All Preachers Are Commanded to Preach Repentance 
Here's a Simple Sermon to Help You Do Just That
by Pastor John Hamel

I was once standing in the parking lot talking casually with a Pastor after one of his services. I was sharing with him the importance of preaching inspirational messages on Sunday morning and informational messages on Wednesday evening.  Using a fishing analogy I put it like this, “We are to catch them on Sunday and we are to clean them on Wednesday.” 

The Pastor immediately stiffened and became highly defensive as he shot back at me, “Oh, no, I don’t clean them. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job.”  He later said to me, “I am not called to correct anybody at anytime for anything.”

How shocking and distressing that a popular Pastor who had been preaching and teaching the Pentecostal Gospel for well over 35 years would make such an irresponsible statement.  Apparently he had never read (or was simply ignoring) all of Paul’s admonitions to Ministers to be continually on the alert as to where their people needed correction.

“Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as Preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2 Amplified Bible)

The Pastor’s job description is very clear in the Bible. One of the primary things he is called to do is to correct people when they are clearly wrong and to encourage repentance. 

I had opportunity to be around this Pastor and to even preach for him on occasion.  I soon discovered that because of his weak spirit, his people were weak-spirited as well.  His congregation had some of the worst problems with fornication and adultery, and their consequences, as I have ever seen.  He allowed his people to live openly in sin and to serve in Ministry positions such as worship leaders, evangelism, altar workers, ushering and even to serve on his Church board. He and his wife often had lunch with a wealthy Church member and her known adulterous lover. The woman's husband was also a member of this Pastor's Church. 

It is no small wonder that this backslidden Pastor refused to correct people when they were wrong.  He himself refused to repent when he was wrong. 

Listen to something the Apostle Paul said about repentance.

“…I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Acts 20:20-21)

Notice Paul made reference to the fact that he preached repentance first and faith second.  It is just not possible to experience the supernatural when you refuse to repent if you have been living with sin in your life.  Paul knew this which is why he encouraged people to repent to God for their sin before attempting to release faith to have their needs met. 

Repentance is a subject frequently and deliberately overlooked by Christianity today.  Actually, it has become popular in this day to preach that it is not necessary for Believers in Jesus Christ to ever repent of their sins because “sin is automatically forgiven.”  I call this doctrine of demons “Hyper-Grace.”  You can read more about it in our JHM Online Book “The Dangerous Error of Hyper-Grace.” 

Some preachers, such as the backslidden Pastor I mentioned above, are actually more afraid to offend their hearers by talking about repentance than they are of offending God by refusing to talk about it.  

Dr. Billy Graham said, "In this society we are concerned about not offending anyone but God."

Dr. Graham also said, "My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance."

America in her wealth has become unconcerned and self-centered. She needs to hear the message of repentance now more than any other time in her history.

Repentance means “To regret having done wrong” and “To turn around and change directions.”  The word “repentance” is used 101 times in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  

When the Holy Spirit is moving upon us to fix an area of sin in our lives through repentance, it is because He is wanting to protect us, to provide for us and to perform supernaturally for us.

The Earth is full of sick, suffering Christian people who continually ignore the Holy Spirit telling them to repent for their sinful lifestyles.  You know when you are in sin and you know when the Holy Spirit is calling you to repentance.  To harden your heart is to miss your miracle.

Hell is full of people who continually ignored the Gift of Repentance when the Holy Spirit was calling them to salvation in Christ alone.  

Heaven will also be full of people who, once they were saved by Jesus, refused to live a life of obedience to Him, refused to repent when they were wrong and thereby had rewards stripped away as opposed to given at the BEMA Judgment Seat of Christ.

I. All Old Testament Prophets Preached Repentance

“Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”  (2 Kings 17:13)

Notice the Lord said “all” of His Prophets and Seers preached repentance.  New Testament Prophets today still preach the message of repentance because sin is still a major issue.  Human nature has not changed and the power of sin has not changed. Some New Testament Prophets and Preachers, Pastors included, would not dare to preach Christ’s message of repentance because it makes the sinners with the most money the most uncomfortable and angry. 

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

When nations and individuals are in trouble, no longer receiving God's Blessings from Heaven and even being judged, the solution comes through humility, prayer, seeking God's face and turning away from wickedness. That is just another way of describing the power of repentance.

II. John the Baptist Preached Repentance

“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.” (Matthew 3:1-2)

Just like all the Old Testament Prophets, John the Baptist preached repentance.  Just like the Apostle Paul, John preached repentance towards God first and experiencing the Kingdom by faith second.  

Repentance must always come first in order for faith to be made effective.

John the Baptist’s style of preaching was as unpopular in his day as it is today.  Irregardless, it is as necessary to preach repentance today as it was in John's day.  

Do not miss your miracle because you are too prideful to repent where you know you have been wrong. 

III. Jesus Preached Repentance

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

The Bible says Jesus is our Example in all things.  If Jesus preached repentance, all preachers should preach repentance. Ministers who avoid the subject of repentance are denying and defying the Master Jesus.  

Without repentance it is absolutely impossible for people to have faith for the things of God.  Whatever people need, or whatever people need to be rid of, will not be made manifest if weak-spirited, disobedient Ministers refuse to encourage people to repent for their sins.    

For three and one-half years of public Ministry, Jesus never stopped preaching repentance.

“…For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13)

“I tell thee, Nay: But except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)

Ministers who refuse to preach repentance to God's sheep will one day stand before the Great Over-Shepherd, Jesus, to face His charge of “You deliberately handed My sheep over to the wolf in your weakness, fear and disobedience.  All the good you have done will now count for nothing.”

“…and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered.” (Ezekiel 3:20)

IV. All Jesus’ Disciples Preached Repentance

“He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; … And they went out, and preached that men should repent. …And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:7, 13)

Here again, as with all of the Old Testament Prophets, John the Baptist and the Master Jesus, the Disciples of Christ first preached that men should repent and then, and only then, did the supernatural occur.  

Jesus knew what He was doing when He taught His Disciples to preach repentance first and then to release faith for the supernatural second. 

Five times in the first eleven chapters of the Book of Acts, immediately after Christ's ascension, the Apostle Peter preached a bold, strong message of repentance. (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 8:22; 11:1-18)

We saw in our opening text, Acts 20:20-21, that everywhere Paul went he preached repentance first and faith second.  Everywhere.  In case you are not familiar with the Greek language, the original word for “everywhere” actually means “everywhere.”

Listen to what the Apostle Peter also wrote in his second Epistle.  

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Here again we have clear Biblical evidence of the fact that repentance towards God must always come before exercising faith for whatever one needs from God.

V. Repentance Is a Gift in Manifestation

“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” (Hebrews 12:16-17)

If repentance was something that could be worked up in the flesh, Esau would have worked it up.  He tried to work it up with many tears but he just could not bring himself to do so.  Esau, although he desperately tried, could "find no place of repentance.” 

Why could Esau "find no place of repentance"?  The answer is because repentance is not something we work up ourselves.  Repentance is a gift sent to sinful individuals by the Spirit of God.  It is not something a sinful person conjures up apart from the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit.

“Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

Repentance is a God-given gift. He sends it to the wayward out of His goodness. It is imparted to individuals supernaturally when the Gospel is preached.  Isn’t it wonderful that God would do that?  He could take a Jolly Green Giant stance and start throwing lightning bolts from Heaven but instead He grants the wonderful Gift of Repentance. It is a supernatural impartation. Do not miss it when it comes for it  may not come again.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

So, it is clear from the Scripture.  Repentance comes as a result of God, in His goodness, sending it to those who are in sin. This is why it is a gift.  It cannot be conjured up.  It cannot be earned.  It cannot be purchased.  It is given only by the Spirit of God.

The Gift of Repentance is imparted to the sinful, individually and corporately, as the Servant of the Lord humbly encourages those who are in sin to repent.

Forgiveness does not come as a result of listening to the heretical teaching of Hyper-Grace.  Hyper-Grace says, “God does not send repentance. If you think He’s calling you to repent, it’s really the voice of condemnation and you should ignore it. God does not send repentance to anybody.  He doesn’t need to because all sins are automatically forgiven the moment they are committed.”

To listen to the lie of Hyper-Grace is to submit oneself to a death sentence.  When God sends the Gift of Repentance it is not to condemn anyone for any reason.  It is to convict one of their sin in order that they would repent, enabling God to protect them and provide for them once again.  

Believers in Jesus Christ absolutely must come to an understanding of the difference between condemnation and conviction.

The devil’s condemnation is intended to bring the individual down and under.

The Holy Spirit’s conviction is intended to bring the individual up and over through repentance.

Believers must read their Bibles for themselves and learn the difference.

There will be no one in Heaven boasting about “All the good things I did to get here.” 

Everyone in Heaven will be forever talking about, “Thank God that He granted me the Gift of Repentance when that Preacher preached to me and I had enough sense to yield to it!”

Believers in Jesus Christ must understand that repentance for sin always comes before faith for the miraculous for the Holy Spirit will not go where the Blood of Jesus has not cleansed. 

Remember, repentance first.  Supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit second.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Go to "Minister's New Testament Prayers for Holy Spirit Utterance."

Be Blessed ... John and Barbara Hamel


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