Misconceptions About Repentance

Mistaken Notions About Repentance

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Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Church of the Bible. It is great to be back. It's great to be behind the pulpit again and just back in my normal life rhythms. I was talking with Shawnee today and bless you. Shawnee mentioned how it's actually been a while since I've preached with treasure, traveling and just having everything recorded.

But I will say it's nice to be back in the rhythm of stuff again. With that said, with announcements, we are doing everything back as normal the way we did before I left. So Wednesday we will have Bible study at 630. We are in Exodus 23 this week. I now have to go check because I do this every week and last time I had somebody read the wrong passage, I'm in.

Okay, I think you're behind a few chapters there.

Yeah, I'm behind a few chapters. So we are in 28, Exodus 28 this week. So please read ahead, observe, make some observations, write down your questions. And then here in zoom at 630, we will be in Exodus 28 and then we will have church in Cedar City.

Joel, you have to unmute. I think we're actually still in 27 because didn't we postpone last week? You're right, we did, because it was just you and I. Okay, thank you for that correction. So we are still in Exodus 27 on Wednesday.

So then Friday we will have our normal in person gathering in Cedar City at 06:00 and I will see everyone next Sunday, hopefully here as well. I think that for now. That's everything for our main announcements. With that said, we are gearing up now to push heavily into southern Utah, beginning with Milford and Cedar, where I'm at, and begin pushing our vision of no Place Left, where our goal is for all of the communities in southern Utah to hear the gospel. So as we begin to push into that, I want to ask all of you some of you here live in Cedar and are local.

Some of you are far away from Utah. But I want to ask all of you as we pursue pushing into southern Utah now and making sure the entire region has the gospel, that you will all be very prayerful about that. Pray for God's spirit to move, pray for the demonic strongholds in the area to come down and pray for people to be saved. And that's something that's happening, just so you know, in northern Utah as well, where the team that I've been working with, some of you have met them, logan and his crew have been down here. They're pursuing this in Provo in Salt Lake right now and we're banding together over the next couple of weeks to push heavily in all of Utah.

So please add that into your daily prayers. With that said, let's open up with prayer and we will turn over to worship. And then we will be back here in a few minutes for our message. In God's word today, Father, we thank you that we could be here today, Lord. I thank you for this technology you have given us, Lord, for the means to reach out beyond our four walls and our cities, but Lord, to reach people no matter where they are.

And I thank you for that. I also thank you Lord for everyone who is here regularly and faithfully and hearing your word and wanting to do it. Lord, I thank you for what you have been doing there. Lord. I want to start tonight off just by that same prayer request I gave everyone, Lord, as we do this major push in Utah, to have everybody, every community, having your gospel in it and having it heard, lord, I pray that you will begin to open up doors even right now, Lord.

Not just for me, but for everyone involved in this, Lord. Begin opening doors for people to move in and to share your gospel and have it come in and go out into other communities as well, Lord, and would you be glorified by that? I pray as we go into our service now Lord, that you would secure our hearts and our minds, Lord, from the distractions of the world and everything going on and let us turn our attention toward you. Let us not only be hearers of Your word today, but also doers and that your name be glorified in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

You are here moving in our late. I worship you, you are here immensing every heart I worship you, I worship you you are way make miracle work promise keeper light in the darkness. My God that is who you are.

We make miracle works promise keeping light in the darkness back. That is who you are, that is who you are, that is who you are, that is who you are, that is who you are, that is who you are, that is who you are. You are with me miracle work promise keep light in the darkness. By God that is who you are. You are way make miracle work promise keep light in the darkness.

My God that is who you are.

Even when I don't feel you're working. Even when I don't feel in your working, never stop, never stop looking. You never stop. Never stop looking. Even when I don't see it, you're working.

Even when I don't feel it, you're working. You never stop. Never stop working. You never stop. Never stop working.

Even when I don't see it, you work. Even when I don't feel that, you workin, you never stop. Never stop working. You never stop. You never stop working.

Even when I don't see you working. Even when I don't feel it, you work. And you never stop never stop working. You never stop. Because you are way maker, miracle work, promise keeper.

Light in the darkness is who you are. That is who you are. That is who you are. That is who you are. That is who you are.

That is who you are. That is who you are.

One's gift of grace is Jesus. Murray deeper. There is no more for heaven now to give. He is my joy, my righteousness and freedom. My safe.

I love my deep and bound faith. To this side, my hope is only Jesus.

I can see my life that you cross in me tonight is up. But I'm not forsaken for God. I've tried this baby. He will save. I labor on your weakness and for me in my knee.

His power is to sway you. They start hold. My shepherd will defend me through the deepest body with me hold. And I have been one. And I shall.

And he was raised to overrate to this side of my fear.

I want to follow Jesus, for he has said that he will bring me home and day by day I know he will renew me until I stand with yours before the cold to give my hope. My hope is only Jesus.

Of covary My savior went courageously and there he bled and died for me hallelujah fall across and on that day the world was changed a final lamb was lame let earth and heaven down broke lane hallelujah for the cross hallelujah for the Lord he fought love has won, death has lost hallelujah for the souls he fought hallelujah for the cross what could I done? Could never save my death too great for peace to go but God my Savior made away aleja for the cross I say to sin my life was bound but all my chains fell to the ground when Jesus blood came, flew and down hallelujah for the cross hallelujah.

Hallelujah and when I breathe my final breath I have no need to fear that rest this hope will guide me into death. Hallelujah for the cross hallelujah all the more. He fought love has one death had lost hallelujah all the souls he bought hallelujah for the cross. Hallelujah for the cross. Hallelujah for the cross.

Amen. All three of those songs today were they are precious to me. They always have been, those three. And I think everyone here already knows some of the stuff Shawne and I have been through the last couple of weeks. We've had two fairly big events happen.

And in both cases, that first song, even when I don't see it, you're working. And even when I don't feel it, you're working. Just to be reminded at all times that God is working. Whether we see it, whether we feel it or not, god is always working, and it is always through Him we accomplish what we will accomplish. And we should be praising God for the cross.

Each morning we wake up and each night we go to bed and with that thought of the cross there and what it did for us, I want to jump into today's thing. We're going to wrap up our miniseries on repentance today. This will be the final message on that. And then next week we will finally be back into the Book of Job. It's been a couple of months that we've taken a break since Christmas, but we'll be back next week.

So with that said, we've been going through Ezekiel as we've been talking about repentance. And we started toward the beginning of the book when the prophet Ezekiel spoke the word of the Lord and he says, make for yourself a queen heart and a queen spirit. And we talked about the fact that having a queen heart, that new heart, that new creation, while only a gift of God, is something that must be chosen for each of us. While God most certainly can and will give us a new heart, we must want it. We must choose to hate our sin.

We must choose to repent of our ways. We must choose to submit to God. He will not force us to do it. We have that free will. We went from there and we looked at in part two of that, the same passage.

We then began to look at how we did that and we began to look at our motivations. Are we doing stuff for because it's the right thing to do, because it glorifies God, because it's moral? Or are we doing it to get that applause, that pat on the back, the praise of men? And we looked in depth at that. And then we went through the parable of the Prodigal Son last week, parable of the Prodigal Son and we saw what repentance looked like in totality.

We saw a person who represented us right, the younger son who represented us wanting the gift of God, wanting what he offers, all the blessings, all the good stuff he does, the prosperity, the inheritance, as it were, but wanted nothing to do with God in a far off place. But we saw him come full circle as he was persuaded of his wrongdoing and as he had repented of that in totality and returned to the father. And as the father welcomed him back with open arms and not just allowed him to come back, but fully restored him and even elevated his position from where he was before, and that brings us today back to Ezekiel. This time we'll be in chapter 36. And what we're going over now that we've talked about repentance fairly in depth the last three weeks, today is going to be about misconceptions, about repentance.

We're going to look at mistaken notions and some things that that people think about it that are totally wrong. But let's start with reading Ezekiel 36.

We're going to start in verse 24 1 second. We appear to have a technical error where the scriptures are not coming up.

All right, so while the tech issue is getting worked out, I am going to just read from my Bible and if you have yours. Please follow along, otherwise hopefully Shawnee will have the Scriptures up here in a minute. He says start Numbers 24 of Ezekiel 36. And I will take from you the nations, or take you from the nation. Sorry.

And I will gather you from all the lands, and I will bring you to your land, and I will sprinkle on you pure water, and you will be clean from all your uncleanliness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit that will give into your inner parts. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh. And I will give to you a new heart of flesh. And I will give my spirit into your inner parts.

And I will make it so that you will go in my rules and my regulations. You will remember, and you will do them. And you will dwell in the land that I gave your ancestors. And you will be to me as a people. Let's toss them up now that they're here.

You will be to me as a people, and I will be to you as God. And I will save you from all your unclemliness. And I will call to the grain, and I will cause it to increase. And I will not bring famine upon you. And I will cause the fruit of the tree and the crop of the field to increase so that you will not suffer again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

And you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good. And you will loathe yourself over your iniquities and over your detestable things, but not for your sake. Am I acting? Declares the Lord. Yahweh.

Let it be known to you be ashamed and be put to shame because of your ways. House of Israel there is beautiful promises in here, and also rebuttalment as well that we see the Lord declare here. As we read about this, we read what we're reading is about how God brings about repentance and that change of heart. He says he'll give us a new heart. He will give us he will replace a heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.

And he talks about how through here he says, I'll bring you back to your land. I will cause your crops to multiply. I will love you. I will not bring famine. Isn't this unique?

Right? Why is God doing this? Is the fear of hell. Fire and brimstone and the pits of the endless pit of hell. Is that enough to cause the average person sin to repent and turn from their sin to God?

Did he overcome them with fear? No, he overcame them with love. For the more that they sinned and the more that they rejected him, and the more that they turned their backs, god blessed them. He gave them more, and he overcame their hearts of stone, with a heart of love. That's not to say that he does not teach us and warn us about those scary pits of hell, but he overcomes with love.

And he reminds us in verse 32, he does not do this because we are worthy of it, not for your sake and my acting, declares the Lord, not because of your righteousness, or your worthiness, or your good deeds, but let it be known, be ashamed and be put to shame because of your ways. We are sinners who should be ashamed of what it is that we have done, what we frequently and regularly do, and we should be repentant. And let it be known, not just to the house of Israel, as Ezekiel is preaching to, but let it be known to us that nothing God has done is for because of what we have done, because we are worthy. So let's talk about repentance.

There are some mis notions about repentance and what it means. A lot of people have said, well, I could never repent, I can't make myself repentant. They're right. You cannot sit there and wheel yourself into it, because that goes against our nature.

Some of them say that they can't repent because God must elect them and choose them. And if God refuses to elect them and choose them, then how are they to repent? And they put the blame on God. And Paul warns us in the Book of Romans in chapter nine, against such logic, for we are accountable for our actions. Some people will say that for as much as they try to repent and they want to repent, they say, I don't have the feelings of repentance.

I've said that there are some here right now who have sat with me in a room, as I have talked about my feelings or lack of feelings when I have repented. How many of you, without raising your hands, you can just think about this slightly, have repented, but you don't feel that deep weight of sorrow, or you don't feel that remorse, or you're not crying when you repent. I'm not emotional, I'm not a crier. And my repentance is often unaccompanied by tears. And so often have I found myself feeling that I'm not truly repentant, that I haven't repented, that if that huge emotional experience is not there, that it's not real.

And we've talked about emotions over the last few weeks. So there are many who say they can't repent, many who put the blame on God, and many who they have a heart of repentance, and they are repenting, and they are deceiving themselves and burdening themselves with doubt because of a lack of emotional connection. And so I want to go through today and I want to talk about what repentance is not as we have talked so much about repentance and what it is. We're going to start here first with looking at mistaken ideas of what it is we'll then look at mistaken ideas of where repentance occupies in the mind and we will look at mistaken ideas of the way in which it's produced in the heart. Those are the three things we're going to look at, beginning with ideas of what it is or mistaken ideas of what it is.

Most people confound repentance with morbid self accusation.

Self accusation. They want to make their sin bigger than it is. And we are all sinners enough. All of us have sinned out abounds. But sometimes we want to take our sin and we want to self accuse ourselves into a pit so big that not even God can get us out of it.

We as humans have a tendency. I know so many people, myself included, who want to call themselves the chief of sinners, right? And we want to build or sin up so much in our minds that it seems so big and so towering that the grace of God is not enough, and yet it is. And there are some people who can so overconflate their sin into levels that it is not. And they burden themselves with a weight and a burden that they feel is too heavy.

And then there are some people who if they had even tried, they could not confess their sin enough and what it was. But we have this tendency to inflate what it is. And as we inflate what our sin is and make it bigger, we build for ourselves a model in which is inescapable. Well, I told a lie and now suddenly I'm a habitual liar and I lie so much and I lie to the point that I've deceived myself and now I don't know what my thoughts are, I don't know what my motives are, I don't know anything. And now, because I don't know anything and I'm a habitual liar, am I lying about my faith in Christ?

Am I lying about my repentance? And we self accuse to the extent that we don't even know what it is that we trust in, that we believe in, because we can convince ourselves that we're lying to ourselves about everything. We can convince ourselves for those who have sexual addictions, we can convince ourselves that they are so strong and so big that we are the worst of the worst and that there is no escape. And with no escape we can often find ourselves just repeat in the same actions because it feels helpless. But there's the flip side of it for those who want to repent and those who want out of it.

But they can never move forward with progress because though they have repented and they've confessed and they've apologized, they self accuse themselves to the point that even though God has forgiven them, they hold their sin over their own heads. And that is an inflation of our sin, making it bigger than what it is. And I myself am guilty of that act right there of sins of which God has forgiven me, of he's pardoned me. And yet I will drive down the road and I'll think about it and I'll hold it over my own head. And I am unable to make forward progress in my life because of something that should have no hold on me.

And yet it is there.

Our first mistaken idea what repentance is. I want you to know that self accusing yourself to extent in which you cannot move on is not healthy psychologically, but it's not healthy spiritually. For as much as God is willing to forgive us, we must be willing to forgive ourselves as well. A lot of people confuse repentance with the lack of unbelief, despondency, despair, things which are not a help to repentance, but they actually rather harden their heart. A lack of repentance, unbelief or doubt, is not a lack of repentance.

I will say, though, that if you find yourself in deep unbelief or deep doubts, it is probably a sign you have not repented.

For the more we harden our heart, the more we sear our conscience by repeating the same sin over and over and over again. The more we push back the promptance of the Holy Spirit, the more we ignore Him and reject Him to continue in our wick. Eventually our conscious becomes seared. It becomes unaware of the promptance of the Spirit. Our conscious becomes unresponsive to the warnings of God saying, do not do that, for your soul is at stake.

And that is when we begin to doubt. I no longer hear God. Do I even believe? Is this even real? Because we have hardened our hearts and weakened our conscious to a point of uttering complete unresponse.

But do not mistake unbelief for a lack of repentance. Do not mistake your despondency to a lack of repentance or your despair, and do not believe for a moment that because you have, you have done and committed to sin that you must be an unbeliever in the process of repentance. I hear that often from people, well, I did this and I did this and I did that, which means I must be an unbeliever.

And so you have believers in a position where they have gone and they have messed up, and rather than repenting of it, they have confounded what they have done with unbelief. And such should not always be the case, and sometimes it is. But we should not confuse them to be the same thing. I've occasionally found myself, when I do something stupid, instead of saying why did I do that? Or that was dumb and I need to repent, I found myself saying, well, you know, a Christian wouldn't have done that, a Christian wouldn't have done it.

And then you convince yourself that if a Christian wouldn't have done that, you must not be a Christian, and that is not repentance. In fact, such thinking tends to not lead anyone into repentance. The thinking that I should not have done this, and therefore I need to repent. I need to change my mind and my heart, my attitude toward it, and hate this thing and no longer do it. That will lead someone into repentance.

And the attitude of, well, a Christian wouldn't do this, and because I did, I'm not a Christian, will not lead you into repentance. Rather, it will harden your heart, because as you convince yourself that you're not a Christian, for that reason, you then begin to shut down the internal components that God gave us to warn us and to prompt us into the right direction. As we talk about unbelief as well, there are many who would say that you must first believe before you should repent. Well, or the opposite side, you must repent before you can believe. In the state of Utah, I think we deal with that second option more than not.

Well, I can't believe in Christ because I've not repented, because I have issues in my life, because I have things I've not taken care of. And perhaps if I can if I can take care of these problems and if I can repent of them, then maybe I should believe in Christ. But repentance and belief, they come together, their package together. For you cannot repent unless you have a belief in Christ, for only a belief in Christ and the pole of God on your heart and on your mind to Him, unless he calls you and you're responding to that call, there shall be nothing in this world that should prompt you into repentance. But if you are not repentant either, there is probably no accompanying that.

There is no belief. And they're together, my mind completely froze. Some people, they mistake the dread of hell with repentance, right? For if I have no yeah, it's a package. The old Joel says, if I had no dread of hell, no sense of wrath, I am not repentant.

And some people believe that if only they would have that dread of hell and that sense of wrath, that they would be repentant. But just know that the dread of hell, that sense of wrath, causes even the demons and devils to shudder, and it's not enough to cause them to repent.

A certain measure of a dread of hell may come with repentance, but it's no part of it. As we come to an end of talking about the misconceptions on what repentance is or is not, let's be reminded of what repentance looks like. We've talked about it's, a change of heart. I was doing this, and I am so persuaded that it is wrong that it's not glorifying to God that he hates it, that I am no longer going to do it right. So with this change of mind, through persuasion, true repentance looks like a hatred of evil.

For I have loved this sin, and now I hate it. Not just that I am no longer going to do it, but I hate it. It is evil. True repentance should have a sense of shame. God told Israel in Ezekiel 36, verse 32, he told them, be ashamed and be put to shame because of your ways.

We should have a sense of shame for what we have done or for what we are doing. But I will say that we should not sit in that shame for us. We are forgiven. We should walk out of that shame. But there should be a sense of shame, as we do wrong for you today who are caught in your wrongdoing, and you feel no shame at all.

I want to be that consciousness for you, setting off alarm bells and warning signals and 911 messages, that if you do not feel shame for what you are doing, you are in danger. And repentance should have a sense of shame, a sense that this was wrong. How could I have done that to God? How could I have ruined his name in that way? How could I have given Him that image?

True repentance should come with a longing to avoid sin, right? For as we repent, as we have a hatred of evil, as we have a sense of shame for that which is wrong, we should have a desire to avoid it. We shouldn't want to go back in it. And if we want to, if we long to go back there, we have not repented it of those things, and it should be wrought by a sense of divine love.

While certainly for some people a dread of hell, a sense of wrath, may be that spark that causes them to turn into repentance. If that dread of hell is the only thing that has ever driven them when they do wrong, oh, my soul is in danger of the fires of the pits of hell. And they say, I'm sorry. And that's all it ever is. You have not repented.

But as we come to that realization that God he has loved me an unworthy sinner, he has forgiven me an unworthy sinner, he has done so much for me, my dread of hell and my sense of wrath, as my motivation should be replaced with love. Oh, how much God has done for me. I don't want to do this to Him. Oh, how much he has forgiven me. I don't want to incur more debt against Him.

We should have, as we realize the weight of what it is that God has done, how much he has given, we should have a sense of love flowing out of us that causes us to act a certain way. Not because we have to, not because we get anything for it, but just because of who God is and our love for Him and what he has done. Let's look at mistaken ideas of the place in which repentance occupies it's, looked upon by some as a procuring cause of grace, as if. Repentance merits remission. There are some out there.

Again I said, if I could only repent, if I could only take care of these issues, maybe then I can trust in Jesus, or because I have repented, now I can experience the gifts of God. That is a work based theology that I must repent, and then I can receive grace. But grace is the very empowerment within us to repent. Where repentance is not merited remission, where repentance does not earn us anything from God, it's not the stepping stone into the good graces of God. Repentance is the very first sign and evidence of the grace of God.

For none who have not experienced that grace of God, shining rays of light into their heart could repent. But as those rays of light shine into your heart and it begins to soften, and you begin to feel the weight of that shame and you begin to feel that guilt and you begin to sense what I am doing is wrong and become persuaded of it, and you take that step of repentance and trust in God. You are demonstrating the very fruits of the Spirit of God working within your life. So it is not a stepping stone into grace, but it is an evidence of the grace that you have received. It is wrongly viewed by others as preparation for grace.

So in one example they view it as merit and grace, in another they view it as preparing to receive grace, as if they are meeting God halfway.

But Paul has told us in Romans eleven six, if it is by grace, it cannot be of works, or grace is not grace, and if it's by works, it cannot be of grace, or works is not works, there is no meeting God halfway. For if we can take the first step, then we can certainly take them all. If we can walk one half of the mile to meet God, then we can walk the full mile to meet God. And there is no basis for which God's salvation and atonement has any place in our life. Repentance is not preparing for grace to receive.

It is not meeting God along the way where he can grab our hand and take over.

And for any who wants to believe that they can meet God along the way, I would say that you have to meet God all the way. For the Word has declared that for he who is under the law and is guilty of one part of the law is guilty of all of the law. If you must meet God, then you are already guilty of the whole law and you are already condemned. It is God who has done all the work, it is God who has come to us, it is God who has reached out his hand and called your name.

Repentance, it is only a gift and a sign of what God has done. It is treated as a qualification for believing right, and even as the ground for believing, which is the galaxy. It's contrary to the pure gospel truth.

Repentance does not occupy in belief, but it stems from it, and others treat it as an argument for a peace of mind. I sin today. I did wrong. And before I go to bed, I get down on my knees and I say a little prayer. Dear God, I'm sorry for what I did.

I might listen to them off. Please forgive me. In Jesus name, amen. And I crawl into bed at the peace of mind because I said a prayer. And repentance is not a treatment for peace of mind.

Repentance is not the cure all for your anxieties of where your soul will go. It is legality, for you are relying upon your deeds. You are relying upon being sorry to secure your soul, as if, well, I'm sorry I did it makes it okay. Just being sorry I did something does not make what I did okay. It should not give me peace of mind.

And if it worked that way, I might as well go and borrow as much money as I can from all my friends and family and just tell them, hey, I'm sorry I forgot to repay it, but all is well in the world because I'm sorry.

That's a legalistic view. Repentance is not some form of magic pill to give you peace of mind, but only trust in Jesus Christ should give you any peace of mind. Repentance is a fruit of heaven. Jesus Christ, in your life. Jesus Christ is the peace of mind.

That trust that Jesus Christ loves me. Jesus Christ died for me. Jesus Christ rose from the grave, and Jesus Christ has forgiven me is my peace of mind, not that I told him I'm sorry. If you are going to bed tonight feeling safe and secure because you've said I'm sorry, I encourage you reevaluate your position. Do you feel safe and secure because you're sorry?

Or do you feel safe and secure because Jesus Christ has paid your ransom? He has done it for you. There is a major difference in the two. Where are you placing your trust right now? If repentance to you is a magic pill, you have mistaken what repentance is altogether.

And let's look lastly at the mistaken ideas of the way in which it's produced in the heart. Many think that it's produced by a distinct and immediate attempt to repent it's. Not many believe it is produced by strong excitement at revival meetings. So there's a big revival going on on the East Coast right now in a little college that started as a prayer meeting and has grown into this building that at this point in time the entire nation is talking about. I see it mentioned on the chosen pages.

I see it mentioned on other Facebook pages. I've seen it in the news. I've seen evangelist and televangelist and all sorts of pastors talk about this revival that is going on. I've seen some even declare that we're going to see an Elijah generation and a Joshua generation rising up again. And we may, we may not.

But these revival meetings often that one thing, and that is true persuasion. Oftentimes these revival meetings result in people gathered in a group that is full of energy. You get 1000 people together with loud music and singing and dancing and praising, and there's an energy in there that brings about an emotional experience that causes one to say I'm sorry for what I have done, but it does not cause any lifelong commitments to Christ.

Now, I will not say today that no one has been saved in a revival meeting. I will not say that it's not possible right now that people in that college building, in that dorm who are on their knees praying and saying I'm not saying it's impossible that some of them are getting saved, but I'm saying that this idea, that strong excitement and energy and strong emotion there is what drives one into repentance. Repentance is not produced by energy, excitement or emotion.

It is not it is not produced by meditating on sin. It's not produced by meditating on death or hell, but it is the grace of God that produces it. It is his free grace, which by that option produces the new heart. Verse 26 said I will give you a new heart and a new spirit, and I will give into your inner parts and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and I will give to you a new heart of flesh. It is the free grace of God, when he performs the work in us, that we allow, that we choose, because we are persuaded that it is wrong and we allow him into our heart.

It is by bringing his great mercy to our mind. Repentance is produced when we sit down, not ponder upon meditate upon our sin, but meditate upon the mercy of God, the holy and just God, that the wages of my sin is death. According to Romans 623, the wages of my sin is death. But God in his mercy has postponed his judgment upon me all this time that God in his mercy has extended a peace offering and allowing the weight of that great mercy to rest upon my mind, to cause me to say, and so why should I continue in this? Why would I want to keep sinning against Him?

Why would I not want to take this? His great mercy will drive us to repentance by making us receive new mercy. Look again at verses 28 through 30. He said I will dwell in the land that I gave your ancestors, or you will dwell in the land that I gave your ancestors. Remember, these are people who had been taken from their land.

They had been taken captive by Babylon. They have been removed from their homes, but you will dwell in the land that I gave to your ancestors. That is new mercy, he says, and you will be to me as a people, and I will be to you as a God new mercies that they have received, he says, I will save you from your uncleanliness, I will call to the grain. I will cause your harvest to increase, he says, I will not bring famine upon you, and I will cause the fruit of the tree and the crop of the field to increase so that you will not suffer again the disgrace of famine among the nations.

He gives that grace. He renews the heart in his action, the mercy which he has already extended upon us, but the new mercies that he gives us as we realize that and as we repent and as we commit ourselves to Him. And then by revilling himself and his methods of grace again, many believe that repentance, that perfecting yourself, that becoming well is that stepping stone to receive the grace of God. Let's look in Matthew real quick. We'll put this up on here.

Let's read what Jesus said about that or sorry, this is not in Matthew I this is in Luke. Is it Luke or Mark? Shawnee? It's in all three of them. I just can't remember which one I picked.

Let's look at Mark. Let's see what Jesus said about looking at the sinners. He said when Jesus heard it, he said to them, those who are healthy do not have need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. The only qualification for the grace and mercy of God is that you are a sinner, right?

Only the sick are in need of a physician. Only those who are not healthy who have something wrong with them, go to the doctor. The doctors don't go around putting ads up on billboards and television pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. They don't advertise to people who are perfectly healthy. They advertise to people with diseases.

Now take this pill and cure this thing, or take this and treat your diabetes. Take this to cure migrants. They are not looking for healthy people, and Jesus Christ has not come to call the righteous. He is not looking for healthy people. He is looking for the sinner.

He is looking for the person whose soul, whose spirit is sick and dead. He is looking for those who are lost in that deep and bottomless pit of despair. And he says that the qualification is that you're a sinner. And so I've got great news for everyone listening to this. You all qualify for the grace and mercy of God if you would only accept it right, not because you're working yourself to righteousness.

Don't try to christ isn't looking for the righteous and you can't get there, but because he loves you. As he said in verse 32, he said not for your sake and my acting, not because you are righteous, not because you have done such great things, not because you have built me a temple, but because I love you and because I abound in love.

There are no arguments that are drawn from the consideration of great and glorious things that Christ has done for you, and as such will not take with you and went upon you, then not even the threat of hell fire can cause you to repent. Thomas Brooks, I want you to really let what Thomas Brooks said weigh on you. He said there are no arguments like those that are drawn from the consideration of the great and glorious things Christ has done for you. And if such will not take with you and win upon you, I do not think that the throwing of hell fire in your face will ever do it. If the free grace and renewing of your heart by God, if his great mercy he's already given you, if the new mercy he offers, and his love is not enough to convince you into repentance, then hell fire will not convince you either.

But God's favor melts hard hearts sooner than the fire of his indignation, his love, his kindness. It's penetrative. It gets into our hearts, and it works better than threats and frowns and mortal endangerment, right? Think about when it rains. What type of rain do we want?

Do we want a storm that comes through and drops 20 inches in five minutes? Or do we want something that comes and drops a quarter of an inch an hour or an 8th of an inch an hour over a week or two, right? When that rain comes and just pours it down, it washes away and often runs away at the soil and rocks and homes and other stuff. And when it comes softly and gently, it soaks in. And such should be the love of God working in your life, ever present, ever working from the time you were born, seeping into your heart, seeping into you, and allow that to be a reason right now for repentance.

One last quote here from Charles Spurgeon. Some people says, Philip Henry do not wish to hear much of repentance, he says, but I think it's so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I wish to die preaching repentance. And if out of the pulpit, practice in it. Repentance is something as we close this miniseries, we should be preaching it, we should be practicing it. And if we are to die, we should die in repentance.

Repentance is not a work as much as it is a gift, as much as it is the spirit of God working inside of us, penetrating us to the cores of our hearts and our minds and our souls, persuading us that what we have done is run. The life that we have lived is abominable, abominable and causing us to have a deep love for God, so that we would hate the thing that we were and the things that we had done, and love Him instead. If there is anyone who at the end of this has not yet repented, then I plead with you today, be reconciled to Christ. He is stretching out his hand, he has done the work, he has died for you. And he only needs you to take off your crown, to acknowledge your faults, to hate what you are, what you're doing, and love Him.

Follow him. Commit your life to him. He says, if you would confess me before men, I'll confess you before the Father. He says, if you deny me before men, I'll deny you before the Father. But we are told that if you confess that the mouth, the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

And if you will believe and be saved, repentance will just follow. So if you are ready today to recognize normally I say, if you're ready to admit that you are a sinner, to believe that Jesus is God who died and rose again and confess Him as your Lord, I want to change that. And if you are ready today to recognize that free grace of God in your life, if you are ready to recognize his great mercy that he has already extended to you, and if you are ready to receive new mercy, then admit that you are a sinner. Admit it. Admit that it's shameful.

Admit that it's wrong. Admit that you need help and believe that Jesus Christ did it for you, that God loved you, so he came and he died and he rose again, and on that alone shall you be saved. And confess Him as your King, as your Lord is your God, and commit to following Him. And if you're ready to do that, let's go to our clothes and prayer and I will walk you through that. Please repeat it after me and know, though, just like I was talking about revival, this prayer will not save you do not have any peace of mind because of this prayer, but have peace of mind because of Jesus Christ and what he has done.

This prayer is merely expressing that after the prayer, we will be partaken of Communion. So everyone watch on us. Not in zoom with me, please. During the closing prayer, if you want to partake of communion with us, hop into zoom and we'll partake of the Lord's Supper together. Let's pray.

Father, I am a sinner. I am rep chid. I am shameful. I have done many deeds shameful to Your name, Lord.

You have been so merciful to me, Lord. Your law requires death. For what I have done, it requires judgment. And in Your forbearance and Your patience, you have waited for me, Lord, and you have taken care of me, and you have blessed me. And you have given me many great things that I don't deserve in this time.

And you have loved me. And, Lord, I am I am so sorry for what I have been doing. I am so sorry for the life of sin that I've had, that I have lived. And, Lord, I'm ready to follow you. I'm ready to hate my sin.

I am ready, Lord, to hate what I was and what I did and all things wicked and evil and just follow you. And so I believe in Lord Jesus. I believe in trust that his word and his work and his atonement is enough for me. And I confess you, Lord Jesus, is my king. Lord and God forever.

I will follow you. I will submit to you And I ask you to give me this new heart and this new spirit. I ask you to make me a new creation, and I thank you for that. And Father, I ask that you will work repentance in each of us. I ask, Father, that you will penetrate our hearts, that you will make us aware of Your mercy, that Your love will weigh on us so heavily, Lord, that we just want to love you back, and that we do.

And that all who are here tonight and who hear this later, Lord, that we will repent and come to you. And we thank you and love you. And praise you. In Jesus name. Amen.