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The Importance of Repentance

Title: Repentance Text: II Cor. 7:10

I. Introduction

God has always been in the business of changing lives. In order for lives to change on the outside, they must first change on the inside. Changed lives start with a changed heart.

When mankind first sinned, his natural response was to hide from God. (Gen. 3:7-8) God’s first response was to look for the sinner and call out to him. (v9)

Gen 3:7-10 (7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (8) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (10) And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

And ever since that time God has had the desire to communicate & reason with sinful man.

(Isa 1:18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

God wants to talk and reason with mankind about sin. Sin is a problem that will separate mankind from God for eternity in hell.

When we approach God, the first step is to recognize our condition. Our condition is that we are sinners. The second step is to do something about our sin; and this starts with repentance.

Today we are going to look at what repentance is, and what it is not.

II. Definition of Repentance

  Repentance – (Websters 1828)  Expressing sorrow for sin.  It is accompanied and followed by an 
  amendment (change) of life.

A. What it is not.

  1. Repentance is not just being sorry for sinning. A person can be sorry that they lied, but the next day, do the same thing; and so on. A person can be sorry for a sin, but have no intention of changing. This is not repentance.

  2. What repentance is

Repentance is two-fold. (a) It is to have a change of mind or heart attitude about something, and (b) it is turning away from something.

(Acts 26:18 “…to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God…”)

1Th 1:6-9

(6) And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (7) So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (8) For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (9) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

The Thessalonians had a:

1) change of heart about “idols,” and

2) they turned away from them.

You can substitute whatever sin you like in place of “idols.”

*Repentance (for mankind) includes a deep sorrow from the heart coupled with a change of life.

III. The Importance of Repentance

A. Repentance is a key doctrine in the Bible. It is mentioned over 100 times.

B. John the Baptist preached repentance

Mat 3:1-2

(1) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, (2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

C. The Disciples were commanded to preach “Repentance.”

(Mar 6:12) And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

D. God wants all to repent

(2Pe 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

E. Without repentance mankind is doomed to eternal damnation

Luk 13:2-3

(2) And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? (3) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

IV. Necessity of Repentance

A. We are all guilty before God

(Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

(Luk 13:5) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

B. God commands repentance

(Act 17:30) And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

V. Repentance Illustrated

A. Repentance is illustrated in the parable of the two sons.

Mat 21:28-31

(28) But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. (29) He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. (30) And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. (31) Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

Look at verse 29 very closely. Notice that repentance is characterized by 1) a change of heart and 2) by action.

VI. How Repentance is Produced

A. It is a gift of God

(Act 11:18) When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

B. It is produced by the work of the Holy Spirt

Joh 16:7-8

(7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

When the word of God is preached, the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin.

C. It is produced by God’s rebuke and chastisement

Heb 12:6-7,11

(6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Just like parents are commanded to chasten their children, so God chastens His children.

(Rev 3:19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

God uses chastisement to produce repentance.

VII. Conclusion

Some people think they are saved, because they wanted Jesus to be a part of their life. Some people think they are saved because they go to church.
Some people think they are saved because they keep the sacraments.

If you have not had any repentance over sin, you have never been saved. If you have never had a sorrow for sin accompanied by a turning from sin, then you mistakenly think that you are saved.

Repentance is to have sorrow for your sin accompanied by prayer to God saying, “I am going to turn from my sin and follow You.”

Repentance is to quite living the sinful life and start obeying God.

This true repentance will lead to salvation.

(2Co 7:10) For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

The Lord is willing that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

If you have not repented over your sin, and believed on Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please take time to do it now, before it is too late.