By Not Known
The Jews at Jerusalem were described as “cut to the heart” after hearing Peter’s sermon at Pentecost in Acts 2:37. The Greek here means “to pierce through” – not making merely a surface cut but effecting a deep cut. In other words, the word of God through Peter’s message had pierced the thoughts and intents of these men.
Then turning to Peter and the apostles, the Jews asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter’s reply was: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” The Jews complied and 3,000 of them were added to the church straightaway.
The act of repentance or the turning away from sin has thus become an integral attitude whenever people turn to Christ for salvation. Without a genuine turnabout from sin, it is impossible for one to accept Christ Jesus into one’s heart. Yes, it involves our response to be “cut to the heart” as well.
I believe that revivals like those brought about through the ministry of John Sung for example, produced lasting results because of his emphasis on repentance. Today, some eighty years after John Sung’s revivals, we could still meet a remnant who passionately proclaim the gospel as they continue to witness for the Lord. The fruit of repentance is lasting.
Conversely, many other revivals fizzled out because there was no insistence on repentance in the gospel message.
Unless there is this recognition in our hearts of how depraved we are and a genuine resolve to turn our hearts towards God, no real change can take place in our lives.
Romans 3:22-23 unequivocally declares that “there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God….” Unless each of us admits to this fact and sees ourselves as God sees us, there can be no repentance in our lives. Repentance-less acceptance of Christ into one’s heart is acceptance on our own terms – not on God’s terms. It is tantamount to not accepting Christ at all for it rejects the terms of the Christian gospel. Little wonder it produces no lasting fruit that leads to a life-long journey with Christ.
So, “brothers, what shall we do?”
Back to the basics: “Repent…, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Are you prepared to be “cut to the heart”? Have you really repented?