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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joseph Prince » Joseph Prince - Grace Leads To True Repentance

Joseph Prince - Grace Leads To True Repentance

Joseph Prince - Grace Leads To True Repentance
Joseph Prince - Grace Leads To True Repentance
TOPICS: Grace, Repentance

The topic I want to share today is "Repentance". Say repentance. Now, I can preach it like this, okay, "Repent"! Okay, or I can tell you: Change your mind. All right, you used to think this way; now think this way. Because the word "repentance" is so abused today that people say things like, all right, "Well, so and so doesn't preach repentance. Well, that preacher, you know, he doesn't preach repentance," as if they're an authority on repentance, and I just want to question the idea of repentance. What do they mean when they say repentance, all right? When they say repentance, many of them are referring to you've got to be sin conscious. You've gotta beat yourself over your sins. You've gotta be sin conscious.

Now, nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to the gospel, the gospel says because of what Christ has done, we should have no more sin consciousness. We saw that last week, didn't we? In Hebrews 10, we saw that a believer once cleansed, and the word "once cleansed" in the Greek is the perfect tense, "never to be repeated act". All right, the effects last forever. Once you are cleansed, perfect tense, you should have no more sin consciousness or conscience of sins, in the old King James, amen, and that should have... it's in the present active. That means you've gotta shake it off. You've gotta actively shake it off every moment, amen.

So, preaching repentance in the area of imparting consciousness of sins is nothing more than dishonoring the work of Jesus. If someone paid my debt, a huge debt, all right, and I hear the news, the good news that he paid my debt, okay, he's a man of integrity, and I hear the news, and I laugh it off, and I say, "I don't believe it," though it's still paid, I have dishonored that man. Are you listening? Moreover, not only have I dishonored the man, whenever I meet my creditor, I will have what? Debt on my conscience, even though it's paid. So, therefore, mankind, you know, the sinner, for example, all right, always has this bad and hard thoughts about God, hard thoughts, thoughts that are not based on facts, because God loves sinful man. God loves man in his sinful, guilty, lost condition. God sent his Son while men were still lost, while men were still sinful.

Christ died when men were still cursing, blaspheming him, putting him on the cross, and God used the cross, the wicked hands delivered him, all right, to be an instrument of salvation and redemption for all men, amen. The Bible says in 2 John, verse 1, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". It does not say if any man repent. The moment a believer sins, all right, straight away, the Advocate goes to the Father. It is not we go to the priest. It is the priest goes to the Father, straight away, and presents himself, not to deal with our sins anymore. It's done once and for all. It's a done deal, I should say, amen, finished once and for all. Can I give a good amen?

So, this idea, when people say, "You've gotta preach more on repentance," it's actually they want you to hit people and beat people, but God told me to "Feed my sheep," not beat my sheep, amen. And the thing is this: There is rebuke in the Word of God. There's correction in the Word of God, but it's never depressing you. You know, it's one thing to break a child's stubborn will. It's another thing to break the child's inner man, his spirit. You don't break a child's spirit but you must break his strong will, amen. If he's rebellious, you've gotta break his will. Affirm the child, but break the will, amen, amen. And God never, never crushes you. How many understand that? So, what you mean when you say repentance? What do these people mean when they say repentance? Number one, we saw that erroneous idea they want a preacher to impart sin consciousness to the people, and that's not God's way in the gospel today.

Now, I want to share with you one thing. Once upon a time in the Old Testament, there are plenty of occasions to show you that you have to repent first before God blesses you. In the Old Testament, you have to repent, turn away from sin, and then God blesses you. Now listen. In the New Testament, God blesses you, and it's the goodness of God that leads you to repentance. Now, I've been using that verse all the time, but look up the verse, Romans 2, verse 4. "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness"? How many know God is not just good? He's plenty of good. "The riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance".

The word "lead" there is like the Holy Spirit leading you. The goodness of God leads you where? To repentance. It is not repentant, listen, it is not repentance leads you to goodness. It is goodness that leads you to repentance. A lot of believers have this idea: "If I repent, it will lead me to God's goodness". But, hey, the Bible says God's goodness that leads you to repentance. It was the Lord turning around looking at Peter, all right, that broke Peter's heart, that kept him in love with Jesus. There's something about the look that says, "You denied me, but I still love you". Amen? Praise the Lord. All right, so let's look at this Old Testament repentance.

When someone says, "You know, Pastor Prince, I'm concerned I've not repented enough". What do you mean you have not repented enough? It all depends. Are you talking about repentance of the law or repentance of the gospel? There is a repentance of the gospel. And I said just now repentance... repent, repentance is from the Greek word metanoia. All right, meta is after, noia is thought. Put them together, it means, and all theologians agree, metanoia is defined as change of mind, change of mind. Now, along the way, some people want to add the word "with sorrow, with contrition". I'm going to show you later on that sometimes you repent into joy. Sometimes you repent into sorrow, yes.

Now, there is a place the Bible talked about godly sorrow, work of repentance, but godly sorrow is not repentance, but it worketh repentance. You know, when you have done something wrong, you see how wonderful, you know, your wife is or whatever, okay. It breaks your heart, like what happened to Peter. That's godly sorrow, but there's a sorrow of the world that works death. We've gotta make sure no one brings to the sorrow of the world, amen. Now, what is repentance of the law? Look up here. Mark chapter 1, "John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins".

Notice John, John the Baptist, Jesus's cousin, he came preaching what? A baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Now, John, under the law, he preached this sermon, that you need to repent before you are forgiven. All right? And baptism there is, Jewish people, even you go to Israel today, you'll find a lot of mikvah. They call it baptismal pools, which means every time you come, you repent, you go into the baptismal pool, amen. All right, there's a baptism of repentance. They're under the law, and John was under the law. Okay? He preached a repentance for the remission of sins. Valid, okay? And then all the land of Judea and those from Jerusalem went out to John, and they were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

So, confessing sins is something that the Old Testament, they are aware of. It is taught in the Old Testament. Are you listening? You must understand the Jewish people, all right, when you talk to them about getting saved, you've gotta talk about confessing your sins. It's a terminology they understand. That's why in the epistle of John, not John the Baptist, epistle of John the Beloved, disciple of Jesus, all right. He wrote, "If we confess..." And the "we," there is editorial "we". He's referring not to believers. If you read the whole chapter 1 of 1 John, he's referring to the Gnostic Jews. You know, Peter, James, and John, they were apostles to the Jews. It's in the Bible. Peter, James, and John, they were called to the Jews. Paul was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles, non-Jews.

So, when you read 1 Peter, you read 2 Peter, you read James, the book of James, and John, don't forget, primarily, they are written to the Jews, and he's telling the Jews, "Stop denying that you are a sinner. Confess your sins". Because Jewish people understand that terminology. So, 1 John 1:9 is not a verse for the believer. It is a verse for the unbelieving believer... excuse me, unbelieving Jew. Okay? Did I wake you up for a while? Okay. So, they came confessing their sins. All right? I want to prove to you that John was under the law. Okay? Luke 16, verse 16, "The law," Jesus speaking here, "The law and the prophets were until John".

By the way, John means God's grace. The law and the prophets were until God's grace. "The law and the prophets were until John". So, who is the last prophet of the law? Talk to me, people. So, John was preaching a repentance of the law. Since that time, since that time of John, the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. Just now I showed you John's baptism, right, in Mark 1. Now go back to Mark 1. Look at Mark 1. Jesus now came. "Now after John was put in prison," all right, "Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.'"

Now, Jesus's message is different from John. After John's ministry ended... and, incidentally, John was the last of all the prophets of the law. Jesus came preaching the good news. If you read this in the Greek, the gospel means the good news. Amen. Now, the kingdom of God has got to do with the Jewish people, all right? But he came preaching the good news. We'll all be in the kingdom of God. In fact, if they accepted Jesus back then, he would have ruled as King. Do you know that? So, he came preaching, saying, "Repent".

Now, when Jesus uses "repent," now, church, the New Testament repentance, repentance of the gospel is actually changing your mind about your self-righteousness. It is giving up all pretentions to righteousness. Okay? Write that somewhere: "Repentance of the gospel is a getting up or turning away from self-righteousness". Amen. It is giving up all pretentions to righteousness. Believe on who? Jesus. Believe you cannot save yourself. All your good works, all your obedience, all your morality does not amount to a hill of beans before God. Amen. The Bible tells you the faith that saves, the faith that justifies is a faith that believes that God justifies the ungodly. It is as ungodly we come to him, and then he justifies us, and we are no more ungodly. All right? But you've gotta admit. You come with your sins.

Martin Luther says, "Lord Jesus, I am your sin. You are my righteousness". That's a beautiful way of saying it. "I am your sin; right at the cross, you are my righteousness". Amen. But if you're trying to justify yourself, how can he be your righteousness, when you are your own righteousness? So, repent in the gospel is give up all pretentions to righteousness and believe, amen. So, that people will teach you like you repent, you repent, but they don't repent from their self-righteousness. In fact, the very act of their so-called repentance is the attempt to still make themself righteous, instead of abandoning themselves to Christ and Christ alone. How many are with me? You understand? All right, it's important you understand this.

Now, when Philip preached in the city of Samaria, what did he preach? Did he preach repentance? No, he preached Christ, and the whole city responded. You can say the whole city repented. Amen. In the Old Testament, Jonah preached what? Repentance. In fact, he didn't even use the word repentant. He says, "In three days, God will destroy the whole city". That was not the gospel, but the whole city repented. There was repentance in the Old Testament; but in the New Testament, how do you bring people to a place of changing their minds? You preach Christ. Don't keep on harping to your colleague, "Hey, you, ah, repent, ah. You'd better, you'd better repent, ah, you'd better repent, ah". You know, it sounds so religious.

Now, amen, the Bible talks about repentance towards God. You know, Paul's ministry, Acts 20, verse 21, Paul's ministry is this, Paul is talking here, "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ". Notice, repentance towards God. Towards is "eis" in Greek. It's towards God. In other words, change your mind towards God. Change your mind concerning God. You used to think that God is out to get you. Now you know God loves you in your lost, guilty condition. Change your mind. You used to think that God is stingy. No, God is generous. This is what caused lust to be produced in Eve's heart in the Garden of Eden. God is so generous.

God actually told man, God says, "Every tree you may freely eat". You know, they were the only ones on earth. And earth is not as parched and dry, as bad as the conditions are in the world today we see. All right, the earth was fruitful then, and they were the only ones. And God says, "Every tree you may freely eat, except for one tree. Set that aside as like a tithe that you show that you honor me. That's all". But look at God's generosity. And the devil came and said, "What? Did God say you cannot eat from every tree"? The word freely is also dropped.

You see, the moment her mind was changed, she repented in the wrong way. Her mind was changed to believe that God is stingy, God is holding back. When actually God is generous. So, once and for all, God silenced Satan's mouth, the accuser's mouth, once and for all about God, God's generosity, when God gave up his Son for lost humanity. God loved his Son, and God gave up his Son for you and I. For what? To save all of us, at a great cost, amen. Once and for all, God demonstrated he's a good God. He's generous. He's out to bless you, not out to get you. So, repentance must start towards God. You must change your mind towards God. A lot of people have hard thoughts about God. They think that God is really, really really out to, you know, pound them, they see God as an old man. I had to repent many a times even after I became a Christian. I saw God as an old man.

I remember years ago in a bus, all right, years as a student, years ago as a student, I was born again, saved, and I was praying in the bus, and I saw God as an old man. I was not conscious of what I saw, but I heard God speaking to me on the inside. God said to me, "Son". I said, "Wow, he's talking to me". "Why do you see me like this"? I said, "Like what"? He said, "Like an old man". I saw him with, you know, long, white hair, white beard. And I said, "Because you're a Father, and you are God". All this went on inside me. And he said, "Son, growing old is part of the curse on earth. In heaven, there is no curse".

And like this, I saw God forever young. The Father is forever young. Amen. Jesus is forever young. The Holy Spirit is forever young. Don't get me singing now. And one day in heaven, we are forever young. Amen. No one grows old in heaven. Your grandfather that passed on, your mother that passed on, your father that passed on, in the Lord, they are younger than you now, some of you now, amen. You won't be able to recognize them for a while when you're in heaven. Amen? So, I had to change my mind. I had to repent.

Now, I didn't say, "Oh, I repent, Lord, for seeing you as an old man". Now, I didn't do that. I could've done that. I can be more religious, impress people, but I changed my mind. From then on, when I pray, I see a dynamic God, a God of divine energy and power, a God who never gets tired nor is weary, a God who never says to me, "Oh, you again, ah". I cannot project into God, all right, what we see in our earthly parents. Wonderful as they are, they still fail. There are moments of impatience. But with God, praise God, it's never crowded at the throne of grace. Have you noticed that? Huh? So, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. All right, both Jews and Greeks heard Paul preach that.

Now, sometimes Peter used the word repent, granted, okay. But notice he was preaching Christ in Acts 20 real... Acts 2. Excuse me. "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ". Don't forget, he's preaching predominantly to Jewish people, who just, not too long ago, shouted for Jesus's crucifixion. Now they realize this man whom they delivered to the cross, all right, whom they delivered to the hands of Gentiles, the Romans, is actually the Messiah. And God raised him from the dead. So, they are hearing all this. How did it come about? How was this change of mind effected? It was effected by preaching Christ. It's not effected by saying, "Repent, repent, repent". What is that to change my mind to? You're not giving people material to repent, amen. And the material is Christ. Praise God.

So, they said, "God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah, Christ. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'" Don't forget, they themselves shouted what? "Crucify him". They delivered their brother into the hands of Gentiles, like the brothers of Joseph did. Now they saw the error of their ways. They saw their crime. They saw their sin, and they were cut to the heart. Why? Because of the preaching of Jesus Christ. These are Jewish people. They're cut to the heart. All right? "Then Peter, what shall we do"? Peter said, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit".

Now, he said change your mind, after they were cut to the heart. Can you see that now? Okay, now sometimes Peter used "repent". Sometimes Peter doesn't use "repent". Like in Cornelius' house. Do you remember Cornelius's house? He was a Roman centurion, all right, of the Italian band, and he was a man that was reaching out to God, you know, with charities and doing good. His heart was reaching out to God, but he didn't have the gospel. No matter how much good you do, you are still not saved. So, God sent Peter to his house, and Peter preached. Notice, in Peter's sermon, in Acts 10, there was no word "repentance" used. At the end of it, Peter said this: "To him, to Christ, all the prophets witness that, through his name, whoever believes in Him..."

Whoever what? Repents and believes? No, repentance is never a preliminary. Sometimes placed first, but don't forget, repentance, change your mind. In other words, give up your pretentions to righteousness and believe the good news. All right? Here there's no word for repent. He didn't use the word "repent". He used the word, "Believe in Him. Whoever believes in Him will receive," what? Forgiveness of sins. If you are watching me today, you are one of the whosoever. You believe in Jesus, you receive forgiveness of sins. Believe he died for your sins. Believe all your sins were transferred to him, and his righteousness is transferred to you. Believe that, accept that, rest in that, and you are saved. Amen.

Now, if you still don't want to give up your self-righteousness, you don't believe this is the way, then God tells you, "Repent, change your mind". Now, how many understand so far what I'm trying to say? Are you with me? All right, Peter didn't use the word "repent" here, right? He didn't use it, right? And yet what happened? "While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word". Why? "Those of the circumcision," the Jewish people who were there, "who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnifying God". Well, that's amazing. All right? Did they repent or not? Peter didn't tell them to repent. Peter says, "'Whoever believes in Jesus will receive forgiveness of sins.' While he was speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell; they spoke in tongues".

What do you reckon? Did they repent? Of course. But they were not conscious they were changing their minds. And that's what happens many times in my ministry, in many other ministries that preach the gospel. We might not use the word "repentance" the way you want us to use it, like, "Be conscious of sin..." Ah-ah-ahh. Some people think repentance might be like that. There might be a lot of crying, a lot of, like... and then they say, "Pastor Prince, what about godly sorrow"? I'll come to that, okay? Now look at this. He preached to the Gentiles. This is Acts, chapter what? Ten. So, Peter preached to the Gentiles, the non-Jews. For the first time in the history of the world, non-Jews received the Holy Spirit, first time. All right?

Look at the next chapter. Now, the church in Jerusalem, which is all Jewish people, they heard what Peter did. Acts 11, 11 is after 10. Okay? Verse 1, "Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles," Cornelius's house, "had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision," the Jewish people, "contended with him". You see, they didn't have a full understanding that the gospel is not just for them. Even though Jesus so many times emphasized, they still don't have the understanding. They still have this exclusive, exclusivity about that. "You know, Jesus is a Jew; therefore, the gospel is only for Jews. We are God's special people".

So, when Peter went to preaching holiness, and he heard that, you know, he preached the gospel, you know, Jesus said to Peter, "I give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you bind shall be bound; whatever you loose shall be loosed". They way you operate the key is by preaching. Here, you find that God used Peter, even though he's a apostle to the Jews, the Bible tells us, to open a door to the Gentiles. Preaching is using the key. All right? So they call him on the carpet. The church in Jerusalem, all right, call him to the carpet, saying, "You went into uncircumcised men and ate with them". One of them is here. "But Peter explained it to them, Peter explained it to them from the beginning".

All right, so Peter rehearsed the whole thing. Peter said, "Wait. Wait, wait, wait. Before you accuse me, let me tell you what happened". Actually Peter didn't give an altar call, right? God just gave the Holy Spirit, right, amen? Cause God knew Peter would not have given a altar call. He himself didn't believe they can be saved. It's the first time. Don't forget. He has no precedence, all right? Said, "Wait, wait, wait, wait. Let me explain". So the rest of the verses talk about his explanation, how he was praying, that he fell into a trance, he's had a vision that God told him to go to the house of Cornelius, and blah, blah, blah. Then he said, "When I preached, the Holy Spirit fell".

Now, watch this. Watch what the conclusion of the brethren in Jerusalem. Drop down. Verse 17, "If therefore God", Peter is still talking here, "If God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God"? Right? Note here what the brethrens says. "When they heard these things they became silent and they glorified God, saying," watch this, "'Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.'" Wow. The word repent wasn't used. Peter never told Cornelius's house to repent, and yet what the elders in Jerusalem perceive it to be is the Gentiles repented to life.

So, church, let me just tell you this, all right? Just because someone is shouting "Repent, repent, repent"! doesn't mean they are teaching repentance. They are teaching sin consciousness, many of times. They are teaching you depression, many of times, or they are preaching from the Old Testament a lot. They are using verses from the Old Testament a lot. Now, I used the Old Testament passages a lot to unveil Christ, to unveil the shadows of which Christ is a substance. There's the way to teach the Old Testament, but they're using it literally, all right, and then they try to make you feel that it's in the Bible, but it's in the Old Testament until John. That's how it's preached, the kind of repentance of the law.

Now, we have a repentance of the gospel. Sometimes the word repent is used, sometimes the word repent is not used. Hey, listen. If I got measles, all right, and I tell you I got chickenpox, you never had measles. You never had chickenpox. But I have measles, okay, and I tell you I got chickenpox, okay, and I come and spend time with you. What you'll get is not chickenpox. Sorry. You had chickenpox before. You never had measles, all right? When I spent time, I say, "Don't worry. You had chickenpox"? "Yeah". "Now what I'm having is just chickenpox. Don't worry". Actually is measles. Now, you won't catch what I say. You will catch what I am. Just because someone say, "Repent, repent, repent," doesn't mean, all right, they understand repentance. And at the end of the day just because someone preach, "Holy, holy, holy," doesn't mean they are holy. People won't catch what you say, they'll catch who you are, what you have.

If you are full of Jesus, that's what people will get. Even though Peter did not use the word repent, the brethren, the elders in Jerusalem says, "God has granted to the Gentiles repentance to life". And look at this word God has granted. If God does not grant, you don't have. Don't think for one moment you can conjure up repentance. The reason we see is because of the mercy of God. The reason your colleagues don't see, all right, is because... pray that God will give them repentance. Many of us, we are the result of someone's prayer, because I'm telling you we are so hard, we are so much in darkness we cannot see the light. Amen. God has to grant you repentance.

In 2 Timothy chapter 2, this is a good instruction for all leaders, Bible teachers, all right? Look up here. It tells you, "A servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition," all right, to God's Word, that is, "if God perhaps will grant them repentance..." Repentant is something granted by God. Mm, how? "So that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will". You see, the snare of the devil is such that he wants you to acknowledge a lie. Came to Eve and said, "Did God say you can freely eat from every tree? Did God say that"? Actually God did, and she wondered if God did. The devil dropped off the word "freely" to denote even the style of God's giving.

The moment she entertained the doubt, she didn't acknowledge the truth, her mind was changed to the wrong direction, right? And God wants to give people repentance, but God gives people repentance; men don't conjure it up. Repentance is not a work you produce. So the elders in Jerusalem says, "Wow, God gave the Gentiles repentance". God gave. God granted. See all of us here? How many of you are grateful? Because honestly, buying the next best car, no matter how high the COE is really not everything in life. Going to a larger house, after for a while it becomes just a house. It's what goes on in the house. You can have a beautiful lender property, a lot of strife, hardly see your children, disharmony, quarrels, kids don't want to come back.

Okay, never mind. Y'all look so sad. So I won't go anymore, already. I'm just telling you. Aren't you blessed that you have the greatest of all blessings, the favor of God, the name of Jesus, the righteousness of God, the gift of righteousness? Amen. And you know what? Jesus says, "I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly". You have life more abundant. Amen. Don't count it by the zeros at the end of your savings account, all right, count it by the riches in glory. And doesn't mean that you die and then you get your inheritance. Even right now you can make withdrawals from heaven. It's just that God doesn't want to give you a million dollars or $2 million or $10 million, all right, always just like that. He wants you, like the manna principle, to come to him, have a relationship, depend on him, pray, ask him, and he gives as you come. He gives, but it's all yours, okay?

Paul in the only documented sermon of the gospel that he preached in the Book of Acts, now he did make a discourse, all right? He did sort of preach in Athens, but it wasn't a gospel. He was just pointing the people to the unknown God, who that God is, all right? In Lystra he talked about God, this creator. He talked about creator. He wasn't preaching the gospel. A creator who gave us good things, good earthly blessings, the rain, you know, and all the crops, he told the people in Lystra. But the only documented sermon of Paul in the Book of Acts, all right, if there was a CD, it would be this sermon, all right? It's in Acts 13.

In Antioch Pisidia, which is today in Turkey, I was there a few years ago, right, at the place where the synagogue is, Paul preached this sermon. At the end of the sermon, Paul did not use the word repent. Look at what Paul said. "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren," he was preaching in the synagogue, Jewish synagogue, "that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins". It's a proclamation for everyone who would believe that this man, through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. "And by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you cannot be justified by the Law of Moses".

Wow, the word repent is not here. It's a free proclamation of grace. If only we would enter into our evangelistic campaigns, all right, whether it's with a multitude or even one-on-one sharing the gospel, if only we'll just proclaim and stop placing demands. "You have to do this. You have to give up this, give up this, give up that". It's almost like telling people, all right, you got to clean yourself before you take a bath. Some of you are wondering, "So what's wrong with that, you know"? Jesus is the bath. Amen. You come to him as you are, go into the shower, amen, and he makes you clean. You don't even know the process, but he makes you clean. None of you, none of you clean yourself before you take a bath. All right?

Then another thing we do is that, after he says, "I'll make you fishers of men," we get all the fish, which is actually souls being saved. All the fish. You know what we do? Fishermen don't do this. We start cleaning the fish... by the sea. No, he just says catch the fish. He didn't say clean the fish. Come to people as they are. I don't care. "But, Pastor Prince, do you know that person is actually a," blank, blank, blank, whatever sin you want to put down there. Some people, they are sin of this sin blank, blank. He's actually a blank. But you actually are a glutton. You think that God considers that guy's sin greater than your sin? "Ah, pastor, his is a perversion". But it's perversion to be a glutton. And a Singaporean will ask, "What is a glutton"? Glutton and Newton, all right, it rhymes. You know, used to be a place called Glutton's Corner, is it? Is it still around?

"Well, Pastor Prince, I believe that repentance, the change of mind that you talk about". Now, this is actually in some of the statements of some great theologian, okay? And they are good theologians. They are great theologians. But sometimes I think that we are adding to God's Word. When God's Word says change of mind, we try to say it's not just change of mind, it is this sorrow, this contrition, this remorse. Heard of word remorse? You got to have remorse for what you have done. There are people who have a lot of remorse. Nothing changes. I want to prove to you remorse is not repentance, okay? Would you like me to show you? I'm going to show you anyway, lah, all right?

Look at this example. Who was the one that betrayed Jesus? What's his name? Judas. I do not know of any newborn baby that's called Judas in New Creation Church. But you'd be surprised Judas is actually Judah. All right, look at Judas, okay? Matthew 27. I'm going to show you from the King James Version first. "Then Judas, which had betrayed Jesus, when he saw that he was condemned..." Now, who condemned him? Not the Pharisees. He realized he's standing on the condemnation of God, all right? "Repented himself", say that, "And brought again the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders", sounds like repentance and restitution. He brought back the 30 pieces of silver. "Saying, 'I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.'"

What an awesome thing? God makes the one who betray him testify that he's innocent. "And they said, 'What is that to us? See thou to that.' And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself". Now, this word repentance, repent, it is not the word metanoia, all right? You want to see your King James, your New King James, excuse me, for that verse? "Seeing that he had been condemned, he was remorseful..." Just because someone is remorseful doesn't mean his heart is turning to... you see, you cannot just feeling remorse, feeling lousy, beating yourself, you know, waiting for your, telling, no. Doing bad things so your wife will leave you. Because your father was a violent man, went to prison, now you take up after your father and you ill-treat your wife, you punch your wife, and you want your wife to leave you. You feel remorseful, condemning yourself. How many of you know that's not the repenting God is talking about?

There are people feel bad who never turn to Jesus. They just feel bad. There are people who feel bad because they are caught. Then there are people who feel bad because they feel like they have done something that has lowered their image in the eyes of people or whatever. People can feel bad for all kinds of things. But this guy, Judas, if only he had waited for a few more hours, Jesus would hang for him. He didn't have to hang for himself. Notice why it's not metanoia, because New Testament repentance is giving up all pretensions to righteousness. When he went and hanged himself, he was saying, "I'll pay the price for my sin". And God hates that, even when you kill yourself because God has provided Jesus Christ and he's hanging on the cross. It's supposed to be your hanging and my hanging.

So it humbles the human heart, amen, it humbles us when we say, "Lord, I cannot even punish myself because you were punished for me". It would be wrong for you to hurt yourself. It's self-righteousness. You need to repent of that because it's a pretension to righteousness. You know, when you hurt yourself, you feel better. That's a form of self-righteousness. How dare you hurt yourself when Jesus took that hurt and that pain and that beating upon himself for that sin that you're chiding yourself over? He paid for it. And the most humble thing, the most God-given response that you can come up with is this: "Thank you, Father, for the gift of your son. Thank you, Jesus, for taking all the punishment and the beating". That's why our children, there's a new term that never existed when I was growing up. It's called "emo". Emo kids. They cut themself. They use blades and cut themself to feel some pain, to feel alive, to chastise themself, to make themself, to punish themself.

Sometime they punish themself because they think they don't look good. They think somebody else look better. They punish themself. I'm telling you, church, the world is filled... your working place is filled with people punishing themselves. It's a form of the flesh feeling good, you know, by self-righteousness. There's no Jesus at all, you know? This is the kind of thing that you must repent from. How dare you hurt yourself when God esteems you as a precious commodity? Amen. You are precious and a individual of worth that God gave up his son to die for. Yes, as sinners we are all unworthy, but because Christ died for us, it shows we are worth something to God, a lot to God. It's not a question of worthiness; it's a question of worth. Jesus talk about a parable. You know, when a man sees much and a businessman sees a field, all right, and he found that there's a treasure in that field, you know what he does? He buys the entire field because of the treasure in the field.

Now, what's the parable about? Many, you know, because of religious mentality, they have preached this like this, their parable of Jesus: "Well, Jesus is the treasure in the field, and we are the merchant men. We must give up everything to get Jesus". All of the sudden, you are the hero. Since when you are the hero? No. The merchant man, you've got nothing to buy with. You are a spiritual bankrupt. It is Jesus who saw you in this earth, the field, and he gave his life. He gave everything he had to purchase you, you special treasure, you. Amen. Christianity is not a religion. It's not all this religious ideas. Even the world think, "Well, you all repent, huh, a lot, huh? Y'all go to church and repent"? Then they laugh, you know, and make jokes out of it. You ask them, "Define 'repentance' from the Greek". "Uh"? "What do you mean when you say, 'repent'"? "Huh? Oh, you all feel bad, like, remorseful".

Judas felt bad, hanged himself. By the way, Judas went to hell, okay? Jesus said, "I've lost no one except the son of perdition," all right? He went to hell. So the thing is this: Church, God wants us to give up all our pretensions to righteousness and accept his righteousness because, if it's my providing, if the righteousness is my providing, how can it be perfect? But if the righteousness is God's providing, woo, how can it not be perfect, amen? Okay, because of time, we're gonna dive. There's a lot more. "I know you can show me, Pastor, but what this verse? What this verse"? In fact, there are 58 verses, okay, on "repentance," "repent," in the New Testament. You think I can preach all 58 plus my slide shows and all that?

All right, I gotta let you go. So let me bring you to this, okay? This came from the Lord because I asked the Lord, "Lord, give me some more," all right? Not too long ago, this year, I asked the Lord, "Lord, give me some more". I need to show people that just because someone says, "repentance," doesn't mean repentance is produced if he's not preaching Christ and the finished work, and sometime, you preach Christ and the finished work and the goodness of God, repentance is produced. So, "God I need more than these verses that you have given me". All these verses God gave me in times past, but I said, "Give me, you know, some fresh word this year," I asked the Lord, and this year, he gave me.

So what you're gonna hear at the end is actually from the Lord only recently. Never heard anyone preach this. Never read it from a book. It came straight from the Lord. So here's from heaven for you, all right? Repentance, from the mouth of Jesus himself, in the most well-known parables of Jesus. What is it? The prodigal son, all right? But let's look at the context of the story before we talk about prodigal son, Luke 15, "Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Jesus to hear Him," all right, "all the tax collectors and the sinners".

Now, tax collectors, back then, were not people of integrity. They taxed more than they should, okay? They're actually doing it for another country, another nation, actually, for the Romans, amen, and they would, remember that Zacchaeus was one of them? They were people of devious means, all right? They were people who were very rich, wealthy, but they were very cunning, all right, and they were deceitful. Even Zacchaeus said, all right, "whoever I've stolen from," right? So they were thieves, even. Now, sinners and tax collectors drew near to Jesus. There's something about Jesus that, when you... it's not like the Jesus some people preach today. This Jesus drew the sinners to him. You know all these people you see in the papers?

Y'all can say, "Oh, this guy, lah, oh, I think, go to the prostitute," blah-blah-blah, blah-blah, blah-blah. But, you know, God loves them. "Pastor Prince, you think God approves"? Don't talk about that. It's done deal. You know, you are surprised that someone is sinning when they are sinners? Even Christians still sin, amen. So, you know, when you hear the heartbeat of God, God says, "You know what? It's the best time to evangelize them". You can get their contact, man, bring them to Jesus. Bring them. Share with them the gospel of grace because, I'm telling you, Jesus has much more acceptance and grace to cover all their shame, amen. Don't condemn. Don't be like the world. "Uh, he's gonna wanna hide his face". You would hide your face, only yours is not found out... Maybe you didn't do it physically, but you do it mentally. To God, it's still just as bad.

So, actually, if you know these people, invite them to church, okay? New Creation Church welcomes these people, amen. It's not just New Creation. It's Jesus welcomes them. So something about Jesus that drew all the tax collectors and the sinners, where? Near him. To, what? To hear him. Now, it's one thing to... today, the church is trying to get sinners to church to hear the message. Back then, they drew near to Jesus not to just admire his beauty, to hear him. We must get this. This, whoever this Jesus is, we must preach the Jesus of the Bible, and the effect is gonna be, what? Sinners will draw near, okay? And the Pharisees and the scribes complained, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them". Sounds familiar? Like just now. "This man eats with sinners. Sacrilegious. Blasphemy. Terrible".

Then people ask, "Well, Pastor Prince, what if... you preach grace, you preach grace". Then they always bring somebody else, you know? They never talk about themselves, you know? Have you noticed that? When people come to you and challenge you on grace, they always bring, "What if there is a guy, and he's a..." "What if there's a woman, and she's a..." they never say, "How about me? Sometimes, I fall into sin, and I do this". We are so self-righteous. Pharisees, do you think Pharisees need repentance? They need more. Living up to their pretensions on righteousness, isn't it? How many think that they need more, amen? But notice this, okay?

Watch this, okay? I must close with this: "The Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, 'This Man receives sinners.' So He spoke this parable to them", don't forget, this parable is shared with the Pharisees in the hearing of the sinners, okay? "What man of you, having 100 sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it"? Next, "And when he has found it, he lays the sheep on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I've found my sheep which was lost.' I say to you that likewise there'll be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance".

When God gave this to me... and the Lord said this to me when he gave this to me. I've read this so many times. I've preached on the prodigal son, you know, all these past years, to all of you. Have you heard me preach on that? And I never saw this, and the Lord said this to me: "Son, there's more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents". But the illustration is the sheep that was lost. And then the Lord asked me, "What did the sheep do? How did the sheep repent"? Because the illustration is about one sinner that repents, you know, and he talk about one sheep that got lost. Do we see the sheep saying, "God, I'm here; I come back to you"? "Please forgive me of my sins". Do you see that? No. How did a sheep repent? That one is surely not lost. It's in the house.

You know, I'll tell you, the only way to change your mind in this situation, if you are lost and you are doing this, "Baaah," all right, you are lost. You are cold. You're miserable. You are hungry. You're thirsty. You're lonely. You feel wretched. You feel lost in the wilderness. Then along comes the shepherd, and he picks you up. The only repentance I see is this: The sheep must consent to be loved. The sheep must consent to be carried. And then he puts the sheep on his shoulders. The sheep must consent to rest on the strength of the Lord. But if the hero of this story is not the lost sheep. It is the shepherd that went to find. The shepherd found. The shepherd took. The shepherd laid on his shoulder. The shepherd went back. The shepherd says, "Rejoice with me".

Who throws a party over one sheep that's lost? The Lord does. Tell me, those who fight for repentance, the way they... tell me, how did the sheep repent? "Oh, the sheep must have said, 'Baaah.'" No, you're arguing from silence. I'm showing you what's in the Scriptures. Let's go on to the next parable. Next one. "Or what woman, having", before that, let me go back to the verse 7, all right? He says, "I say to you that likewise there'll be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance". Do you really think there are 99 just persons who need no repentance? You know, the Bible says he left the 99 sheep and looked for the one that's lost. Don't forget who was he talking to. He was talking to the Pharisees.

Who was listening? The sinners, okay? Do you think for one moment the ninety-nine are righteous, like he says, "ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance"? It's tongue in cheek. There's no such thing as "a just person who need no repentance". The Pharisees need repentance just as much, but he's just telling them, all right, "The sheep knows it's lost," all right? "It consents to be saved. You don't. You don't give up your pretensions to righteousness. There's no joy in heaven over you. There's joy in heaven over this one". Don't forget the context. And then the lost coin, because of time, all right, "what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it"?

What do you find in a coin? Image. We were all made in the image of God. A long time ago, Adam fell, all right, and lost that image. Now Jesus came to restore the image. "When she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I've found the piece which I lost.' Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents". In other words, the coin that was found is a coin that repents. Question: I think you all know what I'm gonna say before I say it already, all right? You're intelligent, my New Creation Church. You all learn very fast. How did the coin repent? Okay, because of time, we're gonna finish with the prodigal son story, and he finished the entire thing.

Drop down. "Then he said, 'A certain man had two sons.'" All right, you know the story. The younger one came to him and said, "Father, give me my share of the inheritance," and the father divided both of them, the inheritance. He went to a far country, spent his money with riotous living and with prostitutes and all that, and all his friends ran out when his money ran out, and he had no money. He was hungry. He went to work, and the only job he found was in feeding the pigs. Now, for a Jew, pigs and Jews are not kosher, all right? He was in the pits, and then he looked at the food of the pig. Let's follow the story, all right? "He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself", some people say, "See, that's repentance, Pastor Prince".

Okay, let's look at his repentance, okay? "How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you...'" sounds like repentance. So far, so good, right? "And I'm no longer worthy to be called your son". So far, so good, right? "Make me one of your hired servants". Now, this is no good. Why does he wanna be one of the hired servants? Because he just said, what? "How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger"? His thoughts were all about himself. It's not because he missed his father. It is not because he saw the error of his ways. It is because he was hungry. So I will call this, all right, yes, I will grant it is a form of repentance, but I will call this "imperfect repentance". Will God still accept it?

Let's go down. Verse 20, "He arose", but, "Make me one of your hired servants", means he want to qualify. He wants to earn. He wants to merit the blessings of the father, all right? "He arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off", look at these five things, number of grace, "his father saw him, had compassion, ran, fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said, 'Father, I have'", he went through his rehearse speech, okay? "Father", notice the father's response, okay? "The father saw him", before he repented, right? "The father had compassion" before he repented, before he uttered his repentance, "and the father ran. The father fell on his neck. The father kissed him" before he confessed his sin, right? Talk to me, people, right? Before he confessed his sin. So he went through his rehearsed speech, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son".

Now go back to verse 19. Go back, all right? "I'm no longer worthy to be called your son". Actually, that statement, "Make me like one of your hired servants," notice, he did not say that. Go back to... drop down again. He only managed to say, "I am no longer worthy to be called your son". Now, you know what happened, why he didn't say, "Make me one of your hired servants"? When you see the father running to you, when you see the father hugging you, kissing you all over when you smell like pigs, the only thing you would say, "Father, I have sinned". This time, it's really repentance. How can you say, "Make me earn," when the father has given? How can you say... it's not in place to say, "Make me one of your hired servants" in the presence of such abundance of grace.

This time, the father's goodness and grace shut his mouth from saying, "Make me one of your hired servants". He never got to that part. That was true repentance, but which one came first? His motive for coming back was imperfect, all right? But, when the father lavished the love, the love came first, the goodness came first, then the confession, "Father, I've sinned". This time, the confession is real. Look at what the father said next. "The father says, 'Bring out the best robe. Put it on him. Put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. Bring the fatted calf here. Kill it. Let us eat and be merry, for my son was dead. He's alive again. He was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry".

Let me just tell you this: It's almost as if the father didn't care what he said. The father kept on doing whatever he wants to do. It is just that God wants to pour out his heart on us, and we think that God is impressed with our works, our performance. You are not the hero. You know, this is not the "prodigal son," actually. It's actually the "generous father". Some people call it "prodigal father". The hero of the story is the father, and, yet our emphasis is on man's repentance. No, it was the father's love that produced genuine repentance in the son, all right? And if I have time, I'll tell you about the older brother. He was not far from home, but he was a hard worker. He wasn't at home, by the way. You know why? He's a hard worker. He was in the field, working, but was not close to the father. He needed repentance as well.

And don't forget, the story is about, what? The Pharisees. They were the older brothers. The sinners were the younger brother, amen? And the older brother say, what? "All these years I slaved for you, and I kept your commandments. I never broke any of your commandments. You never gave me". You see his mentality of the father, his thoughts towards his father? He needed repentance towards the father. He needed to change his mind towards the father. The father is such a generous man, such a loving man, and, yet he never saw it, and he was always in the field. He says, "You never gave me a kid that I might celebrate with my friends, not with you, my father". He had no love for his father.

So the Pharisees boasting in their self-righteousness needed repentance as much. So, church, I hope that you have received the essence of what I'm trying to share here, and let's give Jesus the praise and the glory, amen, amen? Repent, repent from your self-righteousness. It's time to repent right now. Every head bowed, every eye closed. Church, without even, sometimes, without even having to say, "Change your mind about God," many a times, if the preaching is under the anointing, that's already God is giving people changing of minds unto life, amen, from darkness to light, from depression to peace, from sickness to health, from weariness to rest.

God gives you repentance, change of mind, and that's the reason we come to church because constant repentance is going on, and every time we give up an erroneous belief, we give up our pain. Every time we give up an erroneous belief, we give up our little insanity. Every time we give up our erroneous belief, we give up a part of our life that has been hurting us. We give up our torment. Erroneous belief is dangerous, so dangerous that your whole life is governed by what you believe.

It's important, when you come to church, repentance goes on, which means "changing of mind". You start to believe what the Word of God declares. And, church, he loves you. He loves you. He's your Father, and he wants you to know that you don't have to resort to your own means to provide for yourself. He's a Father who watches over you. He cares for the lily of the valley. He cares for every sparrow that falls. How much more will he care for you? And for those of you who are here, you say, "Pastor Prince, I've never received Jesus as my Savior". I invite you today.

Now that you've heard the truth, the wonderful God who seeks out the lost, who runs to the lost, would you be saved? Will you consent to be saved? Would you consent to be loved? Would you consent to rest on his strong, strong shoulders? If that is you, wherever you are, pray this prayer with me right now from your heart. Say:

Heavenly Father, I believe you love me. I believe that Jesus Christ died on that cross for me, and on that cross, he who knew no sin became my sin that I, who know no righteousness, have received the gift of righteousness. You raised Jesus from the dead as a proclamation that all my sins are effectually put away. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. Thank you, Father. All my sins, totally forgiven. My life has become abundant; my joy, unspeakable. My peace passes human understanding. Thank you, Father, for loving me, in Jesus's name. And all the people said, Amen.

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