Sermon Illustrations

Charlie Brown Learns The Hard Way that Lucy Didn’t Repent

Repenting means changing our minds about who God is. Secondly: repenting means changing our minds about the way we live our lives. If God is all powerful and all caring and all loving, then it’s in my best interests to live a life that’s pleasing to Him! When God says I have to honor my father and mother, maybe it wasn’t just warm, fuzzy advice! Maybe it’s something He wants me to do for real! Maybe I need to apologize to mom and dad for all the times I DIDN’T honor them! Maybe I need to love them and be patient with them even when I don’t agree with them.”

In other words, repenting means not only changing the way you think. It means changing the way you act! Let me explain. Several years ago the Peanuts comic strip had Lucy and Charlie Brown practicing football. Lucy would hold the ball so that Charlie Brown could kick it. But every time Charlie Brown tried kicking the ball, Lucy would pick up the ball at the last second, and Charlie Brown would fall flat on his back.

One day, Lucy was holding the ball, but Charlie Brown would not kick it. Lucy said “Please?” But Charlie Brown said, "No! Every time I try to kick it, you pull it away and I fall on my back." They argued back and forth for the longest time. Finally, Lucy says “Charlie Brown, I have treated you so badly over the years. But I’ve seen the error of my ways! I was wrong. Won’t you please give me another chance?"

Charlie Brown felt bad for her. He said "Of course, I’ll give you another chance." He steps back. He runs toward the ball. At the last second, Lucy picks up the ball and Charlie Brown falls flat on his back. Lucy walks over to him and says "Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie Brown!"

Repenting doesn’t just mean saying “I’m sorry.” It means saying you’re sorry AND changing your ways! Why should we do that? Because Jesus tell us that God’s kingdom is near! Acts 3:19 says “Repent and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

From a sermon by Marc Axelrod, Jesus Came to Preach Good News, 11/23/2009

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