Repentance, Part 2
Salvation Bible Basics
Second, repentance brings a deep sorrow for sin. A deep sorrow is a sorrow that reaches into the very heart of the individual who realises they are not right with God. In Second Corinthians 7:9‑10, the Bible says, ‘Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.’
The church in Corinth had some members living in sin, and the other members of the church were trying to cover it up rather than deal with the sin. Paul wrote a very strict letter to them and told them what they were doing was wrong and a sin against God. As the people read the letter they realised they were wrong, and they began to sorrow over their sin, and made things right. Paul now is writing another letter to them telling them how happy he is that they had a godly sorrow instead of a worldly sorrow.
What is the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow? The worldly sorrow is a sorrow that people repent of. Repentance basically is a change of mind, a change of direction.
Worldly sorrow comes when a person realises what they are doing isn’t right. Maybe they have been caught and know they are in trouble, so they say they are sorry, and they are willing to turn around from it. They seem genuine and do turn from it for a little while. But tomorrow or next week or somewhere further down the road they decide that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all and they just made a rash decision. Consequently, they turn and run right back to it again. That is worldly sorrow.
Worldly sorrow is when a person runs down an aisle and says, ‘I want to be saved and I want to be a Christian.’ They go along fine for awhile, then one morning they wake up and say, ‘You know, I don’t think I want to go back to that church. They make me feel bad down there. They expect me to live the Bible, and I don’t really know if I want to be like that. I don’t know if I am going to like being a Christian.’ That is a worldly sorrow. It is a sorrow that leads a person to say, ‘I’ll be a Christian one day,’ and tomorrow they are willing to turn their back on Christ. That is not godly sorrow. That is not Bible repentance at all.
Bible repentance is a godly sorrow. A godly sorrow is a sorrow that leads a person to a point where they realise, ‘I have sinned against God, and I’m sorry for my sin.’ They are not just sorry because they have been caught. They are not just wanting to join in with the crowd.
Godly sorrow comes when a person is honestly sorry before God for the sin that he has committed against God. Godly sorrow causes a person to make a turn-around in his life. Godly sorrow for sin causes them to desire to walk for Christ the rest of their life, no matter what the outside circumstances become. They know they belong to Christ, and they must please Him. It is a sorrow that they do not turn away from.