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Preparing for God

The Gospel According to Luke   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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True Repentance produces Fruit

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This morning begins a brand new year and a brand new decade
When mentioned from the pulpit is is sure to get a negative response from some
But its not the word in itself, it is what it means
The word is Repentance
This word is not something we can overlook as Christians
It is a word that describes a change in ones life
It is not just a change of what one does, but how one thinks
It is not a word that can be dismissed
This is a brand new year and a brand new decade
Can you believe another 10 years has passed by already?!
I am telling you I feel in my spirit this is the year we are going to see God begin to do some things in this place.
God has been laying things on my heart.
I see God working all around me
And I have got the enemy on my back day and night which I believe means we are on the right track
We are setting a goal this year to add 25 members to this congregation
I cannot do this by myself…it will take the work of the church
It will take personal evangelism efforts from everyone in here
If you want to see this church grow, it is dependent upon YOU
It will not be easy, it will not be comfortable, but it is necessary
Share the gospel…invited lost people to church. Tell them your testimony. Make a difference this year!
We are going to continue our study through the gospel of Luke and today your preacher is John the Baptist
Now John was a rough man
He was clothed with camel hair and had a diet of locust and honey
BUT John was a mighty preacher sent by God
His mission: was to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord
His message: REPENT
God could have told them a 100,000 different things
He could have told them how much He loved them
He could have told them He was going to keep His promise to deliver them
He could have told them to never give up.
He could have told them to love the Lord with all their heart and love their neighbor
But what he told them prepared them for all the other
The heart prepared to live for God is a repentant heart
The Christian who wants to be godly must keep a heart of repentance
Can you imagine if John the Baptist was here today preaching in this pulpit?
His message: REPENT, CHANGE YOUR WAYS! NOT LATER BUT NOW
I had someon tell me in this church that people have been saying Jesus is coming for 2000 years and He hasn’t come yet and I dont think He will come in my lifetime
Does the church need to repent? We don’t harbor any sin do we??
“Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love....”
Thats us isn’t it…we are prone to walk away from God
We are prone to do what we want to do
We are prone to let sin become part of our lives...
We repent because sin has no room in a believers life
What is it about that word that we dislike so much??
We don’t like someone telling us that we have done something wrong
We don’t like to admit that we have sin in our hearts or on our hands
The response John got was much differn
But its not the word in itself, it is what the word means
Why is he telling us to repent we haven’t done anything wrong
But unrepentant sin keeps us from a holy and just God and God sends his messengers to call upon the people of God to repent because He loves them.
Im not repenting, here in front of all these people
I don’t want anyone to know I have sin in my life!
Repentance
Repentance whether we like it or not is a central message of the Gospel
To repent means you must have done something wrong
To repent means we must confess we have sin in our life
To repent must acknowledge that our lives are messy and we must change our ways
It’s what John preached and its the first words Jesus preached!
And YES sometimes it means to do it publically
We cannot dismiss this word from the Christian faith
We cannot dismiss this word from the pulipit
This alter was built here for a purpose and that purpose is not for me to stand upon, it is for the saints of God to come and fall upon their knees and cry out to God!
John said to the crowds of people....REPENT!!
An unrepentant heart is destined for the fall
To repent means to turn away from…to make change.
It is not just a change of what one does
But how one thinks
How one acts
How one responds
There is not a soul sitting in here today that doesn't have something they need to repent and change in their lives and that includes me.
The message today is titled, “preparing for God”
This is what John was doing
John was sent by God and waited until the time was right to preach a message of repentance
This is what we must be doing also
If we want to see the power of God in this place we must be repentant people
What keeps us from God is sin and what ushers in the presence of God is repentance
We as a church need to be preparing ourselves continually for the coming of Jesus
Do you want to see the power of God in this place, then heed this message this morning and be blessed!
We need to be preparing for what God is going to do with us while we are still here..
Luke 3:1-18

Repentance Prepares the Heart for God (Verses 1-6)

Repentance
To repent means you must have done something wrong
To repent means we must confess we have sin in our life
To repent must acknowledge that our lives are messy and we must change our ways
And YES sometimes it means to do it publically
“The word of God came to John” (Verse 2)
This was not John’s idea
This was not John’s gospel
This was God’s message to his people through his prophet.
God wanted the people to turn from their ways to prepare for Him...
the message given from God to prepare people for the coming of Christ was repent!
John was preaching a baptism of repentance
Notice also this was a public call to repent
“and he came into all the district around the Jordan” (Verse 3)
John didn't tell them to go home and think about it
He didn’t tell them to repent in the privacy of their home.
This was not a call to go home and think about it
It was a call to obedience right then and there
Repentance requires obedience
If you are not repentant then you are not obedient
It takes a brave soul to come up here on Sunday morning and be willing to admit he is a sinner and needs forgiveness
It takes courage and guts to walk out of that pew in front of everyone
Don’t ever put off tomorrow what God is calling you to do now
There may not be tomorrow By God’s call isn't
What was it that John was calling them to repent of?
“The remission of sin” (forgiveness)
What God wanted to give the people was what they needed most...
John didnt go out and say thye had sin in their life
It was the word from God that John gave
This was not a baptism of Salvation but a call to chnage their way of life.
Repentance is not just saying I am sorry, but it is physically turning ourselves arou
This was a call to prepare themselves for the One to come mightier than John
A definition of repentance
A change of mind leading to a change of action

The biblical notion of repentance refers to the radical turning away from anything which hinders one’s wholehearted devotion to God, and the corresponding turning to God in love and obedience.

What John was calling them to do was to turn from their sin
Turn from their pride
Turn from their routine religion
Turn from their faithlessness
Turn to the One who was coming after John..
Jesus came to satisfy our greatest needs
Not to deliver them from Rome, but to deliver them from sin
Luke 24:46–47 NKJV
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:47 NKJV
and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
The greatest need of the church is to repent!
My greatest need is to repent!
It is not a one time deal, but a repetitive lifestyle
The marks of a strong church: wet eyes and bent knees
You don’t have to know all the Christian doctrines by heart
You don’t have to know all the books of the Bible
You don’t have to know the ins and outs of the Baptist denomination
BUT WHAT YOU DO NEED TO KNOW AND KEEP ON YOUR LIPS AT ALL TIMES ARE THESE WORDS: FATHER FORGIVE ME
In my daily prayer list I have many thing that I pray for, but the most important one is to be forgiven
1 John 1:9 NKJV
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If you want forgiveness, you muts re
WHAT DOES TRUE REPENTANCE LOOK LIKE?

True Repentance bears fruit (Verse 7-9)

John called them a brood of vipers bc they wanted a baptism without repentance
They wanted to look good on the outside without change on the inside.
They were whitewashed tombs
What we look like on the outside will not fix what is on the inside
There must be fruit of our repentance
There must be fruit of our repentance
When a liar repents of his untruthfulness but continues lying that is not repentance
When a prideful man repents of his pride yet refuses to humble himself he has not repented
When an alcoholic repents and turns from his drinking and yet still drink he has not fully repented
For repentance to be true repentance there must be fruit!
Luke 19:8 NKJV
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
Luke 19:6–9 NKJV
So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;
Luke 19:
Luke
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector who was rich
He should not have been rich by occupation, but was rich because he charged more than required and pocketed the rest
Jesus called Zacchaeus to come follow Him
Zacchaeus knew he had sin in his life and repented
How did he repent with words only?
NO, he said he would repay fourfold to all those whom he had cheated
Repentance without fruit is not repentance at all…it is merely lip service
True repentance must have fruit

Repentance is a lifelong endeavor (Verse 10-14)

Repentance is a change of mind leading to a change of action
There must be fruit of our repentance
Repentance is not a one time thing, but a lifestyle
To repent only one time in our life is not sufficient
That is like saying we only need to take a bath one time
Do we have any in here that bath once a week?
Once a month?
It is very doubtful because we would notice them
They begin to stank
Its the same for us spiritually when we make repentance a one time deal
We ask for forgiveness of our sin only every once in a while and it begins to stank up our life
It begins to show on the outside by how we act and what we do
It begins to corrupt our hearts and then flows from our lips
And after so long we become so distant from God we begin to wander
Repentance is forever!
A healthy Christian wants to hear preaching that brings him to his knees that he may be closer to God
A healthy Christian hopes to hear a word from God that will bring his sin to the surface that he may turn from it
A healthy Christian makes every effort to flea from sin that he may be prepared for God

Repentance is Inseparable from Salvation (Verse 15-18)

John’s baptism was only part of what the people needed to be saved
Repentance is key, and without it there is no salvation
To be saved we must be forgiven
To be forgiven we must be repentant
'To truly repent we must bear fruits of repentance.
But there is more to salvation than just repentance
There must be repentance and faith
There is a biblical method God has shown us to achieve salvation
Repentance and faith
To have faith and no repentance there will be no salvation
To have repentance and no faith there will be no salvation
There must be repentance and faith
What do we repent of? THE SIN IN OUR LIFE
Being saved is understanding that we are sinners and we are helpless to save ourselves
It is to understand that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God ()
It means that unless Christ would grant to us salvation we are going to die and go to hell because of our sin
What does it mean to put faith in Christ?
It means once you truly repent of your sin, you ask forgiveness and turn from your lifestyle then you begin to trust the Lord in every area of your life
You no longer live by the world’s ways but by the teachings of the Bible
You are willing to take risks to be obedient to the faith
And might I add to this....God tests every man or woman that makes this commitment to see if your commitment is real
Do you walk with Christ in a repentant heart?
When you repent, does it bear fruit? When you repent of sin do you walk away from it or juts talk about it?
You wanna be closer to Jesus this year, make repentance a habit in your life.
~PRAYER~
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