Preach Repentance

Title: Preach Repentance
Subject: Preaching
Preach Repentance

John the Baptist preached "repentance." (Matthew 3:2)
Jesus preached "repentance." (Luke 13:5)
Peter preached "Repentance." (Acts 2:38)
Paul preached "repentance." (Acts 17:30)

Very few preachers today declare the act of repentance as necessary for salvation, and few preach on the need for honest, humble confession for forgivness of sin(s). Yet, the bible is replete with the proclamation of repentance. The subject may not be popular with our culture, but God honors those who honor His Word. Look at the following from Rick Warren regarding preaching repentance.

Rick Warren
Saddleback Community Church
Lake Forest, California

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In fact, that's what preaching is all about.
Rick Warren's preaching has a purpose. He expects people to turn from their old ways. Here are some of his principles on preaching for life change:

1. All behavior is based on belief. If somebody gets a divorce it is because they have a belief behind that: "I think I'll be happier" or whatever.

2. Behind every sin is a lie of unbelieving. You think you are doing what's best for you, but you have been deceived. The Bible tells us that Satan deceives us.

3. Change always starts in the mind. "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom. 12:2). The Bible teaches clearly that the way we think affects the way we feel, and the way we feel affects the way we act.

4. Change beliefs first. Trying to change behavior without changing beliefs is a waste of time. Say I have a boat on auto pilot headed north. If I want it to head south, I have two options: I could wrestle the steering wheel or (the better way) change the auto pilot.

5. I don't change people's minds, God's Word does. "We speak words given to us by the Spirit using the Spirit's word to explain spiritual truth" (1 Cor. 2:13 NLT). Both Word and Spirit elements are in preaching, and often we leave out the Spirit element. Spiritual warfare is tearing down mental strongholds. Our weapons have power, pulling down every argument, every pretension.

6. Changing the way people act is the fruit of repentance. Repentance is not behavioral change; it results in behavioral change. Repentance happens in your mind. That's why John the Baptist says to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. "I preach that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds" (Acts 26:20).

7. The deepest preaching, bar none, is preaching for repentance. Many preachers are great at interpretation, good at application, but not willing to call for repentance. I preach repentance every Sunday. I talk about "changing your mind" and "paradigm shift." But every message comes down to two words: Will you? "Will you change the way you''re thinking?" If you are not preaching repentance, you're not preaching.

Excerpted from Preaching magazine. Rick Warren is pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California.

Rick Warren is wise. We must preach repentance, which means "to change one's mind." Don't be afraid to call upon people to "repent;" Jesus wasn't afraid to do so! God will honor the faithful preaching of His Word in the same manner as Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul and so many preachers who stood to preach following in their footsteps!

J. Mike Minnix - Editor -