JESUS CALLED SINNERS TO REPENTANCE
Jesus was big, very big on repentance.
The very first word Matthew records that Jesus spoke was “Repent!”
The very first word Matthew records that John the baptizer spoke was “Repent!”
What is repentance? The dictionary defines ‘repent’ as remorse or being contrite; in botany the word ‘repent’ is used to describe plants that creep on the ground, so there is this idea of lowliness. But the Greek in which the new testament was first written means much more than that. It means to turn around – completely. It means to have a thorough change of mind. To think quite opposite to what one did previously. A complete turn around in mind. Which indicates that the first way is no longer wanted and is left.
Repentance can be seen. It is an observable fact. Whether on a human or spiritual plain.
John the baptizer speaking of spiritual repentance, said it must have fruit, or works worthy of it. Real repentance produces fruit. John demanded the people who came to him to be baptized, to show works worthy of repentance. And why did he? Because he knew that God commanded it, and that God does not play around with sin.
What John and Jesus were talking about, is not repentance on the natural realm which we no doubt experience often day by day, but on the spiritual realm. However, man has no inherent power to change his spiritual direction. For he neither sees with clarity the spiritual road he is on, being in spiritual darkness; nor can he desire of himself to go any other way, being filled with selfish or worldly desires; nor can he muster any spiritual strength to do so, being void of spiritual strength toward God. Only God can help him, and He wants to. God is willing to give us the desire, the sight, and strength to repent.
In Genesis 19, the account is written of Lot, his wife, and their two daughters being rescued – saved from Sodom before God overthrew that city, and three others, with fire and sulphur because of all their wickedness. God’s angels had told them to flee and not look back. As they got going, Lot’s wife could not bear to think of leaving her familar friends and surroundings so she followed her heart’s desire and looked back. She only looked back. But in her heart she tuned back. This cost her her life. She had physically left their home in the city, but she still clung to her old life and friends in her heart. That is not God’s repentance. God will never be pleased with such action.
Jesus tells us to REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!!
Man needs the help of God to do what God requires. And it is only through Jesus Christ that a man can repent – turn away from a life of self and sin, and turn back to God the Father through Jesus Christ alone. Jesus said “I am the Door” and, “I am the Way.” There is no other way to God the Father but through Jesus Christ His Son. “No man can come to the Father but by Me.” We can find this out, either the hard way, or the easy way.
Spiritual repentance must be toward God. Acts 20:21 – Paul was “testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Spiritual repentance can only be obtained from God. Acts 5:31 – “Him (Jesus) has God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
Acts 11:18 – “When they heard these things, they held their peace and glorified God saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
The Greek word for give and granted is the same. Repentance is something that God alone can give, or provide. Jesus, the Saviour Prince of Israel is waiting to give all Israel (all Jews) repentance. And the prophets declare that one day all Israel will be saved, and this Paul bears witness to in Romans 11. And God also gives this same gift to the Gentiles – non Jews.
Repentance must come before forgiveness of sins. Jesus is more than willing to forgive your sins; more than willing. God is no mean giver but a joyful and generous Giver. He wants to bless us with His blessing of repentance and then forgiveness. Proverbs 28:13 says “He that covers (conceals) his sins shall not prosper; but whoever confesses and forsakes sin shall have mercy”. Shall have mercy.
We all need God’s mercy. If we do not have His mercy then we are truly spiritually bankrupt; without hope, and without light. If you want God’s ‘s mercy you must stop concealing your sins; you must expose them before Him. You must see them as disgusting before God. You must be prepared to totally leave all your sins once for all. This is all the work of God.
Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities (perversities) have separated between you and your God, and your sins (offences) have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear.”
God will not hear us if we hang on to our sins. GOD WILL NOT HEAR US IF WE HANG ONTO OUR SINS. God says to us “Let go of your sins. They will destroy you in the end. Give them to Me and I will cast them forever out of My sight. I will wash them away with the blood of My Son, your Saviour.”
The moment Adam sinned, at that moment he was cut off from God spiritually, and the blessings he once shared with his beautiful wife were forever tainted with, many sorrows, and all the curse of his sin. While the forbidden fruit was still in his hand, he could have thrown it way. While he was still chewing it in his mouth he still could have spat it out. But once he had swallowed it, even just one mouthful, he reached that point of no return.
Adam’s sin separated him and his wife’s sin separated her from intimate fellowship with God their Creator and Father, and also a wonderful life together in that Paradise of Eden. It was only when Adam took and ate from his wife the forbidden fruit that their eyes were both opened to what this new condition was. And they were instantly filled with shame; thoroughly ashamed, and they hid themselves from God’s face.
Sin will not be permitted in Heaven,
just as it was not permitted to remain in Eden.
If you will not let go of sin, you will find that you will be cast out of God’s sight with it.
And because we are (whether we believe it or not) children of Adam, who choose to sin from an early age, we too have been cut off from God by our own sin. “The soul that sins, it shall die”. said God. Ezekiel 18 – twice God says it in this passage. Each person will die for their own sins, not for the sins of their fathers or mothers. We only have ourselves to blame. A baby has not sinned, for they cannot understand the law, even the law of their own parents. But as they grow up, they will learn the law of their parents, or guardians, or, become aware of God’s law written in their hearts, and then they will become accountable.
God says that there is pleasure or enjoyment in sin, but only for a season, a short time (Hebrews 11:25). That pleasure is both temporal and trivial, and can never satisfy the yearnings of the soul of a man. Some sins appear to be more pleasurable to the flesh or mind than others. But like the serpent’s bite there is a sting to every sin and the sting of every sin is death.
THERE IS A STING TO EVERY SIN
THE STING OF DEATH IS SIN
….AND JESUS IS TALKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL DEATH
Hell is full of wickedness. But in Hell there is no pleasure of sin. There is only unbearable grief and sorrow over it, and torment because of it. The pleasure that comes from sin is striclty limited to the earthly life. The people who will not let go of their sin will find themselves totally bound by the real exposed condtion of sin; for God will uncover it, and its true nature will be forever seen and hated.
In Hell everything is exposed. There is no place to hide. Every one is naked. Every one is full of shame and torment; torment of soul and torment of body. There is no friendship, or pleasant communication in Hell. No one can smile; there is no such thing as happiness or joy or pleasant laughter. All the ‘hells’ that one may experience on earth, are like a paradise compared to the Hell of Hell. Hell is for real and forever. Hell is not like an earthly prison where men can escape from. There is no escape from Hell.
GOD HAS PROVIDED AN ANTIDOTE FOR THE SERPENTS BITE…THAT STING OF SIN
Jesus came to die for us, for you, taking your sins upon Himself and nailing them to the cross on which He was crucified That was a work of God. When man was nailing Jesus to the cross, God was nailing your sins and your sinful life, WHICH JESUS TOOK TO HIMSELF TO BEAR AWAY FOR YOU, to that cross.
Why then hang on to them? Why hang on to a load you cannot carry?
God also says that repentance leads to life – Acts 11:18. God said that repentance must be towards God – Acts 20:21. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance – Romans 2:4. Godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation – 2 Corinthians 7:10. While sin leads to death, repentance leads to life – Not just a better life on earth, a cleaner life, but eternal life. And that eternal life is in Jesus Christ and it can start here today for you. Will you turn back to God…?
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEART…
be merciful to me a sinner.
I have sinned against Heaven and against You.
I am sorry that I have offended You my God.
I am disgusted with all my sins and sinfulness.
I want to live for you. I want to forsake my sinful ways.
Please help me, and give me Your repentance.
Thank You Father God for Your gift of repentance.
Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to come and take all my sins upon Himself and then to die with my load of sin, on the cross.
Father, I believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ my Saviour, my Lord and God. I believe He died and rose again for me. I welcome Him into my life to reign as King and live in me.
Thank You Jesus for wanting to do all this for me, and for taking all my sins away.
Deliver me from every evil thing and every evil spirit. I utterly reject all these things.
Now Father, according to Your Holy promise, I ask that You fill me completely with Your Holy Spirit, so that I may live a life pleasing to You in the Power of the Holy Spirit, until Jesus comes.
Now dear friend, if you have a Holy Bible (if not buy one quickly), read it every day, and pray to Your Heavenly Father to help you to understand it and keep it in your heart and do it. It is your daily bread. Eat all of it. Let it work in you thoroughly. It is more important than food for your body. Live for Jesus.
Spend time each day enjoying your Father in Heaven.
He longs to have your company each day.
Tell Him everything.
Keep no secrets from Him.
Get baptized in water, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, calling on the name of the Lord. And you shall receive the Promised Holy Ghost (also called Holy Spirit), just like Peter said (Acts 2:38), and like Ananias told Saul to do (Acts 22:16, and 9:17😉 Jesus may choose to baptize you in the Holy Ghost before getting baptized in water; that happened in Acts 10.
But it is His promise to you.
Don’t let the devil steal the Father’s Promise of the Holy Ghost from you before or after you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; believe God’s Word; not the word of man.
Tell others how much Jesus means to you…
BY YOUR WORDS AND ACTIONS
Ask your Father in Heaven to lead you to other believers who really love Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, and who desire to live holy lives for Him, as they long for His coming. Meet with them often.
Follow Jesus in trouble or distress, no matter the difficulty. He will lead you safely all the way to His and your Father’s house in Heaven.
He won’t leave you…trust Him completely…
HE ALONE IS FAITHFUL
God bless you
END OF PART ONE