Chaplains Corner

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WesLaramie_







TCCM_Laramie_chapel
Chaplain Wes Kirchner







Laramie, WY


EXCEPT YE REPENT

The Gospel of GOD Series By G. Wes Kirchner


References; Luke 13:1-5

1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Introduction Take Notes: Don’t have time to turn to every Scripture reference.

In our text, Jesus says that repentance is essential for salvation. A current event is brought to the attention of Christ. For some unknown reason, Pilate killed some Galileans while they were in the Temple for Worship. The people thought that their death was due to some sin in their life, that GOD was punishing them because of some great sin.

Jesus brings up another current event. Some construction workers were repairing a tower on the wall of the city near the Pool of Siloam. The tower fell, and 18 workers were killed. He asks if they thought those 18 were greater sinners than the others. Then He told them again, “Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

There are 4 lessons for us to learn from this passage.

1. Just because you have trouble doesn’t mean that you are a greater sinner than others.
2. Just because you are a Christian, doesn’t mean that you arte immune to troubles. Bible Scholar and teacher, J. Vernon McGee said, “You WILL miss the GREAT Tribulation, but you will NOT miss the LITTLE tribulations if you are a Christian.
3. When someone else has troubles and you don’t… it doesn’t mean that you are better than them.
4. If all suffering was due to personal sin… we would all perish, because we are all sinners. See Romans 3:10, 23.
NOTICE Jesus is telling them not to judge sin in anyone else. INSTEAD; The sin in your own life….if not repented of….will case you to perish.

The precept for this message is repeated twice in this passage. The Bible truth I want to drive home into your mind and heart today and thereby transform your life is this: Except Ye Repent, Ye Shall likewise perish! Let’s Pray.

There are a few well known preachers who claim that repentance is not necessary for salvation in these last days. They see converts as trophies in a big game hunt and measure their success by numbers; and so they do not want to frighten off their prey. That is why they lead them to say a sinner’s prayer when they haven’t understood the gospel. Then they claim big numbers of conversions for their own glory.

About 30 years ago I was preaching on a Sunday morning and I mentioned repentance. Before I could finish the next sentence, an older lady, who had visited a few times, stood up and interrupted. “Brother”, she said, “don’t you know that repentance isn’t necessary in these last days?” I was twice shocked. First that anyone would dare interrupt a sermon, and then that she would question the theology of a man who had spent 98 years in Bible college. That evening I preached the message I’m about to share with you.

More recently I was sitting at the counter of our local donut shop having a cup of coffee. An acquaintance walked in and was greeted by a man sitting across from me. Joe immediately went over to him and asked if they could pray together. The poor fellow looked startled and mumbled, “Okay, I guess. Joe said something like, “Oh God, please save me.” Then he told the victim, “Okay, now you’re saved.” I questioned him about it later. He had never said anything about Christ to the man before, but his pastor had told him that was how easy it is to win someone to Christ. How Tragic!

Why are churches struggling to survive today? Why is American turning it’s back on God and going further and deeper into depravity? Why is it that while 84% of Americans claim to be Christians, less than 1/3 of them can even tell you what a Christian is or demonstrate by their lives that they have been born again? Too many of them don’t understand the necessity of repentance because they don’t really believe God’s Word. In Acts 17:30, Paul’s Words from God said ‘He now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.’. But that isn’t the only reference to repentance in God’s Word. And Paul isn’t the only one who preached it either! I’ll list just a few.

1)The Importance of Repentance


a. John the Baptist preached repentance in Matt. 3:1-2, In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand.
b. Matt. 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
c. Mark 6:7, 12 And He called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two;…And they went out and preached that men should repent.
d. In Acts 2, Peter preached repentance in his first sermon and about 3000 were saved. In his second sermon, Acts 3:19, he preached Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.

Let me chase a rabbit while we’re here. When Paul told the Philippian jailer in Acts 16, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”, he was not contradicting Peter’s statement, “Repent and be saved”. To believe on Christ is a whole different enchilada than believing ABOUT Christ. A mental assent to the Gospel is not saving faith. To be truly saved one must believe that Christ died to pay our sin-debt, ad then act upon that belief. That action, my friend, is repentance. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin.

e. Paul reminded the Elders of Ephesus in Acts 20:20-21, “And how I kept nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
f. Paul’s testimony before King Agrippa, Acts 26:19-20, “Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
g. In Luke 24:45-47, the resurrected Christ explained to the disciples why He died. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day And that repentance should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
h. God gave me the gift of teaching and called me to preach so that men would reent. 2 Tim. 2:24-25 says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”

Our text again, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish!” Now that we have had a Look in the Book and seen how important repentance is, perhaps we should look again and see WHAT it is.

2.) The Definition of Repentance


In the Old Testament, two different words are used for repent, (over 1000 times). One of them means to sigh or sorrow. The other means to turn or to return. Reference 1 Kings 8:46-48 and Ezekiel. 14:6, 18:30.

In the New Testament, the Greek word translated repent means to change ones’ mind. It is a figure of speech, a synecdoche, using a part to represent the whole. Let me explain. To repent means to turn around. A change of mind is a part of repentance and so is sorrow.

Here is a concrete example. 45 years ago, when I was still wet behind the ears, I loved to smoke. I had a collection of at least 12 pipes, often had a large cigar, and went through more than a pack of cigarettes a day. When the government finally put a warning label on the package, I began to understand that I was putting nails in my coffin every time I lit up. I began to hate what I used to love. That was a change of mind, but I didn’t stop smoking. I was addicted. After being saved my hatred of the stinking weeds grew, but it was a year before I was finally able to turn away from my sin, to repent.

It is one thing to have a change of mind and/or to grieve over sins. To repent is another. Look at what the Word teaches us in 2 Corinthians 7: 9-10. “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:….For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Some have the wrong idea that in order to be saved, one must think back and grieve over every sin. IF that were the case, then nobody could be saved because nobody remembers or even knows all his sins. The sin that needs to be repented from is trusting something other than Christ for salvation.

Again, to repent is to turn around. That is what happened to the believers in Thessalonica. 1 Thess. 1:9….”and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.“

That is the simple definition of repentance, but the Bible gives us a much more exact definition so that we don’t have to wander about in darkness and confusion, or be tossed about with every wind of doctrine. That exact definition is in Genesis 6, and is given according to the law of first occurrence. The first time a word is used in the Bible, God made sure a complete definition is given. Please turn to your Bible to Gen. 6 as we will look at it.

Repentance is an action that involves the soul of man. The soul is that part of man that was made in the image of God and consists of his mind, his emotions, and his will. The words soul and “heart” are used interchangeably in the Scriptures.

When we are admonished to love the Lord with all our heart, it means we should love Him with our minds, our emotions and our wills.

Now let’s look at Gen. 6:5-7. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth’….”

To say that God repented is an anthropomorphism. That ten dollar word simply means a distortion for the benefit of man. Our poor finite minds cannot fully understand God, and so He used terms we can understand to give us a glimpse of Himself. The point I want to make from this passage is that He has given us a definition of repentance.

Notice that the Word says God saw; it grieved Him and He said “I will.” When God “repented” it involved His intellect, His emotions and His will. When a man repents, he stops seeing things from his own viewpoint and begins to see things, like sin, from God’s point of view. In other words, he has a change of mind. And that leads him to a change of emotions. The things he used to love he now hates.

He used to hate the church and love saloons. Now he finds himself hating the saloons and loving the church services. And that leads to a change of will. He says to himself, “I will stop getting drunk. I will go to church instead.”

Please notice that repentance is not reformation. It is not just turning over a new leaf or turning away from sin. Repentance is turning from sin to the Savior. A good example is found in the Gospel of Luke. Christ is teaching his followers about repentance and tells them the story of the prodigal son.

In Luke 15:16-18 we find him wallowing in a pig pen and starving to death. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, (when he came to his right mind) he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (can you see the emotions in his cry?) I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee”.

So the son became a beautician. He put a permanent wave on the pig and returned to his father. I hope that bit of humor didn’t make you miss the point. He repented! He had a change of mind that led to a change of emotions, that led to a change of will.

IT occurs to me that a man would have to be out of his right mind to continue in sin when the benefits of repentance are so great. The prodigal son was received with open arms by his father and treated like royalty. That brings us to the 3rd and final point.

3) The Benefits of Repentance


a) A lost man who repents of his sin and turns to God in faith will reap great rewards in this life and for all eternity.
b) Turn to II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, ad will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
“ If my people…..” This verse is a conditional promise of God. “which are called by my name…” Christian. You belong to God. You are not your own. You were bought with a price…. See 1 Cor. 6:20.

Meet these four conditions. 1) “humble themselves.. a change of mind from our stupid pride. A young lady went to her Pastor and asked him to pray for her. He asked what was her problem and she answered, “None of the other kids like me. They said that I think I’m the prettiest girl here. Is it a sin to think I’m the prettiest?” The Pastor said, “No that isn’t a sin. That is a mistake.” And so is our stupid pride!
2) “and pray…” Brethren, we need to quit saying prayers and start praying!
3) “and seek my face…” The word seek means to desire, to yearn for, to hunger. We need to change our emotions. Quit seeking fellowship with this world. Love not the world. Let us fall in love again with our Savior. Our theme song should be, “Just a closer walk with thee.” Or “My Jesus I love Thee.”
4) “and turn from their wicked ways…” That is an act of your will. I don’t know what your particular besetting sin is…but God does! And you do! Has God’s Holy Spirit whispered in your heart just now, or while I’ve been preaching? And reminded you of some sin? You need to repent! Christian, repentance is more than a one time action. It is attitude, a lifestyle, a walk in close fellowship with your Savior, your God, Jesus Christ.
Turn from your wicked ways and God will Bless!
1) He will forgive your sin. (singular) There is only one…turning your back on God, disobeying his moral law.
2) He will heal your land. America doesn’t have to reap the whirlwind. We don’t have to get what we deserve. Gad had made a way of escape. The reason America is in such sad shape today is our fault. We have sinned. Can America be saved? I don’t know. It needs more than a revival of religion. America needs for you and me to repent. Revival has to start some place. Let it start with you and me!

Conclusion


Dear lost friend, you need to stop running away from God, turn around, and trust Jesus Christ to save your soul from the flames of eternal hell-fire! Stop trusting religious ritual, obeying the 10 commandments, living by the Golden Rule, baptism, or all those other things and trust Christ today. Everything else will fall into place.

Christian, when was the last time you made your way to an old-fashioned altar and got your heart right with God?

One final word of admonition; To repent over sins we’ve already committed is easier than to repent over sins we intend to commit! May God help us.

Footnote by webmaster: This booklet is one in a series and there are a total of 14 booklets. You may contact Cornerstone Baptist Church 1301 South 5th Street Laramie, WY 82070. Call 307-742-4696 or go online to www.laramieconerstone.org for copies.


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