LUKE 19:41-44

Verses 41-44 “41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because so many of His people were lost in sin.  He wept because his people had let their opportunities to be right with God slip through their fingers.  And He wept because the future of Israel was one of judgment, violence, death and destruction.  His weeping was a human response and proved that he was fully human.  Jesus was filled with love and compassion for sinners.  He was not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the Jews were sinfully ignorant of their gospel opportunities.  Jesus predicted long ago that Israel would be surrounded, oppressed, and tormented by terrorists.  We see what is, no doubt, just the beginning of this today.

LUKE 18:9-14

Verses 9-14 “9And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
The Pharisee, in the parable of the publican and the Pharisee, is an example of one who does not pray because he is not saved.  He only thought that he was praying; but in reality, he was praying to himself.  Like so many in our own day, there is with him no humility, no repentance, and no dependence upon God.  The Publican, a hated tax collector, went down to his house justified (declared righteous by God) because he was humble enough to admit that he was a sinner who needed a Savior.

 

LUKE 17:1-4

Verses 1-4 “1Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
2It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

The passage does not say, “If he does not repent you are not obligated to forgive him.”  Nor does it say, “If he does not repent, if he does not say ‘i am sorry.’ or ‘I apologize,’ you MUST NOT forgive him.”  We must not read that into the verses.  If someone offends you, the goal should be to bring him to repentance so that he will be right with the Lord.  It should never be our goal to nurse our offenses, but to forgive. An offense cherished and nursed becomes a grudge, and the Bible says, “Grudge not (James 5:9).”  So the passage can not mean that we should wait for the offender to repent before we forgive.  Rather, it means that forgiveness should be unlimited, and bringing the offender to repentance should be a goal.  If you do not forgive those who offend you it will hinder your peace of mind, your prayer life, and your being forgiven by God.  If you do not forgive, even your physical health can be ruined.  Nine times out of ten your offender could not care any less if you forgive him or not, and most of the time he does not even want your forgiveness. Forgiveness is more for you than it is for your offender.  Your offender may not even agree that he has done anything wrong, and he may think, rightly or wrongly, that he has nothing to repent of or to say that he is sorry for.  Forgive while you still can!  Life is short, and you are running out of time.  Forgiving someone does not mean that the forgiven one is restored to his former position of trust, esteem, or affection.

 

LUKE 13:1-5

Verse 1-5 “1There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Jesus is here preaching a long sermon to a great multitude of people.  Using illustrations from the local news, i.e., well known incidents, Jesus explained that bad things happening to people does not mean that they are more sinful than other people.  He said that everyone is in need of repentance.  He said that His audience was just as sinful as the people who had been killed in the local mishaps and that repentance is required even on the part of those who think that they are righteous.

LUKE 11:29-32

Verses 29-32 “29And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
30For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.
31The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

The “sign of the prophet Jonas” was, of course, the resurrection of Jesus of which the experience of Jonah in the big fish’s belly for three days and three nights was a type.  If a person will not believe the Word of God with out any signs even though Jesus arose from the dead, that person is well nigh hopeless.  The people of Nineveh repented and were saved even though they had far less gospel light than many in our own day who have not been saved.

 

LUKE 10:13-16

Verses 13-16 “13Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
15And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
16He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”

Those who have received the most Christian witness, the most Bible teaching, and yet reject Christ will have the most to answer for in the judgment.   This is the principle that “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:” (Luke 12:48).  Those words have nothing whatever to do with Jesus approving of the well-to-do paying more taxes.  Those words have to do with Christian service and with gospel opportunities.  Hearing the Word of God should lead to repentance and faith in Jesus.  To reject God’s Word is to reject both the Father and the Son.

LUKE 5:27-32

Verses 27-32 “27And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.
28And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
29And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
30But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
31And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
32I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Levi is Matthew, for he had two names. He was a publican, a tax collector.  Apparently, he was a wealthy man, for he had a great feast in honor of Jesus and to celebrate his own conversion to Christ.  One’s salvation is the best of all reasons to celebrate, but this feast was also a soul-winning venture, for Matthew had invited “a great company of publicans and others” who would meet Jesus and be confronted by His claims.

The scribes and Pharisees found reason to find fault.  They always do!!  “You eat and drink with publicans and sinners,” they charged. Yes, Jesus made contact with sinful people.  He ate with them, spent time with them, and tried to help them, showing concern for them. As Christians we must do that too.  We can not hope to win anyone to the Lord unless we have contact with them.  Sick people need a doctor and sinners need a witness to Christ.

Jesus came to call sinners to repentance.  Then why do some modern day influential Christians say that sinners do not have to repent to be saved?  They are wrong! Repentance is a change of mind about Christ, about sin, and about one’s self.  No one can be saved without this change of mind.  It is a change of mind that results in a change of direction. Jesus said, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

LUKE 3:7-14

Verses 7-14 “7Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
10And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
12Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
13And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

John required works fitting of repentance before he would baptize any who sought his baptism. It would be a good practice, even today, to require some evidence of a true change in behavior before we baptize people and count them as members of the local church. As for the works fitting of repentance, John gave answers to three categories of people who asked, “What shall we do then?” First, he said to the people generally that they must give some evidence that they care for the less fortunate. Second, regarding the publicans, He told them to be honest in their tax collecting, not overcharging the people. Third, he said to soldiers that they must not injure people unnecessarily or falsely accuse people, and that they must not be greedy for higher pay. These are all good qualities for a believer to display in his life. More compassion, more honesty, more truthfulness, and more contentment are among the good changes that repentance should help produce. These good qualities can not save a soul, but a soul who has been saved will desire to have these qualities, and we should expect to see them is one who says that he has repented.

 

LUKE 3:1-6

Verses 1-6 “1Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
2Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
6And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Luke, as an excellent historian, gives precise and accurate information about the political and religious personalities (all of them exceedingly wicked) who lived when John began to preach. We know from Luke’s description that the year is AD 25 or AD 26. This would make John about 22 years old when he began his ministry. At that time the Word of God came unto John, which means that he was called of God to preach and was given by revelation that which God wanted him to preach. John’s ministry was prophesied in Isaiah 40, which Luke quotes here. The words of Isaiah are somewhat figurative and mean that nothing will be able to stop the ministry of John. All Israel shall hear that Jesus has come and that every person must repent to be saved.

John preached “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (v3). To be baptized one had to have repented and have given evidence thereof. Unless a person repents, his sins will not be forgiven by God. Repentance is changing one’s mind about sin, about Jesus, and about one’s self. It is turning mentally and decisionally away from sin and to Jesus. True repentance from sin and saving faith in Jesus come simultaneously and are never separated from each other. They are “two sides of the same coin,” as has so often been said. There is nothing meritorious about either repentance or faith. Neither of them is a work of man. And it is very important to keep in mind that repentance was not for the Jews only. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

MARK 6:7-13

Verses 7-13 “7And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
8And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
9But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
10And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
11And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
12And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
13And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”

Jesus provided for all of His disciples needs, physical and spiritual. He gave them both pottage and power. When God sends a servant to serve Him, He does not want that servant to worry about material needs. God will provide for those who are serving in His will.

“They went out, and preached that men should repent.” Today, many are preaching that men do not have to repent to be saved. But Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change in behavior. It does not mean that the one who repents is totally sanctified. It does not mean that the one who repents can never sin again. But, no one can be saved without changing his mind about Jesus, about himself, and about sin. Repentance is required for salvation. It is not a work of man. It is a work of God.