Should Pastors Implore Congregations to Repent?
Repent or not to repent that is the question? Often times, we experience pastors, teachers, and other Christians imploring the congregation to repent.
Today, many people and most are “Christians” don’t feel comfortable when leaders preach imploring them to “Repent”.
Is it acceptable or correct for them to tell the congregation that they should repent or that they will face hell-fire and damnation?
Therefore, should pastors, teachers, and other Christians preach saying – Repent?
As a matter of fact, there is a percentage of Christian Pastors who don’t preach repentance. They don’t see motivating the congregation to cease from sinful deeds and turn to the Lord God as their spiritual-responsibility.
He Preached the Same Message to All
As a result, you never will hear them preach saying:“Repent of your sins and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
However, more than two centuries ago a Jewish man wearing strange clothes started this repentance revolution.
The clothes he wore came from camel’s hair with an animal-skin belt tied around his waist. He came out of the desert of Judaea and his name was John the Baptist.
He didn’t care whom he offends with his message. Not even the king was immune from the fire of his tongue. Those were the days of sharp, short sermons, and of non-politically-correct preaching.
John’s message was not complicated. He preached the same sermon to everyone.
“Repent” all of you because the “kingdom of Heaven” is near, (Matthew 3:2). That was his main message.
The Importance of the Occasional Call to ….
In other words, prepare yourselves because the Kingdom of Heaven is coming.
Later, a small coalition of Christians turn Jerusalem up-side down with their message. Their first preaching was: “Repent”.
If John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ himself and his twelve apostles taught it was appropriate to preach saying “Repent”, who are we to preach otherwise?
The importance of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an occasional or necessary call to “Repent” is fundamental. There are times when it is essential to motivate repentance from sin in a person.
If we Never Repent we Never Enjoy this Benefit
This is the Lord’s way to remind each of us to stop our sinful acts and turn to Him within a specific time. This is God’s warning. He never destroys unless He warns. And He never warns just once.
“…I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not”,(Revelation 2:21).
Any person who fails to respond to such repeated calls to repent could end up in a terrible position.
There is never a time when a call to “Repent” does not precede a call to forgive; therefore, for us to be recipients of forgiveness we must repent.
Similarly, for others to benefit from forgiveness they too must repent.
Consequently, when someone
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him” (Luke 17:3).
Christ died for our sins. However, for us to benefit from His death we must repent of our sins and turn to him.
Finally, the preacher calling for us to “Repent” is important because if we never repented of our evil deeds we never will be converted.
Final Call Final Opportunity
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord”,(Acts 3:19).
Therefore, when the preacher makes a call for us to repent, it may represent our last opportunity. A final chance for us to make it right with God before we die. There is no repentance in the grave anymore.
John the Baptist preached it; Jesus Christ himself taught it; and his apostles and the early church proclaimed it too.
If the foundation of our spiritual house is built on preaching “Repent”, why attempt to tear it down now?
The preaching of repentance always precedes forgiveness and conversion and both come before the removal of sin.
If many Christians never heard the call to “Repent” they could perish in sin. Repent today and make heaven your home. Repentance is not an option. It’s a command.
The actions of these foundational pioneers are examples every Christian should follow. If they preached saying, “Repent” because the Kingdom of heaven is near so should we.