John the Baptist’s Cry

John the Baptist baptizing Christ
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John the Baptist’s Cry

About 2,000 years ago, John the Baptist broke a biblical silence of over 400 years to express this inspired message: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Mt 3:1-3)

If the Kingdom of Heaven was near back when he said it, then it’s even closer now and his message is critically important to us.  Here’s a responsive reading based on his message to teach your people the meaning of repentance.

P:         Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.  (Mt 3:1-3)
P:        Part of being repentant is acknowledging that we are all sinners.
C:         for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

P:        Another part of being repentant is to realize that someone had to pay the price for our sin; this person was Jesus Christ, God’s only Son who suffered and died for the sins of all.
C:         But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  (Isa 53:5

P:        A repentant sinner should also feel sorrow over their sins.
C:         yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance (2 Cor 7:9)
P:        A repentant sinner also needs to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.
C:         For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.  (Ps 25:11)

P:        A repentant sinner should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their sins are forgiven and that this is a free gift from God and not a result of any of our doing.
C:         For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 6:23)

P:        The final step of repentance is to turn our lives around and make every effort to avoid sinning in the future.
C:         if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

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