1. In these verses we read about the occasion when Jesus called "Levi." 2. Levi [Matthew] prepared a meal at his home -- Jesus and His disciples were present, along with many publicans and sinners. 3. The scribes and Pharisees were upset that Jesus and His disciples were eating with such people. 4. As Jesus answered those who murmured, He revealed one of His reasons for coming to earth -- He came to call sinners to repentance. 5. Last Wednesday night we showed that the Lord included repentance in His plan of salvation. 6. In our lesson we are examining a number of additional passages that teach us what God wants us to know about "repentance."
I. WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
A. Repent: "to change the mind" 1. This is illustrated by the fact that God repented on a number of occasions. a. (1 Samuel 15:11) "It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king." b. (Jonah 3:10) "And God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not." 2. What did God do when He repented? (He changed His mind.) 3. Another illustration is seen in Luke 15:17 -- the prodigal son repented "when he came to himself." 4. Repentance is a change of mind; however, . . . B. The fruit of repentance is a change of life -- John said to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism, "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" (Matthew 3:7-8). C. Repentance is much more than just being sorry for something we have done -- it is a change of mind that results in a change of life (Matthew 21:28-31a).
II. WHO IS REQUIRED TO REPENT?
A. God requires everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9). B. To be more specific,: 1. sinners must repent in order to be saved (Acts 2:37-38) 2. Christians must repent when we sin (Acts 8:22) 3. churches that sin must repent (Revelation 2-3). a. The church in Ephesus was told to repent because it had left its first love (2:5). b. The church in Pergamos was told to repent because of its sinful practices (2:16). c. The church in Sardis was told to repent because it was dead (3:3). d. The church in Laodicea was told to repent because it was lukewarm (3:19). C. Since God requires everyone to repent, what will happen to those who refuse to repent? (see Luke 13:3, 5)
III. WHAT FACTORS SHOULD MOTIVATE US TO REPENT?
A. The fact that repentance causes joy in heaven (Luke 15:7, 10) B. The Word of God (Luke 16:27-31) C. The judgment (Acts 17:30-31) D. The goodness of God (Romans 2:3-4) E. Godly sorrow for sin (2 Corinthians 7:10)
1. True repentance is a challenge for some people because it requires humility and submission to God's will. 2. Pride is often an obstacle to repentance. 3. However, an humble person who repents is able to experience inner peace because he knows that his life is right with the Lord. 4. God's forgiveness is dependent upon our willingness to repent.