The Cross Experience, Repentance, and the Kingdom of God

You are a Christian. You want to win souls to Christ. But what is the exact message that you need to deliver? Christ is our example. What did He say to them?

Christ did not mince words. The first words out of His mouth were these: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Abrupt, perhaps. Straight to the point. Yet that short message is packed with meaning. He is saying, You must repent of your sins because God’s kingdom is right here, right now, waiting for you to enter. But you must make a spiritual entrance. If you do not change your old ways, you will miss this opportunity to be with Me in My kingdom, for I am its King.

The Spirit of Christ in the apostle John continues explaining what He is talking about. Unless you are born from above—born again—you cannot see nor enter the spiritual kingdom of God. This is being born of the Spirit. Except a man be born again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3: 3-5.

Everybody has heard that, but few know what it means. In order to be born of the Spirit, thereby guaranteeing your entrance into His kingdom, there must be a dying of the old seed within us. And that old seed is the old heart, the old Adamic sinful nature. “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. But if it die, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12: 24).

Our old sin nature is like a bad seed that keeps producing sinful actions. And there is only one way to rid ourselves of it, and that is to surrender it to the death of the cross with Christ. That will bring the change of heart when we believe that He plants a new righteous seed in our hearts. This new seed germinates by faith in His resurrection. It sprouts forth love, joy, and peace. This is the born again experience. It comes out of repentance from sin. When a man gets this right, then he will have seen and entered the kingdom of God.

The Cross Experience

Many preachers speak about Christ suffering and dying on the cross for us. They say that He was our substitute; they say to just believe in His death and resurrection and you are saved. Many speak of this, but few explain what God requires of us concerning the cross. Just acknowledging Christ’s death is not enough to get rid of the old sinful nature. The old nature that we are born with has to die, or it will keep sprouting up. That’s why so many people back slide into sin. They back slide because their old sin nature is still there.

What the preachers fail to realize is that when Christ died on the cross, mankind’s old sinful nature died with Him. We are to examine ourselves. God is now asking, Has your old sin nature died on the cross with Christ? As professing Christians, have you laid down willingly your old sinful life, letting it die with Christ? Or have you just felt sorry for your sinful ways and “walked the aisle” like they encouraged you to do? Most mistake this experience as being “born again.” It is good to feel sorrow for the sinful way we have lived. “Godly sorrow leads us to repentance.” However, it is not repentance from sin (II Cor. 7: 10).

To the Cross

Godly sorrow leads you to the cross, the spiritual place of your repentance, which is the first of the apostles’ doctrine. Next, you must realize that Christ took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and He died as a lost man. For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Cor. 5: 21.

When Christ died on the cross, the sin of all mankind died with Him. In God’s eyes, everyone’s  old sinful self died when He died. He could take all the sins of the whole world on Himself because He is the only man in history who was perfect–a perfectly sinless human being. He was the only One pure enough to be the sacrificial “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29). He was the only One pure enough to wash away your sin and mine.

This is how the shedding of His blood cleanses us of all sin. The life is in the blood. When Christ bled out on the cross, the life of sin, the strength of sin, the force of sin died. That is the power of the blood of Christ—because sin’s life force, sin’s blood, drained out, leaving sin lifeless within us. God just requires us to believe it, to believe His word about it. It is through belief that we become new creatures whose life force is restored by the power of His resurrection.

Our old nature died with Him on the cross. It is a spiritual death, not a physical one. Our old selves are already dead in God’s eyes. Why would any one knowing this continue to go on sinning? “Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” And they won’t come to the light lest their “deeds should be discovered” (John 3: 19-20).

But I Am Baptized

Yet, some believe that after they are baptized in water, somehow mystically they are okay. But baptism is an outward symbol of a spiritual event called the cross experience. Do you not know that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? We are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6: 3-6.

Our sin nature died on the cross. We are free! Free from the guilt, the shame, the mental torture, the indignity, the pain, and the fear. Free!

Sin is the breaking of the Ten Commandments, and it is the written record of what the old sinful nature can and will do (I John 3: 4). Sinning is the old nature still manifesting itself through actions that break the law. “And we know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (I John 3: 5). By dying with Him, we are freed from the bondage of sinning!

Free! Free from sin and sinning! Free now to grow spiritually to the point where we will bear much fruit like Peter, James, John and Paul. Free! Are you kidding me? Believe this truth in Christ, and you’ll be walking in a new life, freed from sin, for He has given us a new heart (Ezek. 18: 31).

This is true repentance. This is being born again of His incorruptible seed, the word of God (I Peter 1: 23). By faith we have to reckon our old self dead and gone with Christ on the cross, and also reckon ourselves alive unto God by faith in Christ’s resurrection. He said it; we believe it, and now we walk in its light. He gave His word on this. He is way ahead of us. He already sees us as righteous before Him. He is just waiting on His elect to believe His word, to believe like He believes. He with great patience waits for His chosen ones to awake unto righteousness, thus fulfilling His purpose of reproducing Himself.

This freedom from sin and sinning is the fruit of repentance wrought at the cross. It is the key to being born again and entering into His kingdom. This is why, to win souls, Christ spoke these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”      Kenneth Wayne Hancock

{If you liked this article, hit the “like” button. Please make a comment. I will answer them all. And be sure to send for my latest book The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect; it is totally free. Just send me your mailing address to my email: wayneman5@hotmail.com If you appreciated this article, you will be thrilled with the new book. I wrote it for you. You need this book if you want to grow spiritually and be like Peter, James, John, and Paul.
“Greater works” we will do with His help and guidance. Order it now, my brothers and sisters.}

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8 Comments

Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, Christ, cross, crucified with Christ, death, death of self, eternal purpose, faith, kingdom of God, old self, repentance, resurrection, righteousness, sin, sons of God, Spirit of God, spiritual growth

8 responses to “The Cross Experience, Repentance, and the Kingdom of God

  1. God bless you abundantly. I was helped by it greatly!

  2. Even I have posted on my face book (Balisa Mosisa Ejeta) with acknowledgement of Writer at the end!

  3. Annette

    I 100% agree. It is just so hard message today where the Big I stands central in peoples lifes. Ipad,Iphone, is just the beginning. So we are heading for tribulation to shake us all out of this lie. Mercy and Truth will kiss each other then.

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