Temple Baptist Church - 8-4-2013
A. Revelation 2-3 deals with the spiritual condition of seven contemporary churches in Asia Minor with various problems. It also is prophetic of the last two thousand years of what we refer to as the Church Age.
1. The problems and warnings are progressive in nature as it speaks of the condition of the local church from the apostolic times to the end times. The problem began with the leaving of the first love of the church and the admonition was to repent.
2. Repentance is vital to the salvation of the lost, the spiritual health of the individual, and the condition of the local church.
B. I want to take a look at the word “repentance” in light of the Scripture to see what the Bible says concerning its definition and applications.
1. There is little preaching on this subject in our day because of the arguing over its necessity and definition. Let me say first of all, when God or His preachers commanded repentance, THEY GAVE NO DEFINITION! The reason is simple, when people want to get right with God, they innately understand what repentance is as well as its necessity!
2. Failure to preach repentance’s necessity has caused the local churches of our day to be filled with lost people who have just enough religion to make them feel acceptable to God but not enough salvation to get them to heaven. God is still a holy God and that holiness requires certain things with repentance being on of them.
3. Preaching on repentance has become a thing of the past as churches now are afraid of “running people off” and diminishing numbers on their pews. Too many preachers are more interested in numbers, popularity, and money than they are to be pleasing to God and seeing people saved.
4. The results of the lack of preaching on repentance is a congregation with many lost members that must be both appeased and entertained. Preaching is not to appease man but to please God and churches are not here to entertain.
C. I want to take a look at John the Baptist first of all in light of the message that he preached.
1. John was the last of the Old Testament prophets whom the Lord used to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
2. John’s message was clear. Matthew 3:1-8 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. (3) For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (4) And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (5) Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, (6) And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (7) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (8) Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
3. John’s message was approved by the Lord. Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
D. What is repentance? Repentance is “toward God.” It is much more that turning from something, to is turning to Someone! Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Definition from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: REPENT'ANCE, n.
1. Sorrow for anything done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.
2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment, is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.
3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.
4. Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.
5. Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. Matthew 3:7-8 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
6. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God.
E. Repentance involves:
1. A realization of personal sinfulness and guilt before God. The penitent sinner is conscious of guilt and helplessness.
2. A knowledge that salvation is found in the mercy of God through Christ Jesus. That salvation is of the Lord and not mixed with human merit or effort.
3. A development of personal hatred for sin. Sinfulness is wrong and needs to be avoided.
4. A desire to life a life pleasing to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
F. The order of repentance.
1. There must be Reception of Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Proverbs 13:1 A wise son [heareth] his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
2. There must be Realization of Sinfulness - Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. There must be Godly Sorrow - 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Psalms 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
G. The results of Biblical Repentance.
1. Without Biblical Repentance, sinners will not be saved! Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (True repentance in a sinner will cause him or her to have a change of life and desires. It is an eternal change not “to be repented of.” The believer will never change their minds concerning repentance. Without repentance, the sinner can pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” [whatever that is] all they want and remain on their way to hell sitting on a church pew.)
2. Without Biblical Repentance, sins will not be forgiven! Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (The words “for” and “because” are synonyms. Synonyms are words that are alike or have the same meaning. Baptism is because sins have been forgiven. When a sinner repents, his/her sins are forgiven, not when he/she is baptized.)
3. Without Biblical Repentance, saints will not be spiritually blessed! Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (The blessing and power of God will be removed until such a times as the saint comes back to a holy relationship with the Lord.)