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    Christ’s Sermon Theme: Repent

    By Mark Roth on March 25, 2009 at 8:34 am

    “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” —Matthew 4:17

    When Christ began His public ministry in Galilee, His theme was repentance. Much of today’s preaching is designed to make people feel good. Jesus’ preaching was intended to make them feel bad—sorry enough to change their belief system and way of life. Repentance means taking a U-turn in life.

    Bruce Jantzi, missionary to Ukraine, tells of how he would close Gospel services with the invitation to become a Christian. Sunday after Sunday, many would respond, but no real change was evident in their lives. One Sunday he realized that he needed to ask them to repent. They understood what that meant—a change in life. Now only a few responded, but when they did, they meant business with God.

    I enjoy the story of Tommy who had difficulty saying the “R” sound. His teacher gave him a sentence to practice: “Robert gave Richard a rap in the ribs for roasting the rabbit so rare.”

    The next day, the teacher, wanting to hear Tommy’s progress, asked him to say the sentence. Tommy said, “Bob gave Dick a poke in the side for not cooking the bunny enough.” Like Tommy, theologians and popular preachers have a way of avoiding the R-word—repentance—and changing the message that Jesus taught.

    Jesus said that He came to call sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13). He rebuked the unbelieving Jews for their failure to repent, saying that “if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes” (Luke 10:13). He said everyone needs to repent. Regarding those who died in the collapse of the Tower of Siloam (perhaps the first-century equivalent of 9/11), He said, “I tell you, . . . except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). He also told of the publican who hammered his chest and said, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus said, “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:7).

    Just before He ascended to heaven, Christ told His disciples to be witnesses, commanding them “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Clearly, Jesus taught repentance from the beginning to the end of His ministry. Therefore, repent.

    Excerpted from: Daily Truth for Godly Youth

    Topics: Book Excerpts | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Christ’s Sermon Theme: Repent”

    1. Jake Gross Says:
      May 18th, 2009 at 10:33 am

      I sure like this.