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Surprisingly Far from Repentance #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2021 8:00 am

Surprisingly Far from Repentance #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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If men will not heed Scripture. Wonderful signs will not help them free coffee and a comfortable lobby will not make them more inclined to the gospel. True repentance finds a reverent teachable response to Scripture, thanks for joining us on the truth Paul but with Don founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi a bill right and we're continuing our series, unless you repent with part two of a message titled surprisingly far from repentance last time Don showed us that repentance is not simple regret over sin.

Rather, it's morning over it that leads to a complete reliance on Christ. On today's program. Don will move on to a second example from Scripture concerning the desire for sign Jesus did perform miracles but they did not change unregenerate mines. Let's find out more from our teacher. As we join them now in the truth of point number two a desire for signs is not repentance and desire for miraculous things, a desire to see in so many words to see God do something spectacular is no mark of true repentance.

It's not a mark of anything spiritual. Necessarily at all in our Christian culture, where charismatic influence is so strong. We need to pay particular heed to this. This is another common misconception that we need to clear up beloved desires for the supernatural or no sign of repentance. Let's take another step further. On another matter that I'm planning to teach on for two very long, I have a stack of about 10 different messages that I have inside me, waiting to get out desires to hear God speak to you personally and individually is not a sign of repentance. That's not a healthy spiritual sign at all. We see evidence of these things in the teaching of our Lord you're in the book of Matthew, I believe, turn to Matthew chapter 12 Jesus speaks very very clearly on this and we see it illustrated in many different ways and it's not simply the desire for science is not a healthy spiritual sign. That's one aspect of it. It's also forced to understand that miraculous signs are not that which produces true repentance. According to Scripture, either, so there's kind of a dual track that you run on their Matthew chapter 12 in verse 38 Matthew 12 verse 38.

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, teacher, we want to see a sign from you and what did Jesus say how did he diagnose that sign that they wanted in their desire for a sign. He says in verse 39 but he answered and said to them, and evil and adulterous generation craze for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet he said your desire for sign when I am here teaching you is is a sign of wickedness. It is a sign that you you are trying to define the terms by which God will reveal himself to you rather than taking, accepting, believing and submitting to the revelation that is actually given. He says in verse 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation. At the judgment and will condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. He says remember the men of Nineveh and how they repented at the preaching of Jonah.

They repented here I am. Jesus says greater than Jonah preaching repentance and you won't repent at my word. People outside the chosen covenant nation repented at lesser preaching. You have greater preaching and you refuse to repent that generation will rise up a judgment and condemn you there craving their desire for a sign was not a mark of spiritual health. It was a mark of spiritual rebellion spiritual decay of spiritual rot and he repeats and doubles up on the point in verse 42, when he says the Queen of the South will rise up with this generation. At the judgment and will condemn it because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold, something greater than Solomon is here in first Kings Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon came to see and hear and brought tribute.

Here Jesus is on the scene and are not interested in what he has to say their demanding something different than what he is offering and presenting to them. Jesus says that Queen of Sheba will rise up in judgment and condemn you their desire for science was not a mark of spiritual health. It was not a mark of anything good. It certainly was not there desires for the supernatural were certainly no sign of repentance. And I realize that our charismatic friends like to say, will people see signs they will believe you know they just need to see a manifestation of God's power and and Dell Dell necessarily respond because it will be undeniable to them well that's not true. That is not accurate. That is not consistent with Scripture, as we will see illustrated in just a moment before we go there. I wanted to point your attention to Luke chapter 10 as well. Luke 10 in verse 13, Luke 10 in verse 13 Jesus again pronouncing judgment on the cities of other cities that heard his preaching saw his ministry and what was the outcome for them, he says in verse 13 woe to you.

Cora seen woe to you.

Best SATA for if the miracles had been performed entire inside and which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, but it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, in the judgment than for you.

Jesus comes to the cities and says you have seen miracles and you have refused to repent. Jesus says if others in another time and place and seen these things, they would've repented, but you didn't. The point being here that the signs even of Jesus himself did not produce repentance in his hearers. It did not even generate within them a desire for repentance. They simply hardened their heart to it all the more you're in the gospel of Luke. Let's look at Luke 16 and see something else about it.

That gives us that gives us a clue to the overall picture in the familiar story of the rich man and Lazarus. What we want to see in this passage that were about to read is it even special. You could say supernatural messengers cannot produce repentance. It's not about the realm of the supernatural has its manifested in external signs the produces or generates or guarantees repentance. There is no such thing.

And so in Luke chapter 16 verse 19 the familiarity of the story will help us here Jesus says now there was a rich man and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day and a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores and longing to be fed with the crimes which were falling from the rich man's table. Besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores of the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom and the rich man also died and was buried in Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom and he cried out and said father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my time for I am in agony in this flame. But Abraham said child. Remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things, but now he is being comforted here and you are in agony.

And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able and that none may cross over from there to us pause there for just a moment. Abraham tells them my child. Your doom is sealed. There is no altering your condition. This cannot be changed.

You had your good things in life and now you find yourself in agony and it is fixed. There is a chasm between us so that this cannot be bridged now in verse 27, we see the rich man resigned to his own fate, but he seeks to warn his loved ones who are still alive, he would from the grave he seeks to protect them and he says in verse 27 and he said then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers in order that he may warn them so that they will not also come to this place of torment. This is really critical for you to see and to understand in the context of what were talking about here Jesus presents this man articulating to Abraham a a theology, a theology that says if Lazarus could go from the dead and preach to his brothers, his brothers would hear the message because Lazarus was a supernatural envoy of God they would necessarily see and understand and repent. In response, and therefore not enter into judgment.

Those are his presuppositions. He has a whole theology built around the fact that what his brothers needed was to hear from a supernatural resurrected envoy from God, who could warn them, and that if they only had that if they only had that they would necessarily repent and receive salvation. But, beloved his entire thinking even though it mirrors what we see around us now.

2000 years later his entire thinking his everything was wrong about his thinking all of his presuppositions were entirely mistaken, and you see that in Abraham's response in verse 29 Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.

He says they've got the Scriptures they have everything they need in this rich man who shows that he's not repentant. Even in torment says in verse 30 but he said no father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.

But he said to them if they do not listen to Moses and the prophets. They will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead nail in the coffin.

This is screwed down tight what Abraham says to them is the Scriptures are sufficient to lead them to repentance. He says if they won't listen to the higher authority something lesser something miraculous is not going to help them and you and I must have this same thinking very clear in our minds. A twofold positive and negative sense from a negative sense, recognizing that that it is folly to believe that the human heart can be changed by external signs that occur before them even if they were real that the presupposition of this man in Hades was if they only saw a resurrected man they would repent.

If only someone resurrected would make the message known to them they would repent and Abraham says no that's not true.

If they won't listen to Scripture. They won't listen to anything part of the positive way that you can identify true repentance is a willingness to hear and take heed the word of God. True repentance produces that in the heart of a genuine believer in someone who will not hear the word of God is showing that they have not been saved at all. No matter what kind of miracles they think they've experienced no matter what else is said by their they say by way of experience, no matter how much they say that God has spoken to them directly. All of those things are counterfeits that have deception embedded in them and it's wrapped in deception and leads people away from the word of God rather than into the word of God.

Why is it the books like Jesus calling consent can sell millions of copies. Someone says that Jesus is spoken to me and now Jesus is speaking directly to you because people want to bypass Scripture. True repentance true faith that leads to true salvation does not bypass Scripture, and what you find in true repentance is true repentance produces and has embedded in its very seed form. It has embedded in it. A teachable and receptive attitude toward the word of God, a teachable and receptive attitude toward the 66 books of the Bible and so Abraham tells this rich man they have the word of God, let them hear it say something else and Abraham says nothing else will help one writer man from the last century named William Douglas Chamberlain said this and it is such a perceptive quote I may read it twice disposition to unbelief is not overcome by overwhelming evidence, even the evidence which a man risen from the dead could offer." I'll say it again. I like this quote, so humor me as you hear it twice disposition to unbelief is not overcome by overwhelming evidence, even the evidence which a man risen from the dead could offer." Beloved. What were dealing with, and part of what the problem is in dealing with unsafe people in dealing with an unsaved unregenerate heart, we underestimate how dead in sin, the unsaved man is we think that there's something in a dead heart they can somehow respond if only the right external stimulus is brought to it and so and so we have we have friends who will who will schedule revival meetings and bring in the revival speaker and if we just set the conditions right and get the right man speaking we can we can bring about a revival. That way we can bring about repentance. If we just set the conditions the external conditions right. This is the exact same thing that the seeker friendly movement says and believes if we just set the conditions right and we make it appealing and we make it comfortable. Then they'll calm and dull here in the respond. Never mind the word of God in the process. It's the same thing that charismatics do when they call for their healing services and heal people of back pain and headaches. Never somehow making it to children's hospitals and actually working a real gift of healing which I think is the says all you need to know about it is always on their terms in their environment.

But somewhere in their mind. Is this distorted thinking that if they could just see something miraculous and they would turn and believe there's a common thread through the revival mindset through the seeker sensitive mindset through the charismatic mindset that if we just bring the right external conditions upon people they will believe it's an utter failure to realize the problem is with in that there is a dead heart and the only thing that can bring life to a dead heart is the word of God applied with power by the Holy Spirit to that person's life. Only in the proclamation of Christ crucified, and an invitation by a loving, gentle, gracious patient father saying come to my son and be saved. That is, the terms in which that is the vehicle which God uses to bring about repentance. People don't have the time or the patience or the desire for the word of God and so they shove it aside and say let's do something else instead. Father Abraham send them a man from the dead and they'll believe in the Bible says no that's not it. If men will not heed Scripture. Wonderful signs will not help them free coffee and a comfortable lobby will not make them more inclined to the gospel. What is it that Scripture says produces the real faith.

What is it that that generates real faith. Romans 10 verse 17. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. True repentance finds its soil. True repentance finds is rooted in a reverent teachable response to Scripture.

And if a man is not teachable and reverent. In response to Scripture, there is a fundamental barrier to true repentance until God turns his heart, and external things that we do cannot overcome that.

It reminds me it reminds me of the him that we sometimes sing all is vain and less the spirit of the holy one comes down brethren praying holy man will be spread all around brethren. We have met to worship and adore the Lord our God will you pray with all your power while we try to preach the word pleading with the people of God to pray and ask God to bless and attend the preaching of his word, because it is in that preaching and in the proclamation of truth that God uses to produce faith in the hearts of the unbelieving, and so the hymn writer says, won't you join us in prayer while we try to preach the word.

When you are evangelizing your friends and your loved ones and you know that they're not Christians understand that you're dealing with someone who is really dead in sin. There is no such thing as a lock surer argument that will guarantee that they will repent and come to Christ that does not exist if it did, the church would save everybody.

We are dependent on a power outside of ourselves. We are dependent on the spirit of God to help us and if the spirit doesn't help us then we don't have the power to save the people to whom we speak. That's how dead in sin. They are that's how dependent we are in our proclamation of Christ. We need divine power to assist us or were wasting our time and so with those things in mind were just mindful of the fact that we have to beware of counterfeits and and as a church. As Christians, as individuals we have to realize okay I have to stake everything on this word I steak everything on the 66 books of the Bible.

I depend entirely upon the work of the Holy Spirit to work in that dead heart because I know I can't do it on my own and therefore someone is converted under your witness where someone is converted under my preaching. We understand that God gets all of the glory because we have no power to do that on. That's why I have no interest in the conversations that some people will engage in well and I've mentioned this in the past people came in the early days of our church told me, you know, we preach last night and we converted 34 people. You converted no one my friend. Why are you standing there as if you're taking credit for it by counting numbers and then boasting before men know were were mindful of our weakness for mindful of our dependence and we embrace that we accept that and we trust that in time and place in your witness. And in what we do together as a church, but in time God will be pleased to bring about a harvest of souls in response to the proclamation of his word. But if he tarries and we don't see that you know what will do will just keep doing what were doing. It's the only way forward. We believe in the power of the word.

We believe that repentant people will respond to the word of God and those who refuse the word of God, refusing the only thing they're stepping on the only air hose that you give them spiritual oxygen.

Why would we change what we do, simply because the response is not there when somebody refuses to repent.

Beware of counterfeits and may God help us to know Christ and to make him known. Those words from William Douglas Chamberlain quoted by Pastor Don Greene today perfectly sum up what you're up against. In trying to lead an unbeliever to Christ through repentance of sin disposition to unbelief is not overcome by overwhelming evidence, even evidence, which a man risen from the dead could offer Don will take us further into our series unless you repent.

Next time of the truth Paul that be with us then. Right now though Don's back your in studio with some closing words. You know, friend. We realize that you may not be close enough to our church to be able to join us as you would like to.

On any given Sunday.

So let me invite you to join us on our live stream that you can find our website Sundays at 9 AM Eastern time and also we have a midweek service on Tuesdays at 7 PM. We would love to have you join us in that way. A lot of people do. You might as well be one more. The join us for those special studies of God's word in our church services on Sundays and Tuesdays. Here's Bill with some final information to help you find this just visit the truth help for the live screen.

I feel like you will see you back here next on the approval

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