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Repentance Brings Refreshing

     Repentance is like rain - it brings refreshing to the soul. In the Apostle Peter's message after Pentecostal he says, "Repent therefore an be converted that your sins may be bloted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19)."  When we see the word "repent" in the Bible what does it mean?
     Repentance comes from the Greek word "metanaia." Which means a "turn or change." In the Bible, this means a "change of mind, of heart, and will." It is not being "sorry or feeling guilty or just feeling remorse." It is not trying to reform oneself. For example, it is not just "turning a new leaf" or giving up a bad habit, or making restitution. It it turning away and forsaking the direction one is going and go in a bew direction. It is not doing penance an act of rending payment for sin. Jesus never said, "do penance and believe in the Gospel." No He said, "repent (Mark 1:15)."
     Repentance is very important to God. In Acts 17:30, Paul says that.. "God commands all people everywhere to repent."
     I want to show you the different areas for people to repent:

  1. In the Old Testament, Israel was told to repent and come back to God (Isaiah 1:18-20). An invitation to repent on the consquences. Isaiah called on his people to repent and turn back to God. Later Jeremiah was given God's message to repent. Judah was to repent. Jeremiah 3:14 says, "Return, O backsliding chidren, says the Lord, for I am married to you." Jeremiah 4:1 says, " Return to Me; and if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be move." But Israel and Judah did not return and judgement came upon the,. They were taken out of the land into captivity. They lost everything God wanted for them. John the Babtist came preaching repentance (Matthew 3:2,8).
  2. Next is National Repentance. Our nation, the USA, needs to repent and come back to God and restore the Judo-Christian principles which this nation was founded upon. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." God will heal the land of drought, hurricanes, fires, floods, unemployment, debt, and moral depravity. But America and its leaders cannot shake their fists at God and defy His Word and His commandments. Judgement will surely come. Economic failure will come. The church must come together and pray.
  3. The church must repent. Local churches are to repent for allowing doctrines that are not biblical. That preach "feel good" tickle my ears sermons. 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
  4. Backsliders are to repent. A good example is the story of the Prodigal son in Luke 15:17-18. The Prodigal first came to himself then he acknowledged "I have sinned" then he turned - "I will arise and go to my Father." He changed his mind, his heart and his will - if you are out of fellowship with God today and are backsliding I challenge you today to turn and come back to the Father, change your direction. Jesus preached "repent or perish (Luke 13:3-5)."
  5. Lastly is repentance for believers. Since believers are "children of God" and they possess the Holy Spirit, then they are to judge themselves daily. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 God knows that after we were born again that we still have the flesh and sould to control as wll as the temptations of the devil. But, God gave us a remedy through Christ Jesus. Jesus took care of our sins at the cross. But we still deal with "sins" on a daily basis.

     I have heard a lot over the past couple of years of preachers saying Christians do not need to confess or repent. That is just not true. In 1 John 1:9, John is writing to believers of  the churches in Asia Minor. He tells believers if they "sin" they are to coness their sin and God would forgive them. 1 John 2:1 says we have an advocate in heaven- Jesus Christ. He pleades your case for you before the Father. Believers must show fruits of repentance.

  1. Contrition - humbleness and brokenness before God. A contrite heart.
  2. Confession to your High Priest - Jesus. Hebrews 4:14-15
  3. Forsaking - forsaking your sin, habits, wrong thoughts, imagination.
  4. A lifestyle of righteousness. 1 John 2:28
   God demans repentance and we are to have a life style always "turning from evil". Israel was told to "return to God." Our nation must repent and turn to God, and our churches are to preach the "truth and the Word of God." Everyday allow the Holy Spirit to "speak to your heart" and have confidence toward God ( 1 John 3:19-21).