Summary: Doctrinal sermon about what the Church of the Nazarene believes about repentance.
Larry C. Brincefield
Sunday Evening, February 23, 2003
Title: What We Believe...About Repentance
Text: Isaiah 55:6-7
People today tend to have the attitude that they will try to better themselves...
under their own effort, they will try to cut back on
and so on.
And I’m all in favor of cutting back on things like that...
but there is an underlying problem...
and that is that people tend to think that everything is just a matter of trying to improve by human effort
Let’s look at it another way,
Let’s say there’s a man who’s been embezzling money from his employer to the tune of $200,000 per year.
Suddenly it begins to bother his conscience.
He wants to repent
And so, he decides that THIS year, he will only embezzle $100,000
and next year, he will try to only embezzle $50,000
and the year after, only 25,000
until he has gradually reduced it to zero.
Let’s say his boss catches him...
he can just tell his boss,
Hey, I became a Christian...
I repented of my sin...
before you know it, I won’t be stealing anything from you.
Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Funny thing is though...people will actually think things like that.
But we don’t believe that way. Article 8 in the Articles of Faith reads, "We believe that repentance, which is a sincere and thorough change of the mind in regard to sin, involving a sense of personal guilt and a voluntary turning away from sin, is demanded of all who have by act or purpose become sinners against God. The Spirit of God gives to all who will repent the gracious help of penitence of heart and hope of mercy, that they may believe unto pardon and spiritual life." (2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 32:5-6; 51:1-17; Isaiah 55:6-7; Jeremiah 3:12-14; Ezekiel 18:30-32; 33:14-16; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 3:1-14; 13:1-5; 18:9-14; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 17:30-31; 26:16-18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:8-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 3:9) —Nazarene Manual 2001-2005
Read Text: Isaiah 55:6-7
There are 4 great commands in this passage of Scripture that we will be looking at this evening.
1. Seek the Lord
Our Scripture says, "seek the Lord".
and no, the Lord is not lost...
sometimes we speak about trying to "find God"
as if it is such a difficult thing.
But it isn’t.
Last week, we talked about prevenient grace...
how the grace of God reaches out to us...
even while we are lost...
even before we are even seeking the Lord...
He is reaching out to us.
So, no, God isn’t lost...
WE are the ones who are lost...
But when we become aware of God’s working in our life...
we need to respond.
People think that they can seek the Lord whenever they want...
I suppose that in a way, that is correct.
at least for the moment, you can still seek the Lord...
but our Scripture goes on, "Seek the LORD while he may be found" Isaiah 55:6 (NIV)
There will come a day, if you haven’t invited Jesus into your heart...
if you haven’t repented of your sins...
there will come a time when you will be unable to.
And, no, we aren’t given advance warning when that time has come...
so God’s Word is giving you all the advance warning you need...
"Seek the Lord while He may be found"
Once there was a couple who won a great prize, a two week trip to Ireland.
They had a whole year to make the trip.
Well, said the wife, “Let’s not do it this summer, because we don’t want to interfere with our summer at the lake.
And we can’t go in September because that’s when the kids go back to school.”
Then it came to be late October, before anyone knew it, and the husband said, “Well we can’t go over the holidays.”
“That’s right,” his wife agreed. “Let’s wait till after the first of the year.”
However, someone told them that the days were terrible short in Ireland in January and February
and besides the weather wasn’t very good
So they said, “Well, we still have plenty of time, let’s wait till spring when we know there’ll be good weather.”
They finally made reservations for the first week in May.
The weather was supposed to be good in Ireland
and the days were long
and it was the best time in the year to go
They admitted that they were cutting it close because their prize ran out on June 1,
but they were sure nothing would go wrong.
Then the husband had a gallbladder attack and required surgery.
The doctors said he would be able to travel, oh, by the middle of June.
Per Pastor Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson’s sermon on www.sermoncentral.com From Andrew Greeley’s Internet web site