How many Christians does it take to change...

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    According to a study done several years ago, there is very little difference in ethical behavior between the “churched” and the “unchurched”. There is as much immorality and dishonesty among the “churched” as the “unchurched”. The study showed that this applied pretty much across the board. Religion is not really life changing. People view it as important for things like overcoming depression, but by and large religion does not change actual behavior.

    I would say that by and large this study is correct. I would say that most religious people have not truly changed and they still take part in the immoral, sinful activities that they used to. I would say that by and large, religious people only follow religion in name and not in action.

    Repentance is one of the most difficult commands, if not the most difficult command in the Bible. Repentance is a concept that is discussed, taught, and exemplified many times in the Bible, yet it is also the command that we struggle with the most. Repentance is where the “rubber meets the road”. Repentance is where the change is made in our lives. Repentance is necessary in order to become a new man in Christ (Romans 6:16-17).

    Yet true repentance is more than just saying “I’m sorry” (2 Cor 7:8-10). True repentance is a willingness to change. True repentance is a sorrow towards the wrong that has been done and the resolve to do different in the future. Repentance is change from walking like the world to walking like Christ (Romans 8:1). Repentance is a change from darkness to light (1 John 1:6-10).

    We do not make ourselves a “new man” for this is done by the power of God through Christ. However without repentance, we will not become a new man. Repentance is a responsibility that we have and must do. We cannot be made a new man without repentance. We cannot be saved without repentance (Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38; 3:19). In other words, we can go through the actions, we can be baptized, we can show up every Sunday, we can worship God, sing praises, do good things, pray, and even teach others, yet if we don’t repent are still lost. Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Their good deeds did not save them. Their calling on the name of the Lord did not save them. Their prophecies and casting out demons did not save them. They were lost because they “worked iniquity”.

    If Christianity does not change us then it is useless. If Christianity does not lead us to repentance, then it serves no purpose. We must change. We must obey. We must follow in Christ’s footsteps. Christianity must be more to us than just a self help, feel good, pretense to the world. True Christianity demands repentance. Change. Turning from wrong. Turning to good. To truth.