Faithlife Sermons

A Call for National Repentance

Book of Acts: Be the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A closer look at the 2nd sermon and invitation to repentance

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Faith and Repentance

After the healing (3:1-10)
, came the sermon, from the sermon came the call for faith and
Came the Sermon and a call for faith (3:11-16)
Came the Sermon a call for national repentance (3:17-26)
Came the response to the call (4:1-4)
I know we have previously looked at the second sermon, tonight want to take a deeper look at the the national call for repentance.
There was a quote that claims Billy Graham said that “If God does not judge America than He needs to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah” - - - - this looks like a call for national repentance so America is not judged like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jesus used some very strong words when it came to repentance (Mt11:20-22)
Matthew 11:20–21 NASB95
20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
Matthew 11:22 NASB95
22 “Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
Speaking to Jews, calling Jews to repentance, in our passage today, Peter is calling the Jews to repentance and we see the response to the call.
Tonight we will take another look at this passage and look at the personal responsibility of the people then, and people today.

I. The call to repent

Acts 3:17–18 NASB95
17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
Acts 3:19–20 NASB95
19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
Acts 3:21 NASB95
21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
Peter brought about conviction (v.17) but not without hope (v.18)
From fulfillment, hope, to a call for response, repentance (v.19-21)
They had previously acted in ignorance, but we also know the times of ignorance is over (Act17:30-31)
Acts 17:30–31 NASB95
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Remembering that Paul is addressing Jews who lived under the O.T. Law regarding sin, and types of sins, deliberate sins and sins of ignorance, this is seen in looking at Lev4-5, Num1:22ff where or look at this (Num15:30-31)
Numbers 15:30–31 NASB95
30 ‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 ‘Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him.’ ”
In the O.T. willful sinners were to be cut off, but in the N.T. Jesus offers forgiveness and God answered prayer instead of judgment. He sent Holy Spirit to empower the Church and to convict the lost sinner (add Lk23:34)
Luke 23:34 NASB95
34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Israel had been ignorant not understanding and without malicious intent, so they would be like the manslayer who would seek refuge in the closed city of refuge and were safe as long as they did not leave the city. They could leave there an go home when the High Priest died.
Israel was invited to go home, to repent and return to God when the High Priest Jesus died and offered refuge by faith in Him (Heb6:18)
Hebrews 6:18 NASB95
18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.
the hope was Jesus, the cross was the way to have the hope by faith. The cross was the divine meeting place of the divine sovereignty and human responsibility.
Acts 2:23 NASB95
23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
and here in the 2nd sermon, in our passage tonight this truth was repeated
Acts 3:17–18 NASB95
17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
God gave free will, in the garden until today, God does not force man to chose the refuge that is available in Jesus. God gave the evidence of the refuge that would be found in the Christ through the prophets.

II. The means of the call

Acts 3:21–22 NASB95
21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 22 “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you.
Acts 3:23–24 NASB95
23 ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days.
Acts 3:25–26 NASB95
25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
I guess this section could start back on (v.19) but I believe there is some overlap here.
The crime announced, the evidence presented, nature of sin developed now comes the means of the call, or you may say the offer of the pardon (vv.19-26)
So Peter the prosecutor now switches to the other side as the defense attorney and then the pardoning judge.
The goal was to bring the people to repentance (Israel) as a whole and that had to happen personally by inviting the people to trust Jesus Christ and receive His gracious gift of grace by faith.
The means included repentance, it was the first thing they were told to do (Act2:38, 5:31, 17:30 and to it 2Cor7:10)
Acts 2:38 NASB95
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 5:31 NASB95
31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 17:30 NASB95
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
Personally repent (Act2:38); nationally repent (Act5:31) and the reason to repent we already mentioned in (Act17:30) times of ignorance has passed.
Repent, change minds, change view of sin, change heart for Christ. Repentance is more than being sorry, it was once said “a little Sunday school girl said, repentance means feeling sorry enough to quit!”
There is other sorrow, that does not bring about repentance 2Cor7:10
2 Corinthians 7:10 NASB95
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Warren Wiersbe says “true repentance is admitting that what God says is true, and because it is true, to change our mind and our sins and about the Saviour.”
Repentance was not new (Mt3:2; 4:17) and that repentance is a gift from God (Act11:18)
Matthew 3:2 NASB95
2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
John preached repentance
Matthew 4:17 NASB95
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus preached repentance
Jesus preached repentance
Acts 11:18 NASB95
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
The gift was available to all who would receive by faith and apply! Personally and nationally.
Next, they needed to be converted (Psm51:13; Mt18:3; Act20:21) -to turn again and exercise saving faith in Jesus Christ
Psalm 51:13 NASB95
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.
Sinners converted after being taught Your ways
Matthew 18:3 NASB95
3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus said it was necessary to be converted to enter the kingdom of God.
Repentance and faith go hand in hand with each other
Acts 20:21 NASB95
21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is needed to turn from our sins (repent) and have saving faith toward God in Jesus Christ
The means would bring the ends (through Jesus) sins wiped away, and a time of refreshing.
When looking at this passage Peter in (vv.22-25) emphasis on the prophets who announced the coming of the Messiah. Peter quotes from Deu18:14, 18-19 in (v.22)
Luke 24:19 NASB95
19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people,
Moses was quoted but was not alone in the prophesy (Lk24:25-27)
Luke 24:25–26 NASB95
25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
Luke 24:27 NASB95
27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Then going on he brings in the covenant made with Abraham (v.25) that you can find in (Gen12:1-3) that was fulfilled in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 12:1–2 NASB95
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;
Genesis 1:3 NASB95
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Genesis 12:3 NASB95
3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
The unconditional covenant was fulfilled through the Jews in Jesus being from the Jews to be a blessing to all, including the Gentiles (you can read more on this in Gal3:6-14)
It is important to see (v.26) that the national blessings did not overshadow the personal responsibility of the individuals
Acts 3:26 NASB95
26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
First the blessings was to the Jews, from the Jews the Servant, so every one of you may turn (repent, be converted) from your wicked ways.
This leads to the response, or the results.

III. Response to the Call

Acts 4:1–2 NASB95
1 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:3–4 NASB95
3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
Some responded by belief and about 2000 were saved (v.4)
Some were greatly disturbed (v.2)
It happened while still speaking (v.1)
They were seized (v.3)
Practical truths from this passage
God is long suffering with lost sinners -Isreal leaders had rejected the ministry of John the Baptist, they rejected the ministry of Jesus, but still have the opportunity now to repent and return to the Lord God through Jesus
The gospel, has both bad and good news The bad news is sin and the guilt and penalty of sin, the good news is the salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The way to reach the masses is helping one sinner at a time - This way of reaching them started with a lame beggar outside the temple and his transformed life lead to 2000 souls being saved. - don’t miss out on opportunities for personal evangelism it can change the world!
Best defense of the truth of Christian faith is a changed life -The best defense we can have is how has our personal lives changed or been transformed - in this story it was the transformation of the beggar who was not even looking for healing but for a handout
Whenever God blesses, you can bet on Satan to try to steal the blessing - in our story today Satan showed up in the form of the Sadducees and the like trying to get rid of the blessing that really could not be denied and we will get more into that next week.
lead to invitation (it is all in the name of Jesus)
Acts 3:16 NASB95
16 “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
(insert Invitation Slide)
There is power in the name of Jesus, it is the name that can save, it is the name that can strengthen it is the name that can change the world! It needs to start personally, has it changed you?
(Stop recording)
(insert exit slide)
- - - - - - below is only for the handout - - - - - - -
Regardless of the reception of the message, or the response the responsibility lies with us to proclaim the message, the good news personally that can change a nation and change the world.
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