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April 8, 2020  

Why Must We Repent? Why Does the Bible Command it?

April 8, 2020

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“I (Jesus) tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3, 5 NKJV)

That should be clear enough! If anybody wants to avoid perishing, as in dying and going to a devil’s hell, then Jesus taught that repentance is, absolutely, necessary. Make no mistake about it!

What does it mean to repent? Here are the main points with Scripture references:

Repentance means you humble yourself, acknowledge your sin, confess it, and turn away from it. 1 Kings 8:47; Proverbs 28:13 (1John 1:7-11, 2:1-2); Isaiah 30:15; Acts 3:19, 8:22; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; 2 Peter 3:9
Repentance means you turn to the Lord with your whole heart and are ready to be obedient to His Word and moral commandments. Nehemiah 1:9; Ezekiel 18:1-32, Malachi 3:7; Matthew 4:17
Repentance means you have turned from evil and have decided to be faithful and loyal to God and the Lord Jesus. Deuteronomy 4:30 (to return to the Lord is to repent- Acts 3:19; Jeremiah 3:11-25); Isaiah 5:7; Zechariah 1:3-6; Jeremiah 3:11-25, 4:1; 24:7; Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22, 3:3.
When you repent, it involves a change of heart and mind and a change in your behavior. Joel 2:12, 13; Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20- In our day, after the sacrifice of Jesus for us, now we must confess His Lordship over us and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead for our justification. THEN, we must live for God to stay in that justification. If we sin, we must confess our sins so that the Blood shed for us cleanses us and we are forgiven for unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-2:1) Also, check out these Scriptures from the New English Translation (NET) version: 1Peter 2:24; Romans 3:25, 26, 4:25, 10:9, 10, and many others.
Repentance is discerning the difference between good and evil and choosing what God calls good! Jeremiah 15:19; Ezekiel 18:1-32

The way some preach about Jesus, you would be led to believe that it is unnecessary for the believer to repent. Not only is that idea a massive error in Biblical interpretation, it is also a bold lie of the enemy. It is one of the greatest deceptions propagated in the world today.

Jesus, the Head of the Church, commanded Christian people to repent in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. It is so clear in the Bible that Christian people would need the devil’s ‘help’ to misunderstand it. When Jesus brought correction and rebuke to the churches in Revelation chapters two and three, we see Him call to repentance five of the seven churches! Christians are REQUIRED to repent if they sin.

“But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place - that is, if you do not repent” (Revelation 2:4-5 NET).

Could Jesus hold something against a Christian? “I have this against you” does not sound like kiss and cuddle time. Many believe that Jesus is an eternal sweetie-pie-in-the-sky type Lord. Jesus is compassionate and kind beyond our wildest dreams, but He is tough and severe when the need arises. Remember Him turning over the tables of the moneychangers and chasing them out with a whip? Remember when He called some of the religious leaders of His day, brood of vipers, white-washed sepulchers (tombs, mausoleums) full of dead men’s bones, and that they were of their father the devil? That is tough and severe.

What did Jesus have against the Ephesians church? They left their first love! They were at a high place in Christ but had fallen. At first, they were full of zeal for the things of God, but now, they were cooling off. Their witness for the Lord was weak compared to how they were in Acts 19:1-20, and according to Paul's farewell speech in 20:17-35.

What was the first step to their restoration? They were to "remember" from where they had fallen. They were to not hide but to acknowledge their fallen state. Then they were to repent and change! [1]

The Ephesians needed to go back and do the first deeds or works they were doing. What were they? They needed to again:

• Lead people to the Lord and the Holy Spirit's empowerment.
• Teach and preach God's Word and showing the difference between good and evil.
• Start casting out demons and healing the sick.
• Separate themselves from the godless practices of those around them.
• Repent for growing lax in their relationship with the Lord.

“But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore, repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people with the sword of my mouth” (Revelation 2:14-16 NET).

What did Jesus have against the church at Pergamum? They allowed people to teach and practice idolatry and sexual immorality. They were allowing the Nicolaitan's [2] teaching of "sin with impunity or no consequences."

Does the above sound familiar? If it doesn’t, then maybe you have been isolated in Antarctica or the North Pole, or some deserted island. Have you had your head stuck in the sand in the Sahara Desert? That could be the only way you have not heard about the so-called (hyper, pseudo, crazy, false) “grace” movement that espouses impunity from the consequences of sin without repentance or confession of sins. The men and women espousing these “grace” errors are in the same tradition of deception as the Nicolaitans. Don't be fooled by false grace preachers and teachers. The Lord is against all that continue down that path and commands them to repent or face war with the sword of the Lord's mouth!

“I know your deeds (works): your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones. But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness,[3] and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds. Furthermore, I will strike her followers with a deadly disease, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds (works) deserve” (Revelation 2:19-23 NET).

How much preaching have you heard concerning these churches in Revelation 2 and 3? Today, few ministers read these verses publicly. We need these warnings and instructions even more now. Lawlessness has infiltrated numerous churches like a deadly virus. Revelation two and three almost reads like a modern snapshot of the ungodliness being yielded to in some churches. It was truly prophetic of all the strange and evil things happening worldwide in some churches.

Should we sound a warning to churches and ministers today? Should we be more vigilant today about the condition of our lives as ministers and the state of the flock the Lord has put in our charge? [4]

It's time for churches clean out the old yeast of sinful behaviors so that we may be a new batch of dough without yeast (1 Cor. 5:1-7). It is time to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of body and spirit accomplishing holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Cor. 7:1)! It is time to hate even the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude 1:23)!

Do you want to know about something that is the will of God for every Christian everywhere? Are you interested in something that is the will of God without doubt or question?

For this is Godʼs will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. In this matter no one should violate the rights of his brother or take advantage of him, because the Lord is the avenger in all these cases, as we also told you earlier and warned you solemnly. For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Consequently, the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 NET)

Staying out of impurity and living a holy life is God’s will! God did not call us to practice the impurity of the heathens in their immoral and lustful lifestyles! God called us to holiness! Those rejecting this truth, know that you are not rejecting human authority but God’s divine authority and warning.

Church, it is time to repent!! America, it’s time to repent!

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NOTES:

[1] See also Proverbs 28:13, 13, 1John 1:8-10, Psalms 32:5.

[2] See NET Bible note on Revelation 2:6 concerning the Nicolaitans.

[3] Note that Jezebel and her followers would be thrown or given over to “violent illness.” When people continue in disobedience and doing evil against the Lord and His people, they will be turned over to their enemies, and sometimes that enemy is violent illness. You see this in Egypt with the ten plagues, and all over the book of Judges. In that book, Israel would follow the path of wickedness until finally it would anger God, and they would be turned over to their enemies for slavery and finally destruction. Those left, would suffer terribly under bondage until they would cry out to God and repent. Then God would send them a deliverer to bring them deliverance from their enemies. Then, they would live for the Lord for a short time in peace, UNTIL they would start to disobey and rebel against the Word of God. Then it would happen all over again. It happened repeatedly. In the New Testament, we have the vivid words from the mouth of Jesus in Rev. 2 and 3, but also from Paul in the case of the man that committed adultery and incest with his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians 5:1-10. In that man’s case, we are told that he was turned over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (body). In 2 Corinthians 7 we see that repentance finally came from the man and the church, and the man was delivered and restored.

[4] See 2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Cor. 11:28-33, 1 Pet. 5:2-5, Prov. 27:23, Ezekiel 34- the entire chapter.

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Hear more in the podcast below and then spread the Word of repentance and faith in this message. Make the message your own and deliver it to the church and America. Repentance and Jesus are the ONLY hope for America. THAT is all that matters. Take the message and run with it! I am groaning for people to be delivered, saved, healed, and made whole. America needs healing now! This is too important to keep hidden under a bushel. These pertinent truths need to be spread from sea to shining sea! Many lives depend on it.