The First And The Last Call
Contributed by John Collins on Jul 10, 2002 (message contributor)
Summary: A look at the old but ever new subject of repentance
THE FIRST AND THE LAST CALL
EXT. Matt. 21:28-32, Luke 15:11-24, 2 Sam. 12:7-14
Repentance is the Central theme of the bible. God preached repentance since Man fell short of the glory of God. The prophets lived and died preaching repentance to the people of God. John the Baptist had his head cut off preaching repentance. Jesus like john said; repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The early apostles became martyrs preaching repentance to men and women for whom Christ died.
When God shot the heavens because of man’s sin, God demanded repentance to reopen the heavens for man’s comfort. Consequently repentance does not stop when you first believed but like David, you must repent fast if any error comes your way. Saul did not repent hence lost his destiny. This vital subject has eternal consequences. The Bible says repent and be saved. In other words without repentance man cannot be born again, and it is lack of it that has made those who were once born again to make a shipwreck of their salvation.
J. W. McGarvey, said that if God were giving special miraculous gifts today, he would not ask for the gift of healing, or prophecy, or tongues. Rather, he said, he would ask for the power, above everything else, to cause men to repent. The difficulty is to induce men to repent. If we had the power to induce men to repent, it would be the greatest power than any man could want.
I want to say here before I continue that Christianity without repentance is paganism or unscriptural Christianity.
WHAT IS REPENTANCE
1. First Let us look at what repentance is NOT
· It is not the weeping or wearing a sorry face or cloth when things go wrong
· It is not self condemnation or chest abuse
· It is not mea confession of evil
· Repentance is not just saying I am sorry or a feeling of regret
· It is not just to plead for mercy
· It is not guiltiness with reason
· It is more than accepting faults
· It is not the changing of will but the willing to change for good.
· It is not worry or fear of consequence of action like a condemned sinner
2. What repentance really IS and what does it entails?
· Repentance is a broken and contrite heart. Ps.51:17 at this junction you can weep, fast, feel sorry, feel guilty, accept your fault and so on..
· To repentance is a “change of mind and heart which alters the conduct” and not the feeling. (cf. 2 Cor. 7:10, )
· Repentance is a decision to rebel against the devil and not serve him again. 2 Kgs. 18:7 A lot of people say they repent but still serve their old master.
· Repentance is humility 2 Kg. 22:19
· Repentance is making a covenant to serve God and stand by the covenant. 2 Kg. 23:3
· Repentance is faith in Christ Jesus as the saviour of man from sin. Repentance that does not lead to faith in the redemption work of our Lord Jesus Christ is a fruitless confession. Acts. 2:38
· Repentance is circumcision of the heart. The fore skin of the heart of sin is removed and the heart now receives the light. Rm 2:29
· Repentance is when the heart produces good words and good action, bearing the fruit of repentance. Mt. 12:31
· Repentance involves restitution 1 kg. 20:34
· Repentance brings about restoration Ps. 51:12, Is. 57:18
· Repentance brings about hunger and thirst for God, His word and his fellowship. Act. 2:42
· Repentance produce revival and revival lead men to repentance.
· BIBLICAL FACTS ABOUT REPENTANCE
1. Unbelievers or sinners need repentance mat. 9:13
2. Believers need repentance whenever the Holy Spirit calls for it and in an attitude of watching and praying. 1 tim. 1:19. The following are some of the areas believers should watch, in addition to the seven call for repentance to the seven churches in revelation.
· Virtues with pride or spiritual pride. 2 Chro. 26:16-19
· Incomplete obedience. 1 Kgs. 13:1-24
· Laziness. Proverbs 15:19
· Fear of God but serving our own gods or self
· Zeal without revelation knowledge of God. 2 Sam. 6:1-17
· Cost-less sacrifices. 2 Sam 24:24
· Unprofitable stewardship
· Speaking the truth from the lips and not from the heart Psalm. 15
· Fear of the consequences of obeying God. Jonah 1
· Sin that easily besets or the little foxes Heb. 12
3. God commands repentance Mt. 3:2
4. Repentance must precede water baptism. Acts. 2:38
5. Repentance is required before forgiveness. Acts 3:19
6. Bible admonishes and calls for Repentance . Joel.2:12-14, 1 Sam. 7:2-6
· HOW DO WE ENSURE THAT THOSE WE PREACH TO TRULY REPENT.