The Unbiblical REPENTANCE Heresy!
“And they went out, and preached that men should repent.” —Mark 6:12
by David J. Stewart | April 2005 | Updated August 2017
What is Biblical REPENTANCE? It is a dangerous thing to ADD anything to simple faith in Jesus Christ. God's plan of salvation is SIMPLE...
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” —2nd Corinthians 11:3
Are There 2 Gospels? | Repent! Repent! Repent!
To be born again (saved), God only requires for a person to realize their sinful condition and come to the Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness (Romans 10:13).
The thief on the cross simply asked Jesus to “remember” him. The publican who went up to the temple simply prayed “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Those men believed on the Lord.
On Ray Comfort's ministry website, at LivingWater.com, he has a short presentation titled “The Good Test.” At the end of the presentation the following heretical teachings are found...
Do you see God’s great love for you? Do you see your need for His forgiveness? Do what He commands and “Repent…that your sins may be wiped out and times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) You must turn away from sin and turn to God. Desire to have NOTHING to do with sin, and surrender your life to the One who can save you. Jesus died to set you free, and then he rose from death to be your Lord. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If you will confess and forsake your sins (repent) and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, God will forgive you and you’ll pass from death to life.
Today, with all your heart—turn away from sin, and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Please don’t put it off till later. You may die today and then it will be too late. You may not yet have all the answers to your questions, but better to put on the parachute first and then ask questions, then to pass through the door unprepared, grasping for the parachute when it’s too late. You can pray something like this—"Dear God, today I turn from all my sins (name them), and I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me, and grant me your gift of everlasting life. Amen." There is nothing magic about these words—it is the attitude of your heart that God cares about. (emphasis added)
Ray comfort and Kirk Cameron are heretics! They errantly teach that lost sinners MUST try really hard to stop sinning to be saved...
"You must turn away from sin and turn to God. Desire to have NOTHING to do with sin, and surrender your life to the One who can save you... If you will confess and forsake your sins..."
Ray Comfort is condemned by his own words. The Bible is clear in Romans 4:5... “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Did not the thief on the cross utter just a few words? Does not the Bible proclaim in Romans 10:13... “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved?”
London's mightiest preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, was saved at the age of fifteen by simply obeying Isaiah 45:22... “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Salvation is a FREE gift of God (Romans 5:15; 6:23). A gift CANNOT be earned.
The ONLY thing that a person needs to repent from to be saved is their unbelief. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that we have to “follow Jesus” or “surrender to Jesus” to be saved. That is Catholic theology.
Apostate evangelist, Billy Graham, also teaches Lordship Salvation, requiring that people “count the cost” and “pay the price” to be saved. My friend, there is no cost to mankind for salvation, because Jesus paid the price of our sins with His own precious blood, which is sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the heavenly Holy Place (Hebrews 9:12,24;12:24). Jesus died upon the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He resurrected from the dead three days later according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. This is the “gospel” (good news) that brings salvation to those who believe (Romans 1:16; John 1:12). We are saved by completely RESTING in Christ for salvation (Hebrews 4:10-11).
The truth is that God ONLY requires a childlike-faith to be saved. Does God want us to follow Him? Yes... but not in order to get saved. Our best self-righteous works are filth in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). Following Christ is a matter of discipleship, not sonship. Lordship Salvation is ROOTED in self-righteousness, because it requires a person to make an effort to clean up their own life as a prerequisite to placing their faith in Christ. This is a false plan of salvation that does not produce the new birth.
Lordship Salvation Heresy Rooted in Self-righteous Hypocrisy
I believe that the Lordship Salvation crowd are sincere, but sincerely wrong. I understand where they are coming from. I mean, I'm also sick and tired of meeting professed “Christians” who are shallow and as phony as can be. But Christians at best are people, and people at best are sinners, right? Some people can live above reproach, but NO ONE can live above sin. Truthfully, whether you want to admit it or not (some of you in your sanctimonious high tower of self-righteousness), we are all phonies to some degree. We are all hypocrites to some degree. We are quick to find fault in everything around us, except our self oftentimes. The reason why is because we have grown used to living with our own imperfections and ways, but other people haven't. So what we tolerate as acceptable, or the manner in which we think, someone else might find offensive. And vise versa. We all live by our one rules, even if those rules are the Bible, because we still interpret the Holy Bible in our own view. A dozen Christians can read the same Bible passage and walk away with a dozen different ideas. Of course, the truth is THE TRUTH, and there is only one correct interpretation, but people are people, aren't we? By God's grace, I pray and strive to rightly divide the Scriptures. Nothing is more important!!!
Can anyone live perfect? No! I'll tell you what bothers me as much as worldly believers, it's the staunch sanctimonious believers who are filled with contempt and hate towards worldly believers...
“If there's anybody in the Bible that God had disdain for, it was those that had disdain for other sinners!” —an awesome quote from the MP3 sermon by Dr. Jack Hyles titled, “If Thou Should Mark Iniquities, Who Could Stand?”
We are supposed to RESTORE a brother who is weak in the spirit of MEEKNESS. The hidden agenda behind Lordship Salvation is that Satan wants to cloud the Gospel and lead hundreds of millions more people into Hell.
Carnal believers are BABES IN CHRIST, as the Apostle Paul saw them in 1st Corinthians 3:1. The problem is not that they were misled by “quick-fix evangelism” (as Ray Comfort and Paul Washer call it); but rather, they had never been properly mentored in the Christian faith. Sinful believers are carnal, babes in Christ, BUT THEY ARE STILL SAVED!!! The problem is not that carnal believers haven't repented; but rather, they've never been properly mentored by faithful Christians. They've never been salvaged. The Christian army is the only army in the world that kills its wounded! I love this quote from Brother Hyles...
“We ought to do everything we can to salvage people. [The] Christian army is the only army in the world that kills its wounded! What a tragedy! What a tragedy! The greatest unused power, and source of power, in our fundamental churches today, is in the lives of those who have stumbled, and made mistakes, and have been declared 'unusable' by the people of God, who are as unusable as they are, because if God should mark iniquities, who could stand? ” —a beautiful quote by Dr. Jack Hyles from the awesome MP3 sermon, “IF GOD SHOULD MARK INIQUITIES, WHO COULD STAND?”
Part of The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is discipling new converts, teaching them the ways of Christ from the Scriptures. The Great Commission contains four parts: 1) GO YE, 2) PREACH THE GOSPEL, 3) WATER BAPTIZE NEW CONVERTS AS A PUBLIC PROFESSION OF THEIR FAITH, 4) DISCIPLE THEM, TRAINING THEM TO GO DO LIKEWISE. God intended for the gospel to perpetuate, where I lead you to Christ, and then you go lead others to Christ, and then they go lead others to Christ, and so forth. This is God's plan. And may I say, soul-winning is not a method, it is a command... GO YE!
If you'll check the Bible, some of the Jews who wandered in the Wilderness DID go to Heaven, even though they never made it to the promised land. Just because a believer isn't carrying their cross for the Lord doesn't mean they're not saved. There are some believers today, who are rotting behind prison bars for crimes committed. Though some hypocritical believers would like to conveniently claim that all criminals aren't saved, it's simply not true. Just because your Christian neighbours are getting divorced doesn't mean they aren't saved. Every Christian is a redeemed SINNER! Yes, believers are redeemed, but we are all still big sinners! Born again believers are sinners just like anyone else. I agree that we are living in a generation of milquetoast, weak-kneed, believers, but that doesn't mean they're not saved. God uses sinners, and it's a good thing or He wouldn't have anyone to use. Remember, one third of the Bible was written by murderers. God didn't use holy men to write His Word, he made unholy men holy and then used them to write His Word. Romans 4:5 says that Christ saves THE UNGODLY, and that is the only type of person who has ever been saved. That's why we're all saved by God's grace, because we are ungodly and don't deserve it!
Lordship Salvation Puts the Cart Before the Horse
Jesus taught that we are supposed to carry our cross and follow after Him. I believe that. I don't have a problem with that. I'll be the first to condemn this heathen generation of Christless believers (like the heathens over at Christianity Today who endorse Harry Potter). However, we are talking about discipleship here, NOT salvation.
As an example, the Catholics mandate baptism as a holy sacrament to be saved. The Bible condemns such heresy and clearly teaches that baptism is only an ordinance, not a sacrament. You do NOT have to be baptized to go to Heaven.
A person gets baptized because they are ALREADY saved, not in order to get saved. Likewise, we are supposed to depart from iniquity because we are ALREADY saved, NOT to get saved. I couldn't agree more that a Christian should depart from sin, but this is NOT mandatory to be saved. I know this ruffles some people's feathers, but it is Bible. The Lordship Salvation crowd confuses discipleship with salvation. Becoming a born again believer is the EASIEST thing in the world (2nd Corinthians 11:3).
You must simply come as a sinner to the Savior in faith, believing that He paid for your sins, and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you. We must NOT add anything to simple faith in Christ. If you think this gives a person a license to sin, then you don't understand the Bible. No one has God's permission to sin. The Bible clearly teaches in Hebrews that God will "chastise" His children (Hebrews 12:7,8).
True Biblical Repentance
So does a person need to REPENT to be saved? Of course, but not the type of repentance that the Lordship Salvation crowd is propagating. There is a common misunderstanding about Biblical repentance. Many sincere people believe that repentance means to “cease from committing sin,” but it does not. Ceasing from sin is a result of the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit. Doing righteousness is a result of the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Turning from sins is not evidence of salvation. There are many unsaved religious people, who live morally upright lives, but their good behavior is not motivated by the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit; but rather, personal convictions for other reasons.
Repentance is “a change of mind” about what I want to do to get to Heaven, to what God says I must do to get to Heaven. Hebrews 6:1 speaks about repentance from DEAD WORKS. To be saved, you must realize that you are a hopelessly guilty sinner, totally incapable of saving yourself, and then completely REST in Christ Who died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and resurrected from the dead after three days. This is God's plan of salvation. YOU ARE A SINNER! Unless you accept Christ's payment for your sins, you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell. Get saved now before it's too late, please!
The ONLY thing that you need to repent of to be saved is whatever it is that's been keeping you from coming to Christ to be saved.
Dr. Jack Hyles 100% correctly and Biblically states concerning repentance...
“Repentance is not some little silly, 'I'm sorry.' Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin's consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe... Repentance is not being sorry for what I've done wrong. It is not confessing one's sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say with Isaiah 'Woe is me, for I am unclean!'” —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), a quote from the timeless MP3 sermon, THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH TO REPENTANCE!
Some people are very slow to change, but ultimately they become the best Christians, because they are... slow to change. Everybody responds differently. It is one's attitude towards sin and the Savior that first change at the time of salvation, not necessarily the departing from sin. Repentance begins in the heart, not in our lifestyle.
Biblical repentance is turning from what I want to do to get to Heaven, to what God says I must do to get to Heaven. Repentance and faith happen at the same time, simultaneously. A man cannot have faith without repentance, nor can he repent without having faith. The Bible teaches that repentance and faith are inseparable and happen at the SAME time. You don't repent of your sins and then secondarily place your faith in Christ. Salvation doesn't work that way. Biblically, the man who has repented has believed, and the man who believes has repented. This truth is evidenced by the fact that the Gospel of John mentions the words “believe” and “believed” 85 times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once.
Repentance and faith are properly demonstrated by the illustration of an evangelist who travels upon an airplane flying from Michigan to Hawaii. The evangelist doesn't leave Michigan first, and then travel toward Hawaii. No, rather, the evangelist is leaving his origin as he travels toward his destination AT THE SAME TIME, simultaneously. Likewise, the person who repents and believes is turning and moving toward Jesus Christ while at the same time turning their back against, and moving away from, sin in their mind and heart. A changed lifestyle is the FRUIT of genuine repentance unto salvation, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. To demand that a person have intent to reform as a requirement for salvation is sinful self-righteousness.
Salvation does NOT hinge on departing from our sins, but rather upon getting our sins forgiven. 1st Peter 2:2 speaks of growing in the Lord... as new born babes. Surely, you wouldn't expect a little baby to walk around the house, let alone run? When a lost sinner comes to Christ for salvation, the salvaging process only begins. Salvation is more than being saved.
When we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we instantly become a child of God and our name is written in Heaven. But now the lifelong process of growing in the Lord begins. Just as a baby is physically born into the world and grows for the rest of his or her life, so does a spiritually born (i.e., born again) person grow throughout the remainder of their life. Sadly, many believers are midgets, suffering from stunted growth. Every Christian needs the milk of God's Word to grow into a healthy mature believer.
Jesus Promised Never to Turn Anyone Away
Jesus clearly said that he WILL forgive all who come to Him...
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” —John 6:37
Jesus will save the vilest sinner, the most wicked murderer, the sleaziest adulterer... If they will simply come to Jesus for forgiveness (Isaiah 1:18). Jesus only asks that we believe on Him (John 3:16; 6:40; 10:1). John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
When does repentance take place? Repentance occurs that very moment when we turn to God for salvation. When you BELIEVE upon the Lord Jesus Christ and turn to Him for salvation, then you have already turned your back on sin. You have repented in your heart and mind. You can't be saved without admitting to God (i.e., realizing one's guilt) that you are a sinner justly deserving of Hellfire. God will save the vilest sinner who comes by way of faith in the cross upon which Christ bled and died for our sins. Although there is such a thing as a “reprobate,” a person who will never get saved, it is by their own choosing and hardened heart, and not because God is not willing for them to repent and be saved. 2nd Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God promises to give eternal life in return for belief. Salvation is a matter of believing the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen. When you hear the Gospel being preached, and you place your trust in its message, you are immediately and forever saved. It is that simple. Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Notice the capital “S” in “Spirit,” which refers to the indwelling Holy Spirit, which every believer receives at the time of salvation (Romans 8:9; 1st Corinthians 3:16-17). The apostle Paul is asking the Galatians how they were saved—by keeping the LAW (aka, turning from sins), or by the hearing of FAITH (i.e., placing their trust in the Gospel when they heard it preached). We are saved solely by our faith in the Gospel message. Whether we intend on forsaking sinful behavior at the time of salvation, or not, is irrelevant to being saved. Eternal life is a free gift. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Can a person be saved, even if they have every intention to continue sinning? My friend, even the best Christians sin every day. We all continue sinning after coming to Christ! It is in our sinful nature. That doesn't make sinning okay with God (Romans 3:31). God will scourge and chastise disobedient children (Hebrews 12:6-8). It is a false Gospel to require someone (as does Chick Tracts) to “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved. Many preachers wrongly try to control people, by embellishing the Gospel to include turning from sin as a requirement to be saved, but a person CANNOT be saved that way. No one has ever been saved by turning from anything! You get saved by placing your trust in Jesus Christ!!! But you cannot turn to something without turning from something. Repentance is turning from whatever it is that is hindering you from believing. WE ARE SAVED BY BELIEVING, NOT BY REPENTING!!!
Repentance Means to Turn From Wrong Thinking to Believe the Gospel
The word “repent” in the Bible means “a change of mind,” or to think differently. Therefore, repentance means to turn from WRONG THINKING to believe the Gospel. Repentance is not a separate event from faith, although they are not the same thing. Here is the best quote that I've found on repentance, by Dr. Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):
“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16)
The only thing that we need to repent from to be saved is UNBELIEF. Do we have to realize our sinful condition to be saved? Of course, yes! But there is not one verse in the entire Bible which requires a person to forsake sin to be saved. Nor does the Bible give anyone God's permission to commit sin just because they are saved (Romans 3:31). Every time Jesus forgave someone and healed them, it was only AFTERWARDS that He said... “Go and sin no more.” John 5:14, "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." Repentance simply means “a change of mind.” Believers change our minds every day about all kinds of things, including the sins in our life. Repenting of sins throughout one's Christian life is solely a matter of DISCIPLESHIP, not SALVATION. It is a matter of growing in the Lord's grace (1st Peter 2:2), as we yield to the Holy Spirit's leading in obedience to the Holy Scriptures (2nd Corinthians 10:5).
The Five Dangers of Calvinism | Part Two (MP3's by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold)
Thus, we don't give up our sins to become a Christian (Romans 3:20); rather, we forsake our sins because we are a Christian (Romans 12:1-2). There are no prerequisites or conditions for salvation (Galatians 3:2). God will save any guilty sinner who trusts upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation (Romans 10:13).
Romans 3:20b, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The ONLY role of the LAW in salvation is to give us the knowledge of sin, to bring us to Christ to be saved by GRACE. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” As born-again believers, we are under GRACE, and no longer the LAW of God. That means we cannot lose our salvation. When we sin, grace does much more abound (Romans 5:20). Believers sin under GRACE. Don't ever forget that truth. Unsaved people sin under the LAW. Thank God for His dear gifts of forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Some people just can't stand the thought that a person can be saved and still have sin in their life. Folks, that is true of every single person who has ever been saved! WE ALL HAVE SIN IN OUR LIFE!!! Is anybody without sin apart from our Lord? No! I am not condoning sin, not at all. I am simply saying that following Jesus is NOT a Biblical requirement to be saved. Making a commitment to Jesus is NOT a Biblical requirement to be saved. Making Jesus the Lord of your life is NOT a Biblical requirement to be saved. All that God requires is for us to realize our GUILT AS A SINNER, and just condemnation under God's Law, and then place our complete trust in the Good News of the precious Savior—Jesus Christ. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. Religion is man trying to reach God through human effort, but Christianity is God trying to reach man by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on the cross.
Repentance Towards God
It is dangerous to separate repentance from faith in Christ. The Lordship Salvation crowd has attacked simple faith in Jesus Christ, demanding that REPENTANCE from sins be added to salvation. Anyone who admits that they are a guilty sinner in God's sight, and receives Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full-payment for their sins, believing that He was buried, and bodily raised up after three days, is saved. The Gospel is Good News to be believed, not lived. Once we are saved, Jesus lives the Christian life through us. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
I realize that the Bible speaks MUCH about REPENTANCE, but repentance concerning salvation is the repentance of faith towards God, and not from sins...
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” —Acts 20:21
Our repentance is TOWARDS GOD. Isaiah proclaimed that anyone who would look to the Savior would live. Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Jesus spoke of the Water of Life, the Bread of life, the Door, the Resurrection, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is ONLY through Jesus Christ that anyone can be saved. To teach that lost sinners must “follow” Jesus to be saved is heresy. No, lost sinners must only TRUST Jesus to be saved.
New converts need to be taught. We must teach them the Bible, prayer, faithfulness to church, soul winning, baptism, holy living, separation, etc. We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in their heart and not try to do the Holy Spirit's job. There is no way we can determine if another person is saved or not merely based upon their behavior. We can only know by the direct testimony of their mouth. You cannot determine how much gas is in a car's fuel-tank by the sound of the horn.
The purpose of this article is not to try to decipher who is saved and who is not, the purpose of my article is to expose the heresy of Wrong Repentance. Wrong repentance is when someone teaches that a person must depart from sins or follow Christ to be saved. No one can do that. Judas followed Christ, being one of His very apostles, but still went to Hell. YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!!!
I NEVER ask anyone to receive Jesus Christ as their “Lord and Savior,” but only as their personal “Savior.” The Greek Word for “Lord” is “KURIOS” (meaning, “Supreme in authority,” i.e., God Almighty). Jesus is God, Almighty God! A true believer recognizes Jesus Christ for who He really is... Almighty God! Many false religions portray a distorted image of Christ, “another Jesus,” as the Apostle Paul warned us about (2nd Corinthians 11:4).
If you believe that Jesus Christ is Almighty God (John 10:33; Colossians 2:9), who came in the flesh in the form of a man (John 1:1,14; 1st Timothy 3:16), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), to atone for our sins with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19), then you have seen the true Savior. John 6:40 says that God's will is for us to BELIEVE upon the Son. We SEE Him in the Scriptures, so that we can BELIEVE on Him to be saved...
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” —John 6:40
I don't see anything in the above Scripture about making a commitment, turning over a new leaf, following Jesus, making Jesus Lord, or anything even similar. I only see what the Bible says, “...that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life...”
The believers at the church of Corinth were immature. It is not that these people hadn't repented, it is because they were immature in the Lord... “BABES IN CHRIST” (1st Corinthians 3:1). Very few believers are fortunate enough to have a caring pastor with a hungry heart for souls. Here's a caring pastor... WHY THERE'S A HELL (MP3 by Pastor Danny Castle). Hell is hot, life is short and eternity is a long time! Most pastors today are just making a living, and the people in his congregation are idly following him. Judgment MUST begin at the house of God (1st Peter 4:17). Woe unto the pastors!!!
When Pastor Charles Spurgeon was asked what to do about people who fall asleep in church, he wisely responded “Wake the preacher!” America's pulpits are DEAD, and so our pews are DEAD as well. Instead of standing-on-the-promises, most believers are sitting-on-the-premises. Again, it is heresy to try to force a person to forsake their sins to be saved. Jesus never asked us to give up anything to be saved. Eternal life is a gift (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9). Forgiveness of sins is a free gift. Jesus has already paid for our sins. That's why you don't have to “ask” Jesus to forgive your sins. You simply receive forgiveness of sins, because it is a gift that is already completely paid for by Jesus' precious blood. Thank God for the precious blood of Jesus that washes our sins away!!!
Discipleship Comes After Salvation
In Romans 12:1, the Apostle Paul said...
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Paul is asking these BELIEVERS to make a commitment to God. They are ALREADY saved, but they have NOT yielded themselves to God yet. Paul is calling them to a life of discipleship. According to the Lordship Salvation crowd these people were never saved. How ridiculous! When a baby is born into this world, physically, everything is new to them. The same is true about being born-again, everything becomes new, a whole new world of understanding is opened to the believer (2nd Corinthians 5:17). The spiritual growth process has begun and God's Holy Spirit will nurture that child of God, through the Word of God and preaching (1st Peter 2:2; Titus 1:3).
The Incompatibility Of False Teaching On Repentance With The Gospel Of Grace
So keep this truth in mind. Salvation and discipleship are NOT the same thing. Salvation is solely by faith in what Christ did to pay for your sins on the cross. Discipleship is your service for Him, once you're saved, if you choose to serve Him (and you should). However, even if you choose not to follow Christ, and not to serve Him as one of His disciples, you can still receive the free gift of eternal life by faith in Him alone to be saved. Getting saved is a gift. Discipleship is not a gift, it will cost you everything to follow Christ as one of His disciples. That's why God gives our rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, for faithful service.
“Repentance don't save you! Calling on the Lord don't save you! You know what saves you? Receiving
what Christ done for you on the cross!” —Pastor Danny Castle, a quote from the needful MP3 sermon, “WHY THERE'S A HELL.”
Every true believer ought to be busy serving God. Sadly, many believers have lost their fire for God. It is tragic that the world is going to Hell, while believers across America are merely playing church. I'm talking about the shallow Bob Jones University crowd. How Bob Jones University And Their Graduates Help Damn People To Hell With False Bibles. Nothing is destroying churches today faster than counterfeit Bible versions. The very presence of multiple Bible versions confuses, discourages and frustrates many churchgoers, and tragically, MANY OF THEM are not getting saved because “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4) is being obscured. Thank God for the zealous few Christians who are trying to make a difference for God in this world. Keep in mind that I am talking about Christian maturity here, and not salvation. America is filled with immature believers. My guesstimate is that 95% of all true believers are as carnal as can be, caught up in the cares and riches of this life (Luke 8:14).
Repentance is necessary for salvation, but keep it in mind that it means “a change of mind.” Dr. C. I. Scofield, in the Scofield Reference Bible (copyrighted in 1909) has the following footnote, “Repentance is the translation of a Greek word (metanoia-metanoeo) meaning 'to have another mind', 'to change the mind', and is used in the New Testament to indicate a change of mind in respect of sin, of God and of self. This change of mind may, especially in the case of Christians who have fallen into sin, be preceded by sorrow (II Corinthians 7:8-11), but sorrow for sin, though it may 'work' repentance, is not repentance. The son in Matthew 21:28, 29 illustrates true repentance. Saving faith includes and implies that change of mind which is called repentance.” Dr. Scofield clearly points out that “saving faith” includes and implies that change of mind, which is called repentance.
One misunderstanding is to say that the word repentance must be used in order to be teaching repentance. If that were true, we would have thrown out the gospel of John from the New Testament. Think of this in the light of why John's gospel was written, “But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name (John 20:31).”
Repentance, you see, is taught in John 3:16. A person can't believe (trust) in Christ as taught in John 3:16 without repenting (changing his mind) in the process.
“Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He's done to provide forgiveness, and deliverance from our sins. When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we're automatically repenting, because we couldn't accept Him in this way without having had to change our minds in some way concerning Him.” Hal Lindsey. The Liberation of Planet Earth. (p. 133).
Salvation is by faith and not by works according to the Scriptures (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 4:5). Let's not become tools of the devil to add works to salvation in a subtle way by the misuse of repentance. Let's give out a clear message! (I Corinthians 14:8).
*Written by Dr. Hank Lindstrom
Many of them look like good Christians, but as I have often found... they are only “Christian” to a degree. Still, this doesn't mean that they are not saved. It does mean that they're backslidden or have never matured in the Lord to begin with. We can only teach them, pray for them, and CHALLENGE them to live for God by exemplifying Christ in our own life.
Lordship Salvationists Speak With a Forked-Tongue
Lordship Salvationists hypocritically claim to believe in salvation by faith alone in Christ, while simultaneously demanding that lost sinners forsake their literal sins to be saved. This is a great contradiction.
The simple and plain truth of God's Word is that we must be born-again (John 3:3). This is the "repentance" that God expects of us to go to Heaven. Yes, a BELIEVER should live righteously to please God, but this will be a natural result (by-product) of repentance when that person gets saved. No one can be saved through self-righteousness (Ephesians 2:8,9). A person who truly gets saved will experience changes in their life. But again, this is after-the-fact.
Abraham didn't offer up Isaac in order to be saved. That would be ridiculous! Rather, we read that Abraham "believed the Lord" in Genesis 15:6 and was saved. It wasn't until many years later, when Isaac was old enough to talk, in Genesis 22, that God asked Abraham to offer up Isaac (to test Abraham's faith).
When James speaks of Abraham being "justified by works" in James 2:21, the Bible is referring to the event in Genesis 22, i.e., the FRUIT of Abraham's faith. In sharp contrast, the Apostle Paul speaks of the ROOT of Abraham's faith in Romans 4:3-5, which is a reference to Genesis 15:6 when Abraham was saved BY FAITH ALONE.
The Bible is clear on this in 2nd Corinthians 5:17...
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
God expects us to carry our cross and separate from the sinful world; but that has nothing to do with salvation itself. Something is wrong with a generation of professed Christians who carry no cross, never offend anyone, never witness to anyone, etc. But these are not prerequisites to be saved. Jesus saves us, and then He cleans up our life through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit if we'll yield to Him.
This is the process of growing in the Lord. Lordship Salvationists say making Jesus “Lord” cannot be optional in order to be saved, but Romans 12:1 puts them to silence and shame. The fact that Paul is “beseeching” believers in Romans 12:1 to “present their bodies a living sacrifice” is proof that some believers do NOT surrender their lives to the Lord, and are not reasonable. Does this give a new convert a license to sin? Of course not, but a new convert may not see anything wrong with drinking a beer, as a mature Christian certainly would. We have to be careful about where we draw line, concerning who is saved or who is not. It's not our place to judge. Samson commit fornication, Noah got drunk, King David committed adultery and murder, Jacob lied and stole, Peter publicly denied Christ, et cetera. I am not condoning sin, I am simply saying that there is a great misunderstanding about repentance circulating in many of our churches today. Biblical repentance is turning from wrong thinking, so that we'll believe the Gospel instead.
We Are Saved By Believing the Gospel
Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) states...
“Repentance is inseparable from faith. The Greek word for repentance in the Bible simply means a change of mind; that is, a wholesome change of attitude toward sin and toward God. One who turns his heart to trust in Christ has, naturally, turned his heart away from the love of sin.”
SOURCE: Dr. Rice, Here is My Question...; pg. 248, by Dr. John R. Rice, Sword Of The Lord Publishers; ISBN: 0-87398-158-8
Let us ponder the words of Jesus, who said in John 6:37, “...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Any sinner who sincerely wants to be saved, may be saved, if he'll simply come by way of the precious blood of Jesus.
Does a person have to stop sinning to be saved? No, that would be impossible. Acts 26:20 says, “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” The word “meet” in the Greek is axios and means “deserving, comparable or suitable-worthy.” The Bible is saying that we ought to do works worthy of the salvation that we've been freely given in Christ Jesus. Scriptural evidence for this teaching is found in 1st Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” Carefully notice that the Bible does not say to do works to make one worthy of being saved; but rather, to do works meet (worthy) for repentance. No one is worthy of salvation. No one!
Evangelist Lester Roloff beautifully put it this way... “Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore.” Departing from a sinful lifestyle is a matter of appreciation for what the Lord has done for us, of obeying God as His child, and not as a condition of saving-faith.
Repentance and belief happen simultaneously. The words “believe” and “believed” are mentioned 85-times in the Gospel Of John, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. Clearly, one who has believed HAS repented concerning sin. The only repentance which God requires to be saved is the admission that one is a guilty sinner deserving of Hell. So, repentance unto salvation does NOT mean forsaking sinful bad habits; but rather, admitting one's guilt of sin as Romans 3:19 teaches. That's the purpose of God's Law, that is, to show us our sinfulness and need for the Savior (Galatians 3:25-26). There is a witch-hunt on the internet against any preacher who dares use the term “turn from sin,” but I see no harm in those words unless it is made clear that it is a false Gospel of self-righteousness (aka, Lordship Salvation).
Conclusion of the Matter
The Lordship Salvation crowd is understandably upset with all the phony “Christians” in the world, who bear no cross for the Lord. I am upset too! But we must not make the dire mistake of ADDING works to salvation in the name of “repentance.” It is one's faith in the Word of God (i.e., the Gospel) that causes God to work the supernatural miracle of the new birth. We shouldn't try to change the seed to make it function better. You cannot force people to live right. You cannot do the Holy Spirit's job. You cannot change the plan of salvation without corrupting it.
What many people don't realize is that repentance is simply the elimination of what has been hindering us from coming to Christ to be saved. Our love for sin kept us from the light. This is what John 3:20 teaches, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” So the person who sincerely comes to Christ, only does so because he has repented, that is, judged himself as a needy sinner. The man who by faith turns toward Christ has simultaneously turned his back against sin, dead works and unbelief. Repentance is not turning away from the act of sin, it is by faith turning to Christ because you realize that you are a guilty sinner, who is totally incapable of saving yourself (Romans 3:19).
The solution is not to change God's simple plan of salvation; but rather, to fill America's pulpits with men of God who will PREACH the Word of God, and challenge God's children to live for God. There is nothing wrong with America that couldn't be solved by a generation of Billy Sunday's. New converts need to be discipled. The only problems in America today are the papa and the preacher.
What is happening is that the works-based philosophy of Roman Catholicism has crept into evangelical churches, even many independent Baptist churches, requiring people to make an effort to stop sinning as a requirement to be saved. This is religion at its deadliest, which cannot produce the new birth. Much of the apostate preaching from the Reformation era was heresy, requiring people to forsake sinful living as a means to salvation. The Bible doesn't teach this. We learn from the law of Moses that we are woeful sinners, and as such cannot perfectly keep the law to obtain salvation by our own effort (works).
Hence, God has made a way of escape through Christ, Who is the Lamb of God Who paid the price for our sins by His precious blood. We need God's righteousness since we don't have any of your own. That's why Matthew 6:33 tells us to SEEK YE FIRST HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! 2nd Corinthians 5:21 teaches that we become the righteousness of God in Christ. 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Again, to be saved, you must realize that you are a hopelessly guilty sinner, totally incapable of saving yourself, and then completely REST in Christ Who died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and resurrected from the dead after three days. This is God's plan of salvation. YOU ARE A SINNER! Unless you accept Christ's payment for your sins, you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell. Get saved now before it's too late, please! Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
The Curse of Lordship Salvation
The Hypocrisy of Lordship Salvation
The Foolish Doctrine of Lordship Salvation
Scriptural Proof that Lordship Salvation is a Lie
Lordship Salvation Ignores Babes in Christ and the Backslidden
Ray Comfort's Perverted Gospel | Hell's Best Kept Secret | Ray Comfort Perverts Luke 8:13
Ray Discomfort | Ray Comfort is Wrong On Salvation! | The Damnable Heresy of Ray Comfort
Catholics Teach the Exact Same Meaning of “Born Again” as Lordship Salvationists!
Conversion and Salvation
Salvation is More than Being Saved
Ye Must Be Born Again!