Summary: What God desires is true repentance not a presumption of. This sermon takes a look at several areas of personal repentance.
As we enter into a new year of 2004 I am expecting to be involved in a supernatural manifestation of God right here at North Thurston Life Center.
I believe with all that is within me that our God is going to manifest Himself in our lives, in our families, in our services, in healings both physical and spiritual, in salvations and in many other supernatural ways but it must all begin with REPENTANCE!
You may say, “Well, that is easy” yet if it was easy our God would not have started 2 Chronicles 7:14 with a great big “IF”.
IF, my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
There are many things that are revealed to us when we have a heart of repentance but today I would like to talk to you about just three.
1. He brings to remembrance the sins we have forgotten or put out of our minds
2. He reveals to us that our losses could really be gains
3. We gain a greater understanding of who Jesus is.
In Hosea chapter 6 there is a presumption of repentance, not genuine repentance. The people did not understand the depth of their sins. They did not turn from idols, repent of their sins, or pledge to make changes. They thought that God’s wrath would last only a few days; yet little did they know that their nation would soon be taken into exile.
Israel was interested in God only for the material benefits He provided; they did not value the eternal benefits that come from worshiping Him.
But before judging Israel, consider your heart. What do you hope to gain from your faith? Do you "repent" easily, without seriously considering what changes need to take place in your life?
I. HE BRINGS TO REMEMBRANCE
A. The Responsibility of knowing His Word
“As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ 31My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain.”
The outcome of hearing and not taking personal responsibility of the Word of God is just like the one who received the seed that fell on rocky places.
B. The Rebuke for not remembering
Be responsible for what you know about God’s Word! It isn’t up to someone else to help you on the road to heaven.
Test yourself. See if you are lining up to the standard Christ Jesus has set for you.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load.
II. HE REVEALS OUR LOSSES AS GAINS
There are times in our repentance when we remember and agonize over the things we have put off, family we haven’t seen, or things we have deprived ourselves for the sake of Christ.
And it is in this moment of repentance that Christ reveals to us the why.
We are to follow Him.
A. The loss of earthly treasures secures our heavenly reward
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
B. Self-sacrifice is investing in our future
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
C. Giving it all up wins the prize
III. WE GAIN A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF JESUS CHRIST
A. Standing strong in His Word
“….If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
B. He gives us understanding of the situation we are in
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
C. He leads us by His Spirit
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. John 16:13-15