Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | June 2, 2019


Mark 1:1-15

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (1:15).

Genuine Repentance

Before World War II, there were pacifists in many pulpits. When I was a young man going to school, I heard much about pacifism. Then on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked. After that we heard from one end of the country to the other, “I have been a pacifist, but I have changed. I am now ready to defend my country.” That is a form of repentance: “I have repented of my former attitude, I have changed.”

There was a man in Kentucky who defended the distilleries. One day he helped pry a man out of the snow and ice in a ditch outside a bar on the edge of Louisville. The man had gotten drunk, and the barkeeper had pushed him out in the cold winter night. Staggering, the drunk had fallen into a ditch and frozen to death. The next morning when they found him, this man had to help pry him out of the snow. He said, “When we pried him up, I looked at the frozen man with mud all over his face and body, and I changed. I am now against the liquor industry. I have repented of my attitude.”

Consider the testimony of a gambler who all the years of his life he made his living gambling. In his testimony he said, “One day I met a little boy. Talking to the boy, I learned that he was the son of the man with whom I had gambled the night before. I had won all of that man’s paycheck. Instead of being able to take his money home to clothe and feed the boy and the family, he had lost it all to me at the gambling table. When I looked at that ragged, half-starved boy, I changed. I do not gamble anymore. I have repented of my ways.”

That is repentance, and it is mandatory that I do it. It is something God commands me to do. It is not optional whether I change or not. I am commanded to repent, I am commanded to change.


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