How Do I Repent?
Dear Brother Giacomo, You inquired, ‘what about all of the people who have never heard of Jesus?’.That is a good question. Your question also expresses a genuine concern for others. Thank God for people who care for others.
Giacomo many years ago when The Lord God created the world He gave Adam and Eve Seven Laws to guide them. The Seven Laws were also intended for their descendants. The Seven Laws are incumbent upon all humankind.One of The Laws was To honor The Lord God as Creator of everything. Another Law was do not steal. Adam and Eve went astray while they were in The Garden of Eden. They sinned. How did Adam and Eve find redemption for their sins? Adam simply prayed to The Lord God asking for forgiveness for their sins.
Psalms 51.3 – 5
‘Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is always before me… Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a constant spirit inside me… O Lord, Open my lips; and my mouth shall declare Your praise. For you do not desire sacrifice; or else I would have given it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, [these] You will not despise.’
Brother Giacomo Adam was The High Priest. When he presented his sins / our sins God forgave our sins, i.e., He forgave Adam and Eve’s sins. They were forgiven. They were restored. Yet, they could not live in the Garden of Eden. God also punished Adam and Eve for their sins. They were banished from The Garden of Eden.
The Lord God warned Ha Adam when He instructed them to ‘guard’ The Garden of Eden.
And the Lord God took the man and put him into The Garden of Eden to cultivate it and to guard it.
The serpent appeared in The Garden Of Eden. He spoke with Eve / Chavah. Prior to that, The Lord God Instructed Adam and Chavah regarding The Seven Universal Laws.
When Adam and Eve were created they were created with a good inclination and an evil inclination. The Torah supports the good inclination. There must be good and evil in the world. You cannot choose God if there are no choices to be made. The Lord God Said,
‘ I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.’
Before the creation in Genesis chapter one The Lord God Created repentance. Bereishis Rabba 1.1
Psalms 90.1 – 3
A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, before you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. You turn man back to dust; and You say, “Repent, O children of men!”
Repentance is to acknowledge one’s sin. This means we take ownership of our mistakes. Repentance is like making an about-face. We go in the opposite direction of our sin. We make a plan not to repeat our sins. We return to the correct path. Finally, we offer restitution. David said, ‘ I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is always before me… O Lord, open you my lips; and my mouth shall declare your praise. For you do not desire sacrifice; or else would I give it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.’
Isaiah wrote, ‘The redeemed of the Lord shall return, [i.e. the repentant] and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. Isaiah 51.11
The Lord God Spoke with Cain after his offering was not accepted encouraging him to improve. Improvement from one’s sin is a declaration of repentance. How do we know this? The people of Nineveh were warned by Jonah. They put on sackcloth and ashes, They improved, i.e. repented, and the impending judgment was canceled. They returned to the path of righteousness. They returned to the Observance of The Seven Laws.
Peter writes, ‘Noah was a preacher of righteousness.’ The Book of Jasher informs us that he was commanded by The Lord God to preach repentance. Both he and Metushelach Preached repentance for 120 years. Sefer HaYashar(Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1993) p 16.
Brother Giacomo , each of these had that opportunity to repent without calling on Rabbi Jesus or believing he was Messiah.
Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk