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Church Leaders Luncheon, Pensacola, FL

On November 10, we will be gathering church leaders for teaching, fellowship, and prayer at Mt. Zion Bible Church in Pensacola Florida.

The meeting will begin at 12:00 pm and will conclude at 4:00 pm.

Several church leaders including Scott Brown, Jeff Pollard, Malamulo Chindongo, Jason Dohm, Clarence Simmons will be delivering messages.

Also note Mt. Zion Bible Church's family conference on Awakening will be taking place Thursday night, Friday night, and all day Saturday.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Wordly and Godly Sorrow



What is the distinction between worldly and godly sorrow?

Carlton McLeod explains in this video that worldly sorrow is primarily concerned about the consequences of sin, getting caught, or the loss that results. Worldly sorrow is selfish in that it is only concerned about how sin makes you feel. Worldly sorrow is deceiving. We can easily think that another person is demonstrating godly repentance when in fact, they are only putting on a show.

We can look at the Parable of the Sower and see how worldly sorrow led to a falling away but how godly sorrow and repentance led to bearing much fruit. Holy sorrow is focused on God and causes a person to grieve that they have offended a holy God.

James 3:16 (NKJV) – “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: What Leads to True Repentance?



What leads to true repentance in the life of an individual?

David Eddy explains in this video that real repentance requires the work of the Holy Spirit. The Reformers taught that man is wrong, in sin, and is spiritually dead. This contradicted the belief that man was basically good or neutral. 

God uses different ways to bring about repentance. Sometimes, He uses a friend to come alongside you, open up Scripture, and rebuke you. Ultimately, it takes a work of God to change the heart for the heart indeed is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). 

Jeremiah 13:23 (NKJV) – “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: Who Is Qualified to be a Reformer?



Who is qualified to be a reformer?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that any believer can be a reformer. A Christian, whether young or old, who has been changed as a result of regeneration and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God has a role to play in the reformation that is ongoing even today. All Christians ought to be prayerfully seeking to reform their own families, churches, and lives. 

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Does a Heart for Repentance in a Church Look Like?



How should a church be working to reform itself according to Scripture?

Gary Powers explains in this video that when a church begins the process of reformation, they begin to examine different aspects of the church service. They ask questions such as: “Does this align with Scripture?” “Why are we doing this?” Sometimes, the things we do within the church are done merely because of tradition without contemplating whether they are in accord with Scripture.

There are basically two positions that we can take in regards to reformation. One position would put your preferences and desires first and demand that Scripture follow suit. The other position involves humbling yourself and submitting to the will of God found in Scripture.  

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NKJV) – “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

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Pictures from the 2017 National Conference

Repentance: The Reformation Continues (Day 2)

               The second day of our National Conference consisted of many speakers boldly declaring what the Word of God has to say about the doctrine of repentance. Many of the messages focused on various accounts of God working mightily in the hearts of wicked sinners, bringing about true repentance and changing their lives.

               Kevin Swanson started off the morning by giving a short sermon on Daniel 4, which outlines the humbling and repentance of King Nebuchadnezzar, a wicked king in the Bible.

Pooyan Mehrshahi then examined the repentance of Manasseh, another wicked king whom God had graciously gifted the gift of repentance to. The account speaks to the change in his life after he repented.

Justin Huffman gave a sermon on sin, preaching from Genesis 38. This chapter describes the amazing sovereignty of God. God took a wicked sinner, Judah, committing a scandalous sin, and used it as part of the unfolding of His eternal plan for the redemption of His people. We each need to be watchful of the sin within our hearts, repent, and mortify it early on so that it does not become scandalous sin.

               Jason Dohm then preached a sermon based in Luke 19, discussing the connection between repentance and restitution. It isn’t ever enough to just simply apologize to God and your neighbor. A heart of true repentance seeks to make things right when their sin has caused injury or loss to a neighbor.

               Scott Aniol then brought us to Psalm 130, where the Psalmist shows us what true repentance feels like. It’s different than a didactic passage, where a concept or lesson are explained to us. The author uses various poetic elements to help us understand what true repentance is like.

               Jeff Pollard explored Matthew 27 and delivered a powerful message that illustrated the false repentance of Judas. Outwardly, Judas appeared to have all the signs of a genuine, repentant sinner. But, as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 7:10, there is a sorrow “of the world” that “produces death.” This is the type of sorrow that Judas had. It did not lead to a changed life and a love for the Lord. It was a worldly sorrow that was a result of the guilt that he felt for betraying an innocent man for money. Judas’ repentance was not a true repentance and he is now in Hell.

To finish off the evening, John Snyder discussed how David’s repentance ought to be a guide as we continue to daily repent of sins. David committed wicked sins, but when we read Psalm 51, we read the heart of a repentant sinner.

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance Is Distinct from Good Works



What is the distinction between repentance and good works?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that repentance is distinct and separate from the idea of good works. Though repentance will generally bring about good works because of a changed life, it is not repentance itself. Rather, they are merely fruits of repentance and a changed life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  

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Repentance: The Reformation Continues (Day 1)

In the first message of the conference, Scott Brown made it clear that repentance is a wonderful gift from God and is a gateway to joy. It manifests itself as a result of conversion and brings about a lifetime of increasing joy as the poisons of sin are drawn out through repentance. I believe this is why the early church father, Tertullian, said, “I was born for nothing but repentance.” [1] 

He said that on a personal level, it has been a hard year – and helpful at the same time. Most men who preach find that what they are preaching about also falls hard on their souls. The Lord makes them walk through what they are preaching. Someone once called it, the sweet torture of preaching. It is sweet because it has a sweetening effect on your soul, but it can also be hard. Similarly, he found that spending the past year preparing for a Repentance Conference has been hard and sweet at the same time. It brought him unexpected opportunities to search his heart, see his sins and repent.

There will be messages on twenty-five Biblical texts on repentance.

These texts will unpack treasures from the Word of God. Scott said that he designed this conference to give a broad picture of repentance through various passages of scripture. He took those passages and assigned them to the speakers.

Almost all of the speakers are from churches which are part of the NCFIC Church network.

He prayed that we would all hear of the depth and the breath of God’s love found in His gift of repentance expressed in these texts from the Bible. Because He loves us so, He gives us a means of refreshment.

 

[1] Calvary Life Fellowship. Accessed October 12, 2017. http://ift.tt/2y8ij03.

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Can’t Make it to This Year’s Conference?



Join us live online for free by visiting the Repentance Live Stream Page! Each of our main sessions will be broadcast live and recorded for future playback. By registering for the live feed, you will also gain access to the saved videos which will be made available for 30 days following the conference.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Distinction Between Worldly and Godly Sorrow



What is the distinction between worldly and godly sorrow?

Both worldly and godly sorrow could look the same on the outside. One could even shed tears and appear to be sorrowful but never truly repent. This sorrow would be rooted in the fact that they were found out or they feel guilty for what they have done. Worldly sorrow could bring about the shedding of tears but without a hunger for righteousness.

In the life of an individual who demonstrates worldly repentance, there is not a radical change that takes place. There is no stopping of what we’ve been doing and turning and going to Christ. 

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NKJV) – “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What Makes a Person Repent?



What are the first movings of repentance in the heart of an unbeliever?

Mike Davenport explains in this video that a sinner doesn’t see the idolatry of their heart and the severity of their own sins. A person who is dead doesn’t know he is dead. The Spirit must come and breathe upon us and give them life so that they can see their sin and the offense that it is against a holy God.

Unbelievers begin to see God for who He is. The Spirit gives them a heart to see and Christ becomes precious to them. They see that they have offended God. These mark the first signs of repentance upon an unbeliever.

Ephesians 2:1-2 (NKJV) – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Repentance Necessary For Salvation?



Is repentance necessary for salvation?

Don Hart explains in this video that repentance does not produce salvation but that it is a necessary component of salvation. One who has faith and is truly a child of God must be a repentant person.

This means that you have turned away from sin and have followed Christ. It is a fruit of a regenerate heart by the grace of God. Repentance will be present and be a perceptible, noticeable, and genuine effect of following Christ.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

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Fear of God Devotional: An Example Of False Repentance



What is an example of an individual displaying false repentance while claiming that he is truly repentant?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that there was a young man who fell into the sin of fornication and was discovered in his sin. He came to the elders and made a confession of what he had been involved in. There were many tears and this man demonstrated extreme sorrow and anguish while he met with the elders of the church. There was a stated desire to walk with Christ and to honor him.

But, the evidence of his repentance, him breaking off his relationship with the girl, never happened. In time, it became clear that he was merely manifesting a worldly sorrow. He was sorrowful for the shame that he brought on his parents and sorry for the grief that he brought to his congregation, but it was all worldly sorrow. He was ultimately excommunicated and is still living in sin. Tears and words can be deceiving. 

Hebrews 10:29 (NKJV) – “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Repentance Required For Salvation?



Is it possible to separate faith from repentance?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that a sinner cannot be saved without them first believing on Christ and repenting from sin. That sinner will go to Christ by faith by turning his back on sin and repenting for them. They are always connected.  

There are many instances in Scripture of men preaching a message of both repentance and faith. It is not possible to separate the two. Without repentance toward God and faith in Christ, there is no salvation.

Acts 20:20-21 (NKJV) – “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

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