Summary: “There is an "Urgent Need of Repentance" for the wicked and unrighteous, because the Lord will soon return to rapture the Church. The wicked must forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and seek the Lord while he may be found.
Banner of Praise Ministries
Rev. Dr. Levi Howard Wright
“The Urgency of Repentance”
TEXT: Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
ASSOCIATED TEXT: Matthew 3:2 “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
BACKGROUND: It is interesting to note the tremendous emphasis that is placed on repentance in the New Testament. The word repentance occurs fifty-six (56) times in the New Testament. Thirty-four (34) times it is used as a verb, and twenty-two (22) times it occurs as a noun.
The church has failed to be the force in the world that it should be because it has misunderstood the primary demand of the Christian faith for repentance.
We need to recognize the revolutionary significance of this primary demand which is essential for the Christian life.
The call to repentance and faith should not be looked upon and considered as a threat but as an invitation.
The call to repentance is not a call to a morbid, remorseful way of thinking.
The call to repentance is an invitation change to one’s basic fundamental attitudes about God, self, things, and others.
To have erroneous ideas concerning any of these great areas of thought or relationships is to be out of balance.
To think right about God is also to think right about self, things, and other human beings.
I. THE EMPHASIZED PLACED ON REPENTANCE.
1. John the Baptist preached repentance.
The New Testament opens with a trumpet blast from John the Baptist.
He called people to repent, to radically reverse their thinking about God and His demands.
John insisted that people must not assume that because they were members of the nation of Israel this gave them the position of privilege in the plan of God.
He emphasized that genuine religion was a personal response to God that expressed itself in moral conduct and in compassion toward other human beings.
He illustrated this by insisting that those who possess an abundance share with those in need (Luke 3:11).
He insisted that tax collectors should not be greedy and required more than the law required. He insisted that soldiers cease to be violent and aggressive toward helpless people.
John the Baptist called for a radical reversal of the inward ideas of people with reference to God, self, things and others.
2. Jesus Christ emphasized repentance.
A. Jesus began his ministry emphasizing the imperative need of repentance in (Mark 1:15).
The first recorded message that fell from lips of our Lord and Savior was the call to repentance and faith.
Literally he urged the people to come a proper to attitude toward God and to respond to Him with a loving trust that involved cooperation.
Throughout his ministry Jesus was continually seeking to change the attitudes of people toward God.
He recognized that unless there is a change of inner attitude there can be no change in outward conduct.