It is obvious that most do not grieve over sin. They rejoice in it, toy with it, revel over it and reminisce upon it. Though sin be a serious grievance to God, they find it it a point of pleasure and make every attempt to indulge in iniquity.
These, it is clear, will not enjoy the delights of heaven.
Yet there are legions who, though they experience grief for their sin, will accompany this wretched band to the flames.
Christ demands true repentance and he makes a distinction between godly grief and worldly sorrow. For instance, godly grief consists in more than the experience the emotions of remorse and grief. A person may have strong sensations of contempt and displeasure at their actions. Their conscience can be stricken by what they've done. But such things are not godly grief in and of themselves.
To be sure, these passions are good. We do not want to despise the fact that one recognizes evil and is sickened by it. At the same time though, we ought not to construe these feelings as Biblical sorrow or in the least bit pleasing to the Lord.
It must be understood that godly grief is of a different nature and has different consequences. Godly grief is not just a sensation of having done something wrong. It is the recognition that one has transgressed God's law and violated His majesty's rule and authority. Godly grief understands that God has been offended and he must turn away from such things. That is to say, godly grief does not just weep over it, he bids it farewell!
Moreover, godly grief is a grief that is mixed with hope. A repentant person will not just mourn his sin because he recognizes that there is mercy to be had. Always in the shadows of his sadness is hidden a deep rooted joy because grace is available.
"Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." 2 Corinthians 7:10