It may be in some churches around the world that if the preacher began the sermon with the word “Repent!” there would be quite different reactions or responses to it.
There would be some who might think, “How rude. I’m just as good as everybody else here! Probably better!”
Or another person may think, “Great topic. This mob needs to hear this.”
Or another, “Gee, I hope Henry listens to this. He might be reminded to repay the money he owes me!”
Or another, “This could be a bit threatening. I’m out of here! Where’s the nearest exit?”
Perhaps a few might think, “I really need to listen to this. It seems to be important. Jesus began His preaching with that word. What does it really mean? Do I need to repent?”
It is probably true to say that repentance does not feature greatly in some preaching circles. There may be an emphasis on asking Christ to come into one’s heart or giving one’s life to Him with no mention of the need to repent at all. However if John the Baptist and Jesus both began their ministries with the message for their hearers to repent, then it must be important not to neglect it!
What I have done in the preceding articles is to give some biblical teaching on repentance. It is the first of the 3 R’s in the diagram I posted in blog No. 220 which aims to give an overview of the essential elements of the Christian life. In that article, I mentioned those elements as 3R’s [1. Repentance. 2. Renunciation. 3. Receiving Christ.] Then there were 3 S’s. [4. Submission to Christ as Lord. 5. Spirit filled continually especially looking at the Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit. 6. Sharing in fellowship and ministry.] (There is an audio of a sermon preached on this topic there as well.)
An understanding of all these elements is important in seeking to grow in Christian maturity. But another use of this material could be in praying with people or in counselling to ensure that every aspect of their Christian life is possible of being addressed.
So here are the previous articles for your convenience. You just need to click on the link number to be taken to that article. [Or you can simply use the Index on the right.]
No.221. REPENTANCE. Everyone needs to repent of sin to have victory over it. But just what is sin?
No.222. REPENTANCE. The need to repent of sin. But what is sin? Gaining a little understanding of some New Testament words for sin.
No.223. Repentance. What is it? What it is not! What it is! The example of King David.
No.224. REPENTANCE. As seen in the ministries of John the Baptist and of Jesus.
No.225.REPENTANCE IN THE MINISTRY OF THE EARLY CHURCH. St Peter’s messages remain a challenge to us today!
No.226. REPENTANCE. Saul the Persecutor became Paul the Preacher of Repentance.
No.227. REPENTANCE. Lessons from the writer to the Hebrews. A Personal testimony of a transformed life.
No.228. REPENTANCE. The apostle John urges repentance for everyone in his epistles.
No.229. REPENTANCE. In the Book of Revelation. The message for today!
No.231. REPENTANCE. How do we pray expressing our repentance to God?
[NOTE] I hope to cover the other 5 elements in future articles. Unless the Lord comes before then and the articles will no longer be appropriate, for the time for people to repent will then be over!
Blog No.230. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Wednesday 16th August 2017.