1. It was John the Baptists first message:
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt 3:2
2. It was Jesus first message:
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt 4:17
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mr 1:15
- It was His message to the sinner: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Lu 5:32
- It was Jesus last message to his disciples:
Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Lu 24:47
- It was one of Jesus last message: To the Church:
Ephesus 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. Re 2:5
Pergamos Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Re 2:16
Thyatira I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. Re 2:21-22
Sardis 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. Re 3:3
Laodicea As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Re 3:19
3. It was the Disciples first message.
And they went out, and preached that men should repent. Mr 6:12
4. It was Peters first Pentecostal message.
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. Ac 2:38
- It was Peters message to the unconverted as well. Notice also Ac 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.
- It was also Peters message to believers who had erred. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. Ac 8:22 (Notice Acts 8:13)
5. It Was Pauls First Message
"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21
"[I] showed 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." Ac 26:20
- It was Pauls Message to the sinner: the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Ac 17:30
In light of the fact the every major New Testament figure preached repentance as if it were completely indispensable to the Christian faith, one could hardly call himself a preacher of the gospel if this doctrinal component were not a major apart of his message.
It is also important to recognize the divine call that was upon each of these men. They were called by God to preach the message of repentance. For John the Baptist, he was sent to prepare the way of the Lord. Make your paths strait!! he cried. This is yet another clue from the scripture that repentance is a necessary precursor for Gods presence. For Jesus, He claimed that He had been sent by God to call sinners to repentance. (Lk 5:32) The disciples were sent and commissioned to preach repentance by Jesus. Paul was also commissioned by Christ Himself on the road to Damascus.
These men did not preach the message of repentance just to be confrontational. No! They had each been called by God to do so. In John 12:49 Jesus said, I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. Likewise, the disciples stated in Acts 4:20 We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
These were men who were prophets. Anyone can preach; a prophet however, speaks on Gods behalf. When a man takes on the burden and blessing of speaking for God, he also takes on the responsibility of faithfully communicating Gods word just as it was given to him. If we would speak for God, let us take upon ourselves this same burden and responsibility.