Repentance… cannot be missing

Repentance… cannot be missing

Passage: Luke 13:1-9
Service Type:

State of the Union Address

Angelo and I had never had a political discussion in all of the 20 years I have known him until the other night. 

I wish we hadn’t.

We both tried to justify our side. 

The main truths ringing in my mind after we finished were things like:

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking,

but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Proverbs 10:19

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;

when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28

We talked over each other and mostly about the wrong thing.

What is more important than being justified?

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 

5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

They assumed bad things happen to bad people.

Why would they ask these things? 

They wanted to justify themselves. 

Just lie Angelo and I.  

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:2-3

There is something in all of us that knows PAYBACK for sin is necessary.

They wanted to justify themselves. 

(We’re ok, right?)

Jesus’ answer?

“…unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (x2)

What is NOT repentance?

1. Penance - paying for sin (doing time in prison)

(Those people knew that intuitively)

What IS Repentance?

Conviction - awareness of sin (even when not caught)

Brokenness (a contrite heart)

Change of direction

Another incident…

A man who was an invalid for 38 years before being healed by Jesus…

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, 

“See, you are well again. 

Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

John 5:14

What could be worse than being an invalid for 38 years?

Continuing in sin and going to hell. 

Or the ones who died when the tower fell on them? 

Were they more guilty?

5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

How different was the answer from the question?

Earthly death or spiritual death?

Everyone has a debt that cannot be paid. 

Jesus was asked who is more guilty.

Answer: Everyone must repent or everyone will die.


1. cannot be missing

“Any appeal to the public in the name of Christ that rises no higher than an invitation to tranquillity must be recognized as mere humanism with a few words of Jesus thrown in to make it appear Christian. But only that is truly Christian that accords with the Spirit and teaching of Christ.” 

  • A.W. Tozer

“But this theme proclaimed so emphatically in the Bible by prophets and apostles is scarcely mentioned by contemporary preachers. The clear trumpet blast calling men and women to repentance is conspicuous for its absence from the modern pulpit.”

Billy Graham: December 1, 2006 ~ True Repentance, Real Change

2. only begins with conviction. 

Jesus tries to point out the obvious and most important. 

WAKE UP! You are sinners. You need this!

Without repentance, it doesn’t matter if a tower falls on you or not.

The enemy would distract us… tell us since everybody is lukewarm, we are ok. 

“I cannot tell you the numbers of people who, in our meetings, have grasped my hand and said, “Oh! What would I give to feel as I once felt! There was a time 15, or 17, or 20 years ago when I was so deeply convinced of sin that I could scarcely sleep or eat; but, instead of going on till I found peace, I got diverted, cooled down, and now I feel as hard as a stone.” 

I am afraid there are tens of thousands in this condition—once convinced of sin… 

~ Catherine Booth

But that’s not enough…

6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 

8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

Luke 13:1-9

3. always bears fruit

Moves from conviction to action.

This is a description of God waiting for people to repent. 

When Hebrews calls Jesus our intercessor and mediator, might he be the man who calls God the Father, “sir” in this question?

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11

Peter vs. Judas

4. is ongoing

not “1 and done” 

Are mature Christians done repenting?

Would the people who are closest to me say my life is marked by ongoing repentance?

Is the kingdom of God coming in my life in a progressive way?

the wages of sin is death… and the wages of repentance is forgiveness and life. 

5. brings times of refreshing

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

Acts 3:19

Let’s “turn to God” and ask the Holy Spirit if we are holding onto idols.

…if we need to repent of ingratitude about what has given or not given. 

…holding a wrong over someone else when we have been forgiven.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.