“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” (Matt. 3:8)
No matter how sorry you are for any particular sin, no matter how many tears you shed, you will not be forgiven for that sin unless you repent. Tears do not sway the Almighty, being sorry is not repentance.
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
There are continuing defilements of our new nature in Christ by our flesh, by our old nature that all were born with, they ebb and flow like the waves of the sea, and as we stand on the beach, if we are not aware of their continual assault, they will flow over us. The one who understands these truths knows full well that when those waves of sinful desires begin to lap at his feet, it is time to take a step or two backwards.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)
This is the beginning, this is the acknowledgment of the action of sin against the Most High, and while the Lord will not despise those tears or the heart that cries out because of that sin, unless it is repented of, those tears will avail you nothing. To not perform that sin again, to be able to recognize within yourself when the temptation arrives, to turn away from it, to see that the waves are getting a little too close, and that if you do not back up, once again you will be engulfed is repentance.
Repentance is a personal choice, the Lord Jesus Christ could and did die for your sins, but He cannot repent for you. He may or may not allow Satan to tempt you with that same sin again and again, that is His decision to make, yours is to not just stand against it, but remove yourself from it.
Sometimes my friends, God does not pull us out of the fire, you must use the knowledge and wisdom that He has blessed you with to not move towards it. This is personal accountability, this is free will, and without that free will that all have been blessed with, there would be no truth to Romans 14:12, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
If you do not repent, if you do not with all your power do all that you can to stay yourself from whatever continuing temptation that assails you, you will not be forgiven.
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1st John 3:9)
This means a person who does not just feel sorry for continuing in a sin only after it has been committed again and again and again, this is not forced attrition because we do not want to feel bad again, repentance is, in its own way, a solemn oath to the Almighty that you will not succumb to this sin ever again, that you will do all within your power, all within the free will that you have been blessed with to run as fast as you can from that approaching wave the moment you see it coming.
“Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” (Eccl. 5:5)
This is the battle, and you are responsible to fight in it, against your flesh, against the wiles of the devil, against the world and all its temptations. And you will be held accountable for how well or how poorly you performed your duties as a soldier of the Kingdom of heaven.
We cannot stop those waves from lapping at our feet, we are still in the world, but if you will use your imagination, you can see those who have denied the Lord Jesus Christ out there in the deep ocean, drowning, and not even realizing it.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)