Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.
Corrupt Christians are redefining "repentance."
The "progressive" definition of repentance is to "change your mind" about Christ.
There is no mention of sin.
There is no mention of contrition.
There is no mention of the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.
Corrupt Christians redefine repentance to make it agreeable to sinners, including false Christians - hypocrites. In order to feel good about themselves, they refuse to confess we are wretched sinners who need to be saved and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. They boastfully declare: "I'm OK; you're OK. God loves us for who we are."
But Jesus makes is very clear that to be a true child of God, we must become new creatures in Christ. Jesus declares, "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). This is a necessary condition for salvation. Notice, Jesus says "must," not "should." "Must" is an absolute requirement. Being born again is absolutely necessary for salvation.
Irrefutably, repentance precedes salvation. In other words, without true repentance there is no salvation. And repentance is not a change of mind; it's a change of heart resulting in a change of behavior. When we truly repent, we repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways. Nowhere in the Bible does human repentance mean to change your mind.
However, corrupt Christians deliberately confuse when God repents - changes His mind - and human repentance. The "evil" from which God is said to "repent" is not moral evil in the sense of sin; He has simply changed His mind about punishing the disobedient. "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" (Exodus 32:14). Put another way, sometimes God changes His attitude and actions toward men when certain conditions are met and does not punish them. To illustrate: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Undeniably, God is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11). And if we truly repent, we don't ask God to create in us a new mind...but a new heart. In Psalm 51, David cries out to God:
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
10 Create in me a new heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
And David cries out to God in verse 17: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."
This is true repentance - a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart.
Matthew Henry comments on David's heartfelt cry of repentance:
He prays for sanctifying grace; and this every true penitent is as earnest for as for pardon and peace, v. 10. He does not pray, "Lord, preserve me my reputation,’’ as Saul, I have sinned, yet honour me before this people. No; his great concern is to get his corrupt nature changed: the sin he had been guilty of was, (1.) An evidence of its impurity, and therefore he prays, Create in me a clean heart, O God! He now saw, more than ever, what an unclean heart he had, and sadly laments it, but sees it is not in his own power to amend it, and therefore begs of God (whose prerogative it is to create) that he would create in him a clean heart. He only that made the heart can new-make it; and to his power nothing is impossible. He created the world by the word of his power as the God of nature, and it is by the word of his power as the God of grace that we are clean (Jn. 15:3), that we are sanctified, Jn. 17:17.
Do not be deceived by the false definition of repentance. Repentance is not changing your mind...true repentance is a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart.
O ye sinners, Repent!