Topic: Call to Repentance
Lesson Objective: by the end of the Lesson, the learners should be able to:
1. Describe how David and Zaccheus
responded to the call for repentance.
2. Give an account of the act of
repentance of the Ninevites.
3. Identify the demands to repentance
on John the Baptist’s hearers.
4. Discuss some consequences of
lack of repentance.
5. Give 2 moral lessons on call to repentance.
Human beings in their disobedience
to the laws of God have broken their
relationship with God. As a result,
human beings have wandered away
from godly ways and therefore suffer
greatly. God, in His mercy and love does not want human beings to
continue in that state of wandering
and suffering. He therefore, decided to call human beings to repentance, in order to build up the broken relationship for their blessings.
The Bible has records of God’s
different calls to repentance.
(a) Individual Calls and Response to
(b) National Calls and Response to
What is Repentance?
Repentance means the act of one
accepting the wrong he has done
and being sorry for the wrong
committed against God and human
Examples of Individual Call and Response to Repentance
1. The Sin of King David and His Repentance (2 Samuel 12:7- 15; Psalm 51:1-9)
David, the son of Jesse, was the
second king of lsrael. As a king, he
sinned against God and humanity.
First, he committed adultery with
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. The
Woman became pregnant and David
wanted to cover his sin from people.
He made Uriah to come home from
battle to lie with his wife but refused. David told Joab, army captain to set Uriah up to be killed. Joab did what David told him and sent words to him. David took Bathsheba to be his wife who bore a son to him. God was annoyed and sent Prophet Nathan to David to reveal his sin to him and the consequences. When Nathan met David, he put up a proverb to David which was similar to what David did. David on hearing the proverb judged the man and pronounced death punishment on him. Nathan told him that he was the man who committed that wickedness. The prophet therefore announced God’s punishments on King David. The punishments were:
- Sword would not depart from his household.
- God would raise up evil against him out of his household.
- His neighbours would sleep with his wives in his presence openly as he did to Uriah secretly.
- The son born to him by Bathsheba would die.
David ‘s Repentance (2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51:1 19)
King David immediately humbled
himself and repented of his sins as
soon as he was told of those sins.
He confessed, by saying,
I have sinned against the Lord. He was greatly grieved of his sin against God. In Psalm 51, David prayed,
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions. Wash
me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…
His humility and repentance made
God to forgive him. Nathan told him
that he would not die but the child
born to him by adultery would die.
David accepted the will of God for
him and was free from guilt.
2. Zaccheus responded to the call to repentance (Luke 19:1-9)
Zaccheus was a tax collector among the Israelites. He was dishonest in collection of taxes from people. He cheated people by collecting more than expected from them. He was of a little stature. One day,as Jesus was going about calling people to repentance, Zaccheus responded.
He came to see Jesus, but could not
because of the crowd. He then, ran
ahead and climbed up a sycamore
tree to see Jesus as he was passing by. When Jesus came to the place,
he told Zaccheus to come down.
Jesus also promised to be in his
Zaccheus repented and promised to give back those he had cheated. Jesus
granted him salvation and he became happy.
National Call and Responses to Repentance
The call of God to repentance is not
limited to individuals. As sin is a reproach to an individual so it is to a
Sinful nation. God also, sometimes
calls sinful nations to repentance. He
is not willing that any person or nation should perish. In the Bible,
we have example of a nation God
called her people to repentance.
They are the people of Nineveh.
The People of Nineveh Repented of Their Sins (Jonah 3:1-10)
Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria. The Assyrians were wicked and committed a lot of grievous evils before God.
Their wickedness was observed by God who sent Prophet Jonah to go and denounce their sins. Jonah was told to announce to them that within forty days if they failed to repent, they
would be destroyed.
Jonah did not want to go because he wanted God to destroy them.
Jonah went to Joppa and boarded a
ship for Tarshish instead of Nineveh.
He did it to escape from God
and the responsibility.
But God arrested him and forced him to go to Nineveh. He was swallowed by a fish which vomited him at the shore of Nineveh after three days. Jonah went and preached to them, that after forty days Nineveh would be overthrown because of their wickedness. The people of Nineveh
believed the message and repented
of their wicked ways.
They proclaimed a fast and put on sack cloth. From their king to their babies and even their animals, observed the fast for forgiveness.
God heard their cry and forgave them and did not bring the
evil (punishment) on them.
2. John the Baptist called his People to Repentance (Luke3:1-14)
John the Baptist was the son of
Zachariah and Elizabeth. He was
a Prophet and preached in the
wilderness of Judea around River
Jordan. He preached baptism of
repentance for the remission of
John the Baptist was the fore-runner
of Jesus Christ. He was the one
who prophesied that he would prepare the way for the expected Messiah. It was prophet Isaiah who prophesied about John the Baptist. He said, “The voice of one crying in the wildermess, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” That voice is John the Baptist.
When people came to be baptized,
he told them to bring forth fruits
worthy of repentance. That is, they
should show evidence of repentance
and good behaviour before baptism.
He also warned that anyone who
refused to repent Would be hewn
down and cast into the fire.
The people responded by asking
what they would do. He said to them, He who has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he that has food, let him do likewise.
The publicans (tax-collectors) also
came demanding what to do. John
told them not to collect more than the
amount they were told to collect.
The soldiers also came making the
same demand. John said to them,
do violence to no man, neither
accuse any falsely; and be contented
with your wages.
Consequences of Lack of Repentance (1 Sam.3:18, 4:10-20)
When God calls people or a nation to
repentance and they refuse to
repent, the effect or result is adverse.
It comes in various ways as
punishment to the wrongdoer
Those punishments/consequences include:
- Curse on the individual or his family.
- Sickness or afliction beyond remedy.
- Corporal punishnment.
- Suspension or expulsion from School.
- Seizure of certilicate
- Cancellation or withdrawal of examination results.
- Lack of answer to prayers.
- Spiritual or physical death.
In the Bible, we have an example of a family which refused to repent after several warnings. That was the family of Eli, the priest of God at Shiloh.
The Punishment of Eli’s Family (1 Samuel 3:18, 4:10-21)
Eli was the priest of God in Shiloh.
He had two sons; Hophini and
Phinehas. Their father made them assist priests, but they were worthless men. They dishonoured God and despised his laws. They oppressed and abused people who came for worship in the house of three thousand men; among them were Hophini and Phinehas.
The Ark of God was captured and
the survivors fled the battle. When
the news was brought to Eli, he fell
backwards from his seat and died.
The wife of Phinehas on hearing the
bad news gave birth to a premature
baby boy and died. The baby was
named Ichabod meaning, the
glory has departed from Israel, for
the Ark of God had been captured.
So the entire family of Eli was destroyed for lack of repentance.
1. We must bear in mind that every
sin has its consequence or punishment.
2. We must pray hard to God to give us spiritual power to avoid sin.
3. We should endevour to respond to call to repentance because we all have sinned and come short of God’s glory and blessings.
4. We must not refuse to repent
whenever we sin against God
and humanity, in oder to avoid adverse consequences.
1. Give account of the circumstances surrounding Uriah’s death.
2. Mention the two evidences of
the repentance of the Ninevites.
3. List two acts of repentance
demanded by John the Baptist.
4. What are the consequences of
lack of repentance?
5. Mention moral lessons on
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