Short sermons of the United Pentecostal Church of Mannheim
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Blessing Follows Conversion

Judges 16:20-31
And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

Samson represents the type of person who firstly realizes at the end of his life how precious the blessings of God actually are. It is sad if a person only then at the end of his life is suddenly aware of the goodness of the LORD.

There are many people who look down upon others who pray and repent of their sins. They consider it as being almost something shameful when an individual opens his heart to God, and they chose to avoid such an individual. We can be glad that God does not think like that. The Scriptures tell us that even the angels in heaven rejoice over a sinner that sincerely repents of his sins. In addition, the Scriptures tell us that God is also pleased when a person turns away from his sinful ways.

* A repentant person is one who is always willing to submit to the will of God.

* This type of person has a higher respect for God than for himself and for anyone else.

If everything else fails to bring about the presence of God in our life, sincere repentance will never fail. It will bring us into the flowing stream of the blood of Jesus - wherein lies forgiveness and deliverance from the power of the world and from evil. Jesus promises liberty to everyone who is serious, regarding conversion.

The call to repentance and conversion is a call that is directed to the whole of mankind on this earth. There is not one single person who can justify himself before God. We all need the righteousness of God. Our own righteousness is like rags before his eyes. It is a shame that so many realize this first of all when it is too late - only then at the time when they are already standing before the judgment throne of God.

Even today, we still need to acknowledge that it is our genuine repentance that opens the door to the blessings of God. The blessings of God are not always of the material nature, but the blessings of God are also those which bring peace with God and contentment - for God would like to open the door of blessings to every individual possible. If a person holds onto his pride and vanity, he will continue to remain spiritually blind. When nothing else works, repentance can work a miracle yet again and HE will open the spiritual eyes. Let us be the ones that belong to the people who have laid down their own lives on the altar of God and say: Lord, not my will but Your will be done.

Samson, who entered into a covenant with God, was an anointed one of the LORD. The anointing of God was upon him, but he went his own way. He no longer watched out how he was walking. Bad company brought about his downfall. It was only when he was laying there bound in prison, that he realized that he should have cared more about the way he was living after all.

It is the same case for many people. Blind, weak, and without any hope, Samson tries repentance as a means and calls upon God. God had mercy upon him and gave him back his former strength again, and fulfilled his last wish of giving him victory over all his enemies. Samson died a sad heroic death, however, such a death could have been avoided. God was not happy about his death. He would have preferred it if Samson had remained faithful to HIM during his lifetime.

Samson was aware of his great mistake, after having been taken into captivity and realizing that there was no way out of his situation. Nevertheless, he stood up as a man and confessed his mistakes to God from his heart and asked God to grant him mercy just one more time again. (rw)

Pastor Raymond Wey

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