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Summary: A deductive exposition presenting the reasons for developing a lifestyle of repentance.

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Topic: Christian Living

Theme: Repentant Christian Living

Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to develop a lifestyle of repentance.

Response: Individuals will commit themselves to a life on constantly turning to God.

Pattern: A deductive exposition presenting the reasons for developing a lifestyle of repentance.

INTRODUCTION

There sure are some odd laws still on the books. For example:

a. Young girls are never allowed to walk a tightrope in Wheeler, Mississippi, unless it’s in a church.

b. In Blackwater, Kentucky, tickling a woman under her chin with a feather duster while she’s in church service carries a penalty of $10.00 and one day in jail.

c. No one can eat unshelled, roasted peanuts while attending church in Idanha, Oregon.

d. In Honey Creek, Iowa, no one is permitted to carry a slingshot to church except a policeman.

e. No citizen in Leecreek, Arkansas is allowed to attend church in any red-colored garment.

f. Swinging a yo-yo in church or anywhere in public on the Sabbath is prohibited in Studley, Virginia.

g. Turtle races are not permitted within 100 yards of a local church at any time in Slaughter, Louisiana.

Citation: Robert W. Pelton in The Door. Christian Reader, Vol. 33, no. 5. © 2001 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International

THERE HAS TO BE MORE TO FOLLOWING JESUS THAN ODD LAWS AND RULES.

When King Frederick II, an eighteenth-century King of Prussia, was visiting a prison in Berlin, the inmates tried to prove to him how they had been unjustly imprisoned. All except one.

That one sat quietly in a corner, while all the rest protested their innocence. Seeing him sitting there oblivious to the commotion, the king asked him what he was there for. "Armed robbery, Your Honor." The king asked, "Were you guilty?" "Yes, Sir," he answered. "I entirely deserve my punishment." The king then gave an order to the guard: "Release this guilty man. I don’t want him corrupting all these innocent people."

Citation: Donald W. Brenneman APO, Miami, Florida. Lloyd H. Steffen in The Christian Century,

Leadership, Vol. 12, no. 2. © 2001

PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International

THESIS:

I believe that prisoner discovered the rewards of true repentance. As people who follow Jesus, we need to develop a lifestyle of turning back to God. We need an attitude of honest confession combined with an earnest determination to change.

KEY QUESTION:

Why? What are the reasons for constantly turning to God? Why should good people like us repent?

1. Because a date for JUDGMENT has been set. It’s UNAVOIDABLE. (13:1-9)

 The judgment may not be as obvious as we tend to think.

 The judgment will not happen as soon as some would like.

2. Because simply keeping a LIST OF RULES is not enough. It’s too easy to become a PROUD HYPOCRITE. (13:10-17)

 Man made rules of behavior can keep us from seeing the true will of God.

 Man made rules will choke out our love for God and others.

3. Because God’s kingdom will GROW with or without us. It’s beyond our CONTROL. (13:18-21)

 God’s kingdom began when a baby was born in Bethlehem. His name was Jesus.

 God’s kingdom will continue to expand – like yeast in dough or a seed becoming a plant.

4. Because entering God’s kingdom requires EFFORT. It’s not AUTOMATIC. (13:22-30)

 Not everyone who claims to follow Jesus actually is a disciple. They will be shut out.

 Each one of us must do all we can to become true followers of Jesus Christ.

5. Because you can BREAK God’s heart. It’s a matter of saying YES TO HIM. (13:31-35)

 God longs to draw us close and to protect us.

 Some will refuse His care and concern.

CONCLUSION

Jesus calls us to a lifestyle of repentance. He urges us to keep on turning back to God.

Have you turned back to God? Do you repent on a consistent basis? Are you willing to develop a lifestyle of turning back to God when you find something wrong in your life?

RESPONSE TIME

1) Please take a few moments right now to examine your relationship with God. Look over the questions listed on the message notes.

2) Have you turned back to God? Do you repent on a consistent basis? Are you willing to develop a lifestyle of turning back to God when you find something wrong in your life?

3) Please sign the card in your Bulletin and keep it where you will see it every day.

COMMITMENT CARDS SAY --

I am determined to never break God’s heart. I will intentionally choose to do whatever it takes, to sacrifice whatever God asks, and make whatever changes necessary in order to say “Yes” to His invitation. I will deliberately cooperate with other followers of Jesus Christ in helping God’s kingdom grow – here in Bay County and around the world. When I am faced with a choice between the status quo and turning back to God, I will purposefully REPENT.

Signed: ______________________________________________

Date: ______________________________________________

Witness: ______________________________________________

(Optional)

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