Repentance: The Lost Chord in Preaching, Part I
"KNOW YE NOT that the UNRIGHTEOUS shall not inherit the Kingdom of God"?--I Corinthians 6:9
REPENTANCE: THE LOST CHORD IN PREACHING
Part I--A General Definition
Text: "For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.... "--Proverbs 5:3
One hundred years ago, Samuel Rutherford observed the greatest threat to the Gospel was the diluting of the Word of God, speaking "smoother things than God does allow." Today that threat is ominous.
Nearly everywhere we turn we hear preaching completely devoid of Repentance. Salvation, we are told is the result of "decision-making", or "committal", which is merely professing faith in Christ. We may never see any fruit in the life of such a one, for his heart may still be in rebellion to God; and though God may never be known as the King of Righteousness, yet, He has become known as the King of Peace. There need not be the plucking out the right eye of sin neither must he empty his hands of sins. Dear Reader, if this is what you have been led to believe, you are under the delusion of the Devil! Our Lord Himself declared, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish!"--Luke 13:3, and again in verse 5. There is no salvation without repentance.
PRAISE BE TO GOD! The Augusta and the Central Savannah River Area can hear "The Angelus" on WFNL--1600 on your radio dial, beginning Monday, April 12, from 12:45 to 1:00. A dear family has made this possible for a period of 8 weeks: Mondays through Fridays. "May it be a Bell Calling the People of God to Prayer, and the Dead in Sins to Awake and Arise."
Repentance is often confused with Fear. Many pursue Heaven purely out of fear of eternal damnation, and the "decision" they make in the moment of fear completely collapses when their fear subsides.
Repentance is also often confused with Conviction. People often acknowledge Truth they hear preached without making it their own cherished possession.
Repentance is not Sorrow. The ease with which a person can weep at the preaching of the Word of God does not prove the tenderness of the conscience anymore than it does with those who can easily weep sentimentally before the television set. Such a person may be able to well forth in emotional sobs but may still hold on to forbidden fruit.
And Repentance is not Reformation. There are people who have been making promises to God most of their lives. Now they are gray, and still are making promises to God.
Then what is Repentance? What does it mean to "Repent?"
First, Repentance means you have a NEW HEART. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."--Ezekiel 36:26. It means you care whether or not you
do right. It means your feelings are no longer calloused about your sins, but instead you grieve over them because they insult the Gracious God.
Second, Repentance means you have had a NEW BIRTH, and "Except ye be born again, ye cannot see the Kingdom of God."--John 3:3. This is not a second physical birth as Nicodemus at first thought, but instead is a Spiritual birth: you must be born of the Spirit of God.
Third, if you have Repented of your sins, you possess a NEW NAME: "...To him that over-cometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna and will give him a white stone, and in the stone, a new name, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it."--Revelation 2:17
Fourth, if you have Repented of your sins, you sing a NEW SONG. "And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."--(Psalm 40:3). What kind of a song is in your hear? Does it resemble the bawdy, sensuous songs the world sings? The song of the true Penitent is a pious kind of song, for it praises God--not man. It is the kind of song that throws fear into the heart of the sinner and results in the Repentance of many!
In brief, Repentance involves being made a NEW MAN, a NEW CREATURE AND it ALWAYS results in walking a NEW WAY. --Ephesians 4:24; II Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 10:18-20
"Why," you may ask, "did you choose such a text?" --"For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.... "--Proverbs 5:3. Because the "Gospel" devoid of Repentance is a prostituted gospel, it has been adulterated and sold for hire.
THE LIFE OF AURELIUS AUGUSTINE
Part I--His Life
Aurelius Augustine (Pronounced "Ah-gus-tin") was born at Tagaste in Numidia, North Africa on November 13, 354. His father was named Patricius and was a member of the city council. He was a debauched pagan who until his sunset years possessed a pugilistic temper. His mother Monica is said by Philip Schaff to be "counted among the most noble and pious women who adorn the temple of church history." It was through her Christian mien that both her husband and her son were finally converted.
Monica let her children have a Christian education early in life lest they should suffer under sinís cruel bondage. Aureliusí younger brother and sister soon responded to their Godly motherís instruction, but he rebelled.
Augustine was at first lazy and slovenly in his studies at school, but gradually became interested in the classical writers such as Virgil. His natural ability as an orator was soon recognized and gave him popularity. Therefore at age 17 years, his father sent him to
high school at Carthage to train him to become a rhetorician, or public teacher in the art of oratory.
His father soon died, however, and leaving no means of support, Augustine prepared to retire from his studies. Suddenly, a wealthy citizen of Tagaste offered to underwrite his education. His name was Romanianus. Augustine would later display his gratitude to his benefactor by dedicating to him his first important writing.
The prayers of his godly mother followed him, but so did the debauchery of his father, and at age 18, he began to live with a woman. He remained with her for 13 years and she gave him a son. Augustine named the boy Adeodatus, which means "by God given." It was the act of
The All Wise God when as a youth the child died.
What is to become of him? Shall we snub him in his licentiousness? Shall we leave him to the judgment of God? Or will God show mercy to this Ninevite?