Tonight, I am going to speak to you for a few minutes on the topic of salvation through repentance. So, what exactly is repentance? Repentance is being godly sorry for one’s sins. It is an actual turning away from one’s old sinful behavior, taking a 180-degree turn and intending never to be guilty of those sins again. It is an act of the will to want to become a new creature in Christ Jesus. To truly repent, you need to see yourself as lost and bound for Hell without Christ and have a deep conviction that you want to be different.
Repentance is the first step in salvation
Do you realize that if you have never actually repented of your sins, you are not saved? Beloved, you are not on your way to Heaven if you have sin in your life that has not been forgiven. It doesn’t matter how many times you have gone to the front of the church to “join church”, without repentance you are not saved. I know that’s hard, but it’s true. No sin is going into the Kingdom of God. Repentance is the first step in the salvation process. This applies to choir members, Usher Board members, preachers, teachers, rank sinners, and everyone. For those who may think that repentance is not important, let’s see what the Word of God has to say about it.
Scriptural support for repentance
What did John the Baptist preach in Matt. 3:1-2? In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
When Jesus started his public ministry, what did He preach In Matt. 4: 17? From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Apostle Paul taught repentance in Acts 20: 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Apostle Peter taught repentance in Acts 2: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Think you don’t need to repent? Everyone does.
Psalm 51: 5 (KJV) says: 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Some of you may need to ask God to forgive you for the abortion that you had; the theft you committed; the murder that you thought you got away with; the many lies that you told and the drugs that you assaulted your body with. Those are just examples of sins. You know what you’ve done that needs God’s forgiveness. All you have to do is ask God to forgive you, turn from those sins, and intend never to do them again. That’s true repentance.
Look, if you are still cussing, lying, (including telling the peace-sake lie) having trouble with those little “slippers” (You know, the “Oops I didn’t mean to say that” words), cheating, sipping, dipping and tipping you are not saved. The saved individual has quit the clubs, left the old lying and cheating buddies, and learned how to sleep in their own bed at night…without any “drop-in” visitors that are not their spouse.
When Jesus cleans up the inner man, it will show up on the outside. Women will no longer want to show off their bodies to anyone except their own husbands. Their skirt tails will go down, and their cleavage will close up. And, whoever heard of “Sexy Saints” in the church? Saved folks, both brothers and sisters, dress right in clothes that are not too tight.
So, if you are sagging and bagging; shacking and tatting; cutting yourself and piercing everything that you can pierce, (including unmentionable areas); if you are lying, cheating, and stealing; shooting up and all of these ungodly things, then you are not saved. Even if you are morally good and you’ve never repented of your sins your name has never been written into the Lamb’s Book of Life. You too need to be saved.
What’s next after repentance?
Alright, so now you are convinced that you need to repent. Even while you’re reading this post, you might have asked God to wipe your sins off your slate. So, what do you do once you repent? You get saved by asking God to save you. If you ask Him, He will do it.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Turn your back on sins and determine to never do them again. Unreservedly give your life to Jesus and ask for the power to live as you should. You must believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and your only hope for salvation. Then, you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior with your mouth. The Bible says in Romans 10:10 (KJV) for with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Jesus will immediately have your name written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He will apply his precious blood to your sins and wipe them out as though they never occurred. Then, He will begin the process of transforming your life into His own image. Repenting gets you saved.
Once you are saved, Jesus will begin to clean you up and make your life brand new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Your repentance, your turn from unrighteousness to righteousness, will make you eligible for Heaven when you die.
After you are saved, ask for the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
But there is more. Salvation makes you eligible for the gift of the Holy Ghost. You have to be saved first because the Holy Ghost will not come into an unclean temple. Next, you ask God for the gift of the Holy Ghost. You need the Holy Ghost to fellowship with a Holy God. You need the Holy Ghost because He gives you the power to live a sin-free life and to stay saved. He also empowers you to work for the Lord in whatever capacity God chooses. That power only comes from the Holy Ghost who will teach you, lead you, and guide you into all truth. He will be a comfort to you during your life because life is not always easy. The Holy Ghost will make you pleasing to God.
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Your Bible evidence that the Holy Ghost has made His arrival.
The evidence that the Holy Ghost has arrived is the fact that you will speak with new tongues.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Don’t ask me why you have to speak in tongues when you receive the Holy Ghost. Not my rules. I will tell you this…no tongues? No Holy Ghost. And that’s the tongues as the Spirit gives utterance, not your homemade, made-up tongues. Fight until you get it.
Next, look for the power to live like God requires.
If you still do not have the victory over sin, go back to the altar or into your prayer closet until you get what you need, even if you have spoken in some kind of tongues. Pray, fast, seek God, read the Word, turn away from sin. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 KJV) Being filled with the power of the Holy Ghost will make an eternity of difference in your life.
Luke 10: 19 (KJV) says:
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
It’s the Holy Ghost that gives you the power to live right. You will be able to say “No!” to those old things that had you bound such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other people’s spouses. We need that power.
Now let’s pull this all together in the form of a simple prayer. Pray these words or words that are similar. You must mean them with all of your heart and believe them to the saving of your soul.
Father, forgive me of all my sins. Save me, Lord. Make a commitment to live for Him. If you save me, I will live for You. Thank you, Lord, for saving me. You’re thanking Him for doing what He said He would do. Then ask Him to fill you with the Holy Ghost. Fill me with the Holy Ghost. Give me the power that I need to stay saved and live like you want me to live. Next, yield to the Spirit of God, and He will fill you with the Holy Ghost.
Ask and Ye shall receive
Luke 11:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
The good news for all of us is that salvation is a gift that has been made available to every man, woman, and child through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. All you have to do is to repent, get saved, get filled, and live as God requires for the rest of your life, and you will make it into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Follow on to know the Lord
Get into a good Bible-teaching and Bible-believing church where you can be taught the ways of God and you will make it in. I recommend Full Gospel Holy Temple Church, where we believe that Holiness is Still Right! http://www.fght.org.