I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. -Luke 5:32
Many in our churches today have sadly come to some understanding of Christianity that lines up with “easy believism.” Simply accepting the fact that Jesus died for our sins should be enough for us to get to heaven, living whatever type of life we want to. That includes sex with random people outside of marriage, gluttony, greed, lying, etc. After all, God forgives it all because we have accepted Christ, right? The Bible has the answer to that if we dare look for it. It’s not a hidden answer, either. It’s all over His Word. And… it’s not just a King James word that has been replaced with something softer in more modern translations, either. The word is still found in its various forms all over the Bible. The word is repent. If we have given ourselves over to Christ, it’s something we want to do.
How does the Merriam-Webster dictionary define it?
: to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right
Note that the words feel and show are used. It’s not enough to make some intellectual conclusion. It requires feeling it. Feeling it will lead to action; hence, the word show.
Some modern Bibles have replaced the word “repent” with phrases that involve ‘changing your heart’ or ‘the way you think or act’– or simply ‘turn from your ways.’ I guess they did that– for fear that the modern reader would not fully understand the word “repent.” Sad. That must mean it’s not preached much in churches any more– or at least as much as it should be.
I love the Amplified Bible and make no secret of it, because it breaks down the meaning of verses and defines words in ways I might not otherwise notice or realize. I love the way it renders Luke 5:32 because it does such a fine job of explaining what it is to repent: I have not come to arouse and invite and call the righteous, but the erring ones (those not free from sin) to repentance [to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].