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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Importance of Repentance (Matthew 3)

What does it take to go to heaven? Is it about being a good person? Is it about going to church so many times per year? Is it about helping others and giving to the poor? How can we know for sure that we have done enough to go to heaven?


When we search the Scriptures, we get the answer. First, we find out we can know without a doubt whether or not we will go to heaven. Second we find out it's not about being a good person, how often we go to church, helping others, or giving to the poor. Although all of those things are good things we should be doing, they don't earn our place in heaven:


Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; [9] not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.


If our admission to heaven was tied to our good works and our attendance, we would have something to boast about.


If our admission to heaven was tied to our good works and our attendance, then Jesus didn't have to come and die on the cross in our place. But He did come. He did have to die in our place because we could never do enough good to pay for even one of our sins. Our sin, even one of them, deserves eternal death, not eternal life:


Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


So then what must we do to know for sure that we will have eternal life? We must do exactly what John the Baptist preached:


Matthew 3:2 Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!


Many will say they believe in God or even that they believe in Jesus. But we can't claim we believe in Jesus without repentance.


Believing in Jesus means we understand that we can never do enough good to pay for even one of our sins.


Believing in Jesus means we understand that He is God, who stepped off the throne, humbled Himself to take on human flesh and then died the death that we deserved.


Believing in Jesus means that we are willing to humble ourselves and admit that we have sinned and that we need Jesus to be our Savior and our Lord.


Believing in Jesus means we are willing to let go of our sins and living life to please ourselves and instead live life to please Jesus, the One who died in our place.


Believing in Jesus means we understand that we are called to also share this message with others so that they too can repent and trust in Jesus alone for salvation.


So, where are you in this? Are you willing to repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand?


Dear Lord, Thank you for putting people in my life to explain to me what it means to truly repent and believe in You, trust in You, and live for You. Thank you for those people who explained to me that the first step of true belief is humbling myself, admitting my sins, and repenting (turning away) from a life focused on myself to live a life focused on You.


In Jesus' name, amen.



Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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