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A Message to Preachers on the Need to Preach Repentance from Sin

Why So Many Unfaithful Professing Christians in Our Churches?
Romans 6:1-18

by Cooper Abrams

Introduction: The title of the message identifies the problem. To some degree in all our churches there are a number of people who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior who are clearly not faithful to Him. Their lives pretty much remain the same after their profession of faith, with the exception that now they are identified as Christians because they now have their names on a church roll.

They are frustrating to the God fearing pastor who loves his flock, and longs with heart felt love to see those to whom God has entrusted him with, living victorious lives in Christ, being a ready and willing tool of God to bring Glory to our Lord and Savior, and reaping the benefit of the full blessing of God.

These "Christians" in name only, are frustrating and a source of discouragement to any child of God who longs to see Christ lifted up and magnified and to receive the honor and worship our God and Savior should receive.

They are frustrating because they are a liability to any local congregation of believers. These folks contribute little if anything unto the local church. Their unfaithfulness is actually a stumbling block to others in the church and the lost the church is trying to reach. They do not present a example of what God desires His children to be. The present a distorted picture of what a Christian is suppose to be.

We all have heard someone say, "Well if so-in-so is a member of that church I do not want to have anything to do with it." What they are really saying is that if that person is a Christian, a child of God the whole thing is a sham.

I am not only talking about those who do not come to church or tithe or take a part in the ministry of the church. I am also talking about the outwardly piteous hypocrite, who sits on the front pew and has a part in everything....a negative part!

I agonize over the matter, trying to come to grips with it, and explain as God's preacher, his pastor, His messenger I can help the poor souls whose lives are marked by being unfaithful to God.


A. In order to offer help to a person with a problem there must be a correct diagnosis of the ailment.

1. Here I believe is the problem. Many pro- fessing Christians, and church members....have never come to grips with sin, what sin is or how God looks at it.

2. I preached a message some years ago about the fact God hates sin, and the roof fell in the church I was pastoring. I was accused of being unkind, unloving, uncaring.

3. Why, I ask myself are they so unset over preaching a basic fundamental true, that God hates sin?

4. The conclusion I came to is that they do not understand what sin is. Further I wonder how can someone claim to be a Christian, a SAVED child of God and not know that God hates sin.

5. How can one know of true salvation without understanding what sin is and how God views sin?

B. In reading Rom. 6:2, Paul I believe is addressing this very issue.

1. Note V1. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

2. There were people in Rome whom Paul had heard of who were practicing sin openly with no conviction and justifying it by saying....its OK is under Grace.

3. In the strongest terms possible Paul says, "God Forbid!". Kenneth Weust, "May such a thing never occur!" Literally Paul says, "Let it not be!"

C. Paul is saying in the next verses, "We were saved FROM sin!"

1. Salvation is salvation from sin. Sin is the reason we need saving. We need saving from sin!

2. The true believer is DEAD to sin. That is the redemptive act of God. That's what salvation is all about....being saved from sin! God forgives us when we repent of sin and then gives us a new nature that enables us not to sin anymore. If men are not sinners there was no need of Christ to die for...what? SIN.

3. We now live unto God, V10 We are not alive unto Christ our Lord.

Yes, Paul says CHRIST is our LORD! That means our master our God.

D. It seems apparent to me that if a professing Christian, who claims to be saved has no real understanding of sin....then there is a grave problem.

1. If he has no regard for sin, thinks lightly of it, has no real conviction about sin then this person has a serious spiritual problem. I ask the question what was on there mind when they made a profession of faith and supposedly became Christians? What did they think was happening to them. What in fact were they doing.

a. Joining a church?
b. Getting a ticket to heaven?
c. Identifying with a church for the social good they might reap?

2. Yes, Christians can sin. But there are qualifying doctrines and truth about God dealing with His children who sin.

a. 1 Cor. 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

a. That truth is this; "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb. 12:6

3. This presents another question: How can a professing Christian live habitually in sin, with no apparent chastening of God?

The answer is he can't!

4. Paul in 1 Cor. 11:28-29, (READ) is saying these folks who were saved and who did not discerning the Lord's body by blatantly sinning without repentance. These people were saved and because they were God's children they were chastened of God and even God killed some of them because they would not repent and turn from their sin.

a. What does it mean, "not discerning the Lord's body?"

b. Simply, they knowingly, willingly sinned with no regard that every sin brought suffering to the Lord Jesus!! They knew better, but could care less! God dealt swiftly and pointedly with such gross ungratefulness.

5. Many professing Christians sin openly with no remorse or shame and there is not chastening in their lives.

ILLUS: It was learned that the Sunday School Superin- tendent in my father's church was having an affair with woman in the church. The pastor and deacons went to him privately and told them of their concern and to learn the truth of the matter that was becoming a scandal in the small town. They were angrily told that it was none of their business and what he did in his life was his own business. At this point could you say this man was really saved or not? Answer is not really. Christians are capable of gross sin. The church dismissed him from his position in the Sunday School and he quit coming to church. He continued the affair, left his wife and family and bitterly denounced the church. Other than the normal destructive effects of a divorce, he lived a ordinary life. In time the scandal blew over. He never returned to church and lived a normal live. Was he saved? If is very doubtful. Why? No chastening of God. What does God say he does to his child? Yes, he chastens them and does not chasten the Devil's brood.


A. First we must present the True Gospel as God would have us too.

1. This is the day of "easy believism." Most people believe it totally correct to simply go through a Roman's road 123 plan of salvation and pronounce the person saved and a child of God.

2. I sure you know what I am mean.

B. One thing is missing in many presentations of the Gospel and from the "Roman's road" as many use it.....that is repentance!

1. When John the Baptist came announcing the coming of Christ he preached repentance and demanded of his hearing....proof they had repented by some action within their lives.

2. Jesus also preached, "repent for the kingdom of God is at hand". We do not preach the kingdom...per-say. The kingdom of God, is at least seven years away from this moment, BUT the kingdom of God is a kingdom of the saved based on salvation.

3. ONE thing is clear, repentance is a part of the coming kingdom of God. Repentance is a vital and necessary part of salvation!

C. Eph. 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

1. Grace is not cheap!!! Grace cost the Son of God, all the agony and terribleness of the penalty of sin. It Cost God much!!

2. Here-in is a problem, in understanding it is free to us, it has caused some to not appreciate it great Cost to God.

3. They conclude that repentance is not a part of salvation. They are dead wrong! The whole point of being saved is to be saved from sin! A salvation that does not address sin is not biblical salvation!

It is a man pleasing deception of the Devil.

D. The teaching repentance is a vital and necessary part of salvation. Do I fully understand it? Simply I answer no. I'll let the theologians try to explain it.

But I will teach it, and I will preach it because that is part of the Gospel...a vital part.

This is why I believe so many have no regard for the fact God says we are not to sin, we are to live holy and righteous lives before God and the World. We are not to love sin or NEVER EVER live comfortable with sin in our lives.

1. Jesus in Mark 1:15, said, "...the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the Gospel."

2. The 70 disciples Jesus sent out preached that men should repent. Mark. 6:12

3. Jesus speaking to the speaking to the lost religious Jews said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:5

3. Peter in Acts 2:38, at Pentecost "preached repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and receive the Holy Ghost."

4. Again in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."

5. Paul addressing the lost Greeks on Mars Hill, said to them, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30 Some say that repentance was only at part of the preaching of the Kingdom. However, these were not Jews, but lost Greek philosophers.

6. Others would say repentance is from Christians it comes after salvation and is a part of maturing in Christ.

Jesus in Luke 5:32 said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32

7. The early church after Peter went and preached the Gospel to Cornelius the ROMAN centurion.

Peter told him of Christ Jesus and part of what Peter told him was that, Acts 10:10, "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."

When Peter returned to church in Acts 11:18, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."

8. Paul in 2 Cor. 7:10 said, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (2 Corinthians 7:10)

9. 2 Peter 3:9, "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)

E. In Simple terms God says repentance is a part of salvation. They go together.

1. Why do so many live such sinful and unfaithful lives as professing Christians?

2. They seem to have no conception or understanding of sin.

3. Why? One reason is maybe we have not taught is our responsibility.


A. Therefore if any man {be} in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

1. Why is it we preach over and over again with little or no response that God children should be faithful and committed.

I believe a man is really saved by grace does not needed to be told over and over that he is under solemn obligation to serve Christ: the new life within him tell him that as he hears the Word of God on the matter.

I believe the Bible is telling us that the saved man HAS repented of sin and will hate sin.

Sure we know we will sin, 1 John 1:8 tells us that and we know it from personal experience....but the Child of God will fight sin and never be comfortable in it.

Why, he has been converted from sin! He is no longer the slave of sin.

2. To claim to believe that He can save your soul, forgive your sins, give you eternal life, and yet be less than your Lord and God is simply strange to me and totally foreign to the Bible.

To imply that one can could accept salvation from sin as a free gift of God and then fail to acknowledge His authority over one's life is a travesty to the reality and the power of the Gospel.

ILLUS: In some circles there is a controversy over where a person came be saved and Christ not be their Lord. They call the matter "Lordship Salvation." I have not read those that have written about the matter. I do not have time and more than that I believe that were a man is saved Christ becomes his Lord. I also believe that if Christ does not become the a person's Lord that person is not saved. Christ is Lord and you cannot separate Jesus from His Lordship. Where that puts me in the controversy I do not know, but where it puts me in line with the Bible I do know. It put me squarely in the center of God's truth! That the only place I feel comfortable.

3. Many are preaching a weak and unscriptural Gospel that leaves out the hideousness and evil thing that sin is. Many appear to be ashamed even to talk of sin. Many are preaching a compromised Gospel tailored to appeasing man's lust, offering Him, a pure and holy and righteous God....without demanding any holiness or little devotion to purity of the individual receiving salvation. This "philosophy" of the modern gospel is of the Devil.

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:13-16

This false gospel that Paul commended in Galatians 1. It is a "another gospel that is not the gospel." Paul said in Gal. 1:10, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

That verse puts all preachers to the test. They are man pleasers or servants of God. A true preacher of God has but one duty to be faithful too. To preach the "unsearchable riches of Christ." (Eph. 3:8)

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus's sake." (2 Cor. 4:5)

Conclusion: We have an awesome responsibility as God's called messengers. We must be careful we do not lessen or take away from God's truth. We must preach ALL God's truth correctly, absolutely and in the authority of God's Word.

We do a get disservice, yes we commit sin, gross sin if we preach not the whole counsel of God's Word.

We must understand it is an impossible task, if God does not do it through us.

The blind can not lead the blind. We must know God's word and we must preach it. You may lose your popularity....some may think you strange. You may lose church members. You may lose friends. You may be accused of being unloving and uncaring....of being too demanding.

But in truth how can you share Christ's love for you in any greater way that to loving, and caringly warn people of the wages of sin and the need of repentance. That's their only hope to receive eternal life and live a victorious life in Christ....bringing honor, glory to Him who is Worthy...producing fruit to His honor.


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