A tragic reality in the Christian faith is that repentance is something we often like to bypass and avoid. We have only been taught to make repentance a small part of our prayer schedule and lives. When we repent we often do so fearfully and with a sense of dread, but this hides a true reality of repentance. Repentance is a gift of God. God has never and will never force you to repent, but he gives us opportunities to be repentant. In the new Testament we see repentance being something that is granted and/or given to us. Any conviction you feel that leads you to repentance is an awakening given to you by God through the Holy Spirit. It never ends on just being awakened but it also gives you the capacity to repent. The bible says that the Holy Spirit’s purpose is to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. John 16:8-11
Repentance is a gift that some people never get to receive, even though God commands us to repent, we still get to choose it for ourselves. Repentance is a sign that God has been merciful to you and it constitutes a response to the gift of God given to us. Think about the city of Nineveh, after Jonah came to give them the command for repentance. They immediately recognised the heart of God and the gift they have been given and they responded by accepting the gift of repentance. Paul says “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. It is actually the goodness of God that leads us to repent, not the judgement of God. We should never be driven to repentance because we are afraid of God, but because we are awakened to His goodness. When God has allowed you an opportunity to repent he has expressed patience with you.
- The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead– whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.
- When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”
2 Timothy 2:25
- Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,