Rend Your Heart
The prophet Joel called the people of Judah to repentance. He pleaded with them saying, “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm” (Joel 2:12–13). In much the same way when John the Baptist saw the Sadducees and the Pharisees coming to be baptized he calls for them to not just make a display of their remorse but to have a true change of heart. He said to them, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:7–8).
Many times, even today, men say they are sorry, one may come forward during an invitation song and ask for forgiveness and prayers, but then no real change is made. It may be that one is just sorry they got caught or is seeking to be released from the guilt and consequences of his or her actions. But God wants a true change of heart and life. He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.