In my previous post, I hoped to explore why the call to repentance is a good thing based upon Peter's call in Acts 3. The first of those reasons is that we may have our sins blotted out.
Imagine for a moment that you were in a bad car accident. As a result of the trauma, your hearing is damaged. As you stagger out of the mangled wreckage, a semi-truck is barreling towards you. If I am standing on the side of the road, what is the kindest thing for me to do? It's to let you know the truck is coming and to help you get out of the road!
While this analogy has its limitations, it is helpful for me to understand why calling people to repent of their sins is an act of kindness. Without their sins forgiven, they have the holy wrath of God barreling towards them. The only way that they escape is to "repent and believe" (Mark 1:15).
When thinking of this, there are two passages that come to mind:
Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. Romans 2:4-5
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9Our call to a person to repent of their sin is a call to escape God's wrath and live in the kindness and patience of God that lead them to Him. Rather than condemnation, the call to repentance is a plea to have our sins removed and reconciliation be made between us and God. We don't want them to be like us. Rather we want them to know Christ.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21Be kind to someone and call them to repent.