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Blog - Repentance Costs
During one his evangelistic trips to Asia, the apostle Paul spent two years in Ephesus preaching the word of God which had become so popular that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (Act 19:10). In accord with His promise to confirm the word of God spoken by the apostles with signs (Mar 16:15-20; Heb 2:3-4), "God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul" (Act 19:11) and enabled him to cast out evil spirits (Act 19:12). Seeing this, some Jewish pretenders assayed to do the same thing by invoking the name of Jesus saying, "we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth" (Act 19:13). The evil spirit knew Jesus and he knew Paul, but he didn't know these clowns and proceeded to beat the soup out of them (Act 19:15-16). Jesus spoke of such false professors who would come unto him on judgment day and say to Him, "Lord, Lord, have we not...in thy name...cast out devils?" (Mat 7:22), but just as the evil spirit whom they were attempting to cast out didn't know them, neither did He in Whose name they were using know them either, for Jesus will say to such, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Mat 7:23). Having seen these false professors of Jesus shown to be the frauds they were, "fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds." (Act 19:17-18). This is the essence of true repentance, when sinners confess their sins and "bring forth...fruits meet for repentance" (Mat 3:6,8). Where true repentance manifests itself most is where it costs most. Repentance costs. Sometimes it costs people financially as it did these Ephesians; they burned all their occultic books which were valued at 50,000 pieces of silver (Act 19:19). Just for perspective, if those were 1oz pieces of silver, even at today's depressed and manipulated prices, they would be worth $1,143,000. You see, repentance costs. It may or may not cost you money, but it will definitely cost you your old self, "seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Col 3:9-10). It will cost you your old sins which you must kill and destroy, just as those Ephesians destroyed those filthy books, for the Bible tells us to "Mortify (kill) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col 3:5). You see, repentance costs. It may even cost you your relationship with your family to follow Jesus and the call of His gospel, as Jesus said, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." (Mat 19:29). Jesus lays it all on the line when it comes to following Him; nothing is more important than following Him and submitting to the call of His gospel to repent and baptized: not family, no not even your own life; "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." (Mat 10:37-39). You see, repentance costs. Isn't it interesting that the event that triggered the repentance of these Ephesians was seeing false professors of Christ shown to be frauds? How many Christians made their initial steps of repentance which cost them dearly when they found out that the system of religion they had been brought up in was wrong? When people do genuine repentance that costs dearly, that is when the gospel will prevail as it did in Ephesus, "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed" (Act 19:20). Repentance costs, but it also pays.