Summary: Lent 3(C) - Since all sins are equal and because the time is limited Jesus encourages mankind to repent or perish.
REPENT OR PERISH (Outline)
March 19 2006 - Lent 3 - Luke 13:1-13
INTRO: Considering mankind we want to note two things. First, in the sea of humanity differences abound. People are tall/short, young/old, skinny/not-so-skinny and the list of differences is endless. Just as much as people all over this planet are different there is also a similarity that none can escape or deny. Second, mankind from the youngest to the oldest is infected with the deadly disease of sin. Eze-kiel said “the soul who sins is the one who will die”. Everyone dies because everyone sins. No matter where you live or who you are sin infects and affects every aspect of our earthly life. There is no escaping that simple fact that binds us all together. "There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"(ROMANS 3:22b, 23). No wonder Jesus repeats the simple phrase in our text today: REPENT OR PERISH. We want to consider these words of Jesus as our theme for this text:
REPENT OR PERISH. We learn
I. All sins are equal.
II. The time is limited.
I. ALL SINS ARE EQUAL
A. Jesus was making his last journey to Jerusalem before his crucifixion.
1. Jesus was in the region of Galilee. Here many still listened and followed Jesus.
2. Verse 1 has a concern from the crowd. Pilate had killed worshipers in God’s temple.
3. The blood from them mixed with their sacrifices. This was sacrilege.
B. The people thought that Jesus should get even with Pilate for this despicable act.
1. Jesus explains in verse 2 that no one ought to think these people deserved death.
2. Jesus emphasizes that these people were not worse sinners because of what happened.
C. Instead, the emphasis for everyone was repentance. Verse 3.
1. Jesus even presents his own example of the 18 killed by the tower of Siloam, verse 4.
2. Again, were they worse sinners? No, repentance is needed. Verse 5.
D. In today’s society many do not see a need for repentance. After all sin is an old-fashioned idea that has no relevance for today’s enlightened people. All too often, many sins have now been called and categorized as a sickness or disease. If some sins have become a sickness that means man can treat them and even provide healing. Yet, man’s wisdom is not God’s wisdom. Drinking too much, eating too much, gambling too much are not diseases but addiction to sin. Sin cannot be covered up. Sin can-not be explained away. Sin is sin is sin is sin. Jesus reminds us to repent or perish. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"(1 JOHN 1:8).
E. Worse than not recognizing or admitting sin is to think we can live a life good enough to make God happy. People often feel that their lives have not been that bad. After all, many conclude that they have not killed anyone or robbed a bank. Remember that sins are committed not only with actions but with word and even thoughts. God’s word reminds us that all sins are equal. God sees sin as sin, no matter how we may try to rate them. Breaking God’s law does not require many sins either. "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it"(JAMES 2:10). One sin breaks all of God’s law and yields death. Repent or perish.
F. Our society’s philosophy would have us believe that living a good life, or at least trying to live a good life is all that matters. After all, God would not keep a do-gooder out of heaven. Yet, good works cannot save anyone. People need faith. From faith flow good works. Still, remember that eve-rything on this side of heaven is tainted by sin. "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away"(ISAIAH 64:6). It is not our works that save but the work of Christ our Savior. It is not our obedience that makes any difference but the willing obedience of Christ to die for all our sins!
TRANS: With sin so prevalent no wonder Jesus reminds us: Repent or perish. We learn that all sins are equal. Then Jesus also teaches that II. The time is limited.
II. THE TIME IS LIMITED
A. Jesus continues with a parable. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
1. Verse 6 describes a man with a vineyard. He comes looking for fruit on a fig tree.
2. The owner of the vineyard did not find any fruit on that fig tree.