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What's The Big Deal About Repentance?

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2022 12:30 am

What's The Big Deal About Repentance?

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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November 23, 2022 12:30 am

Today, Pastor Russ takes us through Luke Chapter 13 and the first 9 verses.

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christmasairlift.com in just a few seconds. Enjoy it and share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at findingpurpose.net or connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. Alright, I've entitled tonight's message, What's the Big Deal About Repentance? We're going to be looking at Luke chapter 13. We're just going to cover the first nine verses tonight in this lecture. Matthew chapter 3 verse 1 says, In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Matthew 4 17 says, From that time on Jesus began to preach, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Mark 1 14 and 15 says, After John was put in prison, this is speaking about John the Baptist, Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come, he said, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news.

And then in Acts chapter 3, we find Peter addressing a huge crowd of Jews. And I want you to listen to what he says in verses 19 and 20. Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders, talking about when they crucified Christ. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets saying that his Christ would suffer.

Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ who has been appointed for you, even Jesus. And then in Acts chapter 20, as Paul is saying, he's headed towards Jerusalem, he's stopping at some of the churches he planted along the way, and he's saying goodbye to the elders at Ephesus. And when he gets to verse 21, it says, I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. I read all those verses to you tonight to make it clear that the main subject matter on the mind of John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter and Paul, when they first spoke to any group of gathering of people, was repentance.

The question is why? Why was the message of repentance the first and foremost thing on their mind when it came to the topic of their preaching? Why repentance? Well, that's the subject of tonight's message.

What is the big deal about repentance? And that brings us to Luke chapter 13. So beginning with verse 1, follow with me.

I'm going to read the first four verses, the first five, excuse me. Luke writes, Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered, Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you no, but unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?

I tell you no, but unless you repent, you too will all perish. Now outside of Luke's gospel, there's really no record of these two tragic events. The one involving these Galileans who were apparently in Jerusalem and they were in the temple and Pilate had them killed. Nor the one involved in the eighteen who died when this tower of Siloam fell on them. So what we learned in these four verses is really all we know. There's no other record in any of the other gospels.

There's no other record in history. This is all the information we have about these two incredible tragedies. And apparently the reason the people mentioned the first event about the Galileans to Jesus is because the mistaken idea that when a tragedy strikes someone or some group of people. I've read about two or three tragedies just recently involving several hundred deaths around the world. Tragic events. And someone will say, well I guess God is really upset with those people. God must be punishing them for some secret and egregious sin.

That's what a lot of people think when they see tragedy strike in a given area. But Jesus puts this thinking to bed when twice He answers emphatically, no. Twice Jesus says, do you think these people were worse sinners than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

Twice He says no. And what He's saying, the main point of what He's saying is that we're all sinners and we're all guilty. That's the main point. Therefore, we all need to repent or we all too will perish. I want you to tonight realize that most of what I'm quoting to you tonight from Scripture, these are the words of Jesus Himself, our loving Savior. He speaks some very strong words. Repent or you will perish.

So two questions come to my mind. First, what does it mean to repent? Then secondly, what does it mean to perish? Well let's deal with repentance first.

What does it mean? Well the Greek word for repentance comes from, it's the word metanoia. And it's composed of two parts, meta meaning change and noia meaning mind. So repentance means to change one's mind about a particular sin.

But it's really more than that. It's more than just a changed mind. True repentance leads to changed actions or habits.

In other words, a changed life follows. True repentance involves a radical turning from sin and at the same time a turning of a life that's oriented now towards God. True repentance is evidenced by righteous living. And it goes hand in hand with genuine belief in Jesus Christ.

And men, here's the key point. Only true repentance leads to the forgiveness of sins and ultimately to salvation. And this is what it means to be a Christian. This is what it means to be someone who's been born again. And the catalyst for a changed life is an ongoing heart of repentance.

Deo Moody said, Man is born with his face turned away from God. When he truly repents, he's turned right around toward God and he leaves his old way of life. That's a picture of repentance.

Richard Roberts said, Repentance is an ongoing process. One must be forever repentant. It's not enough to once feel sorrow over sin. True repentance affects the whole man and alters his entire lifestyle. This underscores why John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter and Paul always preached a message that began with repentance. You see, without repentance, there's no forgiveness. Without repentance, there's no salvation.

And without repentance, man, you will perish. So the question that comes to my mind is what happened to repentance? Why is it so rare, if ever, that you ever hear a message about sin and repentance preached in churches today here in America? If repentance was the foremost thing on Christ's mind, shouldn't it be the foremost thing on most preachers minds on Sunday morning? Maybe it's because we don't like to talk about sin and we don't feel the need to repent.

Maybe modern preachers are more concerned about pleasing man than they are pleasing God. But I want you to notice what Jesus said to the people around him here in Luke chapter 13. He said, But unless you repent, you too will perish. So what does it mean to perish? Well, the Greek word for perish is apollumi, which means, it means to destroy utterly.

The idea is not extinction but ruin, the total loss of one's spiritual well-being. And you will find apollumi translated either to destroy or to perish, all throughout the New Testament. In fact, this Greek word apollumi, or some variation of it, is found over 700 times throughout the Bible. Isn't that how important it is?

Here are a few examples. In John 3 16, we read, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that who believes in Him shall not apollumi, perish, but have eternal life. 2 Peter 3 7 says, By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, but are kept for the day of judgment and destruction, there again is that word apollumi, destruction of ungodly men. 2 Peter 3 9 says, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, apollumi, but everyone to come to what?

Repentance. And Matthew 10 28 says, Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather be afraid of the one who can destroy, that's apollumi, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Again, this is Jesus speaking. He says, Be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul where?

In hell. Jesus is only concerned about one thing men, and that is your and my eternal destiny. And He more than anyone else understands the horrors of hell that await those who refuse to repent. So He warned the people, but unless you repent, you too will perish.

So I think it's important for us to have a sound biblical view of what it means to perish. And where's the place that people perish? Hell. So guys, we need a sound theological biblical view of hell. So what exactly is hell? You ever heard a sermon on hell?

Well, you're getting ready to hear one. Hell is the place of everlasting destruction where unbelievers will perish forever. This is what Jesus is warning about and why He so passionately begged people to repent rather than to perish. So what's the big deal about hell? Well, let's see what the Bible has to say about hell. Jesus taught that hell is a real place where some beings, both humans and angels, will spend eternity.

And here's something that's very interesting. Jesus used the Valley of Hinnom or the Valley of Gehenna which was just outside Jerusalem as an illustration of hell. In Mark 9, 47 and 48, Jesus says, And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna.

There it is. Or hell. Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

He's right there with that phrase where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. He's describing Gehenna. The Valley of Gehenna, by the way, was a public dump. It was a real place. It was located on the outskirts of Jerusalem where garbage, dead animals, corpses of criminals and all manner of uncleanness constantly burned. In other words, they kept a continuous fire burning all of this garbage. And so, think about it. It was Gehenna that came to Jesus' mind when He picked an illustration to describe hell. Gehenna. Did you know that Jesus warned more about hell than anybody else in the Bible?

Why? Because He knows more about hell than anybody else. And He knows the horrors of it and He does not want anyone to go to hell. But just as heaven is real and everybody believes that heaven is real, hell is real. So what will hell be like?

How does Jesus describe it? Well, first, hell will be a place of eternal, spiritual darkness. The book of Job, known as the oldest book in the Bible, contains many descriptions of a quote, land of deepest night, of utter darkness and disorder.

Job 10 verses 20-22 says, Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment's joy before I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow, to the land of deepest night, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is like darkness. Me and heaven is going to be a place of light and order. Hell is going to be a place of darkness and disorder. In Matthew 22 verses 11-13, Jesus says, notice I keep saying Jesus says, Jesus says, Jesus says, But when the king came in to see the guest, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. So this is a picture of someone arriving at the pearly gates of heaven.

And remember last week we talked about you need to be what? Be dressed ready with your lamps burning. So this guy's not dressed ready. But when the king came in to see the guest, he noticed a man there was there, standing there, who was not wearing wedding clothes. Friendly asked, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?

The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, tie him hand and foot, throw him outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited, but few are chosen. Whose words are these? Jesus' words. Me and hell will be a place where unbelievers will live without any hope. The day of grace and mercy will be over. The light of the gospel will be forever in their past. In hell, unbelievers will have endless time to reflect on all the opportunities God gave them while they were here on planet earth to be saved.

But they rejected His grace and mercy. And there will be no second chances. Men, there is good news. Our only hope is Jesus.

Okay? He is the only hope. In John 12 46, Jesus says, I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. Guys, I had a man come to visit me today, who's in a place of darkness. His wife is falling for divorce. He's having trouble sleeping at night. He's dealing with anxiety and fear and depression.

He's like a dead man walking. And so I talked to him about Jesus. And that man got on his knees with tears in his eyes today. And he prayed to receive Christ. And he has hope now. He still has to deal with some issues that he's facing. But he has hope. And he has peace.

Jesus says, I only hope. He's the light of the world. Are you coming to the light? If you're not sure, why not come to Jesus tonight, who is the light of the world? So hell will be a place of eternal spiritual darkness. That's number one. Secondly, hell will be a place of unbearable and unending emotional stress.

The likes of which no one has ever experienced. In Matthew 13 41-43, Jesus says, The Son of Man will send out His angels. Again, this is Jesus speaking. And this is a picture of the second coming. And they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

Let me repeat that. The Son of Man will send out His angels. And they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And they will throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Gnashing of teeth is just a phrase that's symptomatic of someone who is extremely angry. Apparently, those who pridefully rebel against God in this life, who think they deserve heaven because of their goodness, they will continue in their state of rebellion and hell and will be full of anger that they were rejected from heaven.

Just like the man who wasn't dressed properly. Others on the other hand, will be full of great and unending regret and immeasurable sorrow. The likes of which no sorrow has ever been felt by mankind. And so hell will be a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And it will go on relentlessly. Men, we have only one hope. And His name is Jesus. In Luke 19 verse 10, it says, For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Have you come to Jesus?

Come to Jesus while there's still time. Third, Hell will be a place of unrelenting pain. Now Jesus describes hell as a place of unquenchable and eternal fire. It also describes hell as a place of outer darkness.

So I believe that these terms are symbolic rather than literal. That's just my view. I don't think that there's a literal fire.

Could be wrong. I wouldn't want to take any chances. But I believe Jesus teaching that the pain will be so intense that it will be like a fire burning in one's soul due to unending regret, sorrow, guilt, remorse, anxiety, and you can't get rid of it. It will be like a fire burning in your mind and your heart and your soul forever. And there will be no medication to get rid of it.

The pain will be so intense, it will feel like a fire burning within your mind and your soul. In Matthew 25 verse 41, Jesus says, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Let me repeat that verse. Jesus says, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for who?

The devil and his angels. Here's some more to eventual theology about hell. Hell was not prepared for mankind. It was prepared and has been made ready for Satan and all of his fallen angels that rebelled with him against God. However, if we choose to reject Jesus as the only way to the Father, then God has no choice but to cast us into hell along with Satan and his demonic angels.

You know, we've been praying, Thy will be done here on heaven and earth. When unbelievers stand before God, He's going to say, Thy will be done. You didn't want any part of me. Therefore, you will have no part of me forever. Guys, the choices that we make here on earth about Jesus have eternal consequences.

In John 4, 13 and 14, Jesus answered. This is again the woman at the well. He said, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. That's what I want that man who was in my office today to experience. I want him to experience this well that just bubbles up within you. That's full of life and joy and light and peace. So let me ask you men. Are you watching via live stream? Do you know for certain that you possess eternal life? Do you? If you're not sure, then why not come to Jesus tonight while you still have breath in your lungs?

Number four. This is probably the worst thing of all. Hell will be a place of eternal separation from God. See, while on earth, people have the opportunity to repent and turn to God. However, those who refuse God's offer of eternal life will spend eternity in hell separated from God, separated from light, separated from joy, separated from loved ones who know the Lord, separated from all that is good and righteous and holy and perfect and all kinds of other blessings.

Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 1 verses 8 and 9. He says, He, that is God, will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. How do you obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus?

Believe it. It's not about works. It's not talking about that kind of obedience. It's talking about believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. He will punish those who do not know God and do not believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day when Jesus comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

See, there's a day coming when the Lord is going to return to this earth and there's going to be a great division. Those who believe will be with the Lord forever in heaven and those who have rejected Christ in this life will be turned away. What is hell like? Well, first of all, hell is real. It's a place for those who rebel against the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It will be a place of great regret, a place of relentless darkness, pain, and agony in men. This is why Jesus looked at these people here in Luke 13. He sidetracked their questions about why do these people die and He got to the real issue. He looked at them and said, But unless you repent, you too will all perish. I mean, He's warning the people.

That's what a loving Father would do for anybody, any child. He would warn them. And that's what Jesus is saying to these people. Turn around or you will perish. In John 5 24, Jesus says, So let me ask you something, men. Have you crossed over from death to life? Have you?

If you're not sure, then why don't you cross over tonight? Listen, not only should you repent, but you should repent now. And that brings us to these last few verses here. Verses 6-9, this parable. Look at what Luke writes. If it bears fruit next year, fine.

If not, then cut it down. Now I want you all to notice in here that there are three symbols in this parable. You've got the fig tree. You've got the owner.

And you've got the caretaker. Well, in the Old Testament, the fig tree was symbolic of the nation of Israel. And so I believe that this fig tree actually represents Israel. And the owner represents God the Father. And the caretaker represents Jesus or God the Son. And what we have going on here is the owner, God, and the caretaker, Jesus, are having a conversation with each other about what to do about the condition of the fig tree which to date has borne no fruit.

They're basically saying to each other, well, what should we do? And the owner argues from the position of justice and righteousness, cut it down. Whereas the caretaker, Jesus, argues from the position of mercy. So for three years, man, Jesus was preaching to what nation?

Israel. But there was very little fruit, particularly among the religious elite. So the question, was it time for judgment or for mercy? For the time being, God chose mercy. He sent His Son, Jesus, to the cross even while the nation of Israel rebelled against Him. What happened 40 years later? Judgment came in the form of the Roman army which marched into Jerusalem in 70 AD when tens of thousands of Jews were massacred and many were crucified and the temple was completely destroyed. In other words, the fig tree was finally cut down and the nation of Israel ceased to exist as the Jews were scattered among the nations of the world. And they remained scattered until what year?

1948, when they became a nation again. Which shows you God's grace never goes away. But the whole point of this parable is that we should repent while we live in the age of God's grace and mercy because at some point He will cut down the fig tree. Being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at FindingPurpose.net or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at FindingPurpose.net
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-23 03:17:36 / 2022-11-23 03:27:48 / 10

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