Arkiv

Robert Cummings – from being a praised actor to being hooked on Methamphetamine

robert cummings 2For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt. 16:26)

Was not Robert Cummings the most handsome American actor of all in the 1940’s – back in the days when films did not contain any swear words or nudity? At least based on his appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Saboteur from 1942, where he actually looked his very best wearing simple clothes, and where he is unshaven and has uncombed hair. Little did he know when he filmed Saboteur, that he would end up in a straight-jacket 1965 – when he was taken away from his luxurious home in Hollywood into a Psychiatric hospital as a consequence of his heavy methamphetamine addiction and altered behavior.*) Meth was a legal drug at the time and unfortunately he discovered it early, maybe even as early as 1954 albeit sporadically, which is  the year when he incidentally starred in his second film with Hitchcock – Dial M for murder.

It is really tragic that he and many other actors and artists did not even know that the vitalizing ”vitamin injections” from Dr Max Jacobson in New York contained meth. Had he known the true content/meaning of the drug and that he would eventually lose everything due to those miraculous injections – his wonderful Hollywood home, his previous connection with his family (he remarried), his profession as a well paid actor in the Hollywood elite, his fortune, his reputation and the possibility to a drug free joyful life – he would probably have rejected the drug from the very start. Instead he eventually became completely trapped and from then on he made sure to make the drug a part of his every day life – even if he made a couple of sincere attempts to stop with the help of drug clinics (based on an interview 1987). Sadly his life story with vitamin injections and drugs is not unique among Hollywood stars of his era and I use him just as an example.

Ja. 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

How sad it is when someone forgets what is the most important aspect of life – livingFlesh and fantasy with and for God during his brief stay on planet earth. A lingering depression can sometimes make a person seek God, but it is unfortunate if you must go so far and lose everything before you will eventually start turning to the only one who can save you – our Creator God – where you can find a new life in Jesus Christ. I have no means of knowing if Robert eventually did become a born again christian perhaps during the final days of his life, but his mother (a minister) was definitely interested in the Bible and tried to influence her son. He seems to have had a keen interest in astrology and numerology throughout his life.

Robert eventually ended up living all alone in a retirement home with only his pension to live on, suffering from Parkinson’s disease. His final years are of course not the whole sum of his life, and he is rather remembered by his acting performances, TV shows and his love for aviation. It is hard to combine a Hollywood life with a life with Christ, due to being surrounded by worldly temptations and a pressure to always make a top-notch performance in order to not be a forgotten name and soon be out of work.

Our time in this temporary world is very brief

Ja. 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

1 Pet. 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

Ja. 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

1 Chron. 29:15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

Eccl. 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Eccl. 6:12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?

Is. 38:12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd’s tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.

Is. 40:6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Ps. 78:39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

Ps. 144:4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Ps. 102: 3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.

Ps. 39:Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.—11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

Job. 7:7 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

However, our short time of suffering is nothing compared to what is ahead of us, if we are the children of God:

Rom. 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Phil. 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ps. 90:For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.—12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Ps. 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Prov. 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Ja. 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

2 Cor. 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

robert cummings 1

I can add that I found his book with focus on health in my book shelf – ”Stay young and vital” and I reread some of it. I had forgotten that he had written a dedication to a friend on the front page (Milton Berle), and also that he had used a large number of Bible verses throughout his book to make various point. I like that he encouraged his readers to pray, not only dinner prayers. This was 1960 and before his life really came crumbling down.

*) Lertzman, R & Birnes, W (2015) Dr Feelgood

God commands ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to REPENT – Acts 17:30

acts 17Acts 17 starts with the apostle Paul reasoning with the Jews in a synagogue in Thessalonica as his custom was, and he explained and demonstrated that Jesus is the Christ. Paul successfully managed to persuade some of them of this fact, indicating that our struggle and prayers for people’s souls can make a difference (i.e. people are not chosen to be elect/non-elect from the creation of the world). NKJV:

Acts 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. (NKJV)

Paul continued on to Berea where we can read how Luke (the author) is praising these Bereans for being fair-minded because they ”received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”. (Note that they didn’t accept whatever Paul told them just because he was an apostle, but they compared Paul’s preaching with the scripture to check if Paul was on target.) For this reason (”therefore”) many of them believed – and since Paul’s main mission was to preach that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah of the scriptures, this is what these Berean apparently started to believe (among other things). We can again see that our efforts and Bible studies can make a difference.

Acts. 17:10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

If God has predestined everything that takes place, there would be no reason for Paul to feel provoked by a city given over to idols, because then he would have praised God for arranging it that exact way. Instead Paul reasoned with the Jews to warn them about what was taking place in the city (as he often did) and also with the gentiles in their marketplace. Paul knew for a fact that his efforts could change the outcome of things and that everything was not set in stone from eternity past.

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.

We learn many interesting facts about God and his creation from Paul’s speech on Areopagus (Mars Hill):

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 SO THAT THEY SHOULD SEEK THE LORD, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, THOUGH HE IS NOT FAR FROM EACH ONE OF US; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.30 Truly, these times of ignorance God OVERLOOKED, but now COMMANDS ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

  • We are all related to Adam and Eve (one blood) showing that Genesis seems to be a literal story.
  • He has ”determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings”, which likely means that he has set certain restrictions for us, such as maximum age and limits when it comes to our dwellings on earth.
  • God has created us in this way (perhaps referring to our ability to be aware of our mortality and also our ability to recognize that there is a God – which also Romans 1 confirms) in order to seek God, despite that Paul promises us that God is not far from anyone of us. It also says ”in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him”, and the reason Paul is not able to make any promises that we will absolutely find him (despite that he is always near each one of us) depends on our own sincerity when we seek him. Have we truly repented for our sins, and do we show him our love by what we do and by what we avoid doing? Some people might desire both God and their sins.
  • Paul calls us (human beings) the offspring of God, and he goes on to explain what we ”ought” to think about God. Not as tangible things such as gold, silver or stone (something shaped by man) but as something divine. He isn’t promising us that this is what we absolutely WILL do, but he is giving us good advice that we can be corrected by. As offspring of God, it wouldn’t make sense if some of his offspring were predestined to be wicked non-believers from the very start.
  • Apparently we have lived in times of ignorance, which is something that God has ”overlooked”, showing that our times of ignorance certainly haven’t been according to his will. He is, however, willing to forgive under certain conditions. Repentance!
  • God is willing to let go of our times of ignorance, but now he COMMANDS people to repent. He commands ALL MEN EVERYWHERE to repent. That indeed sounds like EVERY man in the entire world (so both men and women). Had Paul meant ”some” men (like a certain group of elect) there are a number of ways to express this. God is not the author of confusion, and he is able to explain things for us in a way that we can understand. It’s also natural for our God do make such commandment, because there is much JOY in heaven for each person who repents (Luke 15:7). Repenting signifies a person who has gone from spiritual death to spiritual life, and our merciful God doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9).
  • God commands all people to repent, but all people clearly do not repent. This is due to our free will which God has created us with, and if we choose to reject God WE are to be blamed and have to face the consequences for our choices. God is totally innocent of our unwise decisions. He doesn’t tempt anyone, much less cause people to rebel against him.

Thanks to Paul’s speech on the Areopagus, some people started to believe. Praise God for fishers of men! We have the right to become children of God if we prior to this 1) receive him, an 2) believe in his name. We are also requested to live righteous lives. The Holy Ghost is our Helper!

John 1:2 But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who BELIEVE in His name (NKJV)

1 John 10:3  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (KJV)

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The order is 1) seek/believe, 2) confess sins, repent, 3) become cleansed/regenerated/born again when our sins are removed, 4) receive the Holy Ghost and become a child of God!

Is it true that God GIVES the elect REPENTANCE as per 2 Tim. 2:25?

actsIn meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth. 2 Tim. 2:25 (KJV)

The word ”repent” is used multiple times throughout the Bible, but it’s the above verse that is the most popular one among the reformed believers since it might sound like we don’t have to do anything at all but just sit around and wait for GOD to perhaps inject us with a shot of ”repentance”. If the reformed position is true, it would be God’s fault that not everyone repents because apparently he doesn’t give everyone the possibility to do so. Only those he gives repentance can apparently repent…This begs the question: Why does the Biblical teach ”repent or perish” if the elect can’t perish, and the non-elect can’t repent?

The Bible, however, tells us that God commands ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent (Acts 17:30), which of course needs to be reinterpreted in order to fit with the calvinistic view, as in commanding ”some people here and there” to repent  or commanding ”all of the elect” to repent.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to ALL MEN,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

To GRANT someone repentance

25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will GRANT them repentance, so that they may know the truth (NKJV)

If God predestined people to be elect/non-elect from the creation of the world as calvinists teach, he would not place the elect among ”those who are in opposition”, but he would rather place the non-elect in this rebellious group. Yet we are told that it’s those in opposition who will perhaps be granted repentance. The uncertainty (”perhaps”) depends on if they have truly fled from iniquity or not. Apparently the others – those who in humility correct those who are in opposition – are already among Jesus’ sheep, and they are wise enough to correct others who are in error. This means that the winning team can expand if more people stay corrected. The verses just before have laid out what one must do to be among those who will have the chance to be granted repentance. Apart from purging oneself from sin, one is requested to: ”Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of ”a pure heart”. It’s the pure heart that God looks after, and which is judged when it comes to granting repentance or not.

The word that NKJV and many other Bible versions translate as ”grant” is a translation from the Greek word didōmi (Strong’s 1325), and apart from grant it can also mean give, permit, bestow, let have, extend, furnish, entrust, etc. Here are some examples where didōmi is translated ”grant”:

Acts 11:17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles GRANTED repentance unto life.

Above we can read that ”gentiles” are granted repentance unto life. We know that not all gentiles will be saved, but if we understand ”granting repentance” to mean what it says – as in granting, offering, extending repentance – then we avoid making this verse collide with many other verses which show us that we are all requested to repent. The verse suggests that all the gentiles will be granted (as in offered) the repentance that is unto life, but naturally only those who truly repent and truly love Jesus Christ will be forgiven. We can compare it with the parable about the wedding banquet for the King’s son, which was offered to everyone. Those who were on the initial guest list chose not to come, but the invitation was extended to others and some of them chose to accept the invitation and arrived at the banquet. Those who chose to go to the banquet with proper wedding clothes were called ”chosen” – they are the special elect. We should not reinterpret the above verse to say ”giving repentance to the gentiles by force regardless of their behavior, and not giving them any opportunity to say no”. 

Mark 10:37 They said unto him, GRANT unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

The disciples requested to get seats next to Jesus in his kingdom, and asked Jesus to grant them what they wished for. He replied that he had no authority to promise such a thing.

Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.21 TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH will I GRANT to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

IF any man opens the door when Jesus knocks on the door… This clearly shows that it’s up to us to listen to Jesus and open the door for him. IF we choose to do so, he will come in and eat with us. Here we can see that the condition for sitting with Jesus on his throne is to OVERCOME, just like Jesus overcame by accomplishing his mission on earth and held out to the end. ”And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved”, Matt. 10:22.

Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and GRANT unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

The above is from a prayer by Peter and other disciples, and it’s not uncommon for christians to ask God in a prayer to grant them various benefits which could aid them in their daily lives or in their pursuit to spread the gospel. Praying in itself is of course useless in a world that God has predestined and orchestrated, but that would not be the God of the Bible.

Acts 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and GRANTED signs and wonders to be done by their hands.4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

God ”granted” them signs and wonders to be done by their hands. This doesn’t mean that he forced/predestined people to place their hands on people to heal and cast demons out of them, but he enabled them to have this power. We can read that part of the city was divided, because not all of them were on the apostles’ side. Clearly that would be against God’s will, because he would want everyone to be on the apostles’ side.

See also Rev. 19:8, 2 Ti 1:18, Eph. 3:16, Rom. 15:5 and Luke 1:74

If God no longer draws/calls people due to their choice to harden their hearts and turn their backs on him, then they will not be granted repentance. Repentance is commanded by God to ALL men everywhere, and it will be granted to truly repentant hearts  (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:20; Rom. 2:4; 2 Ti. 2:25; 2 Pe. 3:9).

I can grant someone permission to come to my house, and I can also require that certain conditions must be met before a person can actually enter my house. I might suggest that the person must first tell me if he/she is actually coming, and I might also require a certain dress code. Granting someone the permission to come doesn’t mean that there are no conditions involved. It only means that had it not been for my offer, the person would not have been able to come.

The rest of the same chapter – 2 Tim. 2 according to NKJVgrant

2 Tim. 2:5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

The word competing (”strive for masteries” in KJV) suggests that there is something that we must DO, and that we are also requested to work hard to achieve something that we won’t get unless we strive. We are also warned that we won’t get our crown unless we compete according to the RULES. This suggests that there is a condition that must be met before we can get our promised crown, and that is to make sure to work according to the set rules. Paul doesn’t simply inform Timothy (and the rest of us) that we are all predestined to always obey the rules, because if that were the case his serious warnings would be a waste of time. 

7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.—

Paul’s admonishments indicate that he hopes to direct Timothy on the straight path, which further means that Paul’s eager warnings might make a difference for Timothy’s life and that all things are not predestined to happen beforehand. We can still change the outcome by prayers and sincere warnings.

10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.—

If people were predestined to be elect from the creation of the world, Paul should know that it’s not really immensely important for him to ”endure all things” for their sake, since absolutely nothing will make them lose their status as chosen elect that will never lose their salvation no matter what.

12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

IF we endure? Yes, we are promised to reign with him IF IF IF we endure, and IF we deny him he will also deny us. It doesn’t say that he will deny us and therefore we have no other choice but to deny him since we are predestined to be among the non-elect who by nature always deny him. God is true to his words (including promises of judgments) because he cannot deny himself.

14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

Apparently hearers are not chosen to be elect/non-elect from the creation of the world, since our unwise talk can affect people to the extent that they can be totally ruined.

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

If we are not able to be approved of God, we are doomed. That’s why we should be diligent to present ourselves approved before God. WE are the ones that must do this. Jesus won’t do the job for us. We are not told here that we WILL be approved by God no matter what, but we are told ”BE DILIGENT…”.

16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

Hymenaeus and Philetus were two men who were overthrowing the faith of certain people due to the way they preached. This is evidence of that God in no way decided whom to save and whom to damn from the creation of the world, because then no one would be able to overthrow anyone’s faith in God. For the same reason, this verse is also evidence of that unconditional eternal salvation is not true.

19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

We know that a seal can be broken (like the stone that was ”sealed” before Jesus’ grave), and the ”seal” spoken about here is the assurance that God knows those who are his (and his sheep are those who decide to follow Jesus), and that those who mention Christ’s name should depart from iniquity. Being engaged in iniquity is always against God’s will.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore IF ANYONE CLEANSES HIMSELF from the latter, he will be a vessel for HONOR, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Above we can see that we are asked to cleanse ourselves (from iniquity), and if we do we will be vessels of honor. This is an opportunity for all of us. Naturally we don’t have the authority to forgive ourselves our sins, but the request to cleanse ourselves means that we must confess our sins, repent from an earnest heart and thus be cleansed/regenerated by God. We are the ones who get the ball rolling. IF we ”cleanse ourselves” we will be sanctified, useful and prepared for every good work. We are requested to pursue righteousness, which means that we are not simply promised that we will be injected  with some of Jesus’ righteousness, but we are actually asked to flee ”youthful lusts” and live righteous lives ourselves. WE are requested to have a pure heart, because we can’t hide behind Jesus.

25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

We have already covered v. 25. Young’s Literal says in v. 26 ”having been caught by him at his will”. This means that Satan’s will is a force to count on, and Paul also says elsewhere that we are slaves to the one we obey. If we obey sin, we actually obey Satan because he is the one who wants us to feel comfortable in our sins. This again shows that God’s will doesn’t always happen, unless we believe that Satan and God work together to ensnare people in sin. Fortunately, we are told that we can escape the snare of the devil, and we have the chance to be granted repentance – if we let ourselves be corrected, if we truly ”cleanse ourselves” and if we call on God from a ”pure heart”, as per the verses just before.

Repentance means that our PAST sins are forgiven, and obviously not our present and/or future sins

2 Pet 1:9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been CLEANSED FROM HIS PAST SINS. 

Romans 3:24, 25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God.

We are asked to repent (and be baptized) for the remission of sins and AFTER that we will be given the Holy Spirit 

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

True repentance is a way to get  SALVATION

Our own godly sorrow might lead to repentance:

2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance LEADING TO salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces DEATH. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Also christians might choose to sin and even choose to not forgive a brother. If he/she does and refuses to repent, our Father in heaven will not forgive them:

Mat 6:14,15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But IF you do not forgive men their sins, YOUR FATHER WILL NOT FORGIVE YOUR SINS. 

Mat 18:32-35 Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. —This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. 

Also christians might choose to disown Jesus before men, and if they refuse to repent they will be disowned by their Father in heaven. If a person naturally disowns Jesus, it might be an indication of that this person has not repented since he isn’t able to endure hardship. We are not able to be Jesus disciples unless we take up our cross and carry it, and disowning Jesus means that we don’t carry our cross.

Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before men, I WILL DISOWN HIM before my Father in heaven.–Mat 26:69-75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

2 Chron. 15:2 The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, HE WILL FORSAKE YOU.

Jesus started out to preach the necessity to 1) repent, and 2) believe the gospel. He also told his disciples to preach the same thing. Why? So people would heed the warnings and not PERISH!perish

Mark 1:15 And saying The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand REPENT ye and believe the gospel

Luke 13:3 + 5 I tell you Nay but EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH

Mark 6:12 And they went out and preached that men should REPENT

Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:—21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 26:15 — I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, THAT THEY SHOULD REPENT AND TURN TO GOD, AND DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.

If we are not forgiven we are not saved. We need to be repent in order to get our sins blotted out and be FORGIVEN

Apparently the rich man who said this had NOT repented before he ended up in hell:

Luke 16:30 And he said Nay father Abraham but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent 

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore and be converted THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lorddd

Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee

1 John 1:9 IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us OUR SINS, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Isaiah 55:7 LET THE WICKED FORSAKE HIS WAY, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him RETURN unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and FORSAKETH them shall have mercy

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves If thy brother trespass against thee rebuke him and if he repent forgive him 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying I repent thou shalt forgive him

2 Cor. 12:21 And lest when I come again my God will humble me among you and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed

Luke 15:7 I say unto you that ”likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance”—10 Likewise I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth—32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first WORKS or else I will come unto thee quickly and will REMOVE thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent

Rev. 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not. 22 Behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their DEEDS

Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and REPENT. If therefore thou shalt not watch I will come on thee as a thief and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee

Rev 3:19 As many as __ I love I rebuke and chasten BE ZEALOUS THEREFORE AND REPENT. 

Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 10And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their DEEDS.

Rev. 2:16 REPENT or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth

 Early  church fathers

1 Clement 7:5 Let us review all the generations in turn, and learn how from generation to generation the Master hath given a place for repentance unto them that desire to turn to Him.

Justin Martyr, The first apology, Chapter 28 For He fore-knows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative.

There are conditions for getting white clothes

In the Old Testament we can read about God’s instructions for how the israelites were supposed to cleanse themselves. God didn’t use a magic wand to cleanse them but THEY had to make sure to arrange things in such a way that they could be declared rightfully purified and cleansed by God. Whoever wanted to be cleansed had to wash both himself and his clothes, and not until then could he come into the camp. This actually works as a good picture of the requirements for entering the kingdom of God, because filthy sinners are not able to enter his kingdom but only those who are cleansed from their sins and considered righteous.

Leviticus 14:And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days

Numbers 31:24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp.

Numbers 8:21 21 And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the Lord; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them.

In the book of Zacharia, we can read about Zacharia seeing Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord in filthy garments.  The filthy garments symbolise bad deeds, and these bad deeds/iniquities were removed from Joshua and he was clothed with new garments. Joshua was also told about the conditions involved for being able to judge the house of the Lord and to be able to keep his courts. So a certain task was offered to Joshua, but then he must make sure to walk in God’s ways and keep his commandments. This is something that WE must accomplish and something that God doesn’t do for us.

Zacharia 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.And the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying,Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.

Just like the angels, Jesus in his translated/perfected form is often described as a man with shiny white clothes:

Rev. 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Matt 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mark 9:And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

Apg. 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

Matt 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Lukas 24: 1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Johannes 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

The two angels who were in and near Jesus’ grave (some accounts focus only on one of the angels) could be the same ones as the two men/angels in Acts 1:10:

Apg 1:And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

John received a revelation from God and was told that God actually sees the works of man even if it concerns believers (and the sins are not hidden behind the blood of Jesus), and also that the church in Sardis should be watchful to strengthen the things which are about to die. Why are they about to die? Because their works are not perfect before God. They are told to repent in order to avoid the risk of dying. We are also told that there are some individuals in the church of Sardis who had not defiled their clothes, and that whosoever overcomes (that is the one who endures to the end) will be dressed in white garments and his name will not be blotted out of the book of life, but will be acknowledged by the Father and the angels. 

Rev. 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

In the same chapter we can read that God is also aware of the works in the church of the Laodiceans, and the same thing applies there that the deeds play a big role for their salvation. The church members might very well have believed in God and the offer that Jesus made for them, but this doesn’t save them if they are lukewarm och don’t show the works that God expects to find in them. The church gets the advice to buy gold from God which is tried in fire, and in that way get enough money to buy white clothes. This is something that God will not force us to do, nor will he do it for us. Had it been up to God of course he would dress up every single human being in white clothes (he doesn’t want anyone to perish), but naturally he won’t clothe unrepentant sinners with white garments because of the conditions he has for salvation.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

In the same book we can read about twenty-four elders in white raiment and with golden crowns on their heads, and also about a great multitude with white robes standing before the throne and the lamb. We are told what kind of crowd this is and why they are wearing white clothes. These people are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation under the rule of Antichrist, and who have washed their clothes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. We wouldn’t be able to get cleansed apart from 1) the blood of the Lamb and 2) our repentance, faith and obedience. 

Rev.4:And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Rev. 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Rev. 6:And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Rev. 19:Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

We also have the well known parable in Matthew 22, about the king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. Some people who were on the guest list and presumed to come still declined the invitation when they were requested to go. Instead others were invited. One particular person accepted the invitation and also went to the wedding banquet BUT neglected to wear wedding clothes so was kicked out. It was the guests’ own responsibility to make sure they were dressed in proper wedding clothes. So thanks to this parable we can see that 1) people were able to refuse to accept the invitation despite that they were expected to go, and 2) people were able to make the choice to accept the invitation, and they also went, BUT were still kicked out of the banquet because they were not properly dressed which was their own fault and a huge mistake, and 3) people who accepted the invitation, and who went to the banquet, AND who were properly dressed, were the ones who eventually could take part of all the blessings of the party that ALL were invited to.

Matt. 22:Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Repentance is a condition for salvation

EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH (Luke 13:3)

”Repent” is a translation from the Greek word metanoeó (Strong’s 3340) and means to repent, to change one’s mind or to change the inner man. From metá and noiéo.

Repenting doesn’t mean just saying ”I’m sorry” or ”I’m sorry that I got caught”, or something that we do on a daily basis. Repenting means to raise a white flag and making a decision to make the utmost to not repeat the sins again. It doesn’t mean we need to sign a legal document where we take an oath to never sin ever again as long as we live, but the aim should be to avoid sinning. If we sin, repent, sin, repent, sin, repent, it shows that we have not truly repented in the first place.

Repentance is a CONDITION for being cleansed from our sins and thus saved, so it’s important that the churches preach repentance and not only ”God loves you as you are”, or else they have missed to inform the hearers about something that is essential for our salvation . We really deserve to be punished for transgressing the law, but God is willing to pardon us, albeit not unconditionally. In order to be cleansed from our sins we must first confess our sins and repent. Not until then can we be cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and that is through the grace of God and through his mercy towards us. God would never lie and suggest that we are cleansed and forgiven if we still live in sin. Sins make us filthy and always separate us from God who is holy. Repentance always comes before cleansing and forgiveness, and not the other way around. John says that IF we sin (not WHEN we sin) we have an advocate with the Father:

John 2:1My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT. And IF any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous 

Both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ started out preaching about REPENTANCE

Matthew 31In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.— 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say ”Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Repentance means that our PAST sins are forgiven, and obviously not our present and/or future sins

2 Pet 1:9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been CLEANSED FROM HIS PAST SINS. 

Romans 3:24, 25 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God.

2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance LEADING TO salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

1 John 1:9 IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

Mat 6:14,15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

2 Chron. 15:2 The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Luke 9:23-26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels

Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.–Mat 26:69-75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Mat 18:32-35 Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. —This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. 

Other verses about repentance

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not. 21 Woe unto thee Chorazin woe unto thee Bethsaida for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (+ Luke 10:13)

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonas and behold a greater than Jonas is here (+ Luke 11:32)

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

Mark 6:12 And they went out and preached that men should repent

Luke 13:3 + 5 I tell you Nay but EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH

Luke 15:7 I say unto you that ”likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance”—10 Likewise I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth

Luke 16:30 And he said Nay father Abraham but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves If thy brother trespass against thee rebuke him and if he repent forgive him 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying I repent thou shalt forgive him

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore and be converted THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at but now COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus and at Jerusalem and throughout all the coasts of Judaea and then to the Gentiles that they should REPENT AND TURN TO GOD AND DO WORKS meet for repentance

2 Cor. 12:21 And lest when I come again my God will humble me among you and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed

Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first WORKS or else I will come unto thee quickly and will REMOVE thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent

Rev. 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not. 22 Behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their DEEDS

Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and REPENT. If therefore thou shalt not watch I will come on thee as a thief and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee

Rev 3:19 As many as __ I love I rebuke and chasten be zealous therefore and repent

Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet REPENTED NOT of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols of gold and silverand brass and stone and of wood which neither can see nor hear nor walk. 21 Neither REPENTED THEY of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their fornication nor of their thefts

Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 10And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their DEEDS.

Rev. 2:16 REPENT or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Here are verses from one of the early church fathers:

1 Clement 7:4 Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ and understand how precious it is unto His Father, because being shed for our salvation it won for the whole world the grace of repentance.

1 Clement 7:5 Let us review all the generations in turn, and learn how from generation to generation the Master hath given a place for repentance unto them that desire to turn to Him.

Chapter 28 ”For He fore-knows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative.” Justin Martyr

If God no longer draws/calls people due to their choice to harden their hearts and turn their backs on him, then they will not be granted repentance.

Repentance is granted and commanded by God to ALL men everywhere. Telling God that we feel bad about what we have done is not good enough if we make no plans to stop. Also many atheists might feel extremely bad about  sins they have committed. Repentance is to cast out all filth IN ORDER to make our temples clean for the reception of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:43-45; Lk. 11:24-26; Acts 5:32). Repentance is a change of mind, inclinations and desires, which translates into a total change in conduct. It’s initiated by God through a crisis of conviction leading to a godly sorrow for sin and it means to  forsake our wickedness, purge our hearts of evil and to seek the mercy of God.  The passions and desires of the flesh are crucified (Ro. 6:6; Gal. 5:24) and this happens in repentance and not successively afterwards.  Old things pass away and all things become new. If a husband is cheating on his wife, the wife would expect the husband to stop sleeping with another woman. What would she think if he said, ”I really love you, honey, and I am *willing* to stop sleeping with the other woman, but it may take some time.” We would not accept such excuse from our partner. Why do people expect that of God?

For whom the Lord loves he chastens Hebr. 12:6

Chastening does not always lead to repentance

It is clear from the Bible that chastening does not always equal repentance and improvement, but this is still the aim with the chastening. We are warned that we must hearken to the chastening and to not despise it. This is what the KJV says about ”chastening” and ”chasten”:

Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place

Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 IF ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?—10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT.

AND

Deuteronomy 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

2 Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

Job 33:19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:

Psalm 6:1O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Psalm 38:1O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Psalm 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

Psalm 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

Psalm 118:18 The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Isaiah 26:16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

2 Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; aschastened, and not killed