Foundational Doctrines – Part 4
By Pastor Bill Murchison
Last week we looked at godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. We saw that godly sorrow is without regret and leads to salvation. Worldly sorrow produces no fruit; it is merely sorry for being caught. Today, we want to look at two reasons why it is important to teach repentance.
The first reason to teach repentance is that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Isaiah tells us that all of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us have turned to his own way (Is 53:6). Romans 6:23 tells us that there are consequences or wages for our sin. If all of us were given what we earned, we would be in trouble, because the wages of sin is death. The great news is that the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him (Isaiah 53:6b). Repentance is necessary to turn from our ways and to receive His payment for our sins so that we can have life.
The second reason is because of the examples given to in Scripture. We are to follow the example of Christ. Jesus went about preaching, “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 4:17). The kingdom of God is still at hand and the message is still needed. Culturally, we like to tell people to come as they are, while Jesus taught people to repent.
John the Baptist also taught people to repent. In Matthew 3:2 he says, “”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It is the same message that Jesus was preaching.
The disciples of Christ also taught repentance. In Mark 6:12, “they went out and preached that men should repent.” At Pentecost, Peter preached repentance to the thousands of people who were in Jerusalem for the feast. They asked, “what shall we do?” Peter responded, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37-38) The result was that about three thousand souls were added to the church that day (Acts 2:41). Paul also preached repentance. In Acts 26:20 he “kept declaring….that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”
All of us needed repentance. There is none without sin; therefore all need to repent. We want to relate to people on their level. We want to treat people with kindness, and not judge them. It is the kindness of God that leads to repentance, but repentance must still be preached.
“Father, we want to be people that see souls being added to the church. We want to see a mighty move of Your Spirit. We want to relate to “pre-Christians” and show kindness to them. We also want to have boldness and preach the message of repentance. We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.