Summary: True repentance is one of the few indespensibles of the Christian faith!
National tragedy has awakened a sense of need in millions of Americans. (9/11/01)
Jesus used dillema of tragedy to teach those who listened to Him a very important lesson.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig-tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig-tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig round it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” Lk. 13:1-9 (NIV)
1- Jesus gives the eternal application to tragic contemporary events.
2- The most important question we should be asking is not “Why did it happen?”
3- The most imporant question we can ask according to Jesus is, “Am I prepared to meet God?”
4- Bad things happen to good people: Last Week’s message “Recovering From Tragedy”.
ECCL. 8:14 “Sometimes something useless happens on earth. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people.” (NCV)
5- No doubt some of these people must have believed that for "bad things" to happen they must have all been “lost”. (“Perished” = put to ruin, destroyed)
6- Perhaps, they were thinking as many do - if I am good I will never have to suffer?
7- Parable: The vineyard owner = God, the “vineyard” = the world, the “fig tree” = us, the “man” = Mediators
Jesus uses this “News Event” concerning tragedy to share several incredibly important principles.
1 - Suffering Doesn’t Prove Wickedness. (Vs. 1-5)
1. Nor does prosperity prove righteousness.
2. NY, NY - D.C. – Penn.
3. Suffering does prove wickedness in a general way. (Adam’s effect)
4. Suffering and death are the ultimate reminders that God is serious about sin.
5. Jesus death as our substitute is another awesome reminder of God’s hatred for sin.
2 - Because of the Adam’s Effect Everybody Must Repent. (Vs. 2-5)
1. “Repent” means to change your mind and completely change your direction!!!
2. No one is truly “better” than anyone else. (Inherently)
3. Every person must “repent”.
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30 (NIV)
3 - God Has a Right to Expect a Return on His Investment. (Vs. 6-7)
1. “Fig tree” was given opportunity - wasting space, blocking the sun, and making the ground unfruitful.
2. Where is the fruit??? (“Where’s the beef”)
3. America? Me?
4. Human beings? (The Earth)
4 - God in His Great Mercy Offers Yet Another Chance. (v. 8)
5 - There Will be an Ultimate Judgment. [Personal] (v. 9)
1. I don’t believe that God had anything to do with this.
2. Make no mistake; God does judge cities and nations. (Gen.18-18, Nineveh, Jerusalem)
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. 9:27-28 (KJV)
Visualize your own reckoning before God
Call to action; to true repentance before God.