God’s Call to Repent

June 21, 2024

Series: Our God Reigns

Topic: Repentance

Book: Daniel

God's Call to Repent

Dan 4:28-34 (ESV) All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. [29] At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, [30] and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” [31] While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, [32] and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” [33] Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. [34] At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me…

  1. God gave Nebuchadnezzar 12 months to repent of his sinful pride and rebellion against him. But Nebuchadnezzar failed to turn, so the Lord brought the judgment that he had decreed would come.
  • Walking on the royal palace roof admiring his handiwork.
  • “Which I have built.”
  • “By my mighty power.”
  • “For the glory of my majesty.”
  1. While the words were still in the king’s mouth…
  • “A voice fell from heaven.”
  • “The kingdom has departed from you.”
  • “You shall be driven from among men.”
  • “Your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field.”
  • “You shall be made to eat grass like an ox.”
  • The judgment shall be for an extended time.
  • Sinclair Ferguson: “The one who refused to honor God’s glory loses his own glory. Refusing to share what he had with the poor, he becomes poorer than the poor. He becomes outwardly what his heart has been spiritually and inwardly—bestial.”
  1. Until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.
  • There was going to be a reversal of knowledge.
  • A change of heart and mind.
  • Nebuchadnezzar was going to know that God rules and that God had given him the kingdom. He was nothing more than a steward and a servant of the Most High God.
  • God ruled the kingdom of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar did not.
  1. Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar.
  • God brought the judgment he had declared.
  1. At the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven.
  • A picture of repentance.
  • Nebuchadnezzar stopped focusing on self and turned his heart to the Lord.

Defining Repentance

  • A change of mind with regards to sin.
  • A divinely wrought conviction of sin in the heart that the soul is guilty before God, and a resolute turning away from sin in which the sinner identifies himself with the gracious act of God in redeeming him. Repentance involves both a change of mind about sin, and a change of heart-attitude toward sin.

What does biblical repentance look like?

R–Realize there is a problem.

Ezk 18:30 (ESV) “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.

  • Don’t ignore God’s call to repentance!
  • Don’t presume on the patience of God!
  • “God had graciously allowed Nebuchadnezzar a full year to repent of his sins, but he had not done so.” (Stephen R. Miller)
  • Nebuchadnezzar needed to realize that he had lived in sinful rebellion against the Lord.

E—Eyes to truly see who Jesus is.

Job 42:5-6 (ESV) I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; [6] therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

  • Nebuchadnezzar needed to see who God truly was. That God alone is glorious and majestic and powerful and holy.
  • Repentance involves truly seeing God for who he is.
  • When we see the sovereignty, majesty, holiness, and glory of God for what it is, then we see who we are in relation to a holy God. (It is our Isaiah 6 moment or Job 42 moment.)
  • We will not repent of our sin on our own because we can’t see and understand who God really is without his help.

P—Personal; Repentance is personal

Act 3:19 (ESV) Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

  • God spoke to Nebuchadnezzar by name!

E—Everyone; Repentance is for everyone.

Act 17:30-31 (ESV) The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, [31] because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

  • Repentance is for everyone because we are all sinners. God commands everyone everywhere to repent.

N—Necessary; Repentance is necessary.

Mrk 6:12 (ESV) So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.

Luk 13:1-5 (ESV) There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? [3] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. [4] Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? [5] No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

  • “Until you know.” Nebuchadnezzar needed to know that he needed to turn to the Lord. He could not continue on the path he was walking.
  • Repentance involves a turning to the Lord and a turning away from our sinfulness.
  • True repentance involves faith (trust) in Jesus Christ as Lord.
  • Repentance leads to forgiveness and life and salvation.
  • True repentance leads to life change.

T—Turn to Jesus now!

Mat 4:17 (ESV) From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Ezk 18:32 (ESV) For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”

Luk 24:47-48 (ESV) and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. [48] You are witnesses of these things.

2Co 7:10 (ESV) For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

Mat 3:8 (ESV) Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

  • Once you recognize the problem (sin).
  • And you recognize who the Most High God is.
  • And you see that repentance is personal—it’s for you.
  • And you see that repentance is necessary for life and forgiveness and salvation.
  • The only response is to turn NOW!