Discipleship – Level 1 Lesson 6

Level 1 Lesson 6

REPENTANCE
By Don Krow

Some people have a misunderstanding of what repentance is. Repentance is not
perfection but a change in direction. We’re going to talk about the parable of the prodigal
son, or the lost son. Jesus is telling a story that perfectly illustrates what it means for an
individual to repent. In Luke 15:11-12 Jesus said, “And he said, A certain man had two
sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods
that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.”

The younger son wanted his inheritance before his father died, which is quite
unusual, but his father granted the request and gave his sons their inheritance. Verse 13
says, “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his
journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” The
younger son took all of his wealth, his part of the inheritance, went into a distant country,
and wasted it in riotous living. One translation says, “partying and spending the money
on prostitutes.”

Verses 14-15 read, “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in
that land [The land became destitute and people were starving]; and he began to be in
want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his
fields to feed swine” (brackets mine). He got a job working for a man in that country and
was sent to feed the pigs. Verse 16 says, “And he would fain have filled his belly with the
husks of that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.” He was so hungry, at the
point of starvation, and he said “Just give me the pig’s food—anything,” but no one gave
him anything. He had squandered all of his inheritance. Verse 17 continues, “And when
he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough
and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” One translation says, “when he came to his
senses.” In other words, his father’s servants had more than enough food, and he was
dying from hunger.

He made a decision; he repented. Repentance is a change of mind, a change of
heart that causes a person to turn around and move in a new direction. In verses 18-19, he
said, “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me
as one of thy hired servants.” “Just make me a slave, father. I’ve sinned against you,
squandered your living, and sinned against God. Just make me a slave.” Then he rose and
went to his father. Repentance is more than just a change of attitude, a change of mind,
and a change of heart; it leads a person to act on what they believe, to turn around (or
return) and go in a new direction. We’ve all turned away from God, our Father, and from
heaven, our home. The Bible says in Isaiah 53:6 that “all we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way,” but God in His mercy took our sins and laid
them on Jesus.
23
The story continues in verses 20-24. “And he arose, and came to his father.” One
night I was telling this story to a man who had never heard it before, and he just knew
that when the son returned, his father would say, “Son, look what you’ve done. You’ve
wasted all my wealth, all I accumulated in my life. Be one of my slaves.” Most earthly
fathers would probably be very angry and have an attitude like that, but notice the attitude
of this father: “But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
compassion [love came out of his heart for his son], and ran, and fell on his neck, and
kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy
sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants,
Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his
feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my
son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry”
(brackets mine). They began to have a party.

I once told this to a man who said, “I see what Jesus is saying. If I’ll just turn to
the heavenly Father for mercy and say ‘Father, I’ve sinned against you, and I’m not
worthy to be your son,’ He’ll accept me.” Our heavenly Father will have compassion, and
He won’t make you a slave. He’ll restore you to full sonship with Him. God is waiting.
Have you turned away? Why don’t you turn to God, your Father, and to Heaven, your
home, today?

Discipleship Questions

1.  Define Repentance.
________________________________________________________________________

2.  Read Luke 13:1-5. What must one do in order not to perish? ____________________

3.  Read 2 Peter 3:9. What is God’s desire for all people? _________________________

4.  Read Luke 16:19-31. In Luke 16:28, why did the rich man want someone to come
back from the dead and speak to his brothers? __________________________________

5.  Read Luke 16:30. What must these brothers do in order to avoid this place of torment
(hell)? __________________________________________________________________

6.  Read Acts 26:18. Although it doesn’t specifically say, this verse is talking about
repentance. What will happen to those who repent?
________________________________________________________________________

7.  Read Acts 26:20. In the last part of this verse, three things are stated that the Gentiles
should do. What are these three things? ________________________________________

8.  Read Matthew 7:21-23. What did Jesus say these people practiced instead of the will
of God? _________________________________________________________________
24
9.  What does this show you about the importance of true repentance versus lip service
toward God?
________________________________________________________________________

10.  Read Isaiah 55:7. What must the wicked do? ________________________________

11.  What two things must the unrighteous do? __________________________________

12.  What will God do for the person who does those things stated above? ____________

13.  Read Luke 15:7. What is heaven’s reaction to one sinner who repents? ___________

14.  Read Acts 3:19. If you repent and are converted, what will happen to your sins?
________________________________________________________________________

Scriptures to Use with Questions

Luke 13:1-5 – “[1] There were present at that season some that told him of the
Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And Jesus
answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the
Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? [3] I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish. [4] Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell,
and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? [5]
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count
slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance.”

Luke 16:19 – “[19] There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine
linen, and fared sumptuously every day: [20] And there was a certain beggar named
Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, [21] And desiring to be fed with the
crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his
sores. [22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into
Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; [23] And in hell he lift up his
eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [24] And
he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may
dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
[25] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good
things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
[26] And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which
would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from
thence. [27] Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my
father’s house: [28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also
come into this place of torment. [29] Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the
25prophets; let them hear them. [30] And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went
unto them from the dead, they will repent. [31] And he said unto him, If they hear not
Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Luke 16:30 – “And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the
dead, they will repent.”

Acts 26:18 – “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the
power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance
among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”

Acts 26:20 – “But shewed 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.”

Matthew 7:21-23 – “[21] 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. [22]
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? [23] And
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Isaiah 55:7 – “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for
he will abundantly pardon.”

Luke 15:7 – “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that
repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

Acts 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.”

Answer Key

1.  Define Repentance. (A) It is an “about face” to a new commitment.
(B) It is a change of mind.
(C) A change of heart that results in one turning to God, from one’s old ways to
God’s ways.
(D) A change of direction, not perfection.
(E) To make a decision that changes the total direction of one’s life.
(F) Turning from old ways and totally committing to God and His ways.
(G) Turning to a Person, to God through Jesus Christ.

2.  Read Luke 13:1-5. What must one do in order not to perish? Repent.

3.  Read 2 Peter 3:9. What is God’s desire for all people? That all come to repentance.
26
4.  Read Luke 16:19-31. In Luke 16:28, why did the rich man want someone to come
back from the dead and speak to his brothers? So that they could avoid coming to this
place of torment.

5.  Read Luke 16:30. What must these brothers do in order to avoid this place of torment
(hell)? They must repent.

6.  Read Acts 26:18. Although it doesn’t specifically say, this verse is talking about
repentance. What will happen to those who repent? (A) Eyes will be opened.
(B) Turn from darkness to light.
(C) Turn from power of Satan to God.
(D) Receive forgiveness of sins.
(E) Receive inheritance.

7.  Read Acts 26:20. In the last part of this verse, three things are stated that the Gentiles
should do. What are these three things? (A) Repent.
(B) Turn to God.
(C) Prove their repentance by their deeds.

8.  Read Matthew 7:21-23. What did Jesus say these people practiced instead of the will
of God? Iniquity or lawlessness.

9.  What does this show you about the importance of true repentance versus lip service
toward God? Salvation is from the heart, not lip service.

10.  Read Isaiah 55:7. What must the wicked do? Forsake their way.

11.  What two things must the unrighteous do? Forsake their thoughts and return to
the Lord.

12.  What will God do for the person who does those things stated above? Have mercy
and pardon abundantly.

13.  Read Luke 15:7. What is heaven’s reaction to one sinner who repents? There is
rejoicing in heaven.

14.  Read Acts 3:19. If you repent and are converted, what will happen to your sins? My
sins will be blotted out.

27Copyright © 2004, Don W. Krow
Permission is granted to duplicate or reproduce for discipleship purposes on the condition
that it is distributed free of charge.

Discipleship Evangelism
P.O. Box 17007
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935-7007 U.S.A.
http://www.delessons.org

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