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Open Heavens - Sunday, May 28, 2017
by Pastor E.A Adeboye

Matthew 3:1-10

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.
Matthew 3:8

Bible in one year:
Acts 14-15
Jeremiah 37

Sing hymn 6 (in hard copy)

“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:”
Joel 2:12

Fasting can be used to demonstrate genuine repentance before God. Exemplifying the above scripture, Prophet Daniel embarked on a fast to show repentance for his sins and the sins of the children of Israel in Daniel 9:3-20. All through the Old Testament, when individuals or a group of people fell into sin and judgment was imminent, they returned to God in fasting and mourning, expressing sorrow for sins committed. How truly sorrowful are you when you sin against God? Is there any deep sorrow for sin anymore? Today, when you see a believer asking God for pardon over a wrong he or she has committed, you will be amazed. A few seconds after he or she has apologized, he or she is seen carrying on as if nothing ever went wrong. There is no manifestation of godly sorrow. People do not see offending God as anything anymore. They hide behind grace to cover up their evil lifestyle. However, can God be fooled?

The “repentance” of some people today is highly questionable. True repentance must be backed up by godly sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

Genuine repentance must exhibit the fruits of humility, confession, brokenness, a desire for restitution where necessary and a commitment to never return to the evil act. Take King Ahab as a case in point. He was a wicked king with a satanic wife, Jezebel. The wickedness perpetrated during his reign far exceeded that of other regimes (1 Kings 21:25). Yet, when God spoke to him about an impending judgment, he immediately readjusted, tore his royal robe, wore sackcloth, humbled himself and fasted (1 King 21:27). When God saw the fruit of repentance in him, He deferred his judgment till the next generation. When you say to God “Father, I’m sorry, please forgive me”, is there any fruit of repentance to back it up? Some leaders get involved in terrible sins, and after whispering, “Father, I am sorry”, they continue as if nothing ever happened. Is that genuine repentance? People hardly weep or mourn over their shortcomings anymore. They hardly set themselves apart in fasting and prayer to reach out to God for mercy. No wonder they continue in their sins. If you are sorry, you will bring forth fruit consistent with repentance through your actions. Do you have such fruits?

Key Point:
Repentance goes beyond just saying, “I am sorry”. Your comportment and inner resolve go a long way to validate or discredit your claim.


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