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God’s Call to Genuine Repentance - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2024 12:00 am

God’s Call to Genuine Repentance - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 14, 2024 12:00 am

Receive a refresher on what true repentance really means.

Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright
Alan Wright Ministries
Alan Wright
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
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Don Green
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, February fourteenth. If you're like most believers, you've said, I'm sorry to God more than once. Today, you'll find help understanding what it takes to live a godly and consistent life. Here's part two of God's call to genuine repentance. One of the best examples of what genuine repentance is about is in a passage that you know real well. Turn, if you will, to the fifteenth chapter of Luke for a moment.

Listen to this parable that Jesus gave in the fifteenth chapter of Luke, beginning in verse eleven. He said, A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me, so he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the young man gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent, watch this, when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

Now think about this. Jesus has couched this in such a fashion, this young man, Jewish boy, has become so low, now he is feeding hogs, which is the worst. In other words, that's the lowest thing he could do. Feeding swine in the swine pen, and he's having to josh with the swine as to what he's going to eat. Listen, he spent everything, a severe famine occurred in the country, began to be impoverished, hired himself to this man, sent him to feed swine, and he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one gave him anything. Where was he?

He's at the bottom rung of the ladder. That is, he was living in sin, he'd lost it all, and all of a sudden, God got his attention. Now what I want you to see, here's a picture of genuine repentance, and if these two things are not true, there's no genuine repentance. So, verse seventeen, when he came to his senses, he began to think the truth. He said, How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I'm dying here with hunger? Listen to this, I will arise, he said, I'll get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son.

Make me as one of your hired servants. Now that's all well and good. So what do we have? Here he is, he's sick and tired of being sick and tired. He's lost it all, he's squandered it all, he's at the bottom of the, wrong. He's discouraged, disillusioned, disheartened, sorry for what he's done, sorry for the way he's wasted his life. And the question is, that what changed his place? He said, I will arise and go to my father.

Listen carefully. As long as the only thing that happened in this boy's life was to be in the hog pen, as you and I would say, slopping hogs, living at the bottom, having lost everything, totally impoverished, if that's all that happened, he'd still be in the hog pen. Listen to what he said, I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son.

Make me as one of your hired men. He's still in the hog pen. What has he done? He's realized where he is, realized how helpless he is, and he's made a decision.

Here's what I'm going to do. Well, where is he now? He's still in the hog pen. But how do I know he meant business?

Here's how I know he meant business. Verse twenty, So he got up, came to his father. While he was still a long way off, the father saw him and felt compassion on him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And he said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son.

But the father said to his slaves, Bring out the best robe. Put a ring on his fingers. Send us on his feet.

Let's have a big party. My son's come home. How do I know he genuinely repented of leaving home and living in sin and squandering everything? He not only came to that realization, he said, Here's what I'm going to do, and he did it. Now the question is, what was the difference?

He left his old hog-style living. And there are many people today who are living in the hog pen spiritually. They are absolutely spiritually corrupt. Their very nature is corrupt. They're living in sin, living in disobedience to God. And they've told God all kind of things.

And yet that's exactly where they are. And for many people, they never get right with God till they get in the hog pen. They don't get right with God until they've lost everything. Will God let you lose everything? Every single thing.

Is that bad? Anything that drives you to God has got to be good. You may be sitting out there or standing out there and saying, Well, you know, I've lost everything, and if God was a good God, He wouldn't have let me lost everything.

He would have been good to me, la-da-da, and all that stuff. You know why you've lost everything? He's trying to get your attention.

What got this boy's attention? What got his attention is he lost it all. And for many people, they have to lose everything before God gets their attention. God can love them. He can speak to their heart.

He can use other people to bear witness and testimony, but until their will is broken, until they recognize that all of their commitments and all their confessions and all their promises and all their good deeds and all of these will not make any difference. You can't straighten up your life. God must change your spirit. And repentance is about a change in your life. It isn't about talking about it. It isn't about just feeling bad. It isn't about telling God that you're in the hog pen and that you need some help and please answer your prayer. It's about a change. And that change takes place when you respond in genuine confession and repentance, that is a genuine sorrow for your sin. And listen, not only the willingness, but listen, allowing God to turn you around and forsake your past way and begin to walk in a different way. And that's the reason churches are filled with people who are still lost, they've made a decision, and they've told God this, that, and the other, but they've never genuinely repented of their sin.

And so they're still living in it. And here's the tragedy. The tragedy is preaching a gospel that tolerates sin, that never brings people to the realization that salvation is about an absolute eternal change in a person's life. It isn't just a change in my behavior, though that'll be there. It isn't just a change in my conduct and my conversation, my character. It is an eternal change that takes place because there's an eternal change that does take place when a person receives Christ as their Savior and it's a genuine relationship with Him. So, when you think about what's involved, what is involved is simply this.

And that is, something has to take place in a person's life whereby there's a change of character, change of conduct, change of behavior, change, change, change. Now, what about people who are saved, know that they're saved? No question about it. You say, you know what? Here's a problem I have. I've got some things in my life, or one or two things or whatever it might be, and I've asked God to forgive me, and I know He has, but you know what?

I'm still doing it. And you'd probably have to say, and we probably all at some point decide to say this. I'm asking you, God, please believe me. I'm as sincere as I know to be. Please forgive me. And deep down inside, you know you're going to do it again. Well, what about that?

I'm coming to it. What about believers who have habits in their life, relationships in their life, ideas in their life, lust in their life, whatever it might be? And you ask God to forgive you and you come to Him and you confess it. So, let's talk about confession for a moment. Here's what the word means.

In the Greek in the New Testament, the word is homologia, which means to agree with. So that if I'm confessing something to God in this genuine confession, I am agreeing with Him that this sin, that this act in my life or this attitude is sinful, it doesn't belong, and I want to deal with it. That's confession. Genuine confession, listen, involves not only my faith in Him that He's listening, and I agree with Him that He's listening. And my agreement, listen, confession involves agreement with Him that it's not right, but there must be a repentance spirit. That is, repentance is involved in my confession. It's a part of my confession.

It's a part of my faith. You can't separate repentance from faith in Christ. You can't separate confession and repentance.

It's two sides of the same coin. You can't have, if you have genuine confession, it's genuine repentance because what you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, you and me, God, this doesn't fit in my life. I don't want it in my life. I want it out of my life. I'm confessing it.

I genuinely repent of it. That is, I choose to walk away from it. Now, there's a reason many people say those things, and it doesn't work. You say, well now, what else can you do? It doesn't work. Watch this carefully.

What it is. The reason it's not genuine repentance is because I haven't surrendered it. It is only when I let it go that there's going to be a change. You can't blame God. You say, well God, you didn't forgive me.

God, you didn't help me. All God's going to say is that you came to me and confessed it, and if that had been genuine when I told you it didn't belong in your life, you'd let it go. But you didn't let it go. And I'm here to tell you, surrender, listen, surrender is the key in genuine repentance. I'm willing to walk away from what God says does not belong in my life. And this is why Christians cannot break away from certain habits in their life and things that do not belong there, maybe attitudes, or it can be attitudes to a lot of things. The reason they can't break away is for the simple reason not wanting to surrender it.

Just got to hold on a little bit. Listen, partial obedience is what? Disobedience. And the reason people, if there's no genuine repentance, turning away from it, laying it down.

Now here's the big question. Somebody says, well now wait a minute, I know I'm saved, and maybe you've been saved six months or whatever it might be, or a week or whatever it might be. Watch this carefully now, and I always hesitate at this point because many people sit out there or maybe sitting right here and think, oh boy, am I glad to hear that I needed a little bit of an out. I'm not giving you an out. It's not me to give anyway.

Here's what I want you to see. If I genuinely repent of my sin, I'm going to lay it down. Does that mean I'm not going to? Watch this now, you don't believe a no question about your Christianity. Does that mean they're going to ever commit it again?

No. Doesn't mean that. There are people who, for example, come from another culture. They don't even know anything about what we believe. They don't know anything about this Bible, but they get into convictions sometimes, hear the gospel for the first time, don't know anything about it.

And so the way they grew up, there are things in their life that in their family that was part of just the way everybody thought. Or their habits that people have had in their life for years, and they don't even realize that's a habit, that it's a sin against God. And so there are different circumstances and situations in which a person sometimes doesn't even realize that what they're doing is a sin.

Now watch this. That can only last for a period of time because the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit's responsibility is to bring to your mind and mine, that is, what is sin and what is not sin. For example, the Holy Spirit will convict you of sin. If you want God's best, you want what He says in the Scripture. If you want His best, you want what He says in the Scripture.

So ask yourself this question. Is there anything in your life that God keeps bringing up and you keep telling Him that, well, thank you very much, Lord, I appreciate that. I'm going to work on that one of these days and just show me, Lord, what You have me to do. And He's trying to show you and you keep holding on.

Watch this carefully. He says, if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteous. But the Spirit of repentance, it has to be in that confession.

Let's just talk. He says that He'll cleanse us from all unrighteous. He's not going to cleanse me as long as I'm just talking.

Watch this. How can He cleanse me when I'm holding on to it? It's when I genuinely confess it and walk away from it that He does what?

That the change takes place. Why is it God doesn't want sin in our life? Because He loves us too much to allow us to wreck and ruin our lives and to cheat Him out of the glory and honor that is due Him. And I think there are many, many people who do not even understand where they're on the Christian life.

Maybe there's something in your life you keep dealing with. Now listen carefully. This is nobody's business but yours and God. Nobody knows you like God knows you.

I mean, you have things in your mind, your thoughts, secrets in your life maybe or whatever. It's between you and God. Only you know whether you're fully surrendered or not.

What is it that you're holding onto that you've never really genuinely as a believer surrendered to Him? He keeps bringing it up and you keep excusing it. He keeps bringing it up and you keep trying to explain it to Him. He keeps bringing it up and you give Him an excuse. He keeps bringing it up and finally you say, I think I'm just, well Lord, and then so it happens.

Look at all the good things I'm doing over here. Nobody's perfect God. I mean, absolutely everybody has some little problem over here and so we explain it away. Do you realize why He keeps bringing it up? Because He loves you.

Because He knows what's going to happen in your life eventually if you don't deal with it. Do you think that God would separate you from somebody, for example, that you're dating if He didn't have somebody, listen, that best suits you in mind? Is God going to come? In other words, are you going to be a better chooser than God?

No. You can't out-choose God in any aspect of your life, whether it's a job or a mate or whatever it might be. So genuine repentance is what? It's my being willing to lay aside what doesn't fit me so God can give me exactly what fits me.

And when I see people who are believers, who keep hanging on to things that do not fit them, I think, oh God, if they only knew the joy and the contentment and the peace and the sense of wholeness and joy that's in the life of somebody, if you just lay it all down. Now, if I were to ask you, do you believe that God is a good God, we'd all say what? Yes, He is.

He's good. Does He want the best for you? We'd all say yes. Would He take away from you anything that's good?

No. Then why don't we trust Him? Think about this. You don't want to stand before God one of these days and Him say to you. If you had just laid that down, look what I had in store for you. We say we trust Him and at the same time we take second best and we hold on to something that He doesn't want us to have because He's got something better.

That's the reason. So that's what repentance is all about. And you have to decide, do you want God's best or do you not? And it's my prayer that you'll choose His best by acknowledging your sinfulness, telling Him that you don't deserve anything.

You're asking for His mercy and His forgiveness and His cleansing. You're surrendering your life to Him. You're placing your trust in Him as your Savior, your Lord, your Master. And in that process of turning to Him, you're automatically turning away from your past into a new life that He's provided for you. Now, if that has not happened, you're not saved and you're not safe and you're not eternally secure. If you're a believer and you're still holding on to something that God said, don't just lay it down. It's a faith test with you. If you say, I trust God, then lay down what God wants to take out of your life so that He can give you His best.

It's a choice we make. And remember, I can understand it and I can be sorrowful and all the other things, but I'm still in the hog pen until I do what? Till I take a step to my Father in obedience to Him. Amen? Father, how grateful we are for that simple story of the product of the Son we've all been there in some fashion or the other. And I pray for people, Father, who go to church every Sunday that something's not right, they can't figure out what it is.

Things really haven't changed, they don't understand how. Help them to see that it's through a simple, definite, deliberate, purposeful, sincere act of confession in the spirit of repentance and regret about their sin and a commitment to walk away by the power of the Holy Spirit and to follow you obediently is my prayer today in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of God's Calling to Genuine Repentance. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia. ...
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-14 03:25:47 / 2024-02-14 03:34:09 / 8

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