So far, the trip across town had been uneventful. The little boy, three and a half years old and very mature for his age, was attentively taking in the scenery and keeping a running patter of conversation going with his grandmother who was driving. Suddenly, with no signal or warning, a car in the left lane cut across their path and made a right turn, barely missing their front bumper. The grandmother muttered something like, “That was a stupid thing to do!” The little boy looked at her reproachfully and said, “Grandmother, you shouldn’t call people stupid.” She replied, “You’re right. And I didn’t call him stupid. I said what he did was stupid.” After a few moments, the little boy had another comment. “You should apologize to God.” They drove in silence for a few miles. Finally, he looked again toward his grandmother and asked, “Well did you?”
One of the most misunderstood requirements our God makes of us is repentance. Before baptism can accomplish its’ purpose, repentance must take place: “Repent ye and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus of Christ for the remission of your sins…” Acts 2:38. Repentance must occur before one can be converted from darkness to light: “Repent ye therefore and turn again that your sins may be blotted out…” Acts 3:19. Jesus was being very emphatic when He said, “Unless ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” in Luke 13:3 and 5.
Being sorry alone is not repentance, but “godly sorry worketh repentance.” (II Cor. 7:10) Repentance is not the actual change that must occur in one’s life, but it leads to that change. John the Baptist told the multitudes who came to him to be baptized, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…” (Luke 3:8).
Repentance happens when we have such respect, awe and love for our Creator that we can feel a deep regret for having offended Him by transgressing His will. To be genuine, actually doing as He tells us to do must follow that. It is a terrible thing to become so hardened to sin that we cannot be renewed to repentance. God never arrives at a point where He will not forgive. But we can arrive at a point where we cannot repent. Hebrews 6:1-8 teaches us that when that happens we are crucifying the Son of God afresh and putting Him to an open shame. Throughout the ages, those who have had the approval of God have been those who, like Nehemiah, can freely say, “I and my father’s house have sinned, we have dealt very corruptly with thee.” (Neh. 1:6,7). He apologized to God.
We all should apologize to God!………………………….But, did we?