before you can repent of sin you have to ensure that there is nothing hindering you from repenting.
Hindrances to Repentance…
1) Pride or Arrogance
We as people tend to not like to admit that we are wrong. That is called, pride. You may remember in the Genesis account of the fall of man, when Adam and Eve sinned, they were not necessarily repentant over their sin. In fact they knew they had sinned and they tried to hide from God. Then when confronted with their sin they failed to take any responsibility for their actions. When God confronted Adam about their sin he said, “The woman you put here with me gave it to me”. Eve when she was confronted said, “The serpent deceived me.” Not once was there as, “You know what, I messed up” moment with them. The reason why was because of their pride. Often times our pride hinders us from repentance because before we can repent we have to realize we are wrong. And if we realize we are wrong that means we are not perfect. Perhaps for some today their pride will hinder them from repentance because they do not want to see their faults.
2) Hard Heart
Sometimes people are hindered from repenting because their hearts are hard. It could be easy when someone realizes their own fault to shut themselves off from hearing or receiving God’s Word. In Acts 7 when Stephen preached he called the Jews a stiff-necked people who were uncircumcised in heart and ears. In other words they hard hardened their hearts towards the Word of God so that repentance and change were not possible. They were so hard hearted that did not receive that message well so they killed Stephen, but that did not take away the reality of their sin or what he was preaching.
There are many that are so hard hearted towards their actions that repentance does not come easy. Because of their constant sin, they have justified it in their minds, to the point where there are many who do not even see their sin as sin or as a big deal at all. They justify their wrong doing so long to where God eventually hands them over to do what they want to do. I hope today that no one is kept from repentance by a hard heart, but that when you receive the Word of God you may take it as a word from God and can repent if need be.
3) Love of Sin
Sometimes others will not repent of sin because they love sin too much.
One little boy prayed, "Dear Jesus, I’m so sorry I made such a mess in my room today." Then he added, "But I sure had fun doing it!"
True repentance comes down to a choice between stopping sin and continuing in the practice of sin. Many people will just flat out tell you that they cannot truly repent of their sin because they love and enjoy the practice of their sin too much. We cannot serve two masters, and we cannot love both God and the things of this world. I understand that there is a large part of us, which wants to gratify the desires that we have, but if we want to be in a right relationship with God we must leave behind those desires. Many people are never brought to repentance because they love their sin too much. Perhaps a drunk weeps over his sin, but yet his appetite for sin is too great to let go of that sin. The necessary outcome of repentance is a change and a abandoning of those sinful desires, and that outcome proves to be too great for some so that they are not willing to let go of their sin because of their love of sin.