The Gospel Pt.5 - How do we Preach Repentance Today?

The command to repent is right at the core of the Gospel message preached in the New Testament, but repentance sits very ill with today’s self-righteous society. Three possible approaches are:

  1. Concentrate on preaching to those with obvious moral failings
  2. Spend time going into more and more detail about the required perfection in our thought life etc.
  3. Edit repentance out of our Gospel

Unwilling to limit the gospel to the obviously immoral (a), to focus on moralism (b) or to change the Gospel (c), I want to find a way of convicting people of their most important sin—failure to love and acknowledge God as their creator and Lord.

The second target I want to hit is the politically correct pluralism that says: “I am not against your god—he is fine for you. I am not his enemy, I am just neutral in this whole god debate.”

The reality is that we are either for God or against him. But how do you convince people of that?

My suggestion is an approach in which we start with what God is doing—He is involved in a cosmic struggle to root out every form of evil and injustice in the universe. Given this situation, not to be on God’s side is actually to help his enemies.

This is especially true when you consider that the forces of evil are united by one thing: Denial of God’s rights as their Lord.

So if you do not acknowledge God, then you are siding with his enemies

1. The Big Picture

  1. There is a cosmic struggle between God and the forces of evil
    • It is not a balanced struggle, God is far stronger
    • By evil we mean:
      • cruelty, injustice & oppression
      • cheating, stealing, deceit and corruption
      • sickness, suffering, pain & death
    • But God is determined to root out every hint of evil in the universe
      • So there can be no more suffering or injustice or sorrow or pain —totally banished

Outline of the argument continues here plus a link to the audio: The Gospel 5: Gods Right to Our Allegiance (Repentance)

Updated on 2009-10-05 (r.82) by Andrew Fountain


Studying this last week I found something interesting. The 1st use of the Hebrew "repent" is in Genesis 5:28-29, Lamech was 182 years old when he fathered a son. And he named him Noah, saying, "This one will bring us relief from the agonizing labor of our hands, caused by the ground the Lord has cursed."

It is the name "Noah, and the word "relief" (HCSB)

The application was that Noah would bring an end to the curse of excessive labor from the curse. Therefore "repent" means "stop your labor."

Jesus to the Jews et. all ... "Repent (stop your religious labor) for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

Just an interesting approach to "repent" that I had never heard before. So, for those that say "repentance" is some sort of false addition of "work" to salvation ... it is actually the opposite.

Just for thought. God Bless.


Preaching Repentance in the

Preaching Repentance in the way as you explained here is ideal. Many times you do not regret your sins and keep on repeating those irrespective of any guilty conscious. That is happening across the people of faith now and it is not good.