Turn from Sin and Turn to the Savior
I Thessalonians 1:9
J. Edwin Orr, a professor of Church history has described the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Welsh Revivals of the nineteenth century. As people sought to be filled with the Spirit, they did all they could to confess their wrongdoing and to make restitution.
But it unexpectedly created serious problems for the shipyards along the coast of Wales. Over the years workers had stolen all kinds of things, from wheelbarrows to hammers.
However, as people sought to be right with God they started to return what they had taken, with the result that soon the shipyards of Wales were overwhelmed with returned property.
There were such huge piles of returned tools that several of the yards put up signs that read, "If you have been led by God To return what you have stolen, Please know that the management forgives you and wishes you to keep what you have taken."
I.PEOPLE WHO WERE TURNED-AROUND
The key word is "turned". Whenever you turn from one direction, you turn to another. Turning is the key. If I were to ask you the question what is repentance what would you tell me.
What does it mean to repent? I would like to start by telling your what it doesn't mean.
1. CONVICTION OF SIN
It doesn't mean merely the conviction of sin, feeling bad about what you have done, it involves that but it goes much deeper than that.
I have seen people come to this church get convicted and weep and get up and walk through the door they were convicted but they never repented.
When Paul preached to the wickedest man that ever lived (Felix) he trembled like a child in the presence of an angry father but instead of turning to God he turned to Paul and said, "when I have a more convient season I'll call for you.
2. REPENTANCE IS NOT SORROW
I was sorry that I got caught and I worry about the consequences of my sin, but that wasn't repentance because I did it again later one. So, my friend don't weep over your sins if you don't intend to change! God won't hear the first teardrop that falls! However, if you're willing to turn away from your sins, God has His loving arms outstretched as you turn to Him the Lord will forgive you of all of your sins.
3. REPENTANCE IS NOT REFORMATION
It is not turning over a new life it is receiving a new life. I'll forget the past. Why don't you try that on your car payment?
Say you missed three car payments but I've decided with the coming of the New Year where as I didn't pay the bills last year but I will pay them this coming year. Is that all right?
What do you think the lender that holds your title would do to you? You would find yourself walking instead of riding.
You see you can't just decide well I'm going to forget the past, I won't do anything about it, and I'll just go on to the future. Friend that won't work God requires an accounting for the past.
4. REPENTANCE IS NOT EASY BELIEVI ...
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