3 Most Important Words: Repentance
By Bobby Blakey on October 12, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:9
3 Most Important Words: Repentance
By Bobby Blakey on October 12, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:9
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:03] Today, I want to start by looking at the example of King David, and so if you've got your Bible, open it up to 2 Samuel 12.
David is one of the not only on the most famous characters in the Bible. David is one of the most famous characters in the history of the world. In fact, I'm sure there were high school college pro football games going on this weekend, whereas they were sitting around talking about the football game. They said this is a real David and Goliath matchup. You ever heard about that before? You ever, ever heard that phrase before? Yesterday, when we showed up at my son's soccer game and we saw the size of the kids on the other team, and then we looked down at our ragtag group, we could have said it was a David and Goliath matchup, which is basically just become a phrase that we use to mean. We got an underdog here and then we got a champion. And this guy doesn't look like he stands much of a chance. Now, if you told King David that he was the underdog in the battle against Goliath, he would have argued with you. If David knew that his reputation was as an underdog. He wouldn't have agreed at all. Yeah, he was young. And, yeah, he only had a few stones. And Goliath was big and strong with this armor and these weapons. But did David think that there was any way that he could lose that battle? No. He said that even before he killed the giant. He said the battle belongs to the who. What did you say? Does anybody know Bata belongs to the Lord? And he said, hey, I'm going to kill you today. And it was trash talk. And you say I'm going to kill you today. So that all the Earth may know that there is a God in Israel. That's what he said. There was no underdog about it. David already knew who was going to win from the beginning. And he said, the reason that I'm doing this and he wanted to make it very clear so that people could see that God is the one with all of the power, that God is the one who gets all of the glory. And that's why we call David a man after God's own way. What do we say? That's what that's his reputation. David is a man after God's own heart. I mean, if you're trying to be like God, Dave, it would be a great example for you. And a lot of people have really connected with David because he wrote so many songs. He wrote these psalms that express a heart for God in the good times and the bad times when he was afraid. And when he was triumphant, he wrote so many different expressions of how we should love God and this heart that we should have for God. But one reason that a lot of people connect with David is because of how he blew it.
[00:02:35] It's because of how he fell into sin.
[00:02:37] And it makes him a sympathetic hero. Maybe you've heard the story that King David, when he was supposed to be leading the troops in the battle to win another victory for the Lord.
[00:02:47] He actually decided to send the troops out and he stayed at the palace. And one day after having a nap, he was walking around up on the roof and he saw something. And her name was Bathsheba. And he saw this woman who was naked. The Bible says and he took her as if she was his own wife. And we see here's a man after God's own heart and he falls into some very serious sin. And then to make matters worse, he tries to cover it up. He tries to have her husband come back from the war. But her husband is such a righteous man, he says, I won't even come back and be with my wife while my brothers are out there fighting. And so David actually has her husband killed in battle to cover up the sin that he did. See, this is something we can all start to relate to, doing something wrong and trying to cover it up. And David, he might have even think that he thought that he had gotten away with it. He might have even thought that all of his sin was covered up until one day when Nathan, the Prophet, walked into the throne room of the king and gave him a message from God. And Nathan very smartly starts out with a story. Let's read it together in Second Samuel, Chapter 12. It says, in the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said to him, There were two men in a certain city. Hey, let me tell you a story. We've got two guys in the city. The one was rich and the other poor and the rich man. This guy, he's got many flock's many hurts. That's what you wanted back in the day. That's like having a garage full of cars. This guy, he's got many flocks and herds.
[00:04:27] But the poor man had nothing but one little Ulam, which he had bought. And he brought it up and it grew up with him and with his children. He used to eat of his morsel, set it with his own food, drink from his cub, lie in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. This guy got really into his land. Now there came a traveler to the rich man and he was unwilling. The rich man, he's got many flocks and herds, is unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him. But he took the poor man's land and prepared it for the. And who had come to him? The rich taking from the poor and David's anger was greatly kindled against the man. And he said to Nathan, the Prophet, as the Lord lives, that man who has done this deserves to die. And he shall restore the land fourfold because he did this thing because he had no pity. There's got to be justice. This is wrong.
[00:05:22] And Nathan said to David, you are the man as a first time somebody ever said, you're the man. And a little bit different than how we use it today. Say we say you're the man like. Look at you. You're awesome. You're somebody here.
[00:05:38] It's like, no, you're the man.
[00:05:40] Like when we talk in the Bible about Jesus Christ, come in to die, for people coming to save sinners, coming to turn people's lives around. See, you're the man.
[00:05:51] You're the one who brings the sin. That's what he says to David here.
[00:05:57] Now, a lot of people, they they connect to David because they see him singing like we all see, and then that kind of builds this connection.
[00:06:04] Here's what I would wish people would connect with David about, because when David gets the prophet of the Lord coming to him and pointing at him and saying, you're the man, you have sinned, David responds in a way like few people I've ever seen respond in my entire life, saying, look at how David here ends up responding. First, let's read more of what Nathan says. He says, you are the man, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel. Look, I anointed you king over Israel and I delivered you out of the hand of saw your enemy. And I gave you your master's house, your master's wives into your arms. I give you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, here's God talking about being good. I would add to you as much more. David, if you had wanted, I would have given you double. But why have you despise the word of the Lord? To do what is evil in his side. And then it starts to recount his specific sin. And it says you did it secretly. But now the consequences are going to be out in front of everyone. Verse 13, here's David's response. David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. He owns it right away. Doesn't argue, doesn't defend himself, doesn't make excuses. He says, you're right. I have sinned. Turn with me. The song. Chapter 51. Just a few pages over to the right here. Only you can find the Book of Psalms. Biggest book here in the Scripture towards the middle of your Bible, Psalm Chapter 51. We actually get to see a song here that David writes, and it gives us a little heading here. A Psalm of David when Nathan, the Prophet, went to him after he had gone into Bathsheba. So here is what David says. What we get is I have sinned against the Lord. He owns it. Well, now we get to read what David says here in kind of an expanded version. Here's how David felt about his sin.
[00:07:57] Psalm 51, verse one. Look at this with me says, Have mercy on me. Oh, God. According to your steadfast love. According to your abundant mercy. God, I believe that you are good. I believe that your steadfast love endures forever. So please be good to me. Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions. I know what I did. And my sin is ever before me. It's like I can still see it and against you. And you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight that you would be justified your in your words and blameless in your judgment. God you. Do you see what he says. You would be right to judge me for my sin. That's what he says. He owns it. And then he says in verse five. And it's not just like I did a couple bad things. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin. Did my mother conceive me? This is how I was born. Behold. You delight truth. You delight in truth in the inward being.
[00:09:04] And you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Not only does he say, hey, I did a couple of bad things, but he actually says this is the way that I am. This is who I am. I was born into sin. And you want me to have this truth. You want me to have this right heart inside of me that to be honest, God, I could never have because a sinner is who I am. I mean, this is a great example of a man who's the king, who doesn't have to answer to anyone, but he answers to God right here. And you could summarize it at the end of the chapter, verse 17. You should circle this verse. Write it down. It says, The sacrifices of God. What God's looking for from people are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. Oh, God. You will not despise. God's not going to turn somebody away who comes to him admitting not only that they did sin, but that they are a sinner.
[00:10:02] And this is the clear teaching of the Bible that we got to talk about here today is that the Bible says, hey, we all could compare ourselves to each other and we might have some people in here that are better than other people. You might be a good person compared to your neighbors or your coworkers. But the comparison, the Bible says, is between you and God and he is standard is perfection.
[00:10:24] He's he's wrong. He's batting 100 percent. Is the. I mean, he never he'd never has done anything wrong.
[00:10:30] We all fall short of that.
[00:10:33] And has there been a day, a Psalm 51 moment for you where you knelt down before God and you said to God, I have sinned against God? In fact, I didn't just do a few bad things that I need you to forgive me for. I am a sinner, God, and I'm bringing you this broken heart. I'm sorry. I'm bringing you this contrite heart. And I want you to give me a new heart. This is what we're here to talk about this morning. It's kind of a serious topic this morning. If you're just joining us, we're talking about sin. And the response to sin is repentance can now turn to First Thessalonians, chapter one in the New Testament. That's where we want to go. That's the passage that we're working through as we're trying to set the example of this church before us. We've got it. We've got a church here where we're a new church. Start now here under some easy ups and we're trying to figure out how should we do this. And the Thessalonians, they're a great example who's been enjoying learning from the example of the Thessalonians and anybody here so far. We're just following their example. And I wanted to personalize it with one man, David, so we could see his heart of confessing sin to God. But this is what it looks like for the church, where they talk about repentance and where people turn from their sin to God. Look at first this lenience. Chapter one. Start with me in verse eight and we'll just read these last three verses. It says, For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and the chaos and when we brought the gospel to you, man, it echoed, it resounded. Everybody heard about it. You spread it by word of mouth. Your faith in God has gone forth everywhere. We don't even need to say anything for they themselves. Other people are coming to us and reporting concerning us the kind of reception we had among you. Other people are telling us how you guys responded when we came and preached to you the gospel. Here's the key phrase. We want to focus in on how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven whom he raised from the dead Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. So we're looking at three most important words here that that Jesus said. He said repent and believe in the gospel. Mark 115. And even though here in verse nine, it doesn't say the word repentance. That's the definition of repentance right there. Repentance is turning from your sin to God. You could call it a U-turn. You can say it's 180 degrees where I was walking this way. I lived in sin like everybody else. I was born that way, doing kind of what I wanted to do. And then at some point, God got a hold of my life and he turned me around. And now I'm living for him. I'm going to God. Now that's the new direction of my life. That's repentance.
[00:13:23] And this is one of the great descriptions of it here, that he would look at a group of people. And here's what everybody's saying about you. You guys used to be live in this way, the way that people lived in Thessalonica. You were just fit in with the crowd. You were like everybody else. And then God did something among you where you now are going a different way and people are coming in. They're telling me about it. I mean, it's out in the open. It's not like you just had this private time where you prayed to God and it was just something between him and, you know, everybody could see what God did in your life because you completely did a U-turn, man.
[00:13:55] You totally turned around. And I think it says that they turned from here is Idols says this is what they were about, they were about idols, and then they came over here to serve the living and true God. And and there was definitely idolatry going on at this time in Thessalonica, where people I mean, people would even there would be statues, there would be temples, and they would go and worship them.
[00:14:20] And so he's talking about some of these people. They were going to these places. They had these, I thought, idolatrous practices. And whenever you read idolatry, what comes along with idolatry is immorality, because the reason you make up a god to worship is that God lets you do what you want to do. That's what idolatry is always about. OK. So whenever you read idolatry, you can know that there was attached to that. Usually sexual morality was what usually went along with it.
[00:14:46] And so these people, they were doing this idolatrous lifestyle where they said this was God and this is how you can live. And then, bam, now they're serving. I mean, now it's like they're signing up to be slaves of this living and true God. That's the idea and really the way that Paul writes it here. That's a phrase that if you've studied the Bible, especially if you've read the Old Testament, this contrast between idols who are fake and and who are made up and God who's living and true, that contrast is everywhere in the Bible once you start looking for it. And that's really going to teach us about repentance here this morning. Go to the Book of Acts, Chapter 14. We'd like to turn in our Bibles here. If you're if you're new, you're hopefully you're picking that up that we'd like to go to Acts Chapter 14 right now. We'd like to hear the beautiful sound of Bible pages turning. Or maybe your thumbs are getting busy on your iPod there. But look at Acts Chapter 14. I mean, here's the way that Paul says in this town of Lystra, they come in and they they do a miracle here in this town of Lystra where they're trying to start a church. Paul and Barnabas. And because they do this miracle, people think that Barnabus is Zus and that Paul is Hermès. I mean, they start Bustan now. What we would consider Greek mythology. They had this story in this town of Lystra that Zus and Hermès came and visited and nobody was nice to them. And so they destroyed the town. That was some town that they that was a story that everybody was familiar with.
[00:16:11] And so these two guys come in, they do a miracle, and they're like, hey, everybody, Zus in Hermès are here right now here in our kind of chronological snarf snobbery here. Fast forward in history. We would look down and we would think zoos in a Hermès are that's so, you know, prehistoric. So that's so out there.
[00:16:28] Right. But they really believed it. And they said to these guys, well, we see who you are, your gods among us. And look what Paul says to correct the people in verse fifteen. He doesn't want them to think that he's the God. He says, man, why are you doing these things? Please don't worship us. Please stop whatever you're going to do. We also are men of like nature with you. We are sinners just like you. And we bring you good news. And here's the good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living guy who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. There is the basic argument of the point we're gonna make this morning. Hey, guys, we're not gods. We're just like you. We're all sinners. And stop worshiping someone who is never going to help you is basically the idea.
[00:17:18] This this belief in Susan Hermes. We would look back on that and we would say that was foolish. That wasn't real, right? Well, that's what he's trying to say. It's vain. No, you need to believe in a God who's real. You need to believe in a God who made the sky above you, who everything you can see today that's growing. That's natural. He created it all. He created you. You need to believe in somebody who's real. Because these false gods that you're setting up for yourselves that let you do whatever you want. They're not helping you.
[00:17:46] They're not saving you. Are your problems getting any better?
[00:17:52] That's the argument of the Bible, like stop worshiping false gods. Not just because they're false, but really how are they helping you? It's not getting you anywhere. Let's worship somebody who's real, somebody who made you someone who has power, got a Psalm 115.
[00:18:05] Let's go back to the Old Testament because idolatry. That's how it was back in the day in the Old Testament, in Psalm one hundred and fifteen. You'll see this very clear. I mean, that's really what the battle was between David and Goliath. The reason David got angry and fought Goliath was Goliath was trash talking God. That's what it's all about. He was defying the living God. He was acting like they're gods. The idols that they worshiped as Philistines were better than the true and living God of Israel. That's if you can understand that. You can understand much of the Old Testament. Why were all these nations fighting other nations to us? That seems very confusing. Why are these nations trying to kill one another? Here's what it was. It was my gods better than your God and we'll fight. And whoever wins that proves our God was the best one, say.
[00:18:52] That's what it was all about.
[00:18:53] And here in Psalm 115, it basically makes fun of people who worshiped idols, Psalm 115. It says not to us, the Lord, not to us, but to your name. Give glory for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. Why should the nations say, where is their God? I'll tell you where our God is.
[00:19:11] He's in the heavens. And he does all that he pleases. Our God does whatever he wants. Now their idols are silver and gold.
[00:19:20] The work of human hands. They have mouths but do not speak eyes. But do not see. They have ears but do not hear noses but do not smell. They have hands but do not feel feet, but do not walk. And they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them.
[00:19:42] And really what that saying. And it says in other places in the New Testament. That's the nice way to say it right there. Basically, if you worship a piece of wood, you'll be stupid like wood. That's the basic argument of the of the Bible. I mean, that's what it's saying. You want to worship Stone, then you're basically operating on the same brain capacity. That's a nice way of saying. Right. I mean, you could write down Isaiah 44 would be a great cross reference to put down if you wanted to look it up later, because it basically talks about this guy designing an idol and he takes down a tree and he's got a bunch of wood and with, like some of the wood, he makes an idol and with some of the wood he like makes an outhouse where he's going to go to the bathroom. And this piece he worships, you know, and this piece, he kind of goes down in a totally different way over here. You know what I mean? And it's making fun of that. It's just mocking it openly. Is you saying you think that thing that you made with your own hands is going to do anything for you? Let me tell you. You want the God who made everything on your side. Let me tell you. You want someone who's real, who's living, who's true, who has power, who when you get in a jam, he can come and bail you out. You want to worship somebody who can get your back. That's the basic argument here. You can write down Jeremiah 10 one to ten where you could read this same thing. It's everywhere in the Old Testament. Once you start looking for it that people are making up their own God, that allows them to do whatever they want. And it's vanity. It's emptiness. When here's the true and living God. And he he can turn your life around. He can make you a new person. He can protect you and guide you and provide for you. He can do everything that you need. And yet you're over here worshiping wood. Now, we would look at that. As I said before, quoting C.S. Lewis, this chronological snobbery. I don't see too many people worshiping wood in Huntington Beach unless maybe it's kind of waxed and shaped as a little certain way. You know what I mean? We are much more sophisticated in our idolatry these days. In fact, we've kind of taken out the middleman in our idolatry. Right. Let's just forget the idol and let's get straight to the immorality. That's like what would get them a man in America, basically. Right. In fact, if anybody is going to be an idol, it should probably be me.
[00:21:59] I mean, I know myself the best. I'm the best candidate for the job. Right. I know. I would always choose what's right around here.
[00:22:05] Right. I mean, that's kind of how we think here. I mean. So we are idols for us. I think idols are all the things that we want that we think are going to somehow save the day for us. I mean, how many people within a mile of my voice right now are like their idol is drugs? I wonder. I mean, they think that drugs are somehow going to make them feel better, solve their problems, get them somewhere in life.
[00:22:32] How many people are just hoping right now somewhere for that next relationship and that next relationship, that next marriage, that next hookup, that sexual encounter with somebody that's going to all of a sudden be what I'm looking for in life?
[00:22:48] These are idols and they're everywhere.
[00:22:51] I mean, for so many people, they carry their idol around with them every day. It's their wallet. It's in their pocket. And if I could just get a little bit more money than I could buy. What? Happiness, love, satisfaction.
[00:23:04] I mean, that's what they're chasing. Does money really have your back when it comes down to it? Did drugs have anybody's back when it comes down to it? So we think we're so advanced as a full civilization. We're doing the same stupid things that people have been doing for it throughout all history. Here's the living and true God right here. And we're saying, no, this is what I want. Look at this. We got a big problem. We got to admit that a lot of things that people we know that are accepted in America that people are putting their hope into save them their idols and they're vain. And we need to worship the true and living God. So if you're taking notes, let's start getting some points down here. Point number one is you need to own up to your own sin. That's point number one.
[00:23:51] Hopefully everybody's tracking with me on that. Hopefully we can all agree that we have sin. And by that, I mean you're not perfect.
[00:23:59] OK. And we've tried to clarify this before. If I say who's a good person, I'm gonna get a lot of hands. Right. Because you're a good person. I'm a good person. Right. I mean, we're both good people, right? If we go out to lunch, I'm guessing you and I are going to do that thing. We're going to race for our credit cards. And whoever gets there first is going to buy the other person lunch because we're good people, right? Kate, here's the question the Bible puts. Who's a perfect person here this morning?
[00:24:23] Who could stand up and say, I'm blameless before a holy God, who could look at the one who made heavens and Earth, who has all power and say, I can roll on your level. I can live up to your standard. So hopefully everybody here can admit, at least on some kind of theoretical level, that you are a sinner.
[00:24:43] And let's just take one sin, for example. Let's just get to something specific.
[00:24:47] Let's just say that we got to let's just use a story like Nathan did. Let's just say we got a rich man and a poor man and they're here in Huntington Beach and they're both addicted to drugs.
[00:24:57] Let's just put it like that.
[00:24:59] Let's just say we got two guys and man there. Their lives are falling apart because they cannot stop this habit that they've developed. And it's eating up their money.
[00:25:09] They are starting to miss work. It's really bad. Let's say that one of them goes to rehab. Rehab is a very common solution for four drugs.
[00:25:18] OK, let's say that one of them comes here and they're here today and they hear this sermon on repentance. And now we follow ball to these guys. We get their story a month later.
[00:25:29] Both of them have stopped doing the drug. Now, I would say that's a good thing. But it would everybody else agree with agree with me on that? Are we against drugs here at this church? You got guys with me on that.
[00:25:41] OK, ok. Just checking. I just want to check things. Times are changing. Hopefully we hopefully we would say, hey, I think it would be good for these guys to stop being addicted to that drug and having it take over their life. OK. Maybe we could go so far as if we wanted to use biblical language to say, I think it would be good for those guys to stop being slaves to their drug habit.
[00:26:02] I think that would be good. Right.
[00:26:04] So I would rejoice over the guy who went to rehab and stopped. I would rejoice over the guy who came here and repented of his sin and stopped. But I want to say that why they stopped makes a huge difference.
[00:26:17] Makes all the difference.
[00:26:19] Everybody is eventually going to realize that their sin is killing them and they're going to try to stop. But why do you stop? Because from what I know about rehab, from what I know about the whole movement that is trying to get people off of their addictions. I read all those books in the self help section of the bookstore say.
[00:26:39] Where really the end goal is that the reason you should stop doing drugs is so that you would be a better you.
[00:26:47] And that's what it's about. And it's this moral improvement. Whereas if somebody comes here and they repent. I don't want them to try to become a better person.
[00:26:59] I don't want them to try harder to stop doing drugs or become a bit more improved member of society. Here's what I want them to think. I want them to think Jesus is better than drugs. That's what I want them to think. There's a reason why people turn around their lives. It's because I come to see that the things I've been worshiping are worthless and vain. And there is one true and living God who can save me.
[00:27:23] And Jesus is better than anything else that you could pursue. Drugs, sex, money. Fill in the blank. Being a good person. Jesus is better than that.
[00:27:33] That has to be the reason you can't just change your life. There has to be a specific reason why you want to change your life. It's got to be that you're turning from idols y for the living and true God. And we know his whole story.
[00:27:46] His name is Jesus Christ. And he's the one who died for your sins and rose again. And he offers you a new life. He promises you can stop your sin. That's the promise of Jesus Christ.
[00:27:58] So let's get that down four point over to. Hopefully we can all agree we have sinned. Now, we got to get to the real issue of what are you going to do about it? Point number two. Turn because Jesus is better. That's what we want you to do. We want you to stop here. Said that I hope that nobody will go away just thinking, okay, I'm going to try harder this week to not do that. That's not the point of our sermon here. OK. The reason we would want you to stop doing this is we want you to replace it with a love for Jesus Christ and a desire to live for him. And we could hear testimony after testimony all afternoon of people even here under these easy ups that Jesus is better than the idols you used to worship. Can I get any men from anybody here this morning? That man, it's so much better. I'd rather be a slave for Jesus than a slave to the things that I wanted. Jesus is a better master to run my life than I am. That's what you gotta believe. And so you turn from the way that you used to live. You make a radical U-turn. You grab the wheel and you flip it around and you go 180 degrees in the opposite direction because you now have seen that Jesus is the way to go and you want to live by following him.
[00:29:05] So we got to define what repentance is. I'm not just saying stop doing bad things. I'm saying stop doing bad things because of Jesus Christ, because he's the new thing that you're seeking with all of your heart. So let's just define a couple of things about repentance under point number two, this turn that we're talking about. Let's give you a couple of dashes under there if you can draw those in. One thing we want to say is repentance is more than feeling bad. If you can write that down, repentance is more than feeling bad. I'm not just saying that when you sin, you're sorry that you do it. That's not what repentance is. Turn to Second Corinthians, Chapter seven, everybody. This is such an important passage to really define repentance, because I think there's a lot of people out there who are feeling bad about their sin. I think they do something that they that they shouldn't do. They feel bad about it. Right. I mean, let's just take David's example. Let's just say that there are men here in Huntington Beach, maybe even men here this morning at our church who, man, you've got your wife and then you went after somebody else's wife. I would imagine that when that guy comes back and sees his wife, he feels bad about it. I would imagine that he feels convicted. Anybody here ever lied to cover up something bad that you knew you did?
[00:30:29] Here's how you can know you're a sinner when you're telling people lies because you don't want them to know what you're really doing. That's a great way to give yourself away right there. How many who here grew up lying to mom and dad saying that your sibling did it when really you did it? Anybody ever do that? It's a mess to clean up later.
[00:30:46] We lie to cover it up. David lies to cover it up. Then you feel bad about making that lie, don't you?
[00:30:56] The Bible says a lot of people can feel bad about their sins. A lot of people do feel bad about their son. It's not repentance.
[00:31:02] In fact, it gives us two types of sorrow. Look at Second Corinthians, chapter seven, verse 10. Look at this with me. This is such an important passage. If you want to know about repentance, it says, for God, the grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret. Whereas worldly grief produces death. So we got two different types of sorry here. One is godly, which leads to repentance. And one is worldly, which still leads to death. Let's read more verse 11 for see, here's what this godly grief looks like. See what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you?
[00:31:36] What eagerness to clear yourselves. What indignation you're upset with yourself over what you did. What fear you're like, I don't want to do that again. What longing? What seal. What punishment? You're like beating yourself up about it. Come on, stop doing that. And at every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.
[00:31:55] See this? We got two people who did the same bad thing. Both of them lied to cover up something else that they did that was bad. Both of them later are like, I love that person and I just lied to them. Why did I do that? One of them goes back and tells them they lied, confesses it gets us out in the open, starts to tell them the truth, comes clean. The other person, what do they keep doing? I keep lying. They keep they keep doing their scent. Yeah. They feel bad about it. But it says that worldy sorrow produces death. Here's how you can know if you're really sorry or not. Does it stop saying repentance is more than feeling bad? Now, let's get this down for our next stash. Again, still with me, repentance is more than stopping bad things. Hold on. I thought you just said that we could find out if we're really sorry if we stop. Yeah, but it's not just stopping the bad stuff. Repentance is more than stopping bad things. And this is what I get really concerned about. Eternal Romans, Chapter six. It's just a few pages over here to the left in your Bible. Everybody, you gotta see this passage. Romans, Chapter six. Turn there with me. I mean, here's what I've seen a lot. I've been able to talk to a lot of Christians about repentance, and I love using that word repentance. It's so important. So, so few people are actually talking about repentance these days.
[00:33:17] Even though Jesus talks about it all over the Bible, John the Baptist talks about it all over the Bible. The apostles talk about it all over the Bible.
[00:33:24] But then you go to churches these days and you don't hear about it. It's like we're not coming from the book or something. It's like we've changed the word. And if this is the first sermon that you've ever heard on repentance, I want to apologize on behalf of churches everywhere for being lame. OK, because all you've got to do is the first word coming out of John the Baptist Jesus or the apostles mouth. What do we do about this sin? Repent. That's what you do. Should be the first word that comes out of every pastor's mouth when we're talking about sin, repent. And I've you know, I've had the privilege of talking to a lot of people, one on one about repentance. And it's such a hopeful word because I've talked to so many people, they grew up going to church and they asked Jesus into their heart sometime or they just kind of prayed a prayer sometime. And it was kind of this private thing between them and Jesus. And it was like they received Jesus. They accepted Jesus. It's like Jesus just kind of came into their life and then things just went on as they were. And it's like, well, when did you repent? Well, the person with that story, they have a very hard time answering. When did you repent? Because when you understand what repentance is, it's an about face. It's a complete turnaround. And it's so helpful because using the word repentance helps you realize this can't be a private thing. My faith in Jesus Christ either. My life was live this way and then it turned around and now I'm living for Jesus or I'm still living the same life that I was born into. It's one or the other. So we as Christians, we have we have great ways of Spiritualized Jesus coming and doing something to you.
[00:34:59] When the Bible says here's what it's going to look like, if Jesus comes and does something to you, your life's going to turn around and you're your wife would see it. Your kids would see.
[00:35:09] Your neighbors would see. Your coworkers would see people that don't even barely know.
[00:35:13] You would be going up to other people saying, wow, they've turned from the way that they used to live. And now they're following Jesus.
[00:35:21] There's a radical change in their life when use the word repent. It brings all that stuff up. And all of a sudden, there's nowhere for people to hide in their sin anymore because it makes you pick a side. You're either walking in your sin or you've turned from it to walk with Jesus Christ. Which one are you? That's that's why people don't use the word repentance, because it's too clear. It's not like we're confused about it. No, it's too obvious. And it forces everybody to deal with sin in their own life.
[00:35:50] And what I see is I see a lot of people that hear a sermon like this and they think, oh, man, I feel bad about my sin. And they identify something big in their life that they know is wrong and they stop doing.
[00:36:03] And let me just say, that's a great thing, right?
[00:36:06] I mean, if you're doing something that you know is wrong, I think it would be good for you to stop doing that today. Can I get the Amen from anybody on that? I mean, that I'm not knocking stopping bad things here. All right. I think it's good to stop things, you know, are wrong. I would encourage you to do that. You would encourage your children to do that, right? I mean, that's how it works. Right?
[00:36:25] But it's but it's more than that. And I see if repentance is this 180 degree turn where we turn all the way around and we start following Jesus when I see people do is they do this like 90 degree turn. They just get like halfway there. And it's like, well, I used to be a criminal or I used to do these drugs. Right. I used to like something big and obvious and bad in their life. I stopped doing that and I started coming to church. And in their mind, that's repentance. They stopped doing a few bad things and I started doing a few good things. Look at Romans Chapter six. Look at her 17 and you'll see repentance is way deeper than that. Repentance is something that God does to you. And it happens in your heart. Look at this. Romans chapter six, verse 17. It is. But thanks be to God. Wow. He's so good. His steadfast love endures forever. Here's why. That you were once slaves of sin, man. You were doing something you knew was wrong, but you couldn't stop. You felt that. But you kept doing it. Well, you who were once slaves of sin, now have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed. And now you've been set free from sin and you've become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. Just to make sure you guys can understand what I'm saying. Let me just make this very clear. You used to present your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, and that led to more lawlessness. Now present your members as slaves to righteousness, leading the sanctification for when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. You didn't have to do what is right. You could do whatever you wanted. But what fruit? Where did that get you? Where does the drugs, the sleeping around the money? Where does it get you the being a good person. What fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? That's what it gets you. It gets you shame, guilt, bitterness, anger. No, for the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of gods, now you live to serve the living and true God. And now here's what he's going to give to you. The fruit you get, it leads to sanctification. You start moving away from your sin and its end. You have eternal life with Jesus Christ for the wages of sin. All your sin is going to get you is death. But the free gift of God that we're offering this morning is eternal life in Christ, Jesus, our Lord.
[00:38:58] No. You trade masters. That's what repentance is. You stop being a slave to your sin and doing whatever you want to do, and you turn and you become a slave to Jesus. And I know the word slave. The US has such a negative connotation here in America because of what has been done in our country. But this is someone who is willingly signing up to follow somebody else because they believe that person can run their life better than they can.
[00:39:26] That's what repentance is. It's believing that Jesus Christ is a better way to live than the way I could live by myself. And I don't just turn a little bit. I don't hang on to anything. I turn all the way to follow Jesus Christ. Now, right now, see, this is this is getting kind of awkward here, my friends, because there's nowhere we got we got shade, you know, we got we got tents, but there's nowhere to hide here at our church because everybody is either looking at the story of your life and there's either a U-turn in the story of your life. There's a massive turnaround where Jesus became the most important thing in your life or there's not. And that's why we're not talking about repentance in church, because it makes it a little bit awkward. Can you feel it right now? Here, here? I would say in the room, but we don't have a room. Can you feel it right here in the bowl, my friends. All right, everybody, here's got a life story. And your story is either. I still live in the way that I was born live in. Or at some point in my life, you may not know the exact day, but the exact time, but you can see that Jesus Christ from the inside out, you will bayed from the heart.
[00:40:39] This new way of life that Jesus gave you where you live to follow him. Do you have that or do you not have it?
[00:40:48] And when I'm praying for and why I'm speaking to you today, if if we can do this, you are playing the role of King David here today and I am playing the role of Nathan the Prophet. And God has sent me here this morning to tell you you're the man say.
[00:41:05] Or if you would prefer you're the woman or if you would prefer you're the young person, wherever you are, whoever you are. You are being told by God today.
[00:41:17] You have sinned against him. And will you own that?
[00:41:23] And turned to Jesus Christ. Or will you say, I'm going to keep going my own way? And it's made it clear that leads to death. This leads to life. You have a choice before you today choose. Do you want death? No. Death comes in a very shiny package and it makes you feel good right up front. That's what death looks like. Or do you choose this, which looks like a cross, which looks like losing a lot of things, which looks like giving a lot of things away. Maybe relationships, maybe things that bring you pleasure. Things that you would have to cut off to follow Jesus Christ. See? They look the opposite of their destination. One looks like it's awesome and it's going to kill you. One looks like it's gonna be the hardest thing you've ever done so hard. You probably can't even do it. But it's going to lead to eternal life.
[00:42:15] Which one do you choose? Everybody here is actively making that choice. Don't think. Well, let me think about it for a while. No, today you are going to make a decision about which direction you're headed. Some of you guys, you already have had this turnaround in your life.
[00:42:32] And I am surprised you guys are being so quiet because. Because you know what I'm talking about.
[00:42:37] And if you could turn to the person right next to you right now and you could tell them, man, you've got to give your life to Jesus Christ, he's such a better master. There's nobody. What other kind of master dies for you takes your punishment so that you can go free? One of the kind of master promises that he's preparing a place for you where you could be with him for all of eternity. What other kind of master says that when he comes, he wants to come and serve you rather than have you serve him? Who else could you give your life to that's gonna be better than Jesus Christ? That's what some of you want to say right now. I'm I'm putting the words in your mouth, right? I mean, that's what you're testifying in your silence right now. Right. I mean, that's what you're saying. You're saying, look, at the end of my life.
[00:43:21] There's one thing that's going to matter about me that God turned my life around. That's all that's gonna matter.
[00:43:27] Nothing else is going to matter except that there was a time in my life. Where God got a hold of my heart and I stopped wanting the things that I used to want and I started wanting Jesus and he became all important to me and I ran after him with all of my life. Can you own up to your sin and can you have your own song? Fifty one moment where you come before God and say, God, I've sinned against you. And not only have I done some bad things. But God, I'm a bad person compared to you. I'm a sinner before you. And it's not going to work for me to try to improve myself, some self-help program is only going to trade one bad problem for another bad problem. Now, I need you to make me new from the inside out.
[00:44:15] And I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again. I need to die to my old life of sin and start a new life today in Jesus Christ. People today need a new life. Jesus Christ. Right here, right now. I'm not talking to the person next to you. I'm talking to you. This isn't one of those sermons where we do the L shaped a man like a man preacher right over to my spouse. This isn't one of those sermons. All right. Right over to my kids. Oh, some people right now. This is how church works. All right. Some people right now are like, I got five friends who need to hear this message. No. You got one person who needs to hear this message.
[00:44:49] And it's you, my friend, because you knew you were gonna stand before God. And he's going to hold you accountable for your sin. And you need to be able to say that you already stood before him and you already owned up to your sin before him. You don't want to wait till that day when you end up in front of him. You want to choose right now to come before him and offer him the sacrifice of a broken and a contrite heart and saying, God, my life is falling to pieces and it's only going to get worse if I try to fix it.
[00:45:19] Will you turn me around today? In Jesus name, you offer that prayer to God today. Let me tell you, God answers that prayer one hundred percent of the time. God does not turn away. He does not despise people who come to him with a genuine heart of brokenness and contrition and repentance. And I wish that could be you. I wish you could know that. Good first, John. Chapter one.
[00:45:43] You know, there's this big there's this big lie about Christians that we've got to clear up right now, that Christians are somehow perfect people. If you know who's spreading that lie, that Christians are perfect people, the hypocrites are the ones actually spreading that lie because they're putting on this fake exterior and acting like they have it all together. Nobody has it all together.
[00:46:08] There's people who were living one way and then they've been redirected. Christians are redirected people. They're not perfected people, they're redirected people. And here's how you can even know if you're wondering if you've had that time of turning in your life or not. Maybe you're confused because there's been so much church and so much good stuff that you've done. It's hard to tell, really, if there was a turnaround in your life. Well, here's a great way to figure it out first, John.
[00:46:33] Chapter one, look at verse eight with me. Look at what it says here. Just a simple test you can give yourself here this morning. This is if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. And the truth is not in us. What do you have, the true life of Jesus Christ inside of you? Well, if you're trying to act like you don't have sin in your life, then you don't have the true life of Jesus Christ inside you. Because real Christians, here's what they admit. Verse nine. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not seen it, we make him a liar. We make God a liar. And his word is not in us.
[00:47:09] No. Here's the people who get forgiven. The people who admit they did something wrong say.
[00:47:14] Here's what Christians are ready to say. I got things in my life that I need to confess before God.
[00:47:20] I got things in my life that I need to confess to my spouse, my kids, my friends. I got things that I have to come before God. And. And, yeah, there was one time where I repented and God turned me around. I mean, the main way the Bible talks about repentance is that first turning of your salvation. That's the main way the Bible talks about it. But once you get saved, you are not perfected right away. And so you've got to keep on confessing your sin and you've got to keep on turning from it. And it becomes a lifestyle. It becomes a pattern. It becomes a way, you think about it, that I am a sinner saved by Jesus Christ and I own my sins before him. And I follow him not pretending to be perfect. Being honest about who I am. Can you be honest about who you are? Can you own who you are to yourself? Can you own who you are to God? Can you own who you are? To other people, it is time to stop being fake like the idols that you worship.
[00:48:14] And it is time to come over to the true and living God and get real. Some of you guys, maybe maybe you some people here, there you are, Christians, but the truth is there's sin in your life right now. And you know it. And you're not practicing repentance where you go and you confess it and you turn from it and you leave it behind. You're not practicing can repentance by bringing in other people to come alongside of you and encourage you and help you, you're allowing sin to linger in your life. And Jesus didn't die for your sins so you could keep doing it. Say Jesus died for your sense, you could be free. Do you know that freedom people think in America that freedom means I can do whatever I want when I want with whoever I want? That's what freedom means in America. You're trapped if you believe that you are caught in a lie. The truth is you are free if you can say no to what you want. And yes to what is right.
[00:49:14] And yes to God. That's the truth.
[00:49:18] What kind of freedom are you experiencing in your life right now? This is a this is a word from the Lord. This is what God has to say. I am not making any of this up. I'm a sinner just like everybody else here. But this is what God says in his word. Sir, we've been to James chapter for. As you can see, well, before we get to James for let me just say this, I'm fired up about talking about repentance. Are you guys getting that impression? Now, here's what I don't just want to preach on repentance and be like the one voice on repentance at our church. I would like to have a church that is known for turning from idols to serve the living and true God. I would like all of us to get on board this repentance bandwagon. OK. Good to go with me. Before you get to James for go to Luke 24, we just got to look at this because we've got to talk about we since we're a new church. We just got to make it clear what we're here to do. And here's here's my basic logic. All right. I know many churches don't really talk about repentance, not upfront, not like maybe how we're doing it here this morning. But when I read the Bible, John the Baptist, who I think was a pretty great guy. He talked about repents. Anybody ever read that before where he says repent? In fact, he says bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
[00:50:36] In fact, he says, you snakes. Who told you to repent? Everybody ever read those passages? Jesus Christ. He had a lot to say about repentance. Anybody ever read Jesus Christ talking about repentance, OK. In fact, when it when a tower fell on some people, we've had towers fall here in America when a tower fell on some people in his day. And people came to Jesus Christ for the soundbite. What do you have to say about the tower falling on people? Here's was Jesus response. Hey, unless you repent, you're all going to die. That's that's how Jesus responded to the tragedy of his day. Repent or perish. And lastly, repent. We're all going to perish. Then the apostles start showing up. They start speaking in the name of Jesus. They start doing miracles. They start saying, you killed Jesus. But watch yourself. He rose from the dead. And the people are like, what do we do it? Here's what they say right away to him. They say, repent. That's what they say. So we got to pick our side right here today as a church. We want to do what all the other churches are doing. Or do we want to do what John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Apostles are doing? Whose side are we going to be on here? OK.
[00:51:38] Then we're going to use the word repent and we're gonna leave no room to hide.
[00:51:44] There's gonna be no room where you can be say you're a Christian and keep on living your old life of sin. When you use the word repent, it leaves no room to hide. That's the kind of church we want to be. In fact, that's the kind of church our Lord Jesus Christ, if you signed up to be his slave, he commands you to use that word. Look at Luke 24. Look at verse five.
[00:52:03] Look at what Jesus says right here. This is just another version of the great commission to go and make disciples of all nations. Well, here's how Jesus says it in Luke. Here's how Luke records it, Luke. Twenty four. Forty five. Then he open their minds to understand the scriptures. This is Jesus talking to his disciples right before he's going to ascend into heaven. And he says to them. Thus it is written is the gospel that the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one Jesus should suffer. He died. And on the third day rise from the dead. Verse 47. And here's what we're supposed to do.
[00:52:34] And that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
[00:52:48] Here's here's what Jesus Christ told churches to do. Get out there and tell everyone. Starting here in Jerusalem and all over the world to the ends of the earth. I don't know if you've ever looked at a globe, but Huntington Beach is basically the ends of the earth from Jerusalem. I mean, we are all the way as far as you can get.
[00:53:05] Right. And it says we're supposed to tell people to repent of their sins. Why? So they can find forgiveness in Jesus Christ. So in all of that shame and guilt that they're carrying around can be done and erased forever. And they can be free and they can be loved by God, the father, through his son, Jesus Christ. That's not just the pastor's job to preach it.
[00:53:27] That's everybody who's signed up to follow Jesus Christ. That's your job, to use the word repentance. So when you're talking to your friends, I would encourage you to ask questions like when did you repent of your sin? And I always recommend when you ask that question, to follow it up with a smile. Right. And maybe free food often helps as well. Maybe just even put cash on the table.
[00:53:49] When you say be as friendly as you can be.
[00:53:52] OK, but it's a serious question, my friends, and not enough of us here are using that word out of our mouth. If Jesus came saying it and John the Baptist came saying it and the apostles came saying, and we could spend hours here today going through the Old Testament where they say. And I want to make sure I'm saying and I pray that you'll say it, too. But we need some people to repent right here, right now. And I can I can tell I don't know if you guys realize this. Sometimes this shocks people, but I can see you when I'm preaching to you. And I can tell that some people have been deeply impacted by this message. And there are people here right now that know you need to repent here this morning. And I want to just tell you, this can play out two different ways. We can we can move to the music. We can go grab a donut. We can get to our car. And we can go on with life as it is. Or you can confess your sins to God and he can turn you around and make you a new person right here. That choices before you now, go to James Chapter four, and I want you to see what it says right here. I mean, this is true for everybody. There's there's nobody here today whether you've repented or whether you haven't. There's the issue of sin in your life is is a reality. It's something we all need to own up to, something we should be even so honest and open about that we can talk about with other people. And James, Chapter four talks about how we're supposed to deal with this sin in our life.
[00:55:22] It says, drawn here to God and he will draw near to you, cleanse your hands, you sinners purify your hearts.
[00:55:32] You double minded the wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
[00:55:48] You feel like God's distant from you. You feel like you don't even know if God's real, if he's there. Here's what it says. Come near to him. The problem isn't with God. No, we've already learned this morning very clearly that his steadfast love endures. How long how long does his steadfast love endure forever?
[00:56:06] No, he's still there. He's ready to forgive you. He's ready to love, you know, who moved away from you and God. See? How do you draw near to God? Well, it tells you you've got to cleanse your hands. You've got to come and confess your sins. You've got to purify your hearts, you double minded. You've got to stop wanting the best of both worlds. Jesus plus sin. And you've got it. Today would be a day for people to cry at church. Today would be a day for people to mourn and weep for. For grown men to reach onto each other's shoulders and to put tears into some other dude shirt.
[00:56:39] Because you're broken today because you're humbled over your sin. And I'm not just maybe there's even people who you have repented before, but, you know, right now you're not right with some sin in your life. You've allowed something to happen that should not be happening. Today is the day to come to the Lord.
[00:56:58] When it says clean your hands, purify your hearts, it's a quote from Psalm 24 if you want to write that down. Psalm 24 versus three and four. Another psalm written by our guy, David.
[00:57:09] And he says, Who can ascend to the hill of the Lord? Who can go into your hole? The dwelling.
[00:57:14] Here's the only kind of person that can have a relationship with God. He has clean hands.
[00:57:19] Who owns up to his scent and a pure heart. And then he says this. Let us not lift our souls to another.
[00:57:29] Don't let me believe that any lie is going to satisfy. Don't let me believe that any sin is worth it. And give my heart to some idols to want something else besides God. That the only person that I'm gonna ever give my heart to be the Lord Jesus Christ, who is my master. Who I live for. Say.
[00:57:51] See, I've cleansed my hands, I've not only said that I what I did was wrong, I purified my heart, man. It's gone deep. I've asked God to make me new. I've asked him to save me. And here's the thing. I'm not going back because I'm sold out for Jesus Christ now and I'm all in for him.
[00:58:07] If you can't say this morning that you're all in for Jesus Christ, then you are in the best place possible because we're going to give you a chance right now to talk to God as the band comes up, they're going to sing a song and it's going to say, give us clean hands. Give us pure hearts. Let us not lift our souls to another. And this is not just a song that we sing in church. This is a song for you to sing from your heart to the Lord here today. And I pray that people here today you will ask God to turn your life around. He will hear your broken heart. He will hear your contrite spirit. He will answer your prayer. Please pray with me. God, we thank you so much for this for this straightforward word. God. A straightforward word of repentance and God, I just pray that we would.
[00:58:56] Use that word here at this church and God, I know it makes it uncomfortable. Got it. It's so straightforward that we were all born into sin. That you desire truth in the work part. But we have lies. That you desire us to say no to things that we want, but we keep doing them God. Got it, so beautiful to see how you turn lives around. God, I just pray that you would do that right here, right now. That those people who are convicted, who are feeling bad. The Holy Spirit maybe is working upon them through the preaching of your word this morning. God, please don't let them walk away. Don't let them miss this opportunity today. Please turn them around. Draw them to yourself, God, give them clean hands.
[00:59:40] Please give them a pure heart and let us say I'm done with the idols, I'm done with all of the things that I was giving my life to that I thought would somehow satisfy or fill me up. I'm trading them for a better master. Stop being a slave to sin here today and I'm going to become a slave. I'm signing up for the service to follow Jesus Christ with all my heart. God, we pray that you'll do your work or salvation, that you'll draw people to yourself, that they will experience real freedom, real life outside of their skin, outside of what they want. Thank you so much for Jesus Christ. Now he turns this around and got for those of us who have been saved. Help us to keep short accounts with you. Help us to come and confess our send to you today. Make sure that we're turning from God. Hear this song as we sing to you in Jesus name. Amen.
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