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Chuck Swindoll in talking about this issue of unrepentant unfaithfulness writes, "It is better to forgive the unfaithful mate and look for ways to make the marriage work, rather than to anxiously anticipate ways to break off the relationship.But there are occasions when every attempt has been made to keep the marriage together but sustained sexual activity won’t allow it."
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
The word impenitent means without repentance, without remorse. In one of my favorite movies, Indiana Jones is looking for the Holy Grail. He has certain clues that will take him through the deadly traps that lay ahead. The first clue is this: “The Breath of God. Only the penitent man will pass.” Jones begins to repeat the phrase under his breath searching for its meaning, “Penitent man, penitent man, penitent, penitent. The penitent man is humble before God, He kneels before God. Kneel!” At that moment, as Dr. Jones falls to his knees, a giant blade swoops through where his neck was just a second before. Because of haughtiness and pride the impenitent man refuses to bend a knee. Refuses humble himself before the mighty hand of God. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Does this not sound like man in our world today, that shake their insignificant fist in the face of an all powerful God: A world that mocks and laughs at the testimony of scripture; that blasphemes Jehovah, and spits upon the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ? They are unrepentant in their violation of God’s law.
In 1951 comedian Red Skelton and a party of friends flew to Europe, where Skelton was to appear at the London Palladium. As they were flying over the Swiss Alps, three of the airplane’s engines failed. The situation looked very grave and the passengers began to pray. Skelton went into one of his best comic routines to distract them from the emergency as the plane lost height, coming closer and closer to the ominous-looking mountains. At the last moment the pilot spied a large field among the slopes and made a perfect landing. Skelton broke the relieved silence by saying, “Now, ladies and gentlemen, you may return to the evil habits you gave up 20 minutes ago.” Skelton’s joking advice underscored the truth that whatever religious “commitments” those terrified passengers may have made were strictly temporary. The minute they stepped safely out of that aircraft, all deals with God were canceled. But, you cannot cancel the Day of Judgment that awaits every unrepentant and hardened sinner. You need Christ—today.
WHAT DOES GOD'S VOICE SOUND LIKE?
Erwin McManus, a pastor in Los Angeles, tells a great story about recognizing God's voice.
My son, Aaron, was five or six when he began asking me, "What does God's voice sound like?" I didn't know how to answer.
A few years later, Aaron went off to his first junior high camp. In the middle of the week, I went up with another pastor at Mosaic to see our kids. Aaron, I learned, had started to assault another kid but had been held back by his friends. He was unrepentant, wanted to leave camp, pulled together his stuff, and shoved it into the car.
I asked him for a last talk with me before we drove away. We sat on two large rocks in the middle of the woods. "Aaron," I asked, "is there any voice inside you telling you what you should do?"
"Yes," he nodded.
"What's the voice telling you?"
"That I should stay and work it out."
"Can you identify that voice?"
"Yes," he said immediately. "It's God." It was the moment I'd waited for.
"Aaron," I said, "do you realize what just happened? You heard God's voice. He spoke to you from within your soul. Forget everything else that's happened. God spoke to you, and you were able to recognize Him."
I will never forget Aaron's response: "Well, I'm still not doing what God said."
I explained to him that that was his choice, but this is what would happen. If he rejected the voice of God coming from deep within and chose to disobey His guidance, his heart would become hardened, and his ears would become dull. If he continued on this path, there would be a day when he would never again hear the voice of God. There would come a day when he would deny that God even speaks or has ever spoken to him.
But if he treas...
Blessed Are The Pure in Heart
"The Sermon on the Mount" is the first of five major discourses in the Gospel of Matthew. In this sermon, Jesus gives us another powerful statement on the fruit of those who allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.
He gives us one of the most important themes found in Scripture, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God." (Matthew 5: 8)
Purity of heart is the main thrust of true Christianity. "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts..." (Psalms 51: 6) The pure in heart are those whose minds, motives, affections and principles have been cleansed by faith in Christ and through the washing of rebirth. (Titus 3: 5) They seek to not only have their external actions corrected, but they desire to be holy in heart. They know that although man looks on the outward appearance, God looks into a man's heart. (Galatians 2: 6; Samuel 16: 7) The pure in heart care nothing for such sights that lead man into sin.
Anyone who is single-mindedly pursuing the kingdom of God and His righteousness in God's way will be inwardly pure. Inward sham, deceit, and moral sin cannot coexist with heartfelt devotion to Christ. This Beatitude destroys hypocrisy.
Pastor Henry Booth writes, "According to the nature and character of the fountain will be the character of the stream. The heart may be compared to a reservoir which supplies a large town with its hundreds of streets and thousands of pipes. If the water be pure in the reservoir it will be conveyed in its purity through the pipes to the inhabitants; but if turbid there, it will be impure at its destination. The heart is the reservoir from which life flows. The mouth, hands, feet, looks, actions, etc. are the pipes. If the heart is pure, purity will be manifested in life."
The pure in heart will see God. The greatest happiness to a Christian is the fact that someday he will see Christ face to face in the beauty of His holiness. None but the pure in heart will be able to look upon the face of God. What pleasure could an unrepentant soul have in the vision of a holy God? God cannot behold iniquity, nor can the impure stand to look upon God's purity. The unclean will never enter into God's dwelling place.
The Bible says, "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to what his deeds deserve." (Proverbs 17: 10)
Only the blood of Christ can cleanse you from sin. Receiving Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord will put you under His blood and your sins will be covered, forgotten and cleansed, causing you to become a new creature in Christ. This will turn you from sin-centeredness and self-centeredness to God and Christ-centeredness. This is the blessedness of becoming pure in heart.
Those who cry out to God as king David did in Psalm 51: 10, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me," they will see God.
Call upon Christ today and He will forgive you and give you a fresh clean start before God. He will purify your heart so that the sins that desire to consume and destroy you will no longer have dominion in your life. Purity of heart and victory over sin will be found only in Jesus Christ!
Sermon Central Staff
SHAME UPON THE FATHER
A man was successful in business and had a well-educated son who was highly respected and honored, like his father. But one day to everyone’s surprise, the young man was charged with embezzlement. At his trial, he appeared nonchalant and arrogant about his sinful actions.
When the judge told him to stand up for sentencing, he still seemed unrepentant. Then hearing a slight scuffle on the other side of the room, he turned to see that his aged father had also risen. The once erect head and straight shoulders of that honest man were now bowed low with shame. He had stood to be identified with his boy and to receive the verdict as though it were being pronounced upon himself.
Suddenly his son realized the terrible grief he was inflicting on him, and tears welled up in his eyes. He had tarnished the family name by his behavior. Now his poor father was caught in the backwash of his son’s evil deeds, although he had done everything he could do to keep him on the straight and narrow path.
(From a sermon by Gerald Flury, How To Honor Our Father, 6/19/2010)
W Pat Cunningham
THE STORY OF JANUARIUS
Januarius, as bishop of Benevento, was performing one of the works of mercy when he was arrested. He was visiting some deacon friends in prison. They were then all rounded up and put in the arena with the wild beasts, who refused to eat them. (I find it comforting that deacons are considered inedible by cats.) Unrepentant, the Roman authorities had them beheaded.
MY NAME IS LEGION
"Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd;
There’s one of us that’s humble, and one of us that’s proud.
There’s one that’s broken-hearted for his sins,
There’s one that unrepentant sits and grins.
There’s one that loves his neighbor as himself,
And one that cares for naught but fame and self.
From much corroding car...
Jesus, the Only Way to Heaven
Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going... I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:1-4, 6)
The Holy Scriptures teach clearly that heaven is a real place, a permanent place, a personal place, a holy place, a place only for the born again and a place of reunion. Jesus proclaims that He alone is the way to heaven.
The Holy Spirit moved the apostle Peter in his discourse about salvation to the Sanhedrin (the religious leaders of his day) to boldly proclaim, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). There was no compromise or accommodation in Peter's preaching. In this anointed declaration, Peter wholly commits to Christ the unique status of being the one and only Savior. Peter and the other apostles never watered down the fact that apart from Jesus there is no salvation for anyone.
From the earliest beginnings of His earthly existence, Jesus was proclaimed to be the Savior. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the child conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit. He also told Joseph, "She [Mary] will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). (The name "Jesus" comes from the Greek form of "Joshua" which means "Yahweh [the Lord] saves.")
Some may say that Jesus is a dogmatic and narrow-minded teacher when He says, "I am the way and the truth and the life." As Truth embodied however, the Lord alone can reveal truth to His people and unbelievers alike. He is our guide to living an abundant and fruitful life. His promise to the disciples who followed Him was that they should know the truth, and by the truth should be set free (John 8:32). When the crisis of His ministry and the hour of His sacrifice arrived, he summed up the whole purpose of His mission in the declaration that He had come into the world in order to "testify to the truth" (John 18:37). Jesus' own declaration is, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).
Jesus is serious when He says, "...No one comes to the Father except through me." No one is able to go to God and enjoy Him as their "Father who is in heaven" apart from having Christ as High Priest, Advocate and Mediator of their lives. Unrepentant sinners will face God as Judge, but they will never enjoy the benefits that are available to the children of God, such as eternal salvation, regeneration, and sanctification.
Jesus gives an allegory to particularly represent His ministry that could be named "The Shepherd and His Flock." In this parable Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep...whoever enters through Me will be saved... I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me..." (John 10:7-8,14). The Lord uses the word "know" (Greek ginosko) which refers to a relationship of trust and intimacy.
Do you know the Christ who is the only way into heaven?
Does He know you?
MY NAME IS LEGION
"Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd; There’s one of us that’s humble, and one of us that’s proud.
There’s one that’s broken-hearted for his sins, There’s one that unrepentant sits and grins.
There’s one that loves his neighbor as himself, And one that cares for naught but fame and self.