Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 12

When must people repent?

Hebrews 12:17

Esau had not cared about Godís promises to his family. The result was that his brother Jacob took the benefit of those promises away from Esau. Their father Isaac declared that those promises were for Jacob, not Esau. And Isaac was not speaking his own thoughts, but the word of God. He was acting in faith (active belief and trust in God) Ė Hebrews 11:20.

Hebrews 12:17 refers to Genesis 27:34. After Isaac had blessed Jacob with those promises, Esau too wanted Isaac to bless him. To Ďrepentí means to change your mind. Esau repented; he had changed his mind. He too wanted the benefit of Godís promises. But his decision was too late; he had lost his opportunity.

Today, God will forgive everyone who repents (Acts 2:38-39). That is Godís promise to people in our present age, and it is his promise to you, now. You should confess your evil deeds to God, and you should invite him into your life. God wants to change your life completely, but you must not delay your decision. That is because Godís promise is for today (Hebrews 3:7-15; Hebrews 4:6-7).

God is very kind, and he may give you another opportunity to repent (2 Peter 3:9). But he does not promise that. You cannot be sure that you will be alive tomorrow (Luke 12:16-21). If you are alive tomorrow, you may not want to repent then (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

It is a terrible thing to lose your opportunity to repent. God gives you the opportunity to repent now. You must not delay (Luke 16:19-31).

Next part: A special reason to be grateful to God (Hebrews 12:18)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.