Summary: Part 2 of a 2 part Expository Sermon on Luke 12:49-13:9 concerning the Judgement of God and repentance. Message #63 from Luke series.
Luke Series #63 April 21, 2002
Introduction: Welcome to New life in Christ. As is our normal practice, we are currently going through the Gospel of Luke verse-by-verse. We do this so we receive a complete and therefore healthy spiritual diet of God’s word. Currently we are in Luke Chapter Twelve and this is part two of a message I began last week entitled, "The Message Nobody Wants To Hear." It is entitled this because in our text last week, which was Luke 12:49-56, and in our text this week Jesus speaks about the judgment of God i.e. the punishment for sins. This is a subject that many would rather not hear about and thus the title. Now let’s go to our text for today.
Read Luke 12:57-13:9
Illustration: On May 18, 1902 a storm with devastating tornadoes ripped through Goliad, Texas taking 114 lives, 40 as they sat in a church service. Many other storms followed in the first half the century.
Things are better now because by the 1950’s, Air Force meteorologists began to understand how tornadoes were formed. Within a few years, warning systems were set up. Storm chasers, Doppler radar, television and radio crews warn us of approaching danger. Sirens blast. People have time to take cover.
(Blown Away by William Hauptman, July 1996, p.67).
Warnings are only good if they are responded too appropriately. Since the 1950’s their have several killer tornadoes but with ample warning times but many people have still died because they have chosen ignore these warnings and continue life as usual, with tragic results.
Last week we saw that Jesus was very straightforward in warning us that judgment was coming. In fact this was one of the main message of verses 49-56.
I. We Need To Recognize That Judgment Is Coming.
I hope that all of us will accept and recognize that judgment is coming. It is a reality, but recognizing a warning is only the first thing that needs to be done. We must also respond to that warning appropriately if the warning is to do any good. The previous story concerning the tornadoes illustrates this truth. Warnings must be heeded to be effective! Jesus has given us a serious warning about the Judgment that is coming so now the question is, “How should we respond to this warning?” The answer to that question is what Luke 12:57-13:9 is about. The basic message of these verses is this:
II. We Need To Repent Because Judgment Is Coming.
In fact Jesus gives us three specific reasons why people need to repent in consideration of the coming Judgment. Before I begin to share and explain these three reasons for repentance, I need to explain what repentance is and is not.
Repent and repentance are words you find quite often in the Bible and hear in church services but not everyone understands the true meaning of repentance. Repentance just means to make an “about-face” or a U-turn. It means to stop going one way and start going another way. In biblical settings it means to stop doing wrong and start doing right. Repentance involves real change; a change in the way you think and a change in the way you live! Repentance is not just acknowledging wrongdoing or feeling remorse/sorrow and for your sins. This fall far short of genuine repentance, which is a real commitment to change and to go in another direction.
Illustration: Several years ago the Peanuts comic strip had Lucy and Charlie Brown practicing football. Lucy would hold the ball for Charlie’s placekicking and then Charlie would kick the ball. But every time Lucy had ever held the ball for Charlie, he would approach the ball and kick with all his might. At the precise moment of the point of no return, Lucy would pick up the ball and Charlie would kick and his momentum unchecked by the ball, which was not there to kick, would cause him to fall flat on his back. This strip opened with Lucy holding the ball, but Charlie Brown would not kick the ball. Lucy begged him to kick the ball. But Charlie Brown said, "Every time I try to kick the ball you remove it and I fall on my back." They went back and forth for the longest time and finally Lucy broke down in tears and admitted, "Charlie Brown I have been so terrible to you over the years, picking up the football like I have. I have played so many cruel tricks on you, but I’ve seen the error of my ways! I’ve seen the hurt look in your eyes when I’ve deceived you. I’ve been wrong, so wrong. Won’t you give a poor penitent girl another chance?" Charlie Brown was moved by her display of grief and responded to her, "Of course, I’ll give you another chance." He stepped back as she held the ball, and he ran. At the last moment, Lucy picked up the ball and Charlie Brown fell flat on his back. Lucy’s last words were, "Recognizing your faults and actually changing your ways are two different things, Charlie Brown!"