In the over 100 occurrences of some form of the word “repent” it ALWAYS means a change of mind in scripture and it never means to stop sinning. In fact God himself repents more than anyone else, I stopped counting at 12 times so if repent means to stop sinning then God is the worst sinner of all! It’s true that often sorrow, grief and pain occur with a change of mind but that is the consequence or result of changing or repenting not the act of it.
Before you say I’m crazy let’s just use God’s own definition of the words repent, repented, repentance and repenting by looking at the first occurrence of each to see the meaning given them. This is the rule of first mention and is the main meaning or way in which any given word is used in Scripture.
Exodus 13:17 KJV — “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:”
👉Israel might have changed their mind and returned to Egypt out of fear.
Genesis 6:6 KJV — “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
👉God changed his mind about making man.
Hosea 13:14 KJV — “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”
👉They will not be able to change their mind or ways and escape their fate.
Jeremiah 15:6 KJV — “Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.”
👉This is the only occurrence it does not mean sinning as it is God who is speaking and God cannot sin.
So telling a lost sinner to repent by stopping sinning is kinda pointless. First off, that’s not what the word even means and secondly lost sinners can’t stop sinning. Let’s let God explain through his word why it is impossible for dead sinners to stop being who they are. Let’s just see what God tells us:
Romans 5:12 KJV — “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and👉 death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”👈
Romans 6:23 KJV — “👉For the wages of sin is death👈; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:1-10 KJV — “And you hath he quickened, 👉who were dead in trespasses and sins; 👈Wherein in time past 👉ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:👈 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 👉Even when we were dead in sins,👈 hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
A lost person is dead in the sins they live in until they change their mind about God and believe that Christ paid the debt they owe God when He went to the cross. It is belief that Christ Jesus’ death to pay for their sins, his burial to remove them and his resurrection for their justification before God that saves them. Believing that He did what they couldn’t do they are instantly, eternally sealed into Christ, baptized spiritually into His death, His burial and His resurrection. Their life, as every other saved person today’s life, is then hid in Christ. They live in Him and therefore they aren’t slaves to their desires of the flesh and sin because they aren’t dead in sin but alive in Christ whom they have believed on.
They are saved by his grace and they live in his grace, it is their strength to overcome sin when He is who they rest in. In his grace, his strength, his faith and not their own. When they walk in Him, in His spirit then they will seek to do his will, and they find that by studying their Bible (KJV) learning what God says to them and they are more than conquerors.
Romans 8:37 KJV — “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
We find that in the books written to for and about us today, Romans through Philemon, given to the Apostle Paul by the glorified risen Christ from heaven; these 13 books are the completion of Scripture and record the final instructions of God to his people ever recorded. In them we find out about the mystery God had been hiding in himself since before the world began, the mystery of what exactly was accomplished by the cross. We also learn about other mysteries God had kept secret like the body of Christ and it’s catching away to the heavenlies with him one day. We learn who we are and what Gods purpose in forming us, Christ’s body, is. Which then let’s us fully understand what God was doing and revealing through all the rest of the Bible with the nation of Israel spoken of since the world began. We fully understand His two fold plan to restore both heaven and Earth back under his government in Christ.
Ephesians 1:10 KJV — “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
As we begin to understand more about what Gods doing and who we now are in his Son we are changed from the inside out and that old sin nature starts dieing and our spirit grows as we become rooted and grounded in the truths of sound doctrine, preparing for eternity.
Titus 2:1 KJV — “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:”
That is why we MUST be careful to pay attention to how God uses words like “repent” and not give them man’s meanings. Because telling a lost souls to repent and stop sinning in order to be saved today is useless, it can’t save or keep them saved because they are trusting in what they are doing not what Christ did, and sadly their still just as lost as a golf ball in high weeds. They’re still lost but they are now trusting a false hope and don’t realize it, a false hope that makes it so very hard for them to see the truth of the Gospel of God’s grace after that and truly be saved. Hell is full of those who said they were Christian but never really trusted Christ to save them.
Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV — “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
They never believed that Christ died for their sins, his death paid the price for all of them past, present, and future (at that time all our sins today we’re yet future after all); his burial to remove them and his resurrection for their justification before God.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV — “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”