TEXT: Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Louis Berkhof said, “True repentance never exists except in conjunction with faith, while on the other hand, wherever there is true faith, there is also real repentance. The two are but different aspects of the same turning-a turning away from sin in the direction of God. The two cannot be separated; they are simply complementary parts of the same process.”
C.H. Spurgeon said, ”Repentance is the inseparable companion of faith. All the while that we walk by faith and not by sight, the fear of repentance glitters in the eye of faith. That is not true repentance which does not come of faith in Jesus; and that is not true faith in Jesus which is not tinctured with repentance. Faith and repentance, like the Siamese twins, are vitally joined together. Faith and repentance are but two spokes in the same wheel, two handles of the same plow. Repentance has been well described as a heart broken for sin and from sin, and it may equally well be spoken of as turning and returning. It is a change of mind of the most thorough and radical sort, and it is attended with sorrow for the past and a resolve of amendment in the future. Repentance of sin and faith in divine pardon are the ways and woof of the fabric of real conversion.”
In our last message we looked at how Jesus warns of severe punishment. Now we see that Jesus urges you to repent now rather than later.
Dr. Ray Fowler said:
Back to Matthew 11, in verse 21 Jesus says to the people of Korazin and Bethsaida: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Notice the words “long ago.” Although in one sense Jesus is talking about these cities that existed long ago, he is also stressing the matter of urgency. The people of Korazin and Bethsaida should also have repented long ago. The best time to repent is when you first hear the good news of Jesus. Those who delay repentance often never get around to repenting.
Jesus goes on in verse 23 speaking now to the people of Capernaum: “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.” Jesus is saying that if the people of Sodom saw the same miracles that Capernaum did, they would have repented, and the city of Sodom would still be here today. This was a strong warning to the people of Capernaum to repent now, before it was too late. Sadly, just as the city of Sodom no longer exists, neither does the city of Capernaum. Jesus urges you to repent now rather than later.
A. Today is the day of salvation
The Bible says today is the day of salvation. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6:2: “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” We read in Hebrews 3:14: “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” Why? Because if you harden your heart today, you are less likely to repent and believe tomorrow.
B. Tomorrow may be too late
And tomorrow may be too late anyways. Jesus told the story of the rich fool who built his barns and filled them with grain and looked forward to a life full of ease. But he never took God into account. We read in Luke 12:20: “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
None of us knows if we will live to see another day. James 4:14 says: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Jesus urges you to repent now rather than later. Today is the day of salvation, and tomorrow may be too late.
CONCLUSION: All of us are sinners, and so all of us need to repent of our sins. What will happen to those who do not repent? They will be punished, severely. If you do not repent of your sins, then you must pay the full penalty for your sins. Those who hear the gospel and reject Christ will receive the most severe punishment of all. And it is all so unnecessary, because Jesus already died on the cross to take your punishment for you. All you need to do is repent and believe.
We read in Isaiah 30:15: “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” Salvation is available for you, today! But you would have none of it. How sad! How unnecessary!
Let me close with a verse we already looked at earlier in the message from Ezekiel 33:11. It is a fitting close to the message, because in it you can hear God’s heart for you so clearly. “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Jesus died for you. Why will you die? Why will you die when you can repent and believe today?
Charlotte Elliott wrote:
Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.