Church of Life Christian Fellowship. Sermon 5/5/2012
In the grand scheme of eternal things, our God designed for us a way in which we living here upon this sin-cursed earth could be prepared for divine redemption and Heaven.
As the religious world becomes more and more accommodating to that which is politically correct as viewed by the world’s standards, they become less than honest with truth, even stooping to the place of passing it off as archaic, old-fashioned, or irrelevant, no longer necessary.
Open season has been declared upon the Word of God, especially it would seem by those in government positions, upon those sacred doctrines, upon those that holds its truth’s as precious in their lives.
I say that I am much more interested in pleasing God than I am in being a man pleaser or in being politically correct or well thought of by the religious crowd. I seek to be guided by the principle stated in Gal.1:10.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
When our Lord calls for repentance, it is necessary everyone knows what the term means and what is required of them in the way of repentance.
When you consider that Jesus said, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” Lk.13:3, it becomes necessary that you both know what the word means and that you do what it requires.
Repentance is defined as compunction for guilt; a reversal of one’s direction.
Compunction is a strong uneasiness caused by a sense of guilt, or a sting of conscience or a pang of doubt aroused by doing something wrong or the idea of wrongdoing. Repentance has been described as a total and complete turn around.
Repentance deals with a turn around in at least three significant areas which are sin (I had denied, now I confess); Self (I was good enough, now I am lost); and Savior (I did not need him, now I cannot live without him).
Repentance is described as a turning.
“And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.” (Acts 9:35) Repentance leaves wickedness and follows godliness, seeking God’s forgiveness. “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” (Acts 8:22)
Repentance also deals with conversion to, a becoming like, and, in agreement with God. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)
The Word of God has the power to confront a sinner and bring him to humility. The Word, applied by the His Spirit, brings sinners to see themselves as God sees them.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12)
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9)
God keeps putting up with and allowing such things to go on, all because of his longsuffering grace. He has every right to pass judgment upon our ways, but in his longsuffering grace, he waits against that day that we recognize it and respond to it properly.
Repentance is the results of divine workings for no man just makes up his to repent; such a action had it’s origin in Heaven. Just as surely as the Lord brings about that which effects repentance he effectively works in every living person to repent.
The Holy Spirit is massaging your heart and spirit with conviction right now because you need to be turned from what you are. The Spirit is reminding you of both God’s goodness toward you because he is calling you to repentance. He is placing the sacrifice of Christ into your heart, trying to tender it with his love so that you might respond in repentance. We have all heard the story of the old drunk, who beat his boy and cursed his wife until conviction brought repentance to his life and he was a changed man.
That change has literally been played out in tens of thousands of lives across time, as one after another, sinners came to repentance and God changed their personality and their practices.
What happiness to behold that selfish, self-centered sinner be transformed by repentance and wrought into a sweet, serving, caring saint.The world cannot seem to imagine what happens nor how the person was changed but they will have to testify that this man or woman is surely a very different person.
Perhaps the most classic illustration was Saul of Tarsus who was moved from a proud persecutor’s heart to that of a servant’s heart, giving his life that others might hear of Christ and the opportunity of repentance.
One of the first things that happens when repentance effects salvation is that that saved person becomes concerned over the spiritual condition of their loved ones. Caring, Compassion, desire to see others free of sin’s condemnation is one of the strongest witnesses an unsaved person will ever experience. Such caring however, is not limited just to relatives for every redeemed one wants to see others redeemed.
Saul was climbing the ecclesiastical ladder, persecuting Christians until he met the Lord in Acts 9.
“His life was no longer for Paul but was now for his brethren, even to wishing that he could be accursed if it would turn them to Christ. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” (Rom 9:3)
We can see that repentance is so necessary in today’s world. We see people every day, especially in our government that have forgotten God’s word. We need to be the first to repent, and give ourselves wholeheartedly to God and His Son, and start to hold elected officials accountable.
So let me ask you?
1. Are you a benefactor of repentance?
2. Are you sure that you repented and have been changed by Christ, and,
3. That your life is revealing Christ to others?
4. Who are you living for? If self is your answer, I’d sure do some searching of my soul about the matter of whether I had repentance to my credit or not.