Biblical Repentance: Matt.3:1 & Matt.4:17                               May 11, 2000

Intro: There is much error concerning this. Repentance is More Than a Sinners Prayer. David Cloud is right.

This ‘quick prayerism’ program is nothing less than ‘souls betrayed in the name of soulwinning’.

There is a Bay Street mentality out there that says ‘let nothing stand in the way of success’

Because methods have changed so has the MESSAGE


Not only was repentance preached by Jesus and John the Baptist but the Apostles stressed the need for repentance.

Mark 6:12 “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”

Peter in Acts 6:19 “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;”

Paul in Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”

In fact not only was repentance preached but it was the central theme of their message.

REPENTANCE: “A change of mind about God and sin that produces a change of action.”

In Exodus 13:17 we find the first mention of the word ‘repent’.

“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:”

From the passage it is obvious that God expected repentance to result in a change of behaviour.

Another excellent passage is I Kings 8:47-50

“Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:”

The Israelites in their captivity had to get right. They got right by repenting.

This is more than acknowledging you are a sinner in GENERAL terms.

In Luke 3:8-14, John the Baptist got real specific:

“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

There were some specific sins that had to be repented of.

Repentance is more than turning from unbelief to belief.

It is more than feeling sad for your sin.

II Cor. 7:9-11 “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

Most folks don’t even have worldly sorrow anymore!!!!



  1. Easy prayerism
  2. INSUFFICIENT PRESENTATIONS: lack vital details. Another gospel.
  3. Positive Presentations: sin, judgement and the holiness of God ignored.
  4. Need oriented presentation. ‘Give Jesus a chance’.

Are these folks saved?



Pentecost vs. Hylescost:


A. Message not the same. P= REPENT!   H= ‘…if there’s just a little bit of a desire to go to Heaven, then this morning, you trust Jesus as your Saviour.’ No gospel message was preached to the 3000 that ‘got saved’.

B. Requirement not the same. No need to repent.

C. Church doctrine was different at Hylescost than at Pentecost.

Acts 2:41&47 says: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Remember 3000 were also baptized that day. Hyles said: “Don’t join this churchif you don’t want to…I’m closing the doors of our membership today. You cannot join 1st B.C. of Hammond today.”

  1. The methods are a little different too.

A Baptist pastor who was a student there at the time said the buses were filled with promises of a carnival and the chance to win a Camero. All who pray a prayer are counted- even the ones who mocked and cursed as the bus captain led the whole bus in the sinners prayer!

  1. A different result. At Pentecost “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42

The only prayer many at Hylescost prayed was a sinners prayer.

99% never got into church or the Bible.

*ILL I’m not opposed to leading a sinner in prayer but not like that. Even the one or two who seem open don’t work out after we pray with them.

There will always be false converts. Paul had them and so did the Lord Jesus-those who made a profession but were lost.

There are ways to avoid false professions:


-preach clear and Biblically.

-preach jugdement ,Hell and repentance

-be patient , don’t look for notches on your spiritual belt. It’s God that does the saving. You can’t talk someone into the Kingdom.