The Message of the Prophets
The message of the prophets down through the ages was, "Repent! Repent, or you will all likewise perish!" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Luke 13:3, 5).
Wouldn't it be something if that was the end of their message from God? No one would know how to repent. Some would think it meant cry aloud the words, "I repent! I repent!" and that would be it. Others would say the sinner's prayer and that would be the end of their repentance. They would say they gave their heart to the Lord or let Jesus into their heart.
What was the whole message of the prophets (Acts 5:20)? How did the messengers from God tell people they were to repent?
Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar how to repent saying, "Break away now from your sins by doing acts of righteousness, and from all your sinful ways by showing mercy to the poor" (Dan. 4:27).
Isaiah said, "Cease to do evil by learning to do good. Seek to be just in all your ways, and correct those who are evil. Help orphans and serve widows who are in need. If you consent and obey, you will be blessed in the land and though your sins are as red as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight" (Is. 1:16-20).
Zephaniah told those who would repent, "Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth, who have carried out His ordinances. Seek to be righteous and stay humble. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger" (Zeph. 2:3).
Amos, the prophet, said, "Seek good and not evil, that you may live and not perish, and God will be with you. Hate evil, love what is good and establish true justice in your courts. Perhaps the Lord God of hosts will be gracious to you and you won't perish" (Amos 5:14-15).
The inhabitants of the world must learn righteousness. Though the wicked is shown favor, he does not learn righteousness (Is. 26:9-10). God wants us to repent and learn righteousness by serving others and living a life of doing good. He wants us to stop doing evil and only do good. He wants us to live according to His Ways, which are pure, good and unselfish.
Yes, the message of the prophets of old was, "Repent, or you will perish" (Luke 13:3, 5). This was Jesus Christ's message, and it is the message for us today.