Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The command of Christ is repent! In the book of revelation He tells His Church to repent! (Notice that His final words are not go make disciples!) We are to go make disciples, but before we will ever accomplish anything for the kingdom we must repent. Moreover before we can expect anyone else to accomplish something for the kingdom they must repent. All great revival preaching has always centered around repentance! Repentance is one of those words that we are afraid to use around the “un-churched” (I despise that word), however no matter how you cut it, repentance is the first thing we are called to preach to them. We have come to a point in modern Christendom where people are saying that everyone is somewhere along some spiritual journey and maybe someday they will mature unto repentance. Nonsense! If there is no repentance then what they are on is an unspiritual journey into eternal death yet they will go there pretending to be Christians. Come on, do we not know that we are the bride of Christ! That we have our backs to the world! Or are we united to the world in some social club we call Christendom?
We must preach repentance. If we do not our congregations will continue to look more and more like the world around them. Look at the ‘Purpose Driven Life’ gospel, notice that all the churches that have used it ‘successfully’ look more like the world then when they started. They now have huge buildings packed with all the latest amenities from flat panel TVs, to coffee bars, even hair salons. What is going on? Is this bad or good? Well the logic is to make ‘church’ appealing to the world, and preaching repentance certainly does not fit that goal. Have you noticed how corporations have used ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ everyone uses it, tons of people have read it, or are reading it, and you never hear anything bad about it. The world loves it!! Do you know why? It is because never once in its whole explanation of Christianity, and its whole model for Christian community does it ever mention repentance. So long as you leave repentance out of the picture the worldly ‘church’ will thrive. Yet include in every message for one year at least something about repentance and most churches built on these new models would be about half the size or less than they are now. On the bright side there would be more Christians in them. We have tied our hands, our congregations are going through what is about the same as the dot-com craze on the stock market, the congregation has become much larger than the Church. None of these modern congregations have the unction to begin to preach hard on repentance because the numbers would certainly drop and this would be considered failure. In truth we keep inflating our churches with worldly business models that produce apparent numerical success, while the Church of Jesus Christ dwindles away. Eventually God will burst this bubble and those who are His will recognize it as revival, and the rest will bemoan the dwindling sizes of their congregations.
Jesus preached Repent, Peter preached repent, John the Baptist preached repent, all the great preachers of our past, Edwards, Wesley, Spurgeon, Brainerd, Whitfield, and so on all preached repent. We preach make disciples to people who have never embraced the cost of discipleship, which is repentance.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The world does not need a new definition of Christianity, it needs a new demonstration of Christianity.”
Well that was a rant, more than an explanation or teaching, and I apologize for not really developing any points. Pages and pages could be written on this but I will stop here. I already have my next series in mind so hopefully tomorrow I will conclude this one.