As we dig into chapter 4 one of the big questions is, was Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony true repentance? In that this is the last account of Nebuchadnezzar and the Holy Spirit ends it in this way, I believe that the evidence points toward the salvation of the great king. If true repentance was not involved, I doubt that the King would have wanted and desired this very negative account to be related to the world, and for all times. Just what is true repentance?
True repentance is not only sorrow for sins and humble penitence and contrition before God, but it involves the necessity of turning away from them, a discontinuance of all evil practices and deeds, a thorough reformation of life, a vital change from evil to good, from vice to virtue, from darkness to light. Biblical repentance means responding to God’s love by being transformed in your convictions and actions. It means turning towards God and away from whatever dishonors Him. Biblical repentance is not about your emotions, your sin, your efforts, or your resolve. It’s about your total surrender. The word repentance in the Bible literally means “the act of changing one’s mind.” True biblical repentance goes beyond remorse, regret, or feeling bad about one’s sin. It involves more than merely turning away from sin. It means a complete change in your life. When Jesus came into my life I wanted my life to change completely. I did not want to sin anymore. Many times we see people confessing their sins to God and promising Him never to go back to them again, but as soon as they leave the altar of repentance, they begin to live their lives as before. This suggests that their repentance was not genuine. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
One example of true repentance was Paul. On the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus encountered the Lord. Saul knew very well who Jesus Christ was. But up until that time Saul did not believe that Jesus was the Redeemer promised by God. That day, on his way to capture Christians and take them to prison, Saul saw Jesus for who He really was. The man who had brought so much persecution to the early church was redeemed by the love of Christ. Saul was later known by the name Paul.