In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.’ Acts 17:30
Throughout the whole Bible – in almost every book of the Old and the New Testament - we find God’s call for repentance. Time and again and in many ways God calls upon man to come back to Him. How truly worldwide God’s call for repentance is, becomes very clear in in the Bible verse of today. Here we read that all people everywhere should repent now. So no one is excluded from this call!
But what then is essentially repentance? Ezekiel says that it means: turning away from all sins (:21) and turning from our own ways (:23). But repentance not only means turning away and leaving behind things, but also doing something: keeping all God’s decrees and doing what is just and right (:21), so it means: becoming obedient.
Why does God want us to repent? Because He wants to give us real life. Therefore His call for repentance is preached throughout the world; not only to the people of Israel (Ezekiel), but to all peoples of the world (Acts of the Apostles), for God does not take any pleasure in the death of anyone. ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23).
We may cosily chat with our neighbors about the weather, and wish them a good day, but did we already tell them that God does not want them to perish? Oh, if we only lived closer to God, then we too would not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Do you also want your neighbors to live? Then show everyone in your surroundings what it means to be a real Christian, so that - when you bring the message of repentance - they can look to you to see what it really means to be born again. For the words we speak only have power of persuasion if they are confirmed by our daily life.