A Message to Preachers on the Need to Preach Repentance from Sin
Why So Many Unfaithful Professing Christians in Our Churches?
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: The title of the message identifies the problem. To some degree in all our churches there are a number of people who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior who are clearly not faithful to Him. Their lives pretty much remain the same after their profession of faith, with the exception that now they are identified as Christians because they now have their names on a church roll.
They are frustrating to the God fearing pastor who loves his flock, and longs with heart felt love to see those to whom God has entrusted him with, living victorious lives in Christ, being a ready and willing tool of God to bring Glory to our Lord and Savior, and reaping the benefit of the full blessing of God.
These "Christians" in name only, are frustrating and a source of discouragement to any child of God who longs to see Christ lifted up and magnified and to receive the honor and worship our God and Savior should receive.
They are frustrating because they are a liability to any local congregation of believers. These folks contribute little if anything unto the local church. Their unfaithfulness is actually a stumbling block to others in the church and the lost the church is trying to reach. They do not present a example of what God desires His children to be. The present a distorted picture of what a Christian is suppose to be.
We all have heard someone say, "Well if so-in-so is a member of that church I do not want to have anything to do with it." What they are really saying is that if that person is a Christian, a child of God the whole thing is a sham.
I am not only talking about those who do not come to church or tithe or take a part in the ministry of the church. I am also talking about the outwardly piteous hypocrite, who sits on the front pew and has a part in everything....a negative part!
I agonize over the matter, trying to come to grips with it, and explain it....so as God's preacher, his pastor, His messenger I can help the poor souls whose lives are marked by being unfaithful to God.
2. I preached a message some years ago about the fact God hates sin, and the roof fell in the church I was pastoring. I was accused of being unkind, unloving, uncaring.
3. Why, I ask myself are they so unset over preaching a basic fundamental true, that God hates sin?
4. The conclusion I came to is that they do not understand what sin is. Further I wonder how can someone claim to be a Christian, a SAVED child of God and not know that God hates sin.
5. How can one know of true salvation without understanding what sin is and how God views sin?
2. There were people in Rome whom Paul had heard of who were practicing sin openly with no conviction and justifying it by saying....its OK is under Grace.
3. In the strongest terms possible Paul says, "God Forbid!". Kenneth Weust, "May such a thing never occur!" Literally Paul says, "Let it not be!"
2. The true believer is DEAD to sin. That is the redemptive act of God. That's what salvation is all about....being saved from sin! God forgives us when we repent of sin and then gives us a new nature that enables us not to sin anymore. If men are not sinners there was no need of Christ to die for...what? SIN.
3. We now live unto God, V10 We are not alive unto Christ our Lord.
Yes, Paul says CHRIST is our LORD! That means our master our God.
a. That truth is this; "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb. 12:6
The answer is he can't!
4. Paul in 1 Cor. 11:28-29, (READ) is saying these folks who were saved and who did not discerning the Lord's body by blatantly sinning without repentance. These people were saved and because they were God's children they were chastened of God and even God killed some of them because they would not repent and turn from their sin.
b. Simply, they knowingly, willingly sinned with no regard that every sin brought suffering to the Lord Jesus!! They knew better, but could care less! God dealt swiftly and pointedly with such gross ungratefulness.
2. I sure you know what I am mean.
2. Jesus also preached, "repent for the kingdom of God is at hand". We do not preach the kingdom...per-say. The kingdom of God, is at least seven years away from this moment, BUT the kingdom of God is a kingdom of the saved based on salvation.
3. ONE thing is clear, repentance is a part of the coming kingdom of God. Repentance is a vital and necessary part of salvation!
2. Here-in is a problem, in understanding it is free to us, it has caused some to not appreciate it great Cost to God.
3. They conclude that repentance is not a part of salvation. They are dead wrong! The whole point of being saved is to be saved from sin! A salvation that does not address sin is not biblical salvation!
It is a man pleasing deception of the Devil.
This is why I believe so many have no regard for the fact God says we are not to sin, we are to live holy and righteous lives before God and the World. We are not to love sin or NEVER EVER live comfortable with sin in our lives.
1. Jesus in Mark 1:15, said, "...the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the Gospel."
2. The 70 disciples Jesus sent out preached that men should repent. Mark. 6:12
3. Jesus speaking to the speaking to the lost religious Jews said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:5
3. Peter in Acts 2:38, at Pentecost "preached repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and receive the Holy Ghost."
4. Again in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."
5. Paul addressing the lost Greeks on Mars Hill, said to them, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30 Some say that repentance was only at part of the preaching of the Kingdom. However, these were not Jews, but lost Greek philosophers.
6. Others would say repentance is from Christians it comes after salvation and is a part of maturing in Christ.
Jesus in Luke 5:32 said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32
7. The early church after Peter went and preached the Gospel to Cornelius the ROMAN centurion.
Peter told him of Christ Jesus and part of what Peter told him was that, Acts 10:10, "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."
When Peter returned to church in Acts 11:18, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
8. Paul in 2 Cor. 7:10 said, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (2 Corinthians 7:10)
9. 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
2. They seem to have no conception or understanding of sin.
3. Why? One reason is maybe we have not taught them....it is our responsibility.
I believe a man is really saved by grace does not needed to be told over and over that he is under solemn obligation to serve Christ: the new life within him tell him that as he hears the Word of God on the matter.
I believe the Bible is telling us that the saved man HAS repented of sin and will hate sin.
Sure we know we will sin, 1 John 1:8 tells us that and we know it from personal experience....but the Child of God will fight sin and never be comfortable in it.
Why, he has been converted from sin! He is no longer the slave of sin.
2. To claim to believe that He can save your soul, forgive your sins, give you eternal life, and yet be less than your Lord and God is simply strange to me and totally foreign to the Bible.
To imply that one can could accept salvation from sin as a free gift of God and then fail to acknowledge His authority over one's life is a travesty to the reality and the power of the Gospel.
That verse puts all preachers to the test. They are man pleasers or servants of God. A true preacher of God has but one duty to be faithful too. To preach the "unsearchable riches of Christ." (Eph. 3:8)
We do a get disservice, yes we commit sin, gross sin if we preach not the whole counsel of God's Word.
We must understand it is an impossible task, if God does not do it through us.
The blind can not lead the blind. We must know God's word and we must preach it. You may lose your popularity....some may think you strange. You may lose church members. You may lose friends. You may be accused of being unloving and uncaring....of being too demanding.
But in truth how can you share Christ's love for you in any greater way that to loving, and caringly warn people of the wages of sin and the need of repentance. That's their only hope to receive eternal life and live a victorious life in Christ....bringing honor, glory to Him who is Worthy...producing fruit to His honor.
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