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The Monster Sees Himself In the
America loves a holiday. Today, we celebrate holidays with more enthusiasm than ever before. And probably no holiday has gained in popularity in the last 20 years than Halloween. Once just a children's night out in costume, Halloween has become a million dollar industry to business, and a day of numerous opportunities for entertainment.
Let me note in passing here that, as Christians, we do not condone the concept of Halloween. It began, and remains, a pagan holiday. The ancient catholic holiday of All Saints Day was November 1st. It was the day designated for the long-dead "saints" of the Catholic church to be praised and venerated. If the religious crowd was going to have a day for their dead saints, the pagans of the day crafted for themselves a holiday. The night before All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve (or Halloween) would be the time for ghosts, ghouls, and witches to be praised and venerated.
And thus the tradition continues to this day. TV networks run horror flicks; offices have their own Halloween parties and workers even dress in costume for their work day; spook houses and haunted trails dot the roadside where folks pay $5 to be frightened by costumed creatures.
But with all the "frightening fun" of the day, a major thought has been
lost. Humankind is the author of real-life horror and hatred.
While we are celebrating the evil of a make-believe world, many men and
women are reveling in real-life terror and evil. What can we possibly
say to address this evil? Does the Bible have an answer? What
is God's message to this world in the midst of this yearly celebration
Repentance is a forgotten doctrine in pulpits today. Even in Bible-believing churches the concept of repentance is not explained fully and taught completely. John the Baptist preached repentance. More importantly, Jesus Christ preached repentance. The early church fathers preached repentance. The preachers in the Church's golden age preached repentance: Spurgeon, Finney, Whitefield, Edwards, etc. The preachers of fundamentalism preached repentance: John Rice, George Truitt, Oliver Greene,. Harold Sightler, etc.
I propose that we examine the doctrine of repentance in it's entirety. What is it? What does it mean to us? How do we repent? Must we repent to be saved?
I. EXPRESSING REPENTANCE
Please allow me to use a halloween illustration to begin our study of repentance. In the original movie from the 1930's, Frankenstein, a scene played out that might shed some light on our subject. We all know the story of Frankenstein's monster, originally a novel by Mary Shelley. The monster has been on the loose for a while and the townspeople have gathered as a mob to try to destroy him. The poor monster cannot understand why he is the object of their fear and ridicule. As he flees from them, he comes to a small cabin and goes inside. He remembers this house as a place of peace and friendship. Once inside, he sees his reflection in a mirror. He is at first frightened, then repelled, and lastly horrified that his image belongs to him. For the first time, the monster has seen himself in the mirror.
His horror turns to anger and he shatters the mirror in a rage. What do the evil men and women of our age need to do? Repent! To repent, you must first see yourself as God sees you --as the Bible describes you. At the moment of recognition, the monster rebels against what he sees. But before that, he is brought face to face with himself.
Let me further illustrate with a Bible story. Remember King David?
He sent for Bathsheba and lay with her even though she was a married women.
She became pregnant from the tryst, and now David had a problem.
After trying numerous things to cover his sin, including murdering Bathsheba's
husband, David thought is secret was safe. He had married the now
widowed Bathsheba and he would be the baby's father. But he had not
foreseen the prophet of God, who visited him with a parable of how a family's
little pet lamb was stolen by a rich man who had many lambs of his own.
David was enraged.
David had seen his sin in the mirror of the prophets words! The rest of the passage in addition to Psalm 51 tells us that David did indeed repent of his evil.
Perhaps the best illustration of repentance in the Bible is a parable
Jesus gave on the subject.
With these illustrations in mind, let us proceed to examine the doctrine of repentance in depth.
II. EXPLAINING REPENTANCE
In any message on repentance, the question of God's repentance arises. In Genesis, the Bible says, "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." (Gen. 6:6) The word used here means "to grieve, to regret, to be sorry." The New Testament word that we translate "repent" means "upon reflection, to change the mind, the heart and purpose for good." (W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of NT Words, pg. 280) There is much more to repentance in the New Testament than just being sorry. Let us continue.
1. Repentance is a Collision of Perception with Truth.
2. Repentance is a Confusion of Old Thinking With New Doubts
3. Repentance is a Consciousness of Sin Against God.
4. Repentance is a Courage to Agree with God and Disagree with
5. Repentance is a Continuation in the New Walk Supernaturally.
III. EXPERIENCING REPENTANCE
We have studied the doctrine of repentance. Now comes the question: Have you experienced repentance in your own heart and life? To help us determine our state, let us look at one last scripture. It is the story of the Prodigal Son. He rebelled against his father, demanding to be given his inheritance at once. He left his home, his family, and his heritage and moved to a "far country." There he wasted away his fortune on wine, women, and song and come to a place of utter poverty. The monster then saw himself in the mirror.
1. A Private Knowledge
2. A Personal Inventory
3. A Public Confession
Conclusion: My friend, repentance is the need of the age.
Repentance is needed by lost people and disobedient Christians alike.
It is demanded by God for the sinners salvation and the saints happiness.
Are you one who sees yourself as "a good person." Or have you seen
yourself in the mirror of God's Word as a sinful monster? For
I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
(Rom. 7:18) And Jesus said unto him,
Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
(Mark 10:18) As it is written, There is none righteous,
no, not one... there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
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