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Importance of repentance (2)

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Repentance is of central importance because sin brings God’s judgment and fellowship with God is only possible through full and sincere repentance. God, through his servants, calls people to repent as the only way to escape the judgment and receive the forgiveness and restoration which he offers.

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The call to repentance

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Repentance opens the way for blessing

It is the only way to escape God’s judgment

Ezekiel 18:30–32 NASB95
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. “Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
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It prepares the way for God’s kingdom

Matthew 4:17 NASB95
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
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It brings forgiveness and restoration

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God desires that all people should repent

He wants everyone to be saved

Ezekiel 18:23 NASB95
“Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?

His patience with the unrepentant

2 Peter 3:9 NASB95
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
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His discipline encourages repentance

Jeremiah 31:18–20 NASB95
“I have surely heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained calf; Bring me back that I may be restored, For You are the Lord my God. ‘For after I turned back, I repented; And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’ “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord.
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Taking God’s opportunity for repentance

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Refusing God’s opportunity for repentance

Examples of those who refuse to repent

Jeremiah 35:15 NASB95
“Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me.
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God confirms those who refuse to repent in their hardness of heart

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Repentance may not remove the effects of human sin

The Israelites’ repentance could not prevent the wandering that resulted from their refusal to enter the promised land; Saul’s repentance is too late to escape God’s judgment on his kingship; Despite David’s repentance the son of his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba still died; Esau’s repentance could not bring back the birthright he had sold to Jacob.
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