Quotes about repentance from throughout Christian History.
"So God has also granted the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life." (Acts 11:18)
[Paul speaking] "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but showed first to those of Damascus, at Jerusalem, throughout all the coasts of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works suitable for repentance." (Acts 26:19-20)The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9)
Clement of Rome, AD 96Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed and learn that from generation to generation the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all that would be converted to him. Noah preached repentance, and as many as listened to him were saved. Jonah proclaimed destruction to the Ninevites, but they, repenting of their sins, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation even though they were aliens to God.
The ministers of the grace of God have, by the Holy Spirit, spoken of repentance. The Lord of all things has declared an oath about it himself: "'As I live,' says the Lord, 'I do not desire the death of the sinner, but rather his repentance'" [Ezek. 33:11]. In addition, he also adds this gracious declaration: "Repent, o house of Israel, of your iniquity. Say to the children of my people, 'Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth, yet if you turn to me with your whole heart and say, "Father!," I will listen to you, as to a holy people" [Ezek. 18:30 & paraphrase of Isa. 1:18]. (1 Clement 7 & 8)
Theophilus, AD 168When the people transgressed the Law which had been given to them by God, since God was good and merciful, unwilling to destroy them, in addition to giving them the law, he later also sent prophets to them from among their brothers, to teach and remind them of the contents of the Law and to turn them to repentance so that they might sin no more. ... Concerning repeantance, then, Isaiah the prophet ... say, "Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord his God, and he will find mercy, for he will abundantly pardon" [Isa. 55:6]. Another prophet, Ezekiel, says, "'If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, keep all my statutes, and do that which is right in my sight, he shall surely live, he shall not di. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him, but in the righteousness that he has done, he shall live. For I do not desire the death of the sinner,' says the Lord, 'but that he turn from his wicked way and live.'" ... Many therefore—yea, rather countless— are the sayings in the holy Scriptures regarding repentance, since God always desires that the race of men turn from all their sins. (To Autolycus III:11)
Hermas, c. AD 170[The Angel of Repentence] said to me, "Do you see this shepherd?"
"I see him, sir," I said.
"This," he answered, "is the angel of luxury and deceit. He wears out the souls of the servants of God and perverts them from the truth. He deceives them with wicked desires, through which they will perish. For they forget the commandments of the living God and walk in deceit and empty luxuries. They are ruined by the angel, some being brought to death, others to corruption."
I said to him, "Sir, I do not know the meaning of the words, 'to death, and to corruption.'"
"Listen," he said. "The sheep which you saw merry and leaping about are those who have torn themselves away from God forever. They have delivered themselves over to luxuries and the deceit of this world. Among them there is no return to life through repentance because they have added to their other sins and blasphemed the name of the Lord. Such men, therefore, are appointed unto death. And the sheep which you saw not leaping, but feeding in one place, are they who have delivered themselves over to luxury and deceit but have committed no blasphemy against the Lord. These have been perverted from the truth. Among them there is the hope of repentance, by which it is possible to live. Corruption, then, has a hope of a kind of renewal, but death has everlasting ruin." (Shepherd of Hermas III:6:2)