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How does one 'repent' of his or her sin? - James C. Bell

I heard a story one time about a country preacher who was preaching a revival and had not been able to get his message of repentance across to his audience.

So, he thought to himself, "I'm going to have to give a very basic illustration of a soul repenting, if I'm ever going to get my point across."

Here is what he did:

He was standing on the right side of the stage and turned to his left. He began walking slowly, and with each step as he put his foot down, he said, "I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell." Then he stopped and said, "But, here I meet Jesus and put my faith in Him! I ask Him to forgive my sins and give me His free gift of eternal life!"

Then the preacher turned around and began to skip back across the stage holding his hands high as he smiled and shouted, "I'm going to heaven! I'm going to heaven! I'm going to heaven!"

There's a saying among preachers and evangelists that is very true: "You've got to get them lost to get them saved!" This is true in any witnessing situation. For the person one is talking with must realize he has sin in his life and admit it or he will see no need of salvation.

As you know, I witness to soldiers at the Atlanta airport every week, and my approach to them is to thank them for their service to our country and tell them how much we appreciate their sacrifice of their time and abilities to keep our country free. I share that I am a Korean War Veteran, and so, I can understand some of the things they go through.

At this point, I can tell they identify with me and are very interested in what I have to say to them. Most of them say, "Thank you for your service as well." Then, I ask if I may ask them a very "Chaplain-like" question. They say, "Yes, you may."

My question is one that every lost person should hear and consider. "Now, we know this will not happen, but just suppose you died tonight and you stood before God and He said to you, 'Why should I let you into my heaven?' What would you say?"

Most of these young soldiers have never heard such a question. After they think for a moment, I say, "I won't press you for an answer, for do you know the Lord would never ask you that question? Do you know why? Because He already knows the answer! But He does teach in the Bible that we must have a relationship with Him to get into heaven (Romans 10:13) ."

Then, I tell them that this relationship is as easy as ABC: A--We must admit our sin; B -- We must believe in God through Jesus Christ; and C-- We must confess our sins. Actually, this is the way every lost soul repents of his or her sin.

They are convicted by the Holy Spirit that they are sinners; they admit their sin; they put their trust and belief in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and they confess their sins, which simply means asking God to forgive their sins!

Then I say, "Now, isn't that simple and easy?" They agree and I ask them to pray with me, to repeat each short phrase I say, and that we will ask God to forgive our sins in Jesus' name, and to give us His gift of eternal life. It is a sweet experience to lead them through this prayer, which many of them pray with me.

Now, if you are not saved, or if you are not positive you will go to heaven when you die, why don't you pray this simple, but powerful prayer with me? Let's pray: "Dear lord, I know I'm a sinner (you repeat). I have been trusting in my own self, but now, I put my trust in You. I believe in You. I believe in Your Son Jesus Christ. I know He died on the cross and You raised Him to life. I believe He died to pay for my sins. I ask You now to forgive my sins in Jesus' Name, and to give me Your gift of eternal life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen."

Why don't you memorize this short Gospel and prayer and ask the Lord Jesus to give you a chance to tell someone else about His love for them. This is a challenge for sure, but it will bless your life when you share it with someone. I pray you will.