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March 7, 2021 5:00 am
This is on Solomon and I like to welcome you to our program today.
You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that.
Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God. The Bible says that every time a person here on earth.
Read the angels in heaven get together and are excited and rejoice and have a party. The Bible never said the angels in heaven throw a party when you get a big raise. When we receive a promotion when we win a ballgame or when we secure a big contract, but when we repent Bible says the angels have a party and it seems to me of repentance makes God this happy then it must be pretty important and if it's this important to God than we ought to make sure we understand what repentance is so we can do it and that's what I want to talk to you about this morning.
Let's look here in Luke chapter 3 it says here in the 50th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, and then he lists out many of the other officials. Verse two during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. Now this is the man we commonly call John the right and if you want your timeframe for when this happened look down in verse 23 now Jesus when he came to be baptized by John was about 30 years old when he began his public ministry. So what we have done in this chapter is we have jumped 18 years or thereabouts from chapter 2. When Jesus was 12 to chapter 3, when he is now 30 years old and about to enter his official public ministry, and when this is happening.
Suddenly, John the Baptist comes out of the Judean desert as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Any comes with a very clear and distinct message that he's carrying. Look at verse three. Anyone into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance. That's his message preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and Matthew's gospel said many people were coming to him confessing their sins and being baptized by him and this is as it was written in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah, the voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the Lord make straight paths for him. John has a very distinct and clear message. His message was the message of repentance. The word that is translated repentance in English is the Greek word metal noise at all in literally means to change her mind to have a change of perspective or change of outlook and this is not some surfacing thing.
The Bible is talking about but rather it's a change of heart that is so deep and so profound that it alters your perspective and your attitude and your outward actions forever. If you are all I have repented over some issue in life we will never think about that issue the same, we will never evaluate that issue the same, we will never react to that issue. The same and we will never respond in light of that issue.
The same ever. If we repent in terms of our whole life in its direction that our whole life will never go in the same direction. Again, repentance really means a profound change of heart and mind of toward some issue or goal like I saw a bumper sticker not too long ago. It said this going the Wrong Way, God permits U-turns like that as a great bumper sticker. That's one of the few I think I would actually put on my car because I do want to get one, and I'll probably get hundreds in the mail now and I promise I'll put yours on my car okay but I don't know where to get that, but it's a great bumper sticker and basically repentance is a U-turn in all or part of your life.
It's an about-face several years ago I was having a physical for life insurance policy so the lady came over my house and she brought all rental equipment, and she came in my living room and she said now just laid out on the couch.
Don't worry about all the children run around yelling and screaming throwing things at each other and get new things in the kitchen and the noisy here with the dishes quickly around door about all that is laid down and relax, and I'll take your blood pressure so should do just what it was hot. Well I didn't think anything of it. I said well it's because of all the noise in the confusion and distress and so I wrote it all but a few months later I went to see my family doctor on another issue, and I said look while I'm in here in pain anyway, but no job he around my arm and see what my blood pressure is visa located pump that little thing up and guess what, it was hot and there were no children there and I was relaxed so you know my dad died of heart attacks and he had high blood pressure most part of his life and so I thought all of oh, I don't want that to happen.
So I look to Dr. in the face after he told me and I said will dock what medicine do I need to go warning me. Maybe I need to go on some medicine to reduce my blood pressure and whatever induced me to tell me in blue. I will have it and he put his arm under my shoulder look me right in the eyeballs will never forget and he said to me, son. I hate it when they call me soon. He said son you don't need any medicine.
He said what you need son is to lose 30 pounds and he did not smile when he said I didn't smile either, so I came home and I said to Brenda. Brenda I'm gonna lose 30 pounds and she said right I said no I'm going to change the way I eat I'm going to change my habits. I'm not any Oreos 11 o'clock at night I'm knocking me all kinds of sweets in between meals. I'm not going to eat one meal at six another meal at 830 in the evening I'm gonna change the way I eat on the cut down my fat intake and except for a couple of little doughnuts in the morning I'm going to completely change my diet and you know lots. I did and I lost 30 pounds and I kept it off and that is a great example of a dietary repentance that is a U-turn in your diet, but John the Baptist was not calling on people to do dietary repentance unless you really needed.
He was really calling on people to do spiritual repentance, meaning that we look to any place in our life where we are out of step with God and in that area we make a U-turn when an alcoholic decides to quit drinking and join AA that is an act of spiritual repentance that is a U-turn, a spiritual U-turn in their life.
When a workaholic father decides to put his family first. That is a piece of spiritual repentance and a U-turn in his life when a dating couple decides to stop having sex until after they're married and they really do it.
That is spiritual repentance. When a manipulator decides that they're not going to be a person who manipulates anymore, but they're going to become a person of full disclosure and everything that is spiritual repentance.
When a person involved in an affair decides to call it all and confess what they've done and restore their marriage that is spiritual repentance.
When a guy decides to stop undressing women with his eyes and with his mind. Everywhere he goes. That is spiritual repentance. When a person decides to stop reading and watching pornography that is spiritual repentance. These are examples of spiritual U-turns. When we sense that were out of step with God in some area of our life. We decide to turn now.
Why did God send John preaching repentance was his purpose. Look first for it says the voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the Lord.
Now this is the essential point I want to grasp this morning. If you miss this you miss it all. The ministry of John the Baptist got people ready to see that the ministry of Jesus Christ decedent. That's why came the ministry of John the Baptist was to get people ready for the ministry of Jesus Christ. Now we know what the ministry of John the Baptist was it was calling people to spiritual repentance. What was the ministry of Jesus Christ that he was getting people ready for Jesus Christ was a ministry of grace, that is God giving us things we don't deserve. For example, like reconciliation with God and forgiveness of our sin before God and a new beginning with God and adoption by God and eternal life with God and peace with God.
These are the things that Jesus Christ came to minister to us and God is thrilled to offer those things to us and more from his loving hand.
He wants us to have all of those things. But remember the ministry of John the Baptist is what prepares us for the ministry of Jesus or in other words, repentance always precedes grace order never reverses you never get grace before repentance.
It never happens that way it cannot happen that way. The exciting thing is grace, always follows repentance you repent, you will get grace from God. But if you want grace from God. You will never get it I will never get it unless John the Baptist ministry comes first in our life and the Bible presents as is God's unchanging formula listed in Luke 24 after Jesus was raised from the dead. He said that you will go out and here's what you to preach your preach, and I quote that repentance and then listen to the order and then forgiveness of sin is offered to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. Did you catch the order, though not forgiveness of sins, and then repentance.
But repentance and then forgiveness of sin and in acts chapter 3 when Peter was preaching. He said, repentance and then as a result, your sins may be wiped out. Folks if you want to do business with God if I want to do business with God. God does business with people on one basis only on the basis of repentance.
He does not do business with people on the basis of position would you notice it says farther down in verse seven, John said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him. And we know from Matthew's gospel, that among these crowds in great number were the religious leaders of Israel, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, but when John said to these religious leaders who have the highest positions in the nation.
He said you brood of vipers, you bunch of snakes who warned you to flee from the wrath to come produce fruit in your life that's in keeping with repentance to God is not interested in people's position you do business with people on the basis of position. God is not interested in people's race, or their career. Although their mother was or what nation they were born. What heritage they had look in verse eight it says and do not say to yourself, we have Abraham as our father. We don't need to repent. Where Abraham's descendents know know that will work. That dog won't hunt. We have Abraham as our father, you think so, I tell you that out of the zone stones God conveys up the children for Abraham to make a difference to God. How many people said to me I'm Catholic, I'm Methodist, I'm Jewish. I'm also on Mormon on this on that.
On the other. I don't have to worry about personal repentance because on this data, the other will hold on I said adorable as the good work God doesn't do business with people on the basis of religion or creed, your heritage, no God doesn't do business with people based upon their religious performance. Even their Christian religious performance. I sing in the choir. So what Gonzaga do business with you because you sing in the choir, not sure that's great.
That's how I got to do business with you. Why got Sunday school pins all the way down my chest before I missed a Sunday in 22 years great.
That's good because I could do business with you on a basis no God does business with people on one basis only repentance repent. That's what Peter said so that your sins may be wiped away repentance and forgiveness of sin is to be preached to every nation. That's when John the Baptist came preaching and that's what you and I have got to come to grips with and it leads me to ask the most important question of the morning and that is so, what you know friends.
In terms of answering the question.
I don't believe there's a one of us here this morning with your Christian or you're not the doesn't need to understand and practice repentance. If you're here and you're not a Christian, you've never given your life to Jesus Christ, then could I say to you that God says in the Bible in the past. Acts 17 God overlooked your ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. If you want. I know the things that Jesus Christ is offering to people forgiveness of sin promise of heaven's personal presence in our life that only comes were willing to repent, not just on one issue or another human over the whole direction of our life and say that my whole life going in the wrong direction. I need to make a U-turn and even for those of us who have done that were Christians.
Repentance is not the kind of thing you do one time when you become a Christian as last time you redo it no know Jesus said in Revelation chapter 3 talking to Christians not to unsafe people. Those whom I love I rebuke and I disciplined, therefore, be earnest, and repent they talking us.
People like you and you know Christ if you're here and you know the Lord. Once we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior God sets out to conform us to the image of Christ.
And there are a lot of impurities in our lives that stand in the way of his doing that as God rebukes goes impurities he expects us to repent of them to make a U-turn in that area and say, God, you are right I am wrong.
This is costing me the blessing of God. This is something that offends you. This is something you want dealt with on making a U-turn, I maintain repentance ought to be a regular part of every Christian life every day, so I'm here with your Christian, are you not you need to know how to repent. I need to know how to repent, let me give you four candles on this to make a practical, four steps or practical handles to make it work copies. The only I'll start with C and you know I mentioned earlier alcoholics anonymous the 12 step recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous on the how many of you are familiar with that of ever been involved in AA, but the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is really just a very fine way of putting handles on the issue of repentance is all it is and I maintain that all of us may not be candidates for AA, but we are all candidates for essay sinners anonymous because I maintain that there is not a one of us here who doesn't need recovery from the effects of sin in our life. So you need recovery weathers from alcohol or something else. The 12 steps of AA are marvelous, marvelous plan as to how to deal with those areas and on the use some of those steps to talk about the four principles that I'm going to give you step number one we need here comes the first C to change our mind. We need to admit that we are going in the wrong direction.
Now, for many of us. This is the biggest and the hardest step of all. Step number one in AA is all I admits that I am powerless over alcohol and that my life has become on manageable. I am out of control and self-destructing and is not a thing I can do to stop it myself. That is a hard thing for people to admit. Nobody likes to admit they're wrong. Nobody likes to admit that their behavior in general or in some specific area of life is causing them to self-destruct and you know what the issue is the issue is pride, that's all just straightforward brought. If you find yourself on the inside listening to me this morning born to fight it with everything you work Monday with the problem is the problems product you'll try and people will cling to their pride right down to the last gasp and you know what some of us that's still not enough. There are some of us will never admit were wrong. We are hell-bent on doing it our way and we will give you a steady stream of excuses and justifications and rationalizations watch, not why we're not to blame. I hope you're not a person like that. I will be a better sense of just in case you don't, may I say to you for those kind of people God has nothing more to offer them until they become humble enough to admit is their problem and they need to step number one, we gotta be willing to change our mind, admit were going in the wrong direction. Step number two, we gotta come clean come clean about our soon to come clean about our soon. Listen to these steps from AA. Step four. I'm prepared to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.
I will make a list of all persons I have harmed and I am willing to go make amends to them. Step nine I will make amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Step 10.
I will continue to take personal inventory of my life and whenever I am wrong, I will promptly admitted.
This is the language of someone who is serious about coming clean would soon and you know AA recommends that we do this moral inventory in right