Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Message Should Be...

The main message that should be preached regularly at every church from each pulpit each week is the same as Jesus' message.

Matthew 4:17
From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Luke 5:32
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

REPENTANCE. In many churches the word "repent" is a 4-letter word. Because we think it is full of condemnation when actually it is a word that is overflowing with such amazing grace. Here is why:

In the Old Testament sin was the big issue. People constantly had to supply their own sacrifice whether from their own herd/flock or purchased by them to get "annual" forgiveness. That only being done on the Day of Atonement once a year. At that specific time of the year a human being could enter into God's presence (the Most Holy Place) and that also only being the high priest. This went on for generations because the sacrifices that were made were not good enough to completely atone for the sin of the people.

Hebrew 10:4
Because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

That all changed with what we read in the New Testament. When Jesus went to the cross sin ceased being the issue and repentance became the issue.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice to cover all sin once and for all...past, present and future.

Hebrews 9:25-26
Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Sin is done. Sin has been conquered. There is victory. All because Jesus did "away" with it. Meaning sin no longer has a death grip on us. Understand I'm not denying that sin is an issue. I'm not denying that we will struggle with sin in our lives. What I am saying is that we don't need to focus on a particular sin whether from the pulpit or in private but start working towards repentance.

So it's not do I sin but do I repent. In God's eyes it doesn't matter what sin is committed because it already had a sacrifice; it does matter, however, if you repent of it. Instead of us, who have offended God with our sin buy an offering God brought a sacrifice to the table so now all we must do is repent. God's sacrifice was good enough. I just need to accept it and repent.

God's desire is not that I find happiness, success or any other seeker-sensitive bull. He desires that I repent so that I don't have to remain on the outside of the Most Holy Place but enter into it.

Don't think for 1 minute that you have more compassion for the lost because you bow to their will then the Son of God. He made His grace wide open for everyone who repents. God wants us because He bought us with a great price that we were never worth the value of.

So what greater message can ever be preached, than repentance?

Mark 6:12
They went out and preached that people should repent.

That was the message Jesus sent the twelve disciples out to preach. Great things took place as well. People were healed and the demon possessed were given liberty; yet, the miraculous followed the message of repentance.

If we really want to be a church that shows grace, reaches the lost and honors Christ then our message should resonate the same theme as His.

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