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SermonGod Forgives Truly Repentant People
An all-creatures Bible Message

God Forgives Truly Repentant People
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
10 April 2016
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 30:1-12
Acts 9:1-17
Revelation 5:11-14

God forgives truly repentant people, even when they inadvertently commit some of the sins again; that is, if they retain a repentant attitude and are sorry for the way they acted.
 
In Psalm 30:1-12, the psalmist writes about how he and many of us truly want to live in the heavenly will of God, even when we fail, for he knows that God forgives truly repentant people.

1. I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

The devil seeks to destroy us by leading us astray.
 
The devil is trying to make us want the worldly ways and things that most of the people in the world have or want.
 
However, if we do our best to live in the heavenly will of God, even when we slip, our repentant spirit will be forgiven and He will lift us out of the depths we are about to fall into, for the enemy wants us to fall into these depths of despair so they can gloat over us, and say, “See, they sure don’t live a life that reflects what they speak…they are really just like us.”

2. O LORD my God,
I called to you for help and you healed me.
 
3. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

We need to remember these things.
 
We need to remember that God forgives truly repentant people, so that we won’t fall into the snares and traps of the devil.

4. Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

As we talked about recently, if we live in the heavenly will of God, we naturally see all the wonders of God’s creation and the things He has set in motion for us, so that our thoughts are filled with a constant praise of God.

5. For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Sure, God gets upset with the corrupt ways of this world, and even more so when we do or say things that follow the ways of the world, because, as peacemaking children of God, we should know better.
 
We should be weeping when we do these things, but at the same time, our repentance should be in every sob.
 
But, when we are truly repentant, God forgives us and brings joy to our hearts and souls.

6. When I felt secure,
I said, "I will never be shaken."

We may feel this way at times, but we also often fail to fully match our lifestyle to such boasting; therefore, it is much better to never make such a boastful statement, but rather say thank you to the Lord, and resolve in our hearts and souls to do our best to not be shaken from His heavenly will.

7. O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

This is an explanation of the way the Lord responds when we allow the boastful pride of life to blind us from the wiles of the devil.

8. To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
 
9. "What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

The answer is obviously no, but such statements and questions seem to be coming more from self-pride rather than from a truly repentant heart and soul.

10. Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."
 
11. You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
 
12. that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
NIV

Putting on sackcloth was a physical and outward sign of the person’s repentance, but does it fully mean that their heart and soul is fully repentant?
 
Only we and the Lord know for sure.
 
One of the best known examples that God forgives truly repentant people is described in Acts 9:1-17, where we are told about Paul’s [Saul’s] conversion.

1. Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,
 
2. and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

This is an example of how evil people can be, and we may doubt that such people have any redeeming quality, but God knows the intent of the mind, heart, and soul.
 
And the same thing holds true for the people who cause billions of animals to suffer and die every year either directly or with their money.
 
We need to have the mind of Christ.

3. And it came about that as he journeyed, he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;
 
4. and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"

Horrible sinners like Paul and many of the people around the world may not have heard the Lord speaking to them out loud, but we believe that all of them have heard that still small voice of the Lord speaking to them inwardly, but unfortunately very few of them respond positively.
 
When I was teaching in a maximum security prison, many years ago, I asked the seventy inmates who were gathered in the chapel if any of them heard that still small voice of the Lord telling them not to do what they did that got them arrested and convicted; and to a man, every one of them said that they had heard that inner voice, but wouldn’t listen.
 
But what about Paul [Saul]?

5. And he said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
 
6. but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told you what you must do." 

If people respond positively to the Lord, He will help them and forgive them if they are truly repentant.

7. And the men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one.
 
8. And Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.
 
9. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Paul [Saul] is obviously in a deeply repentant state, and as we can see next, God also works through others to help bring us into the kingdom of God.

10. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Behold, here am I, Lord."
 
11. And the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,
 
12. and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight." 
 
13. But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Thy saints at Jerusalem;
 
14. and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon Thy name."

Quite often, we, like Ananias, are reluctant to do something to help evil people, but God corrects that attitude.

15. But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
 
16. for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake." 
 
17. And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
NASB

But thankfully Ananias responded positively and did as the Lord directed him, and Paul responded to Ananias’ ministry and was healed and forgiven evidenced by having his eyes opened, and by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
 
Are we willing to help the evil people of this world, or are we condemning them with no desire to help bring them into the kingdom of heaven?
 
Are we like Ananias?
 
We hope and pray that we are, for we all need to remember that God forgives truly repentant people, like Paul, and most of us.
 
Now let’s take a look at Revelation 5:11-14…

11. And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,

There seems to be a great reluctance to tell the truth in English Bible translations about there being animals in heaven, as though heaven was reserved only for humans.
 
The Greek word that is translated above as “creatures” is really “animals”, so in our opinion this verse is really telling us that there are myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands of angels, living animals, and elders in heaven, which should be an encouragement to everyone who loves animals or even just a specific animal, for this verse gives us the assurance that we will see the animals again in heaven.
 
And what were they saying?

12. saying with a loud voice,
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."

They are shouting for joy that the Lamb, Jesus, saved them, for like many of us, God forgives truly repentant people.

13. And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
"To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."

And not only are the animals in heaven praising God and Jesus, but it appears that the whole of the physical creation also praises God in some ways that we don’t understand here on earth.

14. And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
NASB

And we should also say, Amen.
 
God forgives truly repentant people.
 
Amen.

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