God Commands All Men Everywhere to Repent (Acts 17:22-31)
1. On this occasion Paul was in Athens, and he was given an opportunity to speak. 2. According to vs.16, idolatry was widespread in Athens. 3. As he spoke Paul told the people about the one true God, showing that: a. God is the Creator b. God is the giver and sustainer of life c. God cannot be compared to any idol d. God has a requirement of everyone e. God has appointed a day for judgment. 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on the fact that "God commands all men everywhere to repent." Discussion: I. LET US FIRST DETERMINE WHAT GOD REQUIRES OF ALL MEN EVERYWHERE
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. When God 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 (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 21:28-32). II. LET US DETERMINE WHO IS INCLUDED IN ALL MEN EVERYWHERE
A. We learn from 2 Peter 3:9 that God wants "all" to come to repentance. B. To be more specific,: 1. sinners must repent in order to be saved (Acts 2:38) 2. Christians must repent when we sin (Acts 8:22) 3. churches must repent. a. (Revelation 2:5) The church in Ephesus had left its first love. b. (Revelation 2:16) The church in Pergamos was involved in sinful practices. c. (Revelation 3:3) The church in Sardis was dead. d. (Revelation 3:19) The church in Laodicea was lukewarm. C. Jesus revealed what will happen to those who refuse to repent (Luke 13:3, 5). III. LET US DETERMINE WHAT SHOULD CAUSE ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT
A. The Word of God (Luke 16:27-31). B. The goodness of God (Romans 2:4). C. Judgment to come (Acts 17:30-31). D. Godly sorrow for sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). E. The fact that repentance produces joy in heaven (Luke 15:7,10). Conclusion:
1. God's forgiveness is dependent upon our willingness to repent. 2. True repentance can be a challenge because it requires humility and submission to God's will. 3. However, a humble person who repents is able to experience inner peace because he knows that his life is right with the Lord.