â€œRepent 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.â€ (Acts 3:19)
To be â€œconvertedâ€ can mean many things. The Greek word simply means to â€œturnâ€ or â€œchange directions.â€ Christian conversion, however, refers to turning away from the whole world system and turning to God through Christ. Similarly, to â€œrepent,â€ in the Greek, means essentially to â€œthink differentlyâ€ and, in a Christian context, to change oneâ€™s whole thought process from worldly reasoning to spiritual, as centered in Christ and the Scriptures. Genuine Christian repentance and conversion result in having oneâ€™s â€œsins . . . blotted outâ€ and thus true â€œtimes of refreshingâ€ from the Lord.
But without real repentance and conversion, there is no salvation. Jesus said: â€œ. . . except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perishâ€ (Luke 13:3, 5), and He also said: â€œExcept ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heavenâ€ (Matthew 18:3).
There are, sad to say, multitudes of men and women who think they are Christians but are not. This is evidenced by the lack of real change in their thinking and living from the beliefs and practices of the world. â€œIf any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become newâ€ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Christ Himself has warned that â€œmany will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, . . . And then will I profess unto them, I never knew youâ€ (Matthew 7:22-23). Therefore it behooves all who profess Christ to seriously review their personal belief and behavior in terms of their conformity to the world of men or to the Word of God. As Paul exhorted: â€œExamine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selvesâ€ (2 Corinthians 13:5). HMM