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Summary: A message examining repentance and motives.

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TRUE AND FALSE REPENTANCE

Matthew 3:5-8

INTRO: There would never have been a false if there hadn’t been a true. Counterfeit money is made because there is good money.

Hypocrites are the opposite of true Christians, and their very existence proves that true Christians exist. The text refers to both false and true.

I. CONTRASTING THE TWO CROWDS AT JOHN’S BAPTISM.

No number is given, but it is thought thousands were there

to be baptized. The same is true of the false candidates.

A. The false candidates.

1. The pharisees and Sadducees were self-righteous. They

had their own religion.

2. They wanted to be baptized by John, but they did not

have any change in their life.

3. They asked for baptism on their old beliefs.

B. The true candidates.

1. John preached repentance and baptism.

2. Many confessed their sins and were saved.

3. This is necessary before baptism.

C. The demands made by John.

1. He called the Pharisees and Sadducees a generation of

vipers (snakes).

2. He demanded evidence — i.e. fruits, works,

righteousness — to prove their sincerity.

3. True repentance changes one’s life.

D. Simon the sorcerer believed but was a false disciple.

1. He heard and saw miracles performed.

2. His actions show he was not a real convert.

II. THE MEN OF NINEVEH ARE GOOD EXAMPLES OF TRUE REPENTANCE.

A. The gospel was preached in Nineveh (Jonah 3:3-4).

1. Jonah was sent with a message from God.

2. People believed and were spared.

B. They turned from their evil way (3:8).

1. They knew how. Most know how.

2. To quit sinning is the best evidence of true

repentance.

3. They cried mightily unto God.

III. REPENTANCE TAUGHT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (Matthew 12:41).

A. Jesus used the story of Nineveh. They would rise in

judgment on us.

1. The bitterness of repentance (James 4:7-10).

2. Submit to God. Humble yourself before him.

B. The sinners prayer.

1. The publicans prayer. He was humble and prayed for

mercy.

2. God hears the prayers of sinners prayed like that.

CONC: What about you? Do you have true repentance? Or, are you depending upon your works, membership in the church, or some other things? You can have the assurance you desire today with true repentance.


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