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Joined: 2005/8/3
Posts: 114
Berkshire, England

 Re: Repentance preaching

I don't believe that there is a certain method that will work to save people. What works is when the Sprit of God is dealing with the one that you are speaking to, and you are not just speaking the right words, but there is an anointing on the word that is being delivered.

I think this is well said Mike. The crucial element in winning souls to Christ is the working of the Holy Spirit. One thing that does strike me though is that in the presence of a Holy God our own un-holiness becomes very apparent and this is why I think that repentance is extremely important.
In regards to preaching a 'good news' message then I would kinda put that in the same league as 'Repentance' preaching since surely the good news is freedom from sin and hell through the sacrifice of Jesus and unless it is revealed to a person that they are filthy sinners they will fail to see what the good news is. Most people are unaware that they need saving.
If we look at the old revivals, particularly Lewis then we see that as the Spirit of God moved amongst the people a great awareness of ones own sin and wretchedness came.

I can certainly appreciate your question though brother. Personnally my opinion is that Repentance preaching is extremely effective but that sadly many many people who preach this to people fail to lay hold of two things which are very much interwoven. These two are firstly the Holy Spirit and secondly compassion for the lost. We need to see more repentance preaching but only from those preachers who have been praying without ceasing being guided by the Holy Spirit and who are preaching with tears in their eyes.

Darren Broadhurst

 2009/1/30 4:55Profile

Joined: 2008/11/18
Posts: 18
Wellington, New Zealand


Hey Robert,

Seems like you're picking up some golden lessons. Peter's epistles talk of never forgetting what we have been saved from so that we treat others with respect.

I have been relating to a guy for about 6 months now who is an ex morphine addict and me and my pastor have been sharing similar stuff about repentance but he always seems to be evasive.

This weekend just passed he came to the ministry of a guy who was visiting from China and i heard him hmm and nod in agreement through the message which empasised repentance. He has since complemented me on my persistance and "purity of vision" I am praying he will come to know the fullness of Christ.

I remember one thing that my pastor commented on as worthy was "giving people room to change". Paul's letters to Timothy emphasise this 2 Timothy 2:24-26 "and a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will gran them repentance, so they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will."

In practical terms as well. Other good topics to raise with people are:
- assurance of salvation,
- what to you have faith in God to do?

These can be open doors to see where people are at and lead you share repentance AND faith in Christ to them.

Hope some of this is helpful.

God bless,



 2009/1/30 5:11Profile

Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320


I hate it when that happens. I had just about finished my post when I hit a wrong button and lost it.

Now briefly, as I do not have the time nor energy to recreate everything I had written, I first will say how refreshing to see so many good consecutive posts.

When I think of the term repentance preaching, the first thought that usually comes to mind is the 'turn or burn' type. But after reading all these posts, I see that it can actually also be about the love of God. Both messages can cause the effect of repentance.

One said they had heard of the love of God all their life, another said they had responded to repentance messages all the time and both with little effect. Each needed a different message and God in His wisdom and being given to variety, obliges us with both messages.

So I now, as a result of our conversation here, I see repentance preaching differently. Still I see it, regardless of the means, as step 1 that should lead to steps 2,3 and 4. Step 1 gets us facing toward God; 2,3 and 4 are the steps that keep us, not only facing Him, but draw us closer to Him.

Mike Jones

 2009/1/30 6:51Profile

 Re: Repentance preaching

I agree that repentance is necessary for salvation but repentance is only a SYMPTOM of an enlightened heart to sin. As we all understand, only the Holy Spirit can do this. And salvation can only come when we know what we are being forgiven for and saved from. Many times there is a certain brokenness in true repentance that convicts the person that they have offended God. And the revelation of the Son comes that can turn that brokenness to pure joy. Preachers do the preaching, the Holy Spirit does the enlightenment and conviction of sin.

I know this doesn't pertain to the preachers and doctrine(s)here but Paul Washer used to say this about 'mainstream revivals' and gatherings especially when there are so-called 'manifestations' of the Spirit... I'll paraphrase here: "They would say.... well, Brother Paul, are you saying nobody can be saved by any of these gatherings or preaching's". "I would tell them... No! I'm saying that God can save someone DESPITE the gathering and the preaching". This isn't to say that there is no good or bad preaching or doctrine doesn't matter, we all know that truth in love is essential. But it is to say that perhaps we should not get too hung up on doctrine, methods, or manner of preaching. The heart of the preacher preaching, the heart of the sinner listening, and the sovereign work of God via the Holy Spirit must all be considered.

I believe this battle is fought and won in the prayer closet. The Welsh Revival started with a preacher praying relentlessly to God for years before the event. He prayed for someone OUTSIDE of the mainstream bible schools and church to come and spearhead revival. It also took Evan Roberts many years of prayer for the Spirit to come and do His work. I'm not a pastor or a preacher, but I do want to be a soul winner for God and His glory. So I pray for anointed preaching in the Spirit by those who do this work like many of you. And I pray for the Spirit to open the ears and hearts of those unbelievers who listen.

Obviously preaching is biblical, mandated, and absolutely invaluable to the work of God. But it can't be, in my opinion, a contrived methodology of doctrine. I'm not sure the debate should be repentance vs. salvation, both have their place. I wasn't necessarily saved from repentance preaching or salvation preaching, I just felt this enormous wooing to give up running my own life and give it to God. It helped that I was in utter physical agony at the time and burdened by a sinful past that included bitterness towards those who ever hurt me. But being in the Catholic Church years ago I did know what sin was and that I was a sinner... so the information was there.

 2009/1/30 8:25

Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA


To clarify as we peel back the layers here, I believe there needs to be more than a simple understanding of our guilt before God and that we deserved hell, etc.. We need to see the reality of it by revelation. We need to see by revelation our awesomely dreadful condition and God's unspeakable love in His answer to our condition. We need to know by revelation that He desires to put away our Sin and sins and reconcile with us.

Amen. It should be our goal to live in a way that creates a desire in others. To manifest Christ's love in a way that is 'real'.

Many people know to some degree or another that they are sinners and deserve hell. Here in the so-called Bible Belt, you will find that people age 35 and up typically understand they are sinners.

I believe that they have heard it for so long and from so many sources that they say it...concede in speech. But I am not convinced they 'know' it at all. You are right, it must become reality.

I feel that God is showing me that their must be a deep heart of compassion for people and that includes sinners in my life. Not a lip-service. Not a 'they all deserve hell' attitude.

Amen. For me it's not a 'they all', it's a 'we all' that motivates. This only happened in the last year or so. It's by His grace I am saved. I am no better than the most vile sinner on earth. I am simply forgiven. Very humbling. This is the reality I want to show/teach others.

I grew up attending a Nazarene ‘holiness’ church. ‘Turn or burn” was all I heard coming from a bunch of ‘sinless’ people. What a mess. God is still working to release me from many harmful and destructive theological errors.

God bless you Robert. I hear your heart. I understand what you are saying.
I am simply being my ‘clear as mud” self.


 2009/1/30 8:36Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3798


Thank you brothers for the excellent contributions that you have made to this thread.

What do the following scriptures say to us in regards to salvation?

The gospel is the same message to sinners, but people are different. This is why when we attempt to use any one method, many will slip through the net.

When I minister in the prisons, I know that it is impossible to prepare a message to reach every man. That is why I ask the Holy Spirit to bring to my remembrance the scriptures, and Words that will reach every man's heart. He knows what needs to be said, we don't.

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Corinthians 9: 19-22).



 2009/1/30 8:48Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Thank you brothers for the excellent contributions that you have made to this thread.

Amen. Lots of good stuff here.

It seems to me that many of us are constantly examining the content of our preaching to understand why we are seeing so few people truly come into a [i]viable[/i] relationship with Christ. It seems to me that we are not seeing folk regenerated like we should.

I also have seen people repent 50X or more and still they don't seem to 'connect' (as it were) with God. I typically believed that this is because the person is resisting the Holy Ghost in what He is putting His finger on. Sometimes it seems that I have ministered and folk 'turn' but then turn back. I then assume it is because they did not come into 'godly sorrow'.

For me, I turned to Christ as God had already been dealing with me for some time. I came to service on an easter Sunday. My life was an absolute train wreck. It was very complicated. There were no cut and dry solutions. There were some catch 22 scenerios. I knew this when I came to God. I knew that I would not be able to unscramble the scrambled eggs (so to speak). Repentance for me was simply turning and surrendering to God and His will for me. The problem was, I did not know what direction to go. It took about 10 months of madness and searching to finally reckon with where I was and what I was going to do [i]going forward[/i]. I wanted to do what was right and to please God.

So in a sense I am also saying that we need a Gospel that allows God to be God in the life of the person. It is so easy to back seat drive on the Holy Ghost. It is also easy to be a stumbling block in some people coming to Christ because they already feel they are in an impossible situation. A 'heck if you do' and a 'heck if you don't' type thing (if you will pardon the expression). I knew I could not repent enough to suit certain of the holiness folk in my family. As far as many are concerned, I still have not repented 'enough'. But it is as far as I can go. I have balanced the scriptures out in my life as best as I can. So here I am. Take me or leave me (type thing) because I can do no other.

There are people in prison with these types of situations. Their lives are complicated. Sin in our times has ravaged peoples lives until it seems like they can never be in a situation where they have dotted all of the 'i's' and crossed all the 't's'. That is where my life was and that is where God has brought me from. I turned to Him when I had a revelation of the [i]cross[/i] and how He died for [u]my[/u] sins. I knew I could not fix everything- but I also knew, that because of Calvary I didn't have to.

Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/30 9:17Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3798


Another important factor in the salvation of sinners is prayer. When we pray for people to be saved the Holy Spirit will prepare the ground in their lives to receive the incorruptable seed. The Lord will arrange the circumstances in their lives to get them to the place where the gospel will indeed be good news to them. I have seen this so often in the prisons. I have ministered to men in the prisons that were in solitary confinement that were so broken. Even before I arrived the Lord had been dealing with them.



 2009/1/30 9:50Profile



I was just thinking about this incredible four part radio series from the late saint Rolfe Barnard. If you have never heard this brother preach you are missing out on a hidden gem of the Lord from the generation past. Here is the series, each audio is only about 15 - 30 minutes long. The first one is only about 15 minutes. I would encourage everyone to listen to it (though you will surely be compelled to listen to the other ones after it).

The series is titled John the Baptist Comes to Town and speaks much of the topic of repentance preaching. You will scarcely hear preaching like this even among some of the other Godly teachers on SI.

Part #1 (Preparatory Work)
Part #2 (Calling Men to Come Clean)
Part #3 (A Sermon that Cost a Preacher His Head)
Part #4 (Turn or Burn)

[url=]Look at the bottom of the page[/url]

(The actual audio files are linked back to SI, I just organized them together on my site).

In Christ - Jim

 2009/1/30 9:58


"I knew I could not repent enough to suit certain of the holiness folk in my family. As far as many are concerned, I still have not repented 'enough'." Robert W

The one thing I've noticed in my walk with God in Christ is that the ONE THING people can not lord over brethren is God's mercy. This belongs unequivocally and exclusively to Him. Some may hear us talk about the mercy of God and consider it to be a cop-out, a weakness, a rationalization. But if one truly experiences the faithfulness and mercy of God (I speak of my own experience but am hoping it pertains beyond just my subjective case), they are so humbled by it that they cannot stop giving thanks and praising Him in their inner spirit. It is undeniably a soulful rest that one could never rationalize, contrive, or manipulate. It is truly gracious, sovereign, and faithful. For me, it puts obedience in perspective for my inner spirit wants to please Him as a demonstration of my love for Him and not out of legalistic obligation or self willed determination. His mercy actually gives me strength to overcome and reminds me that I cannot without Him. It also reminds me that only in coming to Him in weakness, lowliness, and humility will I ever be able to receive His victory already demonstrated throught the cross and resurrection.

I've tried to 'claim victory' with my lips in 'confident confession' as some errant doctrines have taught, but claiming isn't receiving and confident lips give little honor. Am I confident in Him or my words... there is a difference and God's rod and mercy has taught me this.

 2009/1/30 10:03

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