Repentance Part 3


Repentance Part 3

Jonah 3:1, 2, 4, 5, 10
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,
2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”

4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Jonah gives us two great examples of repentance; first in Jonah the prophet himself, and then in the Ninevites that he is prophesying to. Jonah was called by God to go and preach to the people of Nineveh that God was going to destroy the city because of its wickedness. Jonah runs from God’s call, gets on a ship and heads for Tarshish. God runs after him with a huge storm that threatens to break up the ship.

One day into his preaching the people repent. The people of Nineveh were a powerful, arrogant, violent, wicked people yet they hear his message and believe it. They recognize they have been doing great evil, and they express it. The king himself recognizes the evil of the city when he says in verse 8, “let them give up their evil ways and their violence.” 

What Does Repentance Look Like?

1. Confession

Jonah 3:8

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

Nineveh is one of the greatest examples of corporate repentance in the Bible.

Repentance begins with an awareness that what we have done is wrong; an offense toward God followed by confession. Remember the prodigal son who left his father and wasted his life on wild living.

Luke 15:17-18
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,


In our repentance we can often be concerned more with wanting to stop feeling bad, rather than true conviction of our wrong, so we must quickly confess. David had an affair with Bathsheba and then tried to cover it up. God sent Nathan to David to confront him about his sin. When confronted, he repented! David felt sorrow and guilt for what he had done, so he confessed his sin.

Psalm 51:1-3
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
 according to Your lovingkindness;
 According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
 blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
 and my sin is always before me.

1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2. A Change in Behavior

Paul addressed unchanged behavior in 2 Corinthians 12:20-21.

2 Corinthians 12:20-21
20 For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; 21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

Some say there's as much stealing and dishonesty among those who go to church as those who don't. 

3. Restitution

Restitution means we return, replace, or pay back things we have stolen or cheated others of. Where possible we must put right the wrongs we have done.

Proverbs 6:30-31
30 People do not despise a thief
If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.
31 Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.

Luke 19:8
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Repentance is a move of the Spirit

The repentance that we see in Nineveh is nothing short of a miracle. This is what Jesus says about the work of the Holy Spirit in repentance.

John 16:8
8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NIV)
5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Without the work of Spirit in our lives, we would never repent.

Repentance Leads to God’s Mercy

When we repent of our wrong ways, God’s mercy gives us a second chance, and a third, and a fourth! God’s mercy extended to the Ninevites.

Jonah 3:10
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

The Laodicean church was neither hot or cold, and God called them to repent.

Revelation 3:20
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Jesus kept knocking on the door of their hearts calling them to repentance. He wanted a closer walk with them. No matter how far we run from God, He continues to knock at the door of our heart to be let in. He doesn’t stop knocking, but we can stop hearing the knock. 

Matthew 5:4
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.

Tags: Pastor Tak Bhana Salvation Repentance forgiveness mercy

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