SHOULD REPENTANCE BE IN THE GOSPEL?
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1. Genuine faith in God for salvation is by "hearing the Word of God" (Romans 10:8-17)....it is not by works, repentance or the Old Testament Law (1 Cor 15:2-4, Heb 6:1, Rom 3:20-21)....adding repentance in the Gospel is not a Biblical teaching, but comes from Mormonism (see notes at the bottom of the page). God gave the Old Testament Law not to justify people or make people righteous, but rather to produce knowledge of sin. God gave the Torah to show us how desperately sinful we are and how we need His salvation (ie. unless we know that we are sinners and need salvation, we will never want a Saviour). The OT Law reveals our sin like a mirror shows us exactly how we look. The mirror cannot fix or improve our appearance. In a similar way, the OT Law shows us God's standard and our inability to live up to it.....if you think about it, God has infinate righteousness and so no matter how much righteousness we try to achieve by keeping the OT Law, we are always infinately short of His righteousness. Hence, law-keeping is futile, insignificant and negligable in comparison to God's infinate righteousness and cannot make a person saved/savable/righteous/godly/repentant/genuine/etc. All the OT Law does is condemn us of sin (nothing more) and if we want salvation, then we look at the Tabernacle (displaying God's grace) whereby salvation is made by the "shedding of innocent blood for the guilty sinner". God gave the Tabernacle at the same time as He gave the OT Law because God knew the OT Law could not save us or help save us, but rather God's grace does. Because Jesus Christ fulfillment both the OT Law and the Tabernacle, it means that our faith in Jesus Christ will produce 100% fulfilment in the OT Law and 100% fulfilment of the Tabernacle - we are made the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. No law-keeping on our part is necessary. After we are saved, we then repent as our "reasonable service" (sanctification) and not to show that our "faith is genuine" (justification). God is omniscient and so He can know genuine faith when He sees it and will consequently save a person right there and then - faith alone is what He sees and how He saves. This is God's way of saving people because it is all He needs to save people. He doesn't need an "outward show" of righteousness to see if our faith is genuine or not because He is omniscient. The idea that keeping the OT Law by "repenting/works/sabbath rest, etc" will somehow help save us comes from a human-view of salvation and only satisfies human reasoning - God is not human and He doesn't save according to human reasoning. Any inclusion of the OT Law in the Gospel is frustrating the grace of God and is misusing the OT Law to guilt-trip people into heaven (which cannot save anyone).....repentance occurs after we are saved (by faith alone), and even then, a Christian fulfils the OT Law by "loving others as Christ loves us" (ie. the New Testament - Rom 13:10) and not by methodologically keeping the 10 Commandments because we will fail no matter how much we try. When Christians teach that the OT Law makes us more righteous, we chase people away from Christianity and into "works-based" cults and even into Islam because they are better at doing it.....but their law-keeping cannot help them (in fact, trying to keep the OT Law makes people sin more, not make them more righteous). However, what draws people to Christ is His grace through faith, so that is the Gospel we should preach. Here is an email from a person asking clarification about this:
[Person asks]: Dear Pastor, I wrote to you one time in the past because I was very impressed with your work in the Lord in regards to abortion and the stand you take against it. My family and I live in Victoria and we are in real need of a good church….I know that may sound weird but so many churches are not following the bible anymore but instead turning to different doctrines i.e Calvinism and also are more concerned with numbers or new premises than they are about the sheep. It all has been extremely discouraging, so for some time my husband and I have been viewing and contemplating coming to Adelaide so we could bring our children to Sanctuary Christian Ministries church. I believe Salvation is a complete work of God from start to finish, I believe that just as Jesus said He came to call sinners to repentance that He was talking about bringing them to recieve Salvation and that the baptism of John where people came to show repentance was another example that repentance is an important precede to Salvation but does not contribute to Salvation.
To me, repentance is like someone saying to me ‘today is a beautiful sunny day’ and I say ‘it is a beautiful sunny day’. I have not done any work or added to what they said but just agreed with them. Repentance to me, is a simple agreement with God but God will not proceed in a person’s life with Salvation unless they agree with Him in repentance. Don’t get me wrong, I know that when I agreed with God that I was a sinner and deserved punishment, I did not feel sorry for all my sins…in fact there was one sin I knew I should feel bad over but I didn’t…I asked God at that point to help me change my mind and He did over time. I don’t believe a person needs to fully repent but there must be a form of repentance, an agreement that we are sinners and need salvation, this is repentance. I am hoping that you will not take offence in my asking information on your view and what is meant by it exactly. Jesus said also unless you repent you shall all likewise perish…you know perish means go to Hell, so repentance is necessary for salvation but not part of the finished work. The thief on the cross repented when he admitted he was worthy of his punishment and then he received salvation when he called Jesus ‘Lord’ and asked to be with Him in His kingdom. I look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your time.
[My response]: Hello, Thankyou for your email query. Repentance is a work that is shown by actions. When the Jewish people in Jerusalem had a change of heart in Acts 2:37, they were "pricked in the heart" which is their "agreement that we are sinners and need salvation" as you say - then following after their change of heart, they are to "repent" in Acts 2:38 which is their works. The people of Ninevah did works as their repentance - compare Jonah 3:10 with Matt 12:41 (repent=work). The example you gave of the thief on the cross doesn't mention that he "repented" (the word isn't used), all he did was acknowledge that he deserved to be punished and wanted to be received into Christ's kingdom. The idea that repentance is an "attitude not to sin" isn't how repentance is described in the Bible because repentance in the Bible is always a work. So the order of salvation is:
1. BEFORE SALVATION: is "pricked in the heart" which is the lead-up to salvation acknowledging a person's sinfulness and needing a Saviour from their sin (ie. the "fertile soil" in the Parable of the Sower).
2. GETTING SAVED: is faith in the Gospel and is by faith only (this is the part that saves and without any works/repentance/Law/good works). This is justification.
3. AFTER SALVATION: is living a repentant Christian life as a born-again believer. This is sanctification. So repentance isn't an "attitude not to sin", but rather works that a believer does after he/she is saved as part of their sanctified life.
All the verses in the Bible that use repentance in the lead-up to salvation are verses specifically directed to the Nation of Israel and how the Nation of Israel needs to repent away from an earthly kingdom to the heavenly kingdom of Christ (which is why both John the Baptist and Jesus started their ministries with "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is nigh") - they were both preaching specifically to the Nation of Israel. Jesus never mentioned about dying and being raised until AFTER the Jews rejected him in Matthew 16. It is only then that he mentions about the church (Matt 16:18) and about dying (Matt 16:21). But up until this point, Jesus is talking to the Jews and ALL passages about repentance is only to the Nation of Israel and not for us today.....the Nation of Israel eventually does repent, but it is in the future at the time of Christ's second coming. The verses that I write below are my effort to explain how the "repentance preachers" are taking statements to the Jewish people about the heavenly kingdom and using them as part of their gospel message to ALL people today.....not so! They are grossly misreading the Bible and leading many people astray who desire to get saved, but the "repentance preachers" end up preaching to them a false gospel. For example, the Thief on the Cross knew that he was a sinner (this is not repentance) and believed in Christ's "kingdom" because that is all he was taught and he believed Christ's teaching about the heavenly kingdom - notice that he never "repents" because he has no chance to do any repentant works. Repentance is always a work and that is why God never says that the Thief on the Cross "repented". When the church first got under way. even then, the early church preachers were preaching to the Jews about how the Nation of Israel needs to repent, but the Nation of Israel still doesn't repent at that time when the church is underway. The verses in Acts 1-5 are, once again, to the Nation of Israel. But when the Jews reject the message of the early church preachers, then the message of the Gospel goes out to the ends of the earth (without repentance mentioned). I can explain this more if you like.
[Person asks]: Thankyou Pastor for your reply and I am getting to understand what you are meaning alot more. I am understanding that 'prick in the heart' is actual conviction of the Holy Spirit which causes a person to agree they are sinful. I am also understanding the whole Jewish aspect of the biblical verses and how it is relating to them. The only part I am unsure about right now is that when the Holy Spirit convicts and a sinner agrees with God then is that not sort of a repentance because they decide to live for Him and not for themselves anymore? When they say a prayer along the lines of ...Dear God, I know I am a sinner and that I deserve punishment for my sins but Jesus died for me so that I could be saved from this punishment.......doesn't that show a form of repentance? I do understand that repentance can be a work which is shown in behaviour but doesn't it have to start with a heart decision, would that not count as repentance....a turn around in the heart? I appreciate you helping me to understand it, there is so many doctrines out there that are not biblical and it is important to follow the truth.
[My response]: ....remember the word "repentance" is an English word that we use to translate from the original Hebrew and Greek. God didn't use the English word "repentance" when the Bible was first written because He didn't write the Bible in English. However, when we translate from the original languages and use the word "repentance", many people give too broad a meaning to the word that leads unsaved people who hear the Gospel to include repentance as a "work" to save themselves - this is how the "repentance preachers" (like Ray Comfort) use the word. So.....the concept you are talking about whereby "the Holy Spirit convicts and a sinner agrees with God" is 100% correct, but using the "repentance" has a problem because it is too broad a meaning to include both "an attitude not to sin" AND "repent from our sin and start obeying the OT Law" - the latter being works. Adding a works-based repentance to the Gospel is simply another works-based gospel that cannot save anyone.....and we can't be saved by "faith-alone" if we add anything to it (repentance/baptism/tongues/mass/good works). This is why when all the Gospel passages in the Bible are translated into English (John 3:16, 1 Cor 15:3-4, Eph 8-9, etc) there is no word "repent/repentance/repenting" mentioned. However, whenever the English word repentance is mentioned as part of salvation, it is ONLY talking to the Nation of Israel needing to "repent" from the Jewish kingdom of earth belief to Christ's kingdom of heaven belief - that's right, the Jews had bad theology and they would not discard their "earthly kingdom" theology and change their belief to Christ's "heavenly kingdom" theology. For this reason, they are told to repent (as a Nation) which they didn't do back then and they still haven't done to this day - they don't do their repenting until Christ's Second Coming. So taking all these Israel-specific "repentance" verses and misinterpreting them as being Gospel-specific "repentance" verses for today is very bad theology and makes so-called gospel preachers today guilty of preaching a works-based, "Lordship Salvation" gospel that can't save anyone. So I suggest that we leave out the English word "repentance" in our Gospel message (in the same way that God has done in all the Gospel verses in the Bible) and exclude the word repentance (with it's broad definition) so that the unsaved hearer can NEVER mis-interpret the Gospel to mean that they have to repent from their sins (a work) to get saved. We can still explain to the unsaved hearer that they are sinners because they have broken one/many of God's Commandments (ie. we are all guilty sinners) and that they need a Saviour from their sin (this is how the Law is a "schoolmaster" that leads people to Christ - not by "repenting to Christ", but rather knowing that they are "guilty as charged" and only Christ can pay for their sin), and when they are convicted of this truth by the Holy Spirit (not using the word "repentance" at this point in our Gospel message), we can then proceed to explain the salvation that they can have in Christ "by grace through faith" without ever using the word "repentance". After they receive salvation, we can question/emphasize the need to repent as a born-again believe because "this is our reasonable service". Our desire to follow God's Commandments after we are saved is NOT to prove that our faith is genuine to save us (as the "repentance preachers" claim), but rather is out of gratitude for God's grace and mercy toward us for saving us - we do it as our "reasonable service". See how the word "repentance" can be used in a multiple of ways that "frustrate the Gospel of Christ" because it has too broad a definition whereby it includes works. It is a dangerous gospel message to preach when the word "repentance" is included that confuses the "repentance of Israel", the "repentance of works" AND the "repentance of a change of attitude" all mixed into one word.....what a disaster!....let's leave the word "repentance" out of the Gospel as God has done in all His Gospel verses.
[Person asks]: I can understand fully what you are saying Pastor, I guess it is hard for me just at the minute to think of how to tell people they are sinners without mentioning that they need to repent of that in their heart towards God. I tend to agree with what the man is writing regards repentance. He does not disregard repentance but puts it in the manner that both you and I agree. This man talks of repentance towards God, Acts ch 20 v 21, which is the repentance we agree with but to not discuss this type of repentance with people may be (I am thinking) leaving a valuable piece of the gospel out. It is true that people are very caught up in works based even when saved and I can see that you are determined to make people understand that they are sinners.....I just wonder how you explain to them to be sorry for that towards God without mentioning repentance? I hope you don't mind me asking these questions I just want to have complete understanding. If you don't mind my asking another question...what is your view on calvinism? There is so much of it here in Victoria.
[My response]: Btw, I am not a calvinist - whilst God calls everyone, a person must also "receive" the Gospel (Matt 11:14, Mark 4:16, Mark 4:20, Mark 10:15, Mark 12:2, Luke 8:13, Luke 18:17, 1 Cor 15:3, 2 Cor 11:4, John 17:8, Rev 3:20 “open the door”). Also, the verse you mention (Acts 20:21) is where Paul outlines his conduct to the the Ephesian elders (starting from verse 18), he lists all the things that he did "from the first day that I entered Asia"....in the list of things he did, the repentance in verse 21 is singular as shown in the Greek Text analogy (http://biblehub.com/text/acts/20-21.htm) meaning that is is only one person who is doing the repenting (http://biblehub.com/grammar/n-afs.htm)....that's right, only one person did the repenting in Acts 20:21 and it is Paul describing himself that his "repentance unto God" is one of the things he did when he went to Asia. Also notice that the faith mentioned in this same verse "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" is also singular, meaning that only one person had faith in this passage - once again, it is describing the faith that he (Paul) had when he went into Asia. So this passage is not describing what Paul preached, but rather describes his own actions and the repentance is a work that Paul did as a believer already saved (ie. it is sanctified repentance, not justification repentance). So there is no reason to take the repentance mentioned in this verse to include in the Gospel, because it is not what Paul preached, but rather is his own conduct that he is describing - proof of this is that all people who responded to Paul's Gospel never included any repentance because Paul never preached repentance in his Gospel message (only faith alone saved them).....so to include any repentance in the Gospel from this verse is simply adding a work to the Gospel and makes it a useless gospel message. Also, in Acts 20:21 we see that Paul uses the word "Lord" when he says the "Lord Jesus Christ" which means that Jesus Christ is his Lord.....if Paul was including Lord in his Gosepl message when he was preaching to the unsaved, then he is teaching them "Lordship Salvation" whereby the unsaved must already have Jesus as their Lord (ie. doing the works of Jesus as their Lord) before they can be saved - once again, this is a work-based salvation that cannot save anyone. But if we read the verse correctly where it is Paul describing himself having "faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ", then the Lordship of Jesus is part of Paul's sanctified life as a believer and not part of the Gospel message. So on both counts, Acts 20:21 is talking about Paul himself having "repentance unto salvation" and having "faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ". Regards, Pastor Neil.
2. Is there repentance in the Gospel?
A. The Biblical Gospel mentioned in 1 Cor 15:3-4 does not include repentance because repentance is always a "work" - compare Jonah 3:10 with Matt 12:41 (repent=work). Notice in these passages that the repentance came AFTER the Ninevites had faith in Jonah's message from God (Jonah 3:5) and not BEFORE. God says that He "granted repentance to the Gentiles unto life" (Acts 11:18) and so repentance is nothing that we "decide" to do ourselves. God says this again in 2 Timothy 2:25: "God peradventure will give them repentance"....so repentance comes from God AFTER we have faith and it is always a "work". Some people say that repentance is “an attitude to turn away from sin”, but this is never mentioned in the Bible either. Acts 2:37 says that "an attitude to turn away from sin" is called “pricked in the heart”, and then after the Jews had faith, they were told to “repent and be baptised” as believers (Acts 2:38) - repentance is therefore part of sanctification, not justification (....notice that "repent" and "be baptised" are listed together, so if "repenting" is part of salvation, then so should "baptizing" - either both are in or both are out). The people who say that repentance must be in the Gospel (ie. repent+faith=salvation) are confusing "repentance" with "pricked in the heart". Notice that the thief on the cross in Luke 23:41 who acknowledged his sins didn't "repent" (the word isn't used) because he didn't have a chance to do any repentant works before he died, but he would still see Jesus in paradise (Luke 23:43) because he acknowledged Christ's kingdom (more about this in Points 3 and 4 below). In the Bible, the "attitude not to sin" is called:
1. For the unsaved - it is "pricked in the heart" (Acts 2:37) and
2. For the saved - it is "examining himself" (1 Cor 11:28), to "confess your sins" (1 John 1:9) and having a "humble/contrite/sprinkled heart" (Col 2:23, Heb 10:22).
.....never in the Bible is repentance used as "an attitude not to sin" either for the unsaved or for the saved. In the Bible, repentance is ALWAYS given to Christians from God and is a "work" which we do in gratitute for all that God has done for us (Rom 12:1-2)....never in the Bible is the phrase "repent from your sins" used, but rather it is a man-made doctrine devised by mere humans who view salvation from a human perspective (more about this in Part B below). The fruit of the Spirit (in Gal 5:22) does not include "repentance" either - this is because repentance is a work (Heb 6:1), not a spiritual fruit.....so don't be fooled by people who say that repentance is a "fruit" to show that a person has genuine faith to save them. Some people say that repentance is the "flip side of the faith coin", meaning that when you have saving faith in God, then you automatically "repent from your sins" - even with this teaching, we can still preach a FAITH ONLY Gospel because repentance will supposedly happen "by default" (ie. there is no need to preach repentance as a separate step to getting saved when it will happen automatically when saving faith occurs). This analogy would also mean that repentance happens AT THE SAME TIME that saving faith occurs and it is not a 2-step gospel with repentance as the first "lead up step" and faith as the "second step" to salvation as the repentance preachers teach. If repentance comes before faith, then what are the unsaved "repenting to"?....remember, the unsaved don't have faith in God so they would be repenting to nothing! The only way that repentance occurs is AFTER salvation (sanctification) and it is given to us by God. We are saved by FAITH ALONE and then AFTER salvation, there is a God-given conviction to "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom 12:1-2)....notice that the Christian service/obedience/holiness/etc is "your reasonable service" and NOT "proving that you have genuine faith" like the repentance preachers say. Never is repentance in the Bible an "attitude not to sin", never is it part of saving faith, never is it something we "decide" to do, never does it make us more righteous and never does it happen BEFORE a person gets saved. The repentance preachers also contradict themselves by saying that repentance BEFORE salvation is "a change of attitude", and yet AFTER salvation they say that it is doing things (ie. working) to serve God as part of the Christian's sanctified life....so either it "is not a work" before salvation AND after salvation, or it "is a work" before salvation AND after salvation.
B. But what about “easy believism”?....I'm glad you asked....ANSWER: if the faith is genuine, then it is “saving faith” - it doesn’t matter if it is easy or not, what does matter is if it is genuine or not. So to include repentance in the gospel (repent+faith=salvation) is only to satisfy our mere human expectation that a person must have an outward “show” of righteousness/attitude in order for us to see if they have genuine faith or not - this is not how God needs to save people because God is omniscient and so He can see if a person’s faith is genuine or not by looking into their heart (no outward "show" of righteousness/attitude is required). It is only us humans that need an outward show of righteousness/attitude and even then, it is not our business to judge if a person is saved or not - that is God’s business. It doesn't matter if we see "repentance/works/sanctification/Law" or not because it is not us that saves a person. God does the saving and so He decides how to do it by using His omniscience and can therefore decide to save someone on the spot by FAITH ALONE if their faith is genuine - this is the plan of salvation that He wants because it is all He needs!....So on both counts, a repentance gospel (repent+faith=salvation) is wrong by 1: viewing salvation from a human perspective (by assuming that God needs an outward "show" of repentance/sanctification) and 2: by us trying to do God’s job in judging if a person has “repented enough” to be saved. We should get off our pedestal trying to judge who should be saved or not based on our mere feeble human reasoning and observation, and let God do the business of saving people because He is infinately better at doing it - let's stop trying to do the work of God. We wouldn't know how much repentance "saves" a person even if we saw it!....so it's a joke to even try. If we were honest, we would realise that the people pushing the repentance gospel have as much unrepentant sin in them as the people they are judging. Some of them sell videos and books, so they will never admit to their error because they are making piles of money out of their false gospel (plus they slander people in the process) - beware of them and stay away from them!
C. Also, telling the unsaved that they have broken God’s “Ten Commandments” and “will be judged by God one day” doesn’t mean that they will want to turn from their sin and “repent” to God....In fact, when the unsaved are told that they commit sin, they often say: “Yes, and I love doing it!” or (using Post-Modern logic): “Sin is what you make it and so whatever “God” says sin is, isn’t what I say sin is” or they say “I have my own 10 Commandments that I follow”....in other words, the unsaved aren’t drawn to God by being told how sinful they are, they just keep sinning more (examples are in Rev 16:9 and Num 26:34) .....and how much repentance is required to be saved anyhow?...10%, 40%, 68.35%, 99%....let’s face it, we humans don’t know how much repentance is needed and if 100% repentance is needed, then we are all doomed! (James 2:10). Even if we see an outward "show" of repentance, that doesn't mean that a person has repentance in their heart (they could be putting on a huge act to fool us), so it is a waste of time for us to even try to determine how repentant a person is to be saved....From God’s perspective, He knows genuine faith when He sees it in a person's heart and so He doesn't need to see any repentance. It is God who gives us repentance anyhow (Acts 11:18 and 2 Tim 2:25) so adding repentance with faith to save us is certainly not what God wants. Adding repentance in the Gospel comes from the Mormon teaching (see comments at the bottom of the page) because Mormons believe that they will become "gods" one day and so they therefore think that they can view salvation from God's perspective even though they are mere humans - this is EXACTLY what repentance preachers are trying to do. Hence, they try to live under the Old Covenant using the Old Testament Law, acting like modern-day Pharasees (tricking us by using Christian terminology and smooth-talk) and they think that they have a divine capability to judge others. However, it is inevitable that they will enforce legalistic rules, laws, traditions and practices, just like the Jewish Pharasees did, in order to be saved. What an awful sort of "Christianity" they are teaching!!....The reality is that humans are not "gods" (sorry to disappoint some of you) and so we shouldn't act like we are - we don't have the capability to view salvation from God's perspective, nor can we determine who is saved or not based on our mere human observations or expectations. Adding repentance in the gospel is purely to satisfy our human desire/egos to judge if a person is saved or not as if somehow we are able to do God's work for Him - what a joke!....It is only by faith in Jesus that we can become the "righteousness of God" (2 Cor 5:21) and it is only God who can know if a person is genuinely saved or not. When we believe that only the Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit is God (3-in-one), then we don't bother adding repentance in the Gospel because we know it is God's business to save people and He can see saving faith from an omniscient divine perspective, He doesn't need repentance in His Gospel. What if a person doesn't have faith that is genuine to save them?....I'm glad you asked....ANSWER: then they need to HEAR MORE of the word of God - they DO NOT try to repent to have genuine faith (Romans 10:8-17, Luke 8:11-12 - no repentance is mentioned in these verses, only hearing)....So we can therefore reject the “repent+faith=salvation” gospel - it is a false gospel.
D. Then there are all the salvation verses that don’t include the word “repent” - why is this? .....There are many, many Bible verses about salvation that do not include repentance because all these verses are describing salvation from God’s perspective that requires no outward “show” of righteousness and so repentance is left out - God only needs to see genuine faith and it is counted as righteousness (Rom 3:20-22). If righteousness is required for salvation, then it is only Christ’s righteousness that is needed (2 Cor 5:21).....plus, God gives us unconditional love meaning that there are NO conditions for Him to love us (ie. NO repentance required) - if repentance/holiness is needed, then salvation would be a reward and not a free gift (Rom 5:16-17). The Gospel of John, which is a book to assure us of our salvation (John 20:31), never uses the words “repent/repenting/repentance” - not once!....and don't think that God includes "repentance" in the word "faith" - NO!....when God wants faith, He uses the word "faith" and when He wants repentance/repent/repenting, He uses the words "repentance/repent/repenting". To somehow merge the meanings of the words is both dishonest and destroys the meanings of the words!....Don't be tricked by the smooth-talking repentance Pharasees who add a little bit of truth in their whole lot of error to justify their false gospel (....it's like saying 1+1=2, then 2+2=4, then 3+3=75, etc). God uses the Gospel as a "pull factor" to draw us to Himself (Heb 7:19, James 4:8, Heb 10:22, Job 21:33, Psalm 73:28, John 6:44) whereas "an attitude to turn away from sin" is trying to guilt-trip us or scare us toward God which is a "push factor" (the opposite to what God does), so let's not be fooled by the people who preach the false repentance gospel - it contradicts the Biblical Gospel and cannot save anyone.
E. When God gave the Old Testament Law at Mt Sinai, He also gave the Tabernacle to save Israel by grace. The OT Law was the condemning part, and the Tabernacle was the saving part. How often do you hear the repentance preachers talk about the Tabernacle?....hardly ever because they only focus on the OT Law (the condemning part) and leave out the Tabernacle (the saving part). God knew from the very beginning that the OT Law couldn’t save anyone, so He called it a “carnal commandment”, “weak”, “unprofitable” and should be “disannulled” (Heb 7:12-19, Heb 8:5 under the human Priesthood "Order of Aaron") and it was replaced with a "new commandment" of loving others (John 13:34, Heb 8:6-9: under the divine Priesthood, "Order of Melchizedek"). The latter is the ONLY WAY that the OT Law could be kept perfectly (Rom 13:10 and Heb 8:7-13). When Jesus said "If ye love me, keep my commandments" in John 14:15, He went on to explain what the commandments are in John 15:17: "These things I command you, that ye love one another"....That's right - if we want to obey the OT Law and be holy, then we should LOVE MORE and not be guilt-tripped about breaking the OT Law (NB: the love mentioned here is "agape" or selfless love - the same love that God has for us). When people focus on the OT Law, they just end up sinning more and they forget about the grace of God. This is what the repentance preachers are doing when they teach their Law-based, works-based gospel - they are reverting back to the old covenant and are acting just like the Jewish Pharasees. God's salvation was always by “the shedding of innocent blood to pay for the guilty sinner” that people get saved (Gen 3:21, 2 Chron 29:24, Eph 2:8-13, Heb 9:13) and never by repentance to the OT Law. Christ fulfilled the Law and the Tabernacle (Rom 10:4, Heb 8:1-7, Col 1:22) and so we, by FAITH ALONE, also fulfill the Law and Tabernacle in Him (Gal 3:8) - we don’t need to "do any" repentance/works/Law to be holy....nor is it part of the Gospel message. If we break the OT Law in one spot, then we are guilty of ALL the Law (James 2:10), so it is futile to try to be righteous by keeping the OT Law because no person can possibly keep the OT Law perfectly - we are either 100% righteous by keeping the WHOLE Law or we are 0% righteous if we "offend in one point" because then we are "guilty of all the Law". The angels live under this regime and that is why the fallen angels can never get back into heaven - they are doomed forever!....do we want to live under this regime too?....no way....but by living under God’s regime of grace through faith, we are always welcomed into His throne room (Heb 4:16). All that the OT Law does is “frustrate” the Gospel (Gal 2:21) and is bondage, not freedom (Gal 4:9). People who try to keep the OT Law are nothing more than modern-day Pharasees (using Christian terminology), so they are judgmental, legalistic and unloving - stay away from them!....It is the "tabernacle/grace" of God that saves us through faith, nothing more. There are some Christians who believe the repentance gospel and have fallen into sin, but they think it is too hard to repent back to God or are too ashamed to repent back to God, so they have given up trying....hence, they continue to wallow in sin instead of knowing that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:" (Rom 5:20). If they are taught how incredible God's grace is, they can easily come humbly back to God, not to try and repent their way back into His good favour (a futile task no matter how "repentant" they try to be), but rather because God is so loving and so gracious that He will ALWAYS welcome Christians into His prescence by their faith alone (Rom 14:22). Plus, repentance is not always “from sin” - after all, God “repents”, but not “from sin” (Gen 6:6, Exodus 32:14 and Jonah 3:9). The phrase “repent from your sins” is not mentioned in the Bible at all. Seeing as God is eternal and therefore outside of time, He sees all things, at all times, all at once - the “order of events” is irrelevant to Him. Hence, God will see repentence “before faith” just the same as “after faith”....with God it doesn’t matter either way, so there is no need to insist that repentance must be a prerequesite to genuine faith. So however you look at it, the “repent+faith=salvation” gospel is a nonsense!
F. Salvation requires both God “calling” everyone and the believer “receiving” the free-gift of salvation. Some people say that "repentance" is how a believer “receives” the Gospel....but this is another devious redefinition of the word “repentance” used by the repentance preachers. They first said that repentance was “obeying the 10 Commandments”, but they got caught out for preaching a “works-based” gospel. They then redefined the word repentance to mean “an attitude of not wanting to sin”, but they got caught out again for spreading a false gospel....so now they redefine repentance to mean “receiving” the Gospel. It is a sly, desperate attempt to keep the word “repent” in their gospel message when it shouldn't be there. The Biblical way that a person “receives” the Gospel message is a conscious decision that Jesus Christ is who He says He is in the Holy Bible and that He did the things that He said He did in the Holy Bible. "Repentance" is NOT how a person "receives" the Gospel message to be saved. If God wanted the word “receive” to be the same as “repent”, then He would have used the word “repent” all the time and not used the word “receive” at all - there are many Biblical passages where believers “receive” the Gospel (such as Matt 11:14, Mark 4:16, Mark 4:20, Mark 10:15, Mark 12:2, Luke 8:13, Luke 18:17, 1 Cor 15:3, 2 Cor 11:4, John 17:8, Rev 3:20 “open the door”). By the way, just because a person rejects the “repentance+faith=salvation” gospel, does not mean that they are a “calvinist” - there is still a “receiving” on the part of the believer, it’s just that “repentance” is not how they do it. Some people use Acts 20:21 to say that Paul preached a gospel of "repentance to God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ", but this passage (from verse 17 onwards) is giving details of Paul’s “testimony" to the Ephesians including how he (Paul) repented to God and he (Paul) had faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ - it is describing Paul's actions as a believer and is NOT saying anything about what he preached to the Ephesians. Do we take all the things that Paul did from verses 17-20 as part of the Gospel?....NO....but somehow we take just a couple of things in verse 21. Clearly, ALL the things mentioned from verses 17-21 are Paul's testimony and are not a teaching of "repentance in the Gospel". Also, the "repentance" in 2 Peter 3:9 is part of a passage reassuring people that the promises of the "Day of the Lord" in Isaiah (specifically Isaiah 2-3) are not forgotten by God and although the church age has begun, the fulfillment of the "Day of the Lord" is still going to happen - 2 Peter 3:9 is a requote of Isaiah 30:18-19. Another Bible verse used to support the repentance gospel is Acts 11:18, but the verse is simply quoting the response that the Christian Jews said to Peter - that's all it is, just a quote. If you read the previous verse (Acts 11:17), Peter says that the household of Cornelius "believed on the Lord Jesus Christ"....he said: "God gave them the like gift as he did to us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ;". Peter only mentions that they "believed" (no repentance). The reason that the Jewish Christians responded by saying "repentance unto life" is because they thought that Gentiles will now need to "repent" in the same way that the Nation of Israel needs to "repent". This is because John the Baptist had preached "baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel" and the Jewish Christians in this passage, like all other Jews, understood that the "people of Israel" would one day repent as a Nation - which only occurs at Christ's Second Coming (this is explained in more detail below in Points 4 and 5). It is Jesus that gives Israel it's repentance (Acts 5:31), so repentance ALWAYS comes from God no matter whether we are Jews or Gentiles - we can never "decide" ourselves to repent to God as the repentance preachers teach. Before any Gentiles got saved, the focus of the Jews was solely on the Jewish earthly kingdom and not a heavenly kingdom and so this is why the Christian Jews mentioned in Acts 11:18 ONLY preached the Word to the Jews (see the next verse 19). Acts 11:18 is simply quoting a response by the Jewish Christians (based on their Jewish kingdom theology) and is NOT a God-given doctrine of Soteriology. There are plenty of passages in the Bible where people are quoted saying wrong things (eg. the Lycaonians who thought that Paul and Barnabas were "gods" in Acts 14:11-12, King Herod who wanting to "worship" Jesus in Matt 2:7-8, the soldiers "worshipping" Jesus in Matt 27:29 and Pontius Pilate sarcastically saying "What is truth?" in John 18:38 to name a few). Just because the Bible has quotes of what people say doesn't mean that everything they say is true. The Jewish Christians in Acts 11:18 who were listening to Peter responded with "God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life" because they understood the Gospel as a Jewish-only religion (see Acts 11:2-3) and they responded with their Jewish understanding of salvation as an earthly Kingdom (Peter outlines all this in his sermons in Acts 3:12-26 and Acts 5:29-33)....so they were thinking that the Gentile Christians could also "repent" like the rest of Israel. Acts 11:18 is therefore not a verse that we use to establish a doctrine of salvation in the Church Age. If we read the passage accurately, we will see that Peter preached a Gospel to Cornelius that was "faith only" and does not include repentance at all (Acts 11:17). It's amazing how the repentance preachers use passages that have repentance specifically related to the Nation of Israel and yet they conveniently ignore the "to Israel" part....they are VERY dishonest. Another passage that they use dishonestly is 2 Corinthians 7:10 where they actually IGNORE part of the sentence to justify their devious repentance gospel - they say "repentance to salvation" without including the rest of the sentence which says "repentance to salvation not to be repented of". When we read the WHOLE sentence instead of just a selective part, we see that it is not a Gospel passage at all. The Corinthian Christians had many errors in their church and when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians as a letter of rebuke, he was worried that the Corinthian Chritians might reject what he says (he admits this in 2 Cor 7:8). Paul was worried that his harsh rebuke to them in 1 Corinthians might make them think that the Christian life is "all too hard" and that they would regret being Christians - the phrase "salvation not to be repented of" is the same as what we would say "not regret being Christians" in our modern vernacular. So the passage is talking to Christians who are already saved and is not a Gospel passage teaching them to have "repentance to salvation". If you want to paraphrase the verse, it would go like this: "Because you had godly sorrow instead of worldly sorrow, you repented from your errors without regret being Christians. You could have given up on your faith if you had worldly sorrow, but you didn't reget being Christians because you had godly sorrow." It is written to Christians who are already saved explaining to them that "godly sorrow" will make them repent from their errors (sanctification, not justification) and in doing so, they won't give up on their faith (or "regret being Christians") by thinking that it is "all too hard". That is all that this passage is saying!....This passage has nothing to do with the Gospel because it is talking to Christians (already saved). Beware of the repentance preachers and how they twist Scripture. So if you see a passage in the Bible using repentance for "salvation", check who it is talking to and who it is talking about - it is the Nation of Israel. The repentance of Israel does not occur until Christ's Second Coming (see chart here).
G. Also, if a person is suppose to be “repenting” before they have “faith”, then what are they repenting to?....remember, they are still unsaved and so they don’t yet have the faith in God to repent to the 10 Commandments or to repent to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour (and they certainly don't have a motive to glorify God in their unsaved condition) - so what are they “repenting” to?....I'm glad you asked....ANSWER: they are “repenting” to nothing!....It is not until a person first has a faith in Jesus Christ that they will then have a conviction to follow the Bible and repent away from their sins to God - otherwise it is just a selfish, "feel-good" repentance that is to glorify themselves in their wicked heart (Jer 17:9) rather than a repentance with a godly motive to glorify God. God is the one who gives people repentance (Acts 11:18 and 2 Timothy 2:25) and so it is not something that we "decide" to do ourselves. It is only after a person is saved and the godly conviction coming from the indwelling Holy Spirit makes them repent to holiness with the right motive - to glorify God (Titus 3:5, Rom 14:23). So a person must already be saved in order to have Biblical repentance with the right motive (2 Cor 7:10) - repentance is therefore part of sanctification, not justification!....Another problem with “repenting to get saved” means that any lack of repenting after salvation (as a Christian) will then “unsave” you, so the doctrine of eternal security is now undermined - see how "a little leaven" in one doctrine can spread to cause "a whole lump of leaven" in other doctrines (1 Cor 5:6-7)....so reject any gospel message that includes the word “repent” in it or assumes that repentance somehow gives people more genuine faith!
3. What about when “repent” is mentioned in the Gospels and in the Book of Acts?...."salvation" repentance was specifically preached to the Nation of Israel and was used by Jesus in the first part of His ministry on earth (see the chart below) to show the Jews that He was their Messiah. When Jesus first came to earth, we are told in Luke 1:67-80 that Jesus "hath visited and redeemed His people Israel....to perform the mercy promised to our fathers....to our father Abraham....to give knowledge of salvation to His people" so He initially lived under the Old Testament Law and He was performing signs and miracles to fulfill prophecies that “prove” to the Jews He was their true Messiah (Acts 3:12-26 also explains this). Jesus initially came to Israel and preached to them about the Nation of Israel repenting. It is ONLY after Israel rejects Him that He preaches about being the Saviour of the World and that He would "be killed, and be raise again the third day" (Matthew 16:21). However, the Jews had their theology of the “Kingdom of Earth” which clashed with Christ’s theology of the “Kingdom of Heaven” which is why, once the Jews rejected Him as Messiah, He had to stop preaching as the "Messiah Jesus" and started preaching as "Saviour Jesus" of the world who would "die and rise again the third day" - notice that "dying and being raised" was never mentioned in Luke 1:67-80 describing Christ's ministry and notice that the thief on the cross in Luke 23:29-43 who believed in Jesus did not ask for his "sins to be paid for" or was "repenting from his sins"....NO....he acknowledged Christ's heavenly kingdom to be saved: "remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" is what he said. The verses talking about "repentnace" in the first part of Christ's ministry are specifically about Israel's repentance as a nation, AND NOT about people getting saved in the church age. The repentance preachers have totally ignored the role of Jesus in his early part of His ministry to Israel and have taken verses from this stage of Christ's ministry and added it into the church age thereby creating a works-based, OT Law-based, Pharasee-style Christianity that is a perversion of God's pure and simply "faith-only" Gospel - what a tragedy!....Understanding the difference between the two stages of Christ's ministry on earth and the two kingdoms (ie. 1. the Earthly Kingdom of Israel and 2. the Heavenly Kingdom of God) is vital to understanding why “repentance” is mentioned in the first part of the Gospels and in the Book of Acts, but not in the latter part of the Gospels and never in any of the New Testament epistles (see Point 4 below for more details). It will also explain why the Old Testament Law was emphasised when Jesus was preaching to the Jews, but is not part of the Gospel in today’s church age. The OT Law is no longer preached for righteous/holy living today (Rom 3:20-22) because there is a “new commandment” of loving others which is the perfect way to fulfill the OT Law (Rom 13:10) and for us to become holy. Living our Christian lives as "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God" is our "reasonable service" and NOT "to prove that we have genuine faith" as the repentance preachers teach. They have misused the OT Law and totally misunderstood why we should live sanctified lives!...They have turned the Christian life into a selfish "I-hope-that-I-am-saved-and-if-not-then-I-will-try-and-save-myself-by-repenting-from-my-sins" religion (a self-focus) instead of a life that is to glorify God in freedom, joy and liberty (a God-focus). Anyhow, it is God who gives us repentance (Acts 11:18 and 2 Timothy 2:2:25) and it is not something that we "try to do" for ourselves. All the repentance preachers have done is put the burden of sin back onto our shoulders as if we have the capability to somehow "free ourselves from the bondage of sin" by our repentance to the OT Law - what a tragic joke and what an awful sort of "Christianity" they are teaching!....Just like the Jews misunderstood what Jesus was saying about the kingdoms, so too the modern-day preachers of repentance/works/Law have misunderstood what Jesus is saying. Jesus tried to explain the difference between the two kingdoms in Matt 11:12-15, but the Jews didn’t want to believe it - in fact, the Jews had a “violent” opposition toward the kingdom of heaven. The Jews not only rejected Christ’s kingdom of heaven, but they tried to sabotage it and take it over (which is why Jesus preached the “Parable of the Vineyard” to the Jews in Mark 12:1-12). Even after Jesus’ resurrection, Israel was told that they should “repent” (Luke 24:45, Acts 2:38, 3:19, etc), but the nation refused to repent because they “stumbled” at the stumblingblock (1 Cor 1:23). They haven't repented to this day and they don’t repent until Christ’s 2nd coming (Luke 13:35)...see chart here. It's also important to notice that Jesus gives repentance to Israel (Acts 5:31) and that Israel does not repent by their own accord - "salvation" repentance ALWAYS comes from God. Below are the two parts of Christ’s earthly ministry:
4. The Kingdom of Israel will be an “earth-based” kingdom (geographically defined in Gen 15:18) and a “Tabernacle” kingdom (Rev 21:3). However, when John The Baptist and Jesus both preached to the Jews: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (in Matt 3:2 and Matt 4:17 respectively), their message conflicted with the Jewish theology of an earthly kingdom. Jesus spent the first part of His ministry on earth presenting Himself to the Jews as their “Messiah” by performing the signs that were prophecied that the Messiah would do (Acts 3:12-26). Zacharias explains this in Luke 1:67-80 (notice that Zacharias was talking to "his people" Israel in verse 68 and Jesus was shown "to Israel" in verse 80). Jesus fulfilled all that was required of Him to be Israel's "Messiah", but the Jews refused to believe Him (Acts 3:18, Matt 16:13, 1 Cor 1:23, John 26:26-66). Even the rich young ruler (in Mark 10:17-22) wanted to be saved in the “earthly kingdom”, but when Jesus told him that there would be a “heavenly kingdom” and that his money/material possesions were useless and irrelevant (so he should sell all that he had, give the money to the poor and have "treasure in heaven"), the rich young ruler went away disappointed because it was not the kingdom that he wanted to be part of. The rest of the disciples who heard this were also confused about the heavenly kingdom and how it could even exist (Mark 10:23-31). So too, the people who wanted to force Jesus to be their king (John 6:15), wanted only an earthly kingdom with free food, and Jesus rejected their intentions in the same way that they also rejected Christ’s teaching of Him being their Messiah in a Heavenly Kingdom (John 6:66). On Palm Sunday (in Matt 28:9), the Jewish people were chanting both the Maccabean war-cry “Hosanna” (Deliver Us) and the Messianic “Halel” of Psalm 118 expecting Jesus to overthrow the Roman authorities and establish the earthly "Kingdom of Israel" (which at that point seemed only 7 years away from happening according to Daniel’s prophecy).....but when Jesus wouldn’t do it, they crucified Him (John 19:15). They were only interested in Jesus if He would be King of an earthly "Kingdom of Israel". Pontius Pilate also questioned Jesus about whether He was the "King" of earthly Israel (that would threaten the authority of the Roman Emperor), but when Jesus said that His kingdom was "not of this world", Pontius Pilate ignored the whole idea (John 18:36-38). The notion of a heavenly kingdom baffelled everyone. Even John The Baptist questioned whether Jesus was going to set up the earthly kingdom and Jesus had to remind him of His signs and miracles proving that He was the “Messiah” (Matt 11:1-6). Israel did NOT want the heavenly kingdom that Jesus was talking about, but rather they ONLY wanted the earthly kingdom, so Jesus told them to "repent" from their wrong theology (Matt 11:20). The Jews were always "seeking a sign" (1 Cor 1:22, 1 Cor 14:22) but they never believed the signs when they saw them! You can now see that when the word “repent” is used in passages of the Gospels and in the Book of Acts, it was when “Messiah Jesus to Israel” (who was still living under the OT Law) was telling Israel to repent from their Earthly Kingdom theology to a Heavenly Kingdom theology. However, this "repentance" teaching of Jesus was only temporary and did not continue for all of His earthly ministry because at the point when the Jews rejected Him (Matt 16:13-14) and the meeting on Mount Transfiguration occurred (Matt 17:1-5), Jesus changed from being “Messiah Jesus to the Jews” to “Saviour Jesus to the World” (Matt 16:21) - there was therefore no more need for Israel to “repent” because NO kingdom could exist if they rejected their King (John 19:15)....this is the whole subject of what the Apostle Peter talks about in Acts 2:14-40 and Acts 3:26 explaining how Israel had killed the very Messiah that they had been waiting for!!....and it was ONLY after some Jews in Acts 2:37 believed, THEN they were to "repent and be baptised" in Acts 2:38: see how "repentance" comes AFTER their belief....also notice that the lame man had "faith in Christ's name" in Acts 3:16 (no repentance is mentioned - the lame man was saved by faith only). Mount Transfiguration was the changing point for Jesus and He also refused to show the Jews any signs of His Messiahship after this point in His ministry (Luke 11:29) but rather taught everyone about how He would “be killed” (Matt 16:21, John 8:21-23). Jesus still performed various miracles of healing out of love for others, but the signs to "prove" Himself as Messiah all ceased. God foresaw this event by prophecying in Daniel that the timeline would be “cut off” by one week of years (Dan 9:26). Isaiah 53 also predicted how Jesus would be rejected and crucified. We are now living in the “in-between period” of the “69th week of Daniel” and the “70th week of Daniel” where the church age is underway (Col 1:26) and the “repentance” of the Jews is not applicable....hence, we are to preach that FAITH ONLY saves us and we don’t include the OT Law in the Gospel message. When the church is raptured from the earth, and the “70th week of Daniel” resumes (ie. the 490-year timeclock is re-started), then the OT Law is re-instated and the “repentance” of Israel is again needed.....which, by the way, DOES occur at the end of the “70th week of Daniel” (ie. when the 490 years are completed) and Christ returns the second time - the Jewish nation finally accepts Him as their Messiah (Matt 23:39) and the 1,000-year Millennial Reign of Christ commences (Eph 1:10 - see chart below). Individual Jews can be saved now just like the rest of us by faith alone in Jesus Christ, but the “repentance” message for salvation is solely to the Nation of Israel.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
5. Why did the Jews believe in Israel’s “Kingdom of Earth” and reject Christ’s “Kingdom of Heaven”? Seeing as the Jews were waiting for their Messiah at the time of Christ’s birth, they were expecting an earthly “Kingdom of Israel” because Daniel’s prophecy gave them a very accurate timeline of when the Kingdom would commence: “70 weeks of years” in Daniel 9:24-27 which started from the degree of Cyrus (March 14, 445BC to 40AD) = 490 years using a 360-day calender year.....so at the time of Christ’s birth, it was only 40 years away from the conclusion of Daniel’s 490-year prophecy. Even the “wise men” of the East knew this which is why they wanted to meet the “King of Kings”. What they didn’t understand in Daniel’s prophecy is that the "70 weeks” would be “cut off” at the 69th week (Daniel 9:26, Eph 3:5) and the “mystery” kingdom (the church age) would intervene in-between the 69th week and the 70th week (Col 1:26). This cut-off point was EXACTLY on Palm Sunday and occurred because the nation of Israel rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Christ explained about the opposition between the two kingdoms in the Parable of the Vineyard (Mark 12:9-12) but the Jews wouldn’t accept it (Mark 12:12). Also, the Apostle Paul explains this change from Israel to church in Romans 11:16-26. Even though there is the intervening church age (which we are in now), God has not forgotten the last week of Daniel’s prophecy. We read in Rom 11:26, that Israel will have “the Deliverer” coming at a future date and the "70th week of Daniel” will be completed after the church is raptured from the earth. This final 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy is also called the “7 year Tribulation” (when the anti-Christ rules the world). We do not have “repentance” in the Gospel message now because the “repentance” part is directed solely to Israel and they only “repent” as a nation when Jesus Christ returns a 2nd time at the end of the Tribulation, at which time they believe that Jesus is their Messiah (Matt 23:39, Eph 1:10) and finally the earthly Kingdom of Israel commences. This is still future and NOT for us today....so
REPENTANCE SHOULD NOT BE IN THE GOSPEL!
Please preach and teach this material to your church people and Christian friends....print off the "pdf" files (page 1 - page 2 and the time-line chart) or copy all the text from this webpage and paste it into a txt/doc/rtf document, then print it off and pass them on to as many Christians as possible. Share the URL of this webpage (http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/NOrepentanceInTheGospel.htm) with all of your contacts so that as many people as possible can be aware of the false repentance gospel (also known as Lordship Salvation). Remember, the difference between the true Gospel and a false gospel is "people going to heaven or not"....no one can get saved by believing a false gospel (the repent+faith=salvation gospel being one of them).
You will probably find that some repentance preachers have pushed their false gospel SO hard, that they are too proud to realise their error and change their ways....plus they like judging others because it gives them a false sense of importance. There are also some repentance preachers who are making videos and books from their false gospel that earns them piles of money so they are unlikely to stop their "Diana-income" (Acts 19:24-25), so don't be disappointed if they oppose you because it is not your fault if they will not change, at least you have done your bit to try and correct them...."May the Lord reward them according to their works". The irony is that the repentance preachers are as "unrepentant" as the people they judge and so according to their own gospel doctrine, they would also be unsaved....it's just as well that God doesn't save them according to their own gospel message. Some repentance preachers who make videos about it are scamming people out of a lot of money with their false gospel (....hmmm...will they ever make videos about their own sin and broadcast it around the world in the same way as they slander other people???....I doubt it) - avoid them (1 Tim 6:5)....and definately reject any gospel message that includes the words “repent and believe" or "repent from your sins" in it or assumes that repentance somehow gives you more genuine faith. Read the gospel tracts that you have BEFORE you hand them out so that you can throw away any of the false ones!
If we say that "it doesn't matter either way if repentance is in the Gospel or not" or "it's just semantics"....then those of us who don't include repentance in the Gospel ourselves, still leave the door open for other Christians who might be flesh-driven and relying on human wisdom (1 Cor 1:17) to inadvertently preach the false "repentance gospel"....so there can be no sitting on the fence. Oppose this false gospel so that evangelical Christians don't waste hours of time and piles of money preaching a gospel that cannot save anyone and only causes hurt and destruction in it's path.
It will be the honest Christians (who are concerned about truth and having a Gospel message that can save people) who will most likely listen to you and learn from you - so they are the people who you spend time with exposing what the repentance gospel is really about. If the repentance preachers are as concerned about Christian "fruit" (which is one reason why they think repentance is necessary in their gospel), then look at the "fruit" of their false gospel - division, confusion, unsaved people getting put-off Christ, people trying to save themselves by repenting but never repenting enough, judging people, thinking that a Christian isn't repenting enough and so they become "unsaved", etc, etc....in other words, the "fruit" of the repentance gospel should be enough to dump it straight away. Enough said.
Written by Pastor Neil Aitchison - sanctuary.net.au
Below are some emails in response to the Bible study on this webpage (and my comments back to them starting with [MY RESPONSE] and finishing with [END]):
Greetings. Just you acknowledging your receiving our Prayer letter is an encouragement to us. Thank you. We send them out but very seldom do we have feedback. Thank you for your to study on repentance. I won't get into any backwards and forwards discussion with you but just to say that I agree with you but disagree. Your article is important in that it addresses the fact that because of peoples wrongly defining repentance, it has become a work. Just yesterday I was witnessing to a man who said that he knew he was saved because he had repented. I asked him what he meant by repentance to which he answered, 'Stopping to do wrong things'. Before God saved me I had my own ideas about religion and my relationship to God. God sent a preacher for me to hear the truth and as The Holy Spirit convinced me of sin, righteousness and judgement I changed my mind (ie attitude Dic. a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.) and believed God's Word and His way of salvation. To believe something new I had to change my thoughts about what I had previously believed. "Ancestral worship people" just add Christ on to their other ancestors and call that believing in Christ. I must make sure that they have changed their minds and accept God's truth. I call that repentance. (Strongs. 'to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.').
[MY RESPONSE] "CHANGING THEIR MINDS" IS CALLED "PRICKING IN THEIR HEARTS" IN THE BIBLE (ACTS 2:27). IT IS NO SURPRISE TO ME THAT THE MAN YOU WERE WITNESSING TO THOUGHT THAT REPENTANCE WAS CHANGING HIS ACTIONS, BECAUSE IN REALITY, THAT IS WHAT REPENTANCE IS - IT IS A "WORK" AND NOT A "CHANGE OF MIND" LIKE THE REPENTANCE PREACHERS THINK....ADDING REPENTANCE TO THE GOSPEL IS TELLING THE UNSAVED PEOPLE THAT THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP SAVE THEMSELVES (THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE UNDERSTANDING REPENTANCE TO MEAN BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THE BIBLE TEACHES IT) AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH "CHANGING THEIR MINDS" LIKE YOU ARE SAYING....IT IS TOO DANGEROUS AND UNBIBLICAL TO ADD REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL BECAUSE THE UNSAVED SIMPLY TRY TO "STOP DOING WRONG THINGS" TO SAVE THEMSELVES THEREBY LIVING IN A FALSE HOPE THAT THEY ARE SAVED.
I have lately been thinking about God's dealing with individuals and nations. Below are a few preliminary thoughts on the subject:
Hypothesis: God saves nations by mercy through their acknowledgement of the only God and their good works with resultant earthly rewards. God saves individuals by grace through faith with heavenly rewards.
[MY RESPONSE] THIS I AGREE WITH THIS.... AFTER ALL, JESUS WILL "JUDGE THE NATIONS" IN ACTS 17:31 ACCORDING TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, NOT GRACE ....MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE REPENTANCE MESSAGE IS DIRECTED SOLELY TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL. THE GOSPEL FOR INDIVIDUALS IS SOLELY "GRACE THROUGH FAITH".
When kings do right as representatives of the nation the nation is delivered and there are earthly rewards. (perhaps some of those kings who did right were not individually saved but devout men like Cornelius was?) Nineveh repented as a nation and were not destroyed. They acknowledged God, stopped doing wrong and started to do right. God saved the nation.
[MY RESPONSE] THEIR REPENTANCE WAS A "WORK" (FOR NINEVEH, COMPARE JONAH 3:10 WITH MATT 12:41)
Maybe as a nation, 'All Israel will be saved' ie delivered with a remnant of born again people within the nation but the nation itself as a nation now acknowledging God and doing good works? Perhaps this is why sacrifices in rebuilt temple? Is Rom 11 going back and forward from salvation of nations to salvation of individuals?
Should nations like eg Russia with eg anti sodomite stand, Italy with anti-abortion stand, who acknowledge the One God be hailed and seen as virtuous? Perhaps the sheep nations are not individuals but each nation as a nation delivered by their good works within which are individuals being saved by grace or doomed. Should we be pushing and praying for the nation to stop doing bad and to start doing good in order to be delivered and the country to be physically blessed?
Isa 61. 10-11 Isaiah rejoices in his personal salvation by grace through faith and then in Is 62 Israel's physical salvation ie deliverance. Could all this have something to do with that devout man Cornelius (picture of Gentile nations) before he was individually saved. As representative of the Gentile nations gaining God's favour by devotion to God and good works?
[MY RESPONSE] THE "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN/GOD" WAS A DEPARTURE BY GOD AWAY FROM EARTHLY KINGDOMS/COUNTRIES TO "INDIVIDUAL CITIZENSHIP IN A HEAVENLY KINGDOM WITH HEAVENLY TREASURE"....THE LATTER IS ACHIEVED BY GRACE THRU FAITH BECAUSE JESUS ACHIEVED ALL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT WE NEED, WHEREAS THE FORMER IS ACHIEVED BY COUNTRIES PERFORMING THEIR RESPECTIVE RIGHTEOUS CONDUCT (....ISRAEL SPECIFICALLY NEEDS "REPENTANCE" FROM EARTHLY KINGDOM THEOLOGY TO HEAVENLY KINGDOM THEOLOGY BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE UNIQUE ROLE OF JESUS BEING THEIR MESSIAH AND SO THEY HAVE THE UNIQUE REQUIREMENT TO "REPENT" IN A WAY THAT IS UNIQUE TO THEM THAT IS TAUGHT IN THE GOSPELS AND BOOK OF ACTS). THE GOSPEL MESSAGE IN THE CHURCH AGE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REPENTANCE MESSAGE PREACHED TO ISRAEL).
Our relationship to Israel. Wiersbe says: '.... the Law could never make us heirs of God (Gal_3:29). God made the promise to “Abraham’s Seed” (singular, Gal_3:16), and that Seed is Christ. If we are “in Christ” by faith, then we too are “Abraham’s seed” spiritually speaking. This means we are heirs of the spiritual blessings God promised to Abraham. This does not mean that the material and national blessings promised to Israel are set aside, but that Christians today are enriched spiritually because of God’s promise to Abraham (see Rom_11:13).'
[MY RESPONSE] THE "SPIRITUAL ISRAEL" THAT YOU MENTION IS DIFFERENT TO ISRAEL'S EARTHLY KINGDOM (see Point 3, 4 and 5 above) AND THEREFORE DOES NOT REQUIRE EARTHLY WAYS/MEANS TO BE PART OF IT - LIKE WORKS/REPENTANCE AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS (MATT 6:20, COL 3:2).....HENCE, JESUS DID ALL THE WAYS/MEANS FOR US TO ENTER THE "SPIRITUAL ISRAEL" AND THE "FAITH ONLY" GOSPEL IS HOW WE ENTER THE "SPIRITUAL ISRAEL". TO INCLUDE REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL IS ACTUALLY TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO ENTER THE EARTHLY ISRAEL WHICH DOESN'T HAPPEN UNTIL THE NATION OF ISRAEL REPENTS. THE CURRENT EARTHLY ISRAEL THAT HAS REJECTED JESUS AS THEIR MESSIAH IS NOT FOLLOWING GOD'S WAYS AT ALL, JUST FLOUNDERING AROUND IN THEIR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP OF JUDAHISM - SO WHY WOULD WE PREACH A GOSPEL THAT TRIES TO GET US TO ENTER AN EARTHLY KINGDOM OF ISRAEL NOW THAT IS WITHOUT JESUS AS THEIR MESSIAH??....IT'S A NONSENSE!
LET'S PREACH THE BIBLICAL GOSPEL (OF "FAITH-ONLY") SO THAT WE CAN LEGITIMATELY ENTER THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM AND LET ISRAEL TRAVEL DOWN IT'S OWN PAINFUL PATH OF REPENTANCE (WHICH ONLY HAPPENS WHEN JESUS RETURNS A 2ND TIME AFTER A MIGHTY LOT OF SUFFERING THROUGH THE TRIBULATION).
Therefore as believers, physical prosperity is for nations not for believers necessarily and therefore no contradictions in eg 1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
[MY RESPONSE] I AGREE 100%
You perhaps might be interested on how I relate to the Law. Up where I am polygamy is rife and so below is the policy we have in our church. Love in Christ, [name withheld]
> Dear Neil,
> I think in a sense you and Ray Comfort are both correct in regards to repentance, but you are each looking at it with a different concept in mind.
[MY RESPONSE] My concept is that God is omniscient and so He can see genuine, saving faith without any outward "show" of repentance/attitude/sanctification/works/OT Law....whereas Ray Comfort's concept is from a human perspective that somehow repentance is a "fruit" of a person's genuine faith in God (from a human perspective) as if God cannot see into their heart by his omniscience. Ray Comfort therefore adds repentance in the Gospel so that he can somehow see that a person has genuine faith or not, but he is using his mere human observation and understanding to try and stop people faking their salvation which, quite frankly, is pathetic compared to God's reasoning and observation. The idea that Ray Comfort has the right to judge others and then assume that he can even determine how much repentance a person has or not to save them shows just how flawed and destructive his "remedy" is to all those fake conversions out there. He is adding to the number of fake conversions by trying to get people to repent their way to heaven according to the "Gospel of Ray Comfort". What he is teaching cannot save anyone and tries to replace the work of God - he neither has the right nor the ability to know if/how much a person is repenting to be saved. Whereas in reality, only God has the right to judge who is saved or not AND He is omniscient to save someone "on the spot" by faith alone when He sees genuine faith - this is what all the Gospel verses in the Bible teach. Faith is all that God needs to see for salvation because He is omniscient - the Gospel has nothing to do with the Old Testament Law, repentance, change of attitude or any other human-based contribution to saving ourselves. Ray Comfort and I are not talking about the same Gospel but rather we are talking about completely different gospel messages that require two completely different ways of getting saved - Ray Comfort has a "human perspective of salvation" that uses limited, human rational and a human expectation of getting saved (full of flaws and works), whereas I have a "God perspective of salvation" that recognises God's omniscience and that He can to save by faith alone because that is all He needs for salvation. Ray Comfort is cashing in on people's ignorance about the Bible and is pushing a false gospel as a money-grabbing business....and with all his videos that he makes, he is slandering people in the process - will he repent from this sin?...no way!....he is making too much money out of the whole scam to stop it. [END]
> If one doesn’t “repent” as such, they are on their way to the lake of fire.
[MY RESPONSE] ....and where in the Bible does it say this?....there is a danger that we add our own slant/assumptions/twist to the Bible and try to make it say something that isn't there. The "unbelievers" are on their way to the lake of fire, but never does the Bible say the "unrepentant" are on their way to the lake of fire. When the Nation of Israel were unrepentant, God rebuked them but NEVER stopped treating them as His Chosen People. [END]
> To repent is not a “work”, it is a change of mind. And to believe in Christ (and thereby receive Him) is not a “work”, it is a change of mind.
[MY RESPONSE] Repentance in the Bible is ALWAYS a "work" and never "a change of mind" (compare Niniveh in Jonah 3:10 with Matt 12:41 (repent=work).....I explain this in read my notes above (in Point 2). [END]
> Neither requires any “action” whatsoever from the person who accepts Christ on their deathbed, and yet they are saved and go to Heaven. But there most definitely will be “works” to evidence that change of mind in someone who is capable of doing so – it’s not a condition of salvation, but rather an evidence of it.
[MY RESPONSE] "Receiving" Christ is not "repenting" to Christ - they are two different things using two different words. Please stick to what the Scripture says and not add your own definitions or twist what God is saying. Repentance is not "receiving" and if repentance is "evidence" of salvation, then it is part of sanctification, not justification....and God, being omniscient, can see the future to know if a person will live a sanctified repentant life as a Christian AFTER they are saved and so He doesn't need to see any repentance BEFORE they are saved - He is omniscient and so the "order" of things is irrelevent to Him. Repentance preachers (like Ray Comfort), on the other hand, are viewing salvation using their mere human abilities and so they include repentance BEFORE salvation because that is all their minds can perceive - they cannot see into a person's heart like God can and they cannot see into the future to see a Christian's repentant sanctified life. Hence, they come up "repentance in the gospel" as a pathetic substitute to "faith alone saves" to satisfy their limited human expectation and observation who is saved or not....it is a false assumption that any one of us should judge people ourselves to know if someone is truly saved or not - none of this matters to God because He can see geniune faith and save a person "on the spot" (as the Biblical Gospel in 1 Cor 15:2-3 states) without any feeble, pathetic attempt to "repent to heaven". Ray Comfort cannot do any saving and so it doesn't matter if he thinks someoone is saved or not.....God can save people infinately better than him and so he should stop pretending that he has the right or the ability to do it!....he has sin in his own life so by his own gospel, he would be as unsaved as any. But will he broadcast all his own sins around the world in videos?...no way!...he only broadcasts other people's sins and slanders them in the process. Ray Comfort isn't repenting of all his slander so is he now unsaved??....haha, he should be glad that God doesn't save him by his own repentance gospel, otherwise he is "on his way to the lake of fire" like the rest of the unsaved. [END]
> Paul preached "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21);
[MY RESPONSE] Acts 20:21 is giving details of Paul’s “testimony" to the Ephesians including how he (Paul) repented to God and he (Paul) had faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ - it is describing Paul's actions as a believer and is NOT saying anything about what he preached to the Ephesians. Do we take all the things that Paul did from verses 17-20 as part of the Gospel?....NO....but somehow we take just a couple of things in verse 21. Clearly, ALL the things mentioned from verses 17-21 are Paul's testimony and are not a teaching of "repentance in the Gospel" to anyone. [END]
> Jesus said, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mt 9:13); the disciples, when Jesus first sent them out, "preached that men should repent" (Mk 6:12); and the early Christians were glad when they realized that God had to the Gentiles "granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18).
[MY RESPONSE] These are Bible passages are ALL specifically directed to Israel as a Nation to repent - they even state "Israel", "sons of Abraham, "Jews", etc.....none of these verses are talking about the Gospel. I talk about this in my notes above. The repentance preachers are constantly misquotng many Bibles verses to somehow justify repentance in their gospel, but no Bible verses include repentance in the true Biblical Gospel. [END].
> And yet it is recognized that the words "repent," "repentance," or "repented" are not found in the entire Gospel of John, the Gospel to which we most often direct a person for salvation. Obviously the Holy Spirit did not make a mistake in leaving these terms out of John's Gospel. Nor is there anything noting repentance in the Gospel as Paul defines it in 1 Corinthians 15. The various terms of "repent" are used in several places in the New Testament, although not extensively, while the concept is a major theme. So why is that? Because repentance is implicit in believing the gospel.
[MY RESPONSE] ....and where in the Bible does it say this?....or are you just adding your own assumption/spin on Bible passages to justify a repentance gospel?....see, there is NO repentance implicit in believing the Gospel unless you put it in there (which is what you are doing). Please stick to what the Scripture says and don't add your own "repentence" in there. God doesn't put "repent," "repentance," or "repented" in the Gospel of John because He doesn't want the words in there and He sure doesn't imply that repentance is in the Gospel - that is your own man-made implication coming from a flawed human perception of the gospel! [END]
> To believe that Christ died for my sins, I must acknowledge that I am a sinner and that my sin makes me worthy of God's judgment, which Christ took for me. Thus believing the Gospel includes a turning from sin toward God through Christ.
[MY RESPONSE] The first sentence is exactly correct and this is exactly what the Bible says.....then you suddenly add on "includes a turning from sin to God through Christ" which is never mentioned in the Bible and certainly is never part of God's Gospel - why do you just add on a completely fabricated set of words that come out of no-where?....From a human perspective, you would need to have "turning from sin to God through Christ" in a man-made gospel, by God is onmniscient and so He doesn't need it. Please leave out your own add-on words and just stick to what God says - He is the the only one who can save people, so He decides how to save! [END]
> By receiving Him, I am in fact repenting through a total change of mind toward God, whether consciously or not.
[MY RESPONSE] ....and where in the Bible does it say this?....where in the Bible is "receiving Him" the same as "repenting"?....Salvation requires both God “calling” everyone and the believer “receiving” the free-gift of salvation. Some people say that "repentance" is how a believer “receives” the Gospel....but this is another devious redefinition of the word “repentance” used by the repentance preachers. They first said that repentance was “obeying the 10 Commandments”, but they got caught out for preaching a “works-based” gospel. They then redefined the word repentance to mean “an attitude of not wanting to sin”, but they got caught out again for spreading a false gospel....so now they redefine repentance to mean “receiving” the Gospel. It is a sly, desperate attempt to keep the word “repent” in their gospel message when it shouldn't be there. The Biblical way that a person “receives” the Gospel message is a conscious decision that Jesus Christ is who He says He is in the Holy Bible and that He did the things that He said He did in the Holy Bible. "Repentance" is NOT how a person "receives" the Gospel message to be saved. If God wanted the word “receive” to be the same as “repent”, then He would have used the word “repent” all the time and not used the word “receive” at all - there are many Biblical passages where believers “receive” the Gospel (such as Matt 11:14, Mark 4:16, Mark 4:20, Mark 10:15, Mark 12:2, Luke 8:13, Luke 18:17, 1 Cor 15:3, 2 Cor 11:4, John 17:8, Rev 3:20 “open the door”). By the way, just because a person rejects the “repentance+faith=salvation” gospel, does not mean that they are a “calvinist” - there is still a “receiving” on the part of the believer, it’s just that “repentance” is not how a person “receives” the Gospel. [END]
> And God, who knows the heart, knows this without it being articulated in a certain way by the sinner coming to Christ.
[MY RESPONSE] God knows the heart and so He only needs "faith" to save and no "repentance". Repentance in the Bible is ALWAYS a "work" and never "a change of mind" (compare Niniveh in Jonah 3:10 with Matt 12:41 (repent=work).....I explain this in my notes above: "When God gave the Old Testament Law at Mt Sinai, He also gave the Tabernacle to save Israel by grace. The OT Law was the condemning part, and the Tabernacle was the saving part. God knew from the very beginning that the OT Law couldn’t save anyone, so He called it a “carnal commandment”, “weak”, “unprofitable” and should be “disannulled” (Heb 7:12-19) - it was replaced with a “new commandment” of loving others (John 13:34) which was the ONLY WAY that the OT Law could be kept (Rom 13:10 and Heb 8:7-13). So if we want to obey the OT Law and be holy, then we should LOVE MORE and not be guilt-tripped about breaking the OT Law (NB: the love mentioned here is "agape" or selfless love - the same love that God has for us). When people focus on the OT Law, they just end up sinning more and they forget about the grace of God. It was always by “the shedding of innocent blood to pay for the guilty sinner” that people get saved (Gen 3:21, 2 Chron 29:24, Eph 2:8-13, Heb 9:13) and never by repentance to the OT Law. Christ fulfilled the Law and the Tabernacle (Rom 10:4, Heb 8:1-7, Col 1:22) and so we, by FAITH ALONE, also fulfill the Law and Tabernacle in Him - we don’t need the repentance/works/Law to be holy....nor is it part of the Gospel message. All that the OT Law does is “frustrate” the Gospel (Gal 2:21) and is bondage, not freedom (Gal 4:9). Plus, repentance is not always “from sin” - after all, God “repents”, but not “from sin” (Gen 6:6, Exodus 32:14 and Jonah 3:9). The phrase “repent from your sins” is not mentioned in the Bible at all. Seeing as God is eternal and therefore outside of time, He sees all things, at all times, all at once - the “order of events” is irrelevant to Him. Hence, God will see repentence “before faith” just the same as “after faith”....with God it doesn’t matter either way, so there is no need to insist that repentance must be a prerequesite to genuine faith. So however you look at it, the “repent+faith=salvation” gospel is a nonsense!"
> Having said that, whether repentance is preached specifically or not, neither is a false gospel - but to reject that there will be an attitude of repentance in the true new believer would be purporting a heresy. If there is no attitude of repentance, I would question the validity of someone's salvation. James 2:17 says: "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." God knows whether they are truly saved, but it should also be evident to others.
[MY RESPONSE] All that you mention here is repentance as part of SANCTIFICATION after salvation and not JUSTIFICATION before salvation. There is NO need to have repentance in the Gospel, because it doesn't achieve anything that you are saying that it is trying to achieve to save someone - repentance is ONLY after salvation. [END]
> Since the Bible doesn't always specify "repentance" as part of the gospel whereby sinners are saved, to say that someone must verbally use the word repent when they believe in Christ would be a heresy. To use your terms, a repent+faith=salvation gospel is false, but a faith=’turning from sin and turning to Christ’=salvation Gospel is Biblical.
[MY RESPONSE]....since when is "faith = turning from sin and turning to Christ"?....Hebrews 11:1 doesn't define faith this way - your definition of "faith" is another example of repentance preachers redefining words to suit their false gospel.
> As for Ray Comfort using the Law (primarily the Ten Commandments) to bring people to see their sin and lost state before God, I see no problem with that. Galatians 3:24 says: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
[MY RESPONSE] It says that we are "justified by faith" - where is repentance mentioned?....The OT LAW only condemns people of sin which is why people then need a Saviour (ie. it "brings us to Christ"), but there is no repentance involved to then get us saved but rather ONLY "justified by faith". Where is the word "repent" mentioned in the verse"?....the verse you quote is explaining the EXACT opposite to what you are trying to say. From the time that the OT Law was given, the "Tabernacle" (ie. God's grace) was also given. The OT Law comdemns, the Tabernacle saves. Christ is the fulfilment of both the OT Law and the Tabernacle....so salvation is always by grace through faith and we are drawn to Christ by "hearing" about His grace and we are saved "by grace through faith"....no repentance needed. The rightesousness of God is manifest "without the Law" and we become the "righteousness of God in Him". NO repentance or OT Law is mentioned in John 3:16 and 1 Cor 15:2-3 doesn't mention it. You and Ray Comfort are preaching a man-made "works-based" gospel derived from a human perception of salvation. It causes derision, disunity, confusion and sends people to "the lake of fire" because they don't have "faith that saves", they have "repent+faith that saves" - it is a false gospel. [END]
> Once someone is saved, however, their life is not restricted to the Old Testament laws. (Although of course many of them, such as Ex. 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.” are obviously still excellent guidelines for proper conduct even today.) Romans 1 shows us that God has put the knowledge of Himself into all of us, so it makes perfect sense to use His words and standards of holiness to show people how they have not met His requirements for salvation, and need to accept His solution to not be punished for their sin. If this makes sense to you, you have some extensive re-writing to do on this page: http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/NOrepentanceInTheGospel.htm
[MY RESPONSE] What you are saying only makes sense from a human, man-made perception of salvation that has nothing to do with God's omniscient and eternal perception of salvation....God's salvation doesn't need repentance in it. [END]
> It comes right down the fact that you’re defining repentance as a “work”. [YOUR RESPONSE] Repentance in the Bible is ALWAYS a "work" and never "a change of mind" (compare Niniveh in Jonah 3:10 with Matt 12:41 (repent=work).....
[MY RESPONSE] It comes right down to the fact whether repentance is in the Gospel or not. We can argue all we like about how repentance is applied in a Christian's sanctified life or how Israel as a Nation will repent at the time of Christ's Second Coming and if we agree or not doesn't bother me. But where is repentance mentioned in the Gospel?....Even if people (like you) want to define repentance as a "change of mind", there are still NO verses that include repentance in the Gospel....all the verses you quote below are either sanctification verses or repentance verses directed specifically to the Nation of Israel to repent (which they ONLY do on the "Day of the Lord" at Christ's Second Coming). I am not debating about how repentance is applied as part of sanctification (I already agree that repentance is a vital part of the Christian's sanctified life), but repentance in the Gospel is NEVER mentioned. [END]
> Revelation 2:5: “…and repent, and do the first works…” - If “repenting” was doing the works, this would be a redundant statement.
[MY RESPONSE] This passage is talking to the Church and the people are already saved - it is repenting as part of sanctification. [END]
> Acts 3:19: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…”
[MY RESPONSE] This passage is specifically talking about Israel - verse 14-15 says: "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."....you and I didn't do this, nor anyone else expect the Jewish leaders at the time of Christ. It is not a Gospel passage and the repentance here is not part of the Gospel. The repentance in verse 19 is specifically to the Nation of Israel repenting, and when they do this, "He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:" (verse 20) which will happen at Christ's Second Coming. [END]
> In Acts 8:22, what “works” would God have recognized as Simon “repenting”? Clearly it’s a change of mind that God would have recognized that Peter is referring to: “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”
[MY RESPONSE] And does this verse have anything to do with the Gospel?....did Simon's repentance help save him?....no!....there was no faith and so there was no salvation. This verse has nothing to do with repentance in the Gospel. Simon wanted to make a business out of healing people with the Holy Spirit and whether you and I agree if Simon's repentance was a "work" or "change of mind" doesn't matter because however he "repented", it didn't save him or make him more savable.....He continued on being unsaved. This is not a Gospel passage. [END]
> When Jesus speaks about forgiveness in Luke 17:3-4; “…If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” So what works of repentance are required – even seven times in a day - before you should forgive him each time?
[MY RESPONSE] ....and does repentance here have anything to do with the Gospel?....no! [END]
> Acts 17:30: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”
[MY REPSONSE] Paul was telling the Areopagites to repent from worshiping false idols, but this isn't the Gospel part of Paul's speech....the next verse is the Gospel - verse 31: "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead"....afterwhich, some got saved (in verse 34)?....by believing!....no repentance mentioned in verse 34. You are adding a non-Gospel part of the passage with repentance in it into the Gospel part of the message to make up a false repent+faith=salvation gospel. No person in the Bible has got saved by any repentance being part of their faith and when you look at all the Gospel verses, NO repentance is mentioned. [END]
> How can you say “no Bible verses include repentance in the true Biblical Gospel”? Which books are omitted in your Bible?
[MY RESPONSE] ....because Repentance preachers NEVER quote any Gospel verses that include repentance, they just misquote, redefine, twist, slant, assume, imply or make up that repentance is in the Gospel so that they can push their false gospel. I have all 66 Books in the Bible - please show me a quote that has repentance in the Gospel (ie. repentance as part of justification.....not about sanctification or the Nation of Israel, or any other form of non-Gospel "repentance"). [END]
> As far as how the word repent is used, albeit in Hebrew, I would even use the very Jonah 3:10 that you flip around: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” Because God thought differently as a result of their change of heart and subsequent works, He did not do what He had otherwise planned to do.
[MY RESPONSE] At least you are admitting that Niniveh's repentance is a "work" or are you conveniently going to forget that because it doesn't suit your repentance gospel?....btw, God's repentance was not to destroy them, but rather to "spare" them (Jonah 4:11) which is a verb/action word (.....check the Hebrew). Whether God destroyed or spared Niniveh - either way, it was a "work" by God.....remember, God sent Jonah (a "work") to preach to Niniveh and He "worked" to spare them, just like Jesus sustains all things (Col 1:17) and is calling many to be saved (Matt 22:14)....He isn't just sitting around up in heaven doing nothing. [END]
> Authoritative Bible lexicons define the word “repent” in the New Testament as being a change of mind: Strongs: 3340. ????????? metanoeo met-an-o-eh’-o; from 3326 and 3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction): — repent. Greek Lexicon: 3340 ????????? metanoeo met-an-o-eh’-o from 3326 and 3539; 1) to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent …..That’s the very word used in Matthew 12:41 for “repented”. Their repentance was primarily what God cared about, not just their subsequent works. Believing in Christ is not something you can boast about – because contrary to ‘Calvinism’, believing is not a work. (Eph. 2:9: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”) In like manner, true repentance toward God is not something anyone can boast about. While actions taken as a result of repentance could be something someone could boast about, these actions would be “works”, and are not part of salvation.
[MY RESPONSE] .....and where are any of these "repentance" words included in a Gospel passage?....Eph 2:9 doesn't include the word repent as part of "not boasting" and neither should it - because repentance isn't in the Gospel, just "grace through faith" (so contrary to what you are trying to say, this verse proves my point that NO repentance is mentioned in the Gospel).....it is faith by God's grace that saves.... please, no sanctification verses or verses specifically telling the Nation of Israel to repent at Christ's Second Coming. [END]
> I noted before: Jesus said, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mt 9:13); the disciples, when Jesus first sent them out, "preached that men should repent" (Mk 6:12); and the early Christians were glad when they realized that God had to the Gentiles "granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). [YOUR RESPONSE] These are Bible passages are ALL specifically directed to Israel as a Nation to repent - they even state "Israel", "sons of Abraham, "Jews", etc.....none of these verses are talking about the Gospel. And now I add – repentance in Acts 11:18 was talking SPECIFICALLY AS NOTED about the GENTILES and the Gospel.
[MY RESPONSE] I have explained in my notes above how Acts 11:18 is NOT saying that people were saved by repenting - if you read the previous verse beforehand, it says: "God gave them the like gift as he did to us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ;"....the passage SPECIFICALLY states that they were saved by believing (no repentance mentioned) and then the Jewish Christians responded by saying "granted repentance unto life" - it is just a statement that they make based on their understanding of the Nation of Israel repenting unto life (which happens at Christ's Second Coming)....it is not a statement to build a Doctrine of Soteriology on. My notes above explain all this: Acts 11:18 is simply quoting the response that the Christian Jews said to Peter - that's all it is, just a quote. The Christian Jews mentioned in this verse also ONLY preached the Word to the Jews (see the next verse 19), so are we now going to follow their example and teach that the Word should only be preached to the Jews because they did it?....of course not....Acts 11:18 is simply a response by the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem and is NOT a God-given doctrine of Soteriology. In fact, when you read the previous verse (Acts 11:17), Peter says that the household of Cornelius "believed on the Lord Jesus Christ"....he said: "God gave them the like gift as he did to us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ;". Peter says that they only "believed" (no repentance). The Jewish Christians who were listening to Peter simply responded with "God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life" because they understood the Gospel as a Jewish-only religion (see Acts 11:2-3) and they responded with their Jewish understanding of salvation of a Kingdom on Earth (see Points 3 and 4 above) [END]
> Well, I see that the Bible quite clearly defines repentance as being a change of mind, not a work. Acts 26:20: “…then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” - If “repenting” was doing the works, this would be a redundant statement.
[MY RESPONSE] This is a verse about the Gentiles AFTER they are saved - the saving part is in verse 18: "that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."....this verse describes the salvation of the Gentiles BY FAITH and then as part of their sanctified life "they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” We could bog ourselfs down on how repentance is applied in a Christian's sanctified life, but that is not the issue. I already agree that repentance is part of a Christian's sanctified life and it's no big deal to me if you think that sanctified repentance is a "work" or a "change of mind" as part of sanctification, but that is not what we are talking about here.....we are talking about justification (ie. repentance in the Gospel). There is no verse that includes repentance in the Gospel ("works", "change of mind" or anything else you want to make it). I don't see repentance verses you mentioned are "change of mind" even for sanctification, but that is not the issue here.....we can debate that another day if you want, but Repentance Preachers are continually misquoting Bible verses about repentance that are either part of sanctification, or specifically talking to Israel as a nation....but they never quote a Bible verse that includes repentance in the Bible (.....because there aren't any). [END]
Quite frankly, I have no idea how you can just read the Scripture and come away with the idea that to “repent” is defined as performing “works” – I can’t find it.
[MY RESPONSE] ....because you are locked into a man-made doctrine of repent+faith=salvation and you read into as many Bible verses as you can how to keep repentance in the gospel when it shouldn't be there. You haven't quoted any Gospel verses with repentance in them and I am not adding to God's Word like you are - John 3:16 and 1 Cor 15:2-3 are the perfect example of how God wants the Gospel to be.....so if it is good enough for God, it is good enough for me. The only reason to add repentance into the Gospel is to satisfy mere human expectations to see if a person has genuine faith or not - this is a false motive leading to a false gospel. God doesn't need any show of repentance to see if genuine faith exists or not (becaused He is omniscient) and so the motive for including repentance in the Gospel is removed. Mere humans use sinful and proud devices to frustrate the grace of God and so.....*presto*.....up pops the repentance gospel with OT Law preached in full flight. The result is unsaved people getting chased into more sin, Christians being judged if they "have repented enough to be saved in the opinions of other sinful Christians", confusion, derision, disunity and devastation of people's lives who have been falsely judged as unsaved because of small-minded people think that they have the right to judge who is saved or not.....any unsaved person who hears the repent+faith=salvation gospel assumes that they have to "do something" to repent (no matter how much you tell them it is "a change of attitude") and so suddenly everyone is trying to repent their way to heaven. What a joke! PLEASE DUMP THE REPENT+FAITH=SALVATION GOSPEL! [END]
> Dear Neil,
> 'Not going to spend the time reading it all, but I gleaned enough to see that they teach a different Salvation depending on whether the person is Jew or Gentile. And to this, here is thit little tidbit:
> "When they heard these things they kept silent; and they glorified God, saying, Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance unto life." (Ac11:18)
> "Repentance unto life" is offered to -both- Jew and Gentile.
[MY REPONSE] HELLO, THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE.
I READ ALL YOUR EMAIL/MATERIAL SO THAT I CAN LEARN AND GROW IN MY CHRISTIAN FAITH - I HOPE THAT YOU WILL DO THE SAME WITH MINE....IF SO, YOU MIGHT FIND THIS HELPFUL:
YOU ARE QUOTING THE RESPONSE THAT THE CHRISTIAN JEWS SAID TO PETER - THAT'S ALL IT IS, JUST A QUOTE. THESE SAME PEOPLE ONLY PREACHED THE WORD TO THE JEWS (SEE THE NEXT VERSE 19), SO ARE YOU NOW GOING TO FOLLOW THEIR EXAMPLE AND TEACH THAT THE WORD SHOULD ONLY BE PREACHED TO THE JEWS BECAUSE THEY DID IT?....OF COURSE NOT, THE VERSE YOU QUOTED IN ACTS 11:18 IS SIMPLY A RESPONSE BY THE JEWISH CHRISTIANS IN JERUSALEM AND IS NOT A GOD-GIVEN DOCTRINE OF SOTERIOLOGY. IN FACT, WHEN YOU READ THE PREVIOUS VERSE (ACTS 11:17), PETER SAYS THAT THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS "BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST"....HE SAID: "GOD GAVE THEM THE LIKE GIFT AS HE DID TO US, WHO BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST;". PETER SAYS THAT THEY ONLY "BELIEVED" (NO REPENTANCE). THE JEWISH CHRISTIANS WHO WERE LISTENING TO PETER SIMPLY RESPONDED WITH "GOD HAS ALSO GRANTED TO THE GENTILES REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE" BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTOOD THE GOSPEL AS A JEWISH-ONLY RELIGION (SEE ACTS 11:2-3) AND THEY RESPONDED WITH THEIR JEWISH UNDERSTANDING OF SALVATION. LIKE I SAID ABOVE, THE NEXT VERSE IN ACTS 11:19 SAYS HOW THESE PEOPLE ONLY PREACHED TO THE JEWS SO ARE YOU GOING TO TEACH AS A GOD-GIVEN DOCTRINE THAT WE SHOULD DO THE SAME AS THEM AND ONLY PREACH THE WORD TO THE JEWS??....OF COURSE NOT!....JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD PREACHED "BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL" (ACTS 13:24 - NOTICE THAT IT IS SPECIFICALLY TO ISRAEL) AND SO THE JEWISH CHRISTIANS WHO WERE LISTENING TO PETER IN THE VERSE YOU QUOTE (ACTS 11:17) ONLY UNDERSTOOD THE JEWISH SALVATION OF "REPENTANCE TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL" WHICH ONLY OCCURS AT CHRIST'S SECOND COMING. IF YOU READ THE PASSAGE ACCURATELY, YOU WILL SEE THAT PETER PREACHED A GOSPEL THAT IS "FAITH ONLY" AND DOES NOT INCLUDE REPENTANCE AT ALL.
THE BIBLE INCLUDES MANY QUOTES FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT SAYING GOD-GIVEN DOCTRINES, NOR ARE THEY DOCTRINES THAT WE SHOULD FOLLOW - THEY ARE JUST QUOTES FROM PEOPLE. FOR EXAMPLE, PONTIUS PILATE ASKS "WHAT IS TRUTH?" IN JOHN 18:38 WHEN JESUS WAS TELLING HIM ABOUT HIS KINGDOM WHICH WAS "NOT OF THIS WORLD", BUT WE DON'T TAKE PONTIUS PILATES STATEMENT AS A CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF "NOT KNOWING TRUTH" WHEN IT IS SIMPLY A QUOTE FROM AN UNBELIEVING PERSON WHO IS TALKING TO JESUS. ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS WHEN PAUL AND BARNABAS DID MIRACLES AT LYSTRA IN ACTS 14:8-18 AND THE PEOPLE THOUGHT THEY WERE "GODS" - DO WE THEREFORE TAKE THE COMMENTS OF THE LYCAONIANS AND ACTUALLY TEACH THAT "PAUL AND BARNABAS ARE GODS"?...OF COURSE NOT. THEY ARE JUST QUOTES FROM PEOPLE. YOU HAVE TAKEN A QUOTE IN ACTS 11:18 FROM JEWISH CHRISTIANS WHO WERE NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT PETER PREACHED A GOSPEL OF "FAITH ONLY" TO CORNELIUS AND THEY RESPONDED WITH THEIR OWN JEWISH UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOSPEL WHICH INCLUDED "REPENTANCE OF ISRAEL" - THIS "REPENTANCE" IS SOLELY TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL AND DOES NOT HAPPEN UNTIL THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. THE BIBLE SIMPLY QUOTES THEIR RESPONSE TO PETER AND NOTHING MORE....WE DON'T MAKE A DOCTRINE OUT OF IT!
>Paul was -sumarizing- the message he had been preaching when he said "how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying both to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ac20:20-21)
[MY RESPONSE] I HAVE INCLUDED AN EXPLANATION OF THIS IN MY MATERIAL ABOVE [SEE POINT 2 ABOVE] BECAUSE ALL REPENTANCE PREACHERS USE ACTS 20:20-21 TO SUPPORT THEIR "REPENTANCE GOSPEL", BUT YOU ALL CONVENIENTLY LEAVE OUT THE PREVIOUS 3 VERSES WHEN PAUL DESCRIBES HIS TESTIMONY TO THE EPHESIANS (STARTING FROM VERSE 17):
17. AND FROM MILETUS HE SENT TO EPHESUS, AND CALLED THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH.
18. AND WHEN THEY WERE COME TO HIM, HE SAID UNTO THEM, YE KNOW, FROM THE FIRST DAY THAT I CAME INTO ASIA, AFTER WHAT MANNER I HAVE BEEN WITH YOU AT ALL SEASONS,
19. SERVING THE LORD WITH ALL HUMILITY OF MIND, AND WITH MANY TEARS, AND TEMPTATIONS, WHICH BEFELL ME BY THE LYING IN WAIT OF THE JEWS:
20. AND HOW I KEPT BACK NOTHING THAT WAS PROFITABLE UNTO YOU, BUT HAVE SHEWED YOU, AND HAVE TAUGHT YOU PUBLICKLY, AND FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE,
21. TESTIFYING BOTH TO THE JEWS, AND ALSO TO THE GREEKS, REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
......SO THE "REPENTANCE TO GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" IS GIVING DETAILS OF PAUL'S "TESTIMONY" TO THE EPHESIANS INCLUDING HOW HE (PAUL) REPENTED TO GOD AND HE (PAUL) HAD FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - IT IS DESCRIBING PAUL'S ACTIONS AS A BELIEVER AND IS NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HE PREACHED TO THE EPHESIANS. IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME, THEN ARE YOU GOING TO SAY THAT TO GET SAVED, PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO DO ALL THE THINGS THAT PAUL DID IN VERSES 18-20?.....OF COURSE NOT!. TO TAKE VERSE 21 WITHOUT PUTTING IT IN CONTEXT WITH THE PREVIOUS 4 VERSES IS A SLY AND DEVIOUS TRICK THAT REPENTANCE PREACHERS USE TO KEEP REPENTANCE IN THEIR GOSEPL - IT'S JUST A CLEAR MISQUOTING OF SCRIPTURE TO MAKE OUT THAT PAUL PREACHED "REPENTANCE TO GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST". ALSO, THE "REPENTANCE" IN 2 PETER 3:9 IS PART OF A PASSAGE REASSURING PEOPLE THAT THE PROMISES OF THE "DAY OF THE LORD" IN ISAIAH (SPECIFICALLY ISAIAH 2-3) ARE NOT FORGOTTEN BY GOD AND ALTHOUGH THE CHURCH AGE HAS BEGUN, THE FULFILLMENT OF THE "DAY OF THE LORD" IS STILL GOING TO HAPPEN (AT CHRIST'S SECOND COMING) - 2 PETER 3:9 IS A REQUOTE OF ISAIAH 30:18-19.
>We submit to God "God, be merciful to me a sinner" (Lk18:13) The tax collector was not doing a "work" .... he was "repenting" of his sinful state.
[MY RESPONSE] WHERE IS THE WORD "REPENT" USED?.....OH, I SEE....YOU JUST ADD THAT IN TO MAKE IT FIT YOUR FALSE REPENTANCE GOSPEL. PLEASE STICK TO WHAT THE SCRIPTURE ACTUALLY SAYS - THERE IS NO REPENTANCE HAPPENING HERE BECAUSE BIBLICAL REPENTANCE IS ALWAYS A WORK.
>And Jesus, who proclaimed of Himself that He is "the way the truth and the Life" (Jn14:6) proclaimed that "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself (repents) will be exalted." (Lk18:14)
[MY RESPONSE].....AND THE WORD "REPENT" IS WHERE?.....OH, I SEE....YOU JUST ADDED IT IN. ONCE AGAIN, PLEASE STICK TO WHAT THE SCRIPTURE ACTUALLY SAYS.
>And Paul proclaimed that it was the same message to "Jews, and also to Greeks". "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich toward all who call upon Him. For everyone, whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Ro10:12-13)
[MY RESPONSE] ....AND NOTICE THAT NO REPENTANCE IS MENTIONED IN THE VERSES ROM 10:12-13!!....THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THAT YOU HAVE QUOTED BIBLE VERSES ACCURATELY - WE ARE ALL SAVED BY FAITH ALONE AND ALL THE REPENTANCE VERSES ABOUT SALVATION ARE SPECIFICALLY REFERRING TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL (ALL THE VERSES DESCRIBE THE RECIPIANTS AS BEING "JEWS", "ISRAEL", "SON OF ABRAHAM", ETC) AND RELATE TO HOW ISRAEL REPENTS TO THEIR MESSIAH - WHICH WE KNOW BY PROPHECY ONLY HAPPENS AT CHRIST'S SECOND COMING. GOD STILL HAS A PLAN FOR ISRAEL DURING THE "70TH WEEK OF DANIEL" AND AFTER ISRAEL FINALLY REPENTS TO THEIR MESSIAH AT HIS SECOND COMING, THEN THE WORLD-WIDE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL WILL BE ESTABLISHED ON EARTH. IN THE MEANTIME, WE ALL (JEW AND GREEK) ARE SAVED BY FAITH ALONE.....ALL THE REPENTANCE VERSES USED BY REPENTANCE PREACHERS ARE SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED TO ISRAEL, NOT FOR UNSAVED IN THE CHURCH AGE GOSPEL.
>If you are "adding" things to your website, make sure you add this, too. When Job saw God in all His glory, he bewails "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye has seen You. Therefore I despise myself, and have repented in dust and ashes." (Job42:5-6)
[MY RESPONSE] JOB ALREADY HAD FAITH IN GOD AND SO THE REPENTANCE HERE IS SANCTIFICATION, NOT JUSTIFICATION....ONCE, AGAIN - THERE IS NO REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL.
>Everybody wants to "la-dee-da" their way into Heaven, but nobody wants to "humble" themselves (repent).
[MY RESPONSE] IF THE "LA-DEE-DA" IS GENUINE FAITH AND GOD (WITH HIS OMNISCIENCE) CAN SEE IT, THEN IT IS SAVING FAITH....IF YOU OR I (OR ANY JUDGMENTAL, HYPOCRITICAL REPENTANCE PREACHER) DISAGREES WITH GOD ABOUT WHO HE SAVES AND HOW HE SAVES THEM, IT DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE GOD DOES THE SAVING - NOT US!....EVEN IF WE THINK A PERSON HAS "REPENTED" ENOUGH TO BE SAVED, THEY MIGHT BE PUTTING ON A BIG ACT WHEN THEY ARE AROUND US - SO EITHER WAY, WHETHER WE DON'T SEE ENOUGH "REPENTANCE" OR IF WE DO SEE ENOUGH "REPENTANCE", WE DON'T KNOW IF A PERSON HAS GENUINE FAITH TO SAVE THEM. FOR AN UNSAVED PERSON TO INCREASE THEIR FAITH TO THE POINT THAT IT IS SAVING FAITH, IT ISN'T REPENTANCE THAT WILL GIVE THEM MORE FAITH TO SAVE THEM (TO THE CONTRARY, REPENTANCE PREACHING JUST CHASES THEM OFF INTO MORE SIN), IT IS "HEARING THE WORD OF GOD" (ROM 10:17) THAT WILL GIVE THEM MORE FAITH.....WE NEED TO PREACH MORE, NOT JUDGE MORE!
>Ja 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 1Pt 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
[MY RESPONSE] ....AND THE WORD "REPENTANCE" IS WHERE?
> You do not know when somebody has repented "enough".
[MY RESPONSE] IF YOU EXPECT PEOPLE TO "REPENT" AS PART OF GETTING SAVED AND YET YOU "DO NOT KNOW WHEN SOMEBODY HAS REPENTED ENOUGH", THEN HOW CAN YOU EVER KNOW IF A PERSON IS ACTUALLY SAVED?....COME ON - THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING....WE ARE SUPPOSE TO KNOW THAT WE ARE SAVED (JOHN 20:31) AND YET THE REPENTANCE GOSPEL MEANS THAT WE DON'T KNOW IF WE ARE SAVED - THE WHOLE THING GETS MORE AND MORE RIDICULOUS THE MORE YOU TRY TO EXPLAIN IT!
OBVIOUSLY, IF YOU DON'T KNOW IF SOMEBODY HAS REPENTED "ENOUGH" TO SAVE THEM, THEN DON'T TRY TO MAKE PEOPLE REPENT AT ALL - IT IS FUTILE AND IRRELEVANT. REPENTANCE IS ONLY AFTER SALVATION AS PART OF SANCTIFICATION, NOT JUSTIFICATION. WHAT IS EVEN WORSE ABOUT REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL IS THAT AN UNSAVED PERSON (WHO READS THE BIBLE FOR THEMSELVES) WILL INEVITABLY UNDERSTAND THAT REPENTANCE IS A "WORK" (BECAUSE THE BIBLE ALWAYS DEFINES REPENTANCE AS A "WORK") AND HE/SHE WILL THEREFORE ALWAYS TRY TO WORK THEIR WAY TO HEAVEN IF YOU INCLUDE REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL. NO MATTER HOW MUCH REPENTANCE PREACHERS TRY TO JUSTIFY HAVING REPENTANCE IN THEIR GOSPEL, THE UNSAVED WILL ALWAYS UNDERSTAND THAT REPENTANCE AS A WORK AND THAT THEY WILL NEED TO "DO SOMETHING" TO HELP SAVE THEMSELVES. IT IS ONLY WHEN PEOPLE HEAR THE WORD OF GOD THAT THEY COME TO JESUS CHRIST FOR SALVATION!....NOT BY REPENTANCE.
> Repentence is not the same as "penance" where the priest commands the parishoner to "say so-many 'hail mary's'", or kneel up the stairs so-many steps on their bare knees to kiss some statue on its pinky toes.
[MY RESPONSE] THAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF "REPENTANCE"....THE BIBLICAL REPENTANCE IS ALWAYS A "WORK" AND TO ADD YOUR DEFINITION OF REPENTANCE TO THE GOSPEL IS BOTH DISHONEST AND CORRUPTING GOD'S SALVATION MESSAGE. PLEASE STICK TO GOD'S DEFINITION OF REPENTANCE AND PREACH A "FAITH ONLY" GOSPEL AS GOD INTENDED.
> Just because some verse doesn't say the -word- "repent", doesn't mean that the other words that are there don't mean repentance. It's a 'thesaurus' concept. Not something for you to scoff at and say "that was repentance.....how??
[MY RESPONSE] IF GOD WANTED TO USE THE WORD "REPENT", HE WOULD HAVE USED THE WORD "REPENT"....PLEASE STICK TO WHAT GOD SAYS AND NOT WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE GOD TO SAY - THERE HAS NEVER BEEN REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL AND THERE NEVER WILL BE.
I HAVE A GREAT DEAL RESPECT FOR YOU BECAUSE YOU AT LEAST HAVE THE COURAGE TO DISCUSS/DEBATE THE ISSUE, UNLIKE MOST OTHER REPENTANCE PREACHERS I HAVE MET WHO ARE TOO SCARED TO BE CHALLENGED ON THEIR DOCTRINE....HOWEVER, YOU ARE TAKING PASSAGES THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY DIRECTED TO ISRAEL TO REPENT AND ARE PUSHING A JEWISH, WORKS-BASED "REPENTANCE" THAT CANNOT SAVE ANYONE. ISRAEL DOES NOT REPENT UNTIL CHRIST'S SECOND COMING AND YOU ARE TAKING THESE VERSES TO SAY THAT WE ARE TO REPENT AS PART OF THE GOSPEL FOR TODAY. BY THE WAY, REPENTANCE PREACHERS JUSTIFY "REPENTANCE" IN THEIR GOSPEL BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE SHOULD SHOW "FRUIT" OF THEIR SALVATION - WELL, LOOK AT THE "FRUIT" THAT THE REPENTANCE GOSPEL CAUSES: HUGE DIVISION AND CONFUSION....THE WAY THAT YOU HAVE DISCARDED DAVE HUNT'S MATERIAL WHEN YOU ADMIT THAT YOU AGREE WITH 99% OF IT, IS PROOF OF THIS. IF YOU REQUIRE "FRUIT" THAT IS UNGODLY, THEN THE REPENTANCE GOSPEL IS IT!....HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW MUCH JUDGING AND SLANDER GOES ON WHEN PEOPLE PREACH THE REPENTANCE GOSPEL?....IT NEVER ENDS....THERE ARE VIDEOS MADE ABOUT "SINFUL" PEOPLE WHO SUPPOSEDLY ARE NOT REPENTANT WHICH IS NOTHING MORE THAN SLANDER, BUT DO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THESE VIDEOS EVER BROADCAST AROUND THE WORLD ALL THEIR OWN "UNREPENTANT SINS"?...NO WAY, JUST OTHER PEOPLE'S SINS AND THE "REPENTANCE" IN THE VIDEOS IS BASED ON THEIR HUMAN PERSPECTIVE, NOT GOD'S PERSPECTIVE. LET'S BE HONEST AND REALISE THAT THE REPENTANCE PREACHERS ARE JUST AS SINFUL AS ANYONE, AND YET THEY ARE HAPPY TO SLANDER OTHER PEOPLE BUT NOT THEMSELVES - WHAT HYPOCRITES. WE SHOULD NOT BE "JUDGING, SLANDERING OR WORKING/REPENTING/SANCTIFYING" OUR WAY TO HEAVEN - IT IS BY FAITH ALONE.
I don't know who you are? Who is 'Neil'? Do we have you on our mailing list? I have already answered your claims in e-mails to another person who kept passing them onto you. You were the 'Neil' who misrepresented what I teach and I showed that clearly. But now in the latest newsletter Diakrisis we have exposed your view and the misrepresentation. I have attached the newsletter to this e-mail. I will read all of yours below when you admit the misrepresentation. (I have not been impressed by the tone of your e-mails either). You and your view have been exposed on the following pages:
P.13 'Lordship salvation and Sanctification' [You will see that you have misunderstood my view on this. I don't teach 'Lordship Salvation' per say]
[MY RESPONSE] WHEN YOU SAY THAT "JUSTIFICATION REQUIRES SANCTIFICATION" (IN YOUR LATEST NEWSLETTER), YOU DON'T SEEM TO REALISE THAT YOU HAVE MADE "SANCTIFICATION" PART OF "JUSTIFICATION" AND HAVE INADVERTANTLY MERGED THE TWO WORDS INTO ONE - THIS NOT ONLY DESTROYS THE VERY MEANING OF THE WORDS, BUT THEOLOGICALLY, YOU HAVE CROSSED OVER THEIR FUNCTIONS. I KNOW THAT THIS IS A BIT OF MENTAL GYMNASTICS, BUT ALL YOUR LOGIC AND RATIONAL BEHIND YOUR DOCTRINE IS BASED SOLELY ON A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE OF SALVATION WHICH ACTUALLY CONTRADICTS ITSELF. GOD DOESN'T BOTHER WITH ANY OF THIS BECAUSE FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE (AN OMNISCIENT PERSPECTIVE), ALL THAT IS RELEVANT TO HIM IS IF HE SEES GENUINE FAITH OR NOT - HE DOESN'T NEED ANY OUTWARD "SHOW" OF SANCTIFICATION.
P.18,19 Answer to your writing in detail
[MY RESPONSE] YOU SEEM TO FORGET THAT BECAUSE GOD IS OMNISCIENT, HE WILL SAVE A PERSON WHEN HE SEES SAVING FAITH BECAUSE HE CAN SEE INTO THEIR HEART - THERE IS NO NEED FOR GOD TO SEE ANY OUTWARD "SHOW" OF SANCTIFICATION TO KNOW IF THEIR FAITH IS GENUINE OR NOT. PLUS, AT THE TIME WHEN A PERSON HAS GENUINE FAITH TO BE SAVED, GOD CAN SEE INTO THE FUTURE TO KNOW THAT THEY WILL LIVE A SANCTIFIED, REPENTANT LIFE AND SO HE CAN SAVE THEM ON THE SPOT BY FAITH ALONE (....THAT'S THE BENEFIT OF BEING OMNISCIENT). GOD'S PERSPECTIVE IS DIFFERENT FROM OUR MERE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE AND SO HIS REQUIREMENT FOR JUSTIFICATION (BY FAITH ALONE) IS DIFFERENT TO OURS (FAITH+REPENTANCE/SANCTIFICATION/WORKS/LAW/ETC). LET'S LET GOD DO THE SAVING BIT BECAUSE HE IS SOOOOO MUCH BETTER AT IT THAN US AND SO WE SHOULD STOP TRYING TO JUDGE WHO IS SAVED OR NOT BASED ON OUR WEAK, FEEBLE ATTEMPTS TO SEE IF A PERSON IS "REPENTANT/SANCTIFIED ENOUGH" TO BE SAVED. WE WILL ONLY TURN INTO LEGALISTIC, JUDGMENTAL AND UNLOVING CHRISTIANS (....IF WE HAVEN'T ALREADY). TO SAY THAT "JUSTIFICATION REQUIRES SANCTIFICATION" IS BASED SOLELY ON A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE THAT TRIES TO SATISIFY OUR OWN EXPECTATION THAT A PERSON IS TRUELY SAVED OR NOT. FIRSTLY, WE CAN'T SEE EVERYTHING THAT A PERSON DOES AND SO WE CAN'T DETERMINE ACCURATELY HOW MUCH SANCTIFICATION THAT THEY HAVE TRUELY DONE; SECONDLY, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT LEVEL OF SANCTIFICATION A SAVED PERSON SHOULD HAVE....IS IT 10%, 40%, 68.35%, 99%?....LET'S FACE IT, WE DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH SANCTIFICATION A PERSON HAS DONE OR WHAT AMOUNT OF SANCTIFICATION IS SUFFICIENT TO "SAVE" THEM; THIRDLY, IT IS NOT OUR BUSINESS TO EVEN JUDGE IF A PERSON IS SANCTIFIED ENOUGH OR NOT TO BE SAVED - IT IS GOD'S BUSINESS. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF WE SEE "REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/LAW" OR NOT BECAUSE IT IS NOT US THAT SAVES A PERSON. GOD DOES THE SAVING (USING HIS OMNISCIENCE) AND CAN THEREFORE DECIDE WHO SHOULD BE SAVED AND HOW TO SAVE THEM (ON THE SPOT BY FAITH ALONE) ....IT IS HIS BUSINESS AND WE SHOULD GET OFF OUR PEDESTAL BY TRYING TO JUDGE WHO SHOULD BE SAVED OR NOT AND BY DREAMING UP A FALSE GOSPEL IN THE PROCESS (FAITH+REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/LAW") BASED ON OUR MERE FEEBLE HUMAN REASONING/OBSERVATION. LET GOD DO THE SAVING BECAUSE HE IS INFINATELY BETTER AT DOING IT.
I trust this will give you a better idea of where I stand. I do NOT add repentance as a 'work'.
[MY RESPONSE] BIBLICAL REPENTANCE IS ALWAYS A WORK - FOR EXAMPLE, COMPARE JONAH 3:10 WITH MATT 12:41 (REPENT=WORK).
My articles in the latest Diakrisis sent to you answers all this and actually agrees with much of it. Read that. The problem is you are reading between the lines and misunderstanding what is being stated. God does not stop at Justification.
[MY RESPONSE] FOR SALVATION, HE DOES!....THAT IS WHAT THE WHOLE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION IS ABOUT - GETTING SAVED (COMPLETED/FINISHED) see GAL 2:16, THEN COMES SANCTIFICATION. SO IF YOU BELIEVE THAT SALVATION IS CONDITIONAL ON OUR SANCTIFICATION "AFTER" JUSTIFICATION, THEN JUSTIFICATION IS ON-GOING. LIKEWISE, IF YOU BELIEVE THAT SANCTIFICATION IS PART OF JUSTIFICATION, THEN YOU HAVE MIXED UP THEIR ROLES AND CROSSED-OVER THEIR FUNCTIONS....IN EITHER CASE, THIS IS A NONSENSE!
IT IS ONLY US HUMANS THAT NEED TO "SEE REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/LAW" BECAUSE WE HAVE LIMITED, FINITE, SINFUL MINDS TRYING TO VIEW SALVATION FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE. WHAT A JOKE! SINCE WHEN SHOULD IT EVEN BE OUR BUSINESS TO DETERMINE IF A PERSON IS SAVED OR NOT?....WE PRETEND THAT WE SHOULD DECIDE WHO IS SAVED OR NOT AND SO WE NEED "SANCTIFICATION" TO PROVE IT. WE CANNOT EVEN TELL ACCURATELY HOW MUCH SANCTIFICATION A PERSON HAS, LET ALONE DECIDE HOW MUCH WILL SAVE THEM OR NOT. GOD ONLY NEEDS GENUINE FAITH TO SAVE SOMEONE BECAUSE HE CAN SEE IT AND HE IS THE ONE WHO SAVES.... SO LET'S BUTT OUT OF GOD'S BUSINESS BY MAKING UP A "REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/LAW" GOSPEL TO SUIT OUR PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO TRY AND JUDGE IF A PERSON IS "SAVED OR NOT"....GET REAL - WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO MAKE SUCH A JUDGMENT.
There is fruit, sanctification by grace also. There are also false brethren, tares, etc.
[MY RESPONSE] GOD LEAVES THE TARES IN THE CHURCH UNTIL THE RAPTURE, SO HOW ABOUT WE STOP TRYING TO "WEED OUT" THE TARES NOW WHEN GOD DOESN'T WANT IT DONE!....WE WILL "SQUASH" THE WHEAT WHILE WE ARE "WEEDING OUT" THE TARES (WHICH IS WHY CHRISTIANS ARE GETTING SO HURT AND JUDGED IN THE PROCESS). GOD WILL DEAL WITH THE TARES IN HIS OWN WAY, AT HIS OWN TIME. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT DOESN'T INCLUDE REPENTANCE OR SANCTIFICATION AND HOW CAN WE EVEN KNOW HOW MUCH SANCTIFICATION A PERSON REALLY HAS?....WE CAN'T, SO LET'S NOT EVEN TRY!....IT'S GOD'S BUSINESS AND HE CAN DO ALL THE SAVING, SANCTIFYING AND GLORIFYING BY HIMSELF USING HIS OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE, INFALLIBILITY, IMMUTABILITY AND ETERNAL CAPABILITIES (ALL THINGS THAT WE DON'T HAVE) TO SAVE A PERSON ON THE SPOT BY FAITH ALONE. LET'S GET REAL AND STOP TRYING TO BE "GOD"....WE SHOULD BUTT OUT OF HIS BUSINESS!
My recent article also stated I do not believe in judging peoples salvation...Read it - 'Saved or not saved - the dillemma'...
[MY RESPONSE] THEN DUMP THE ALTERNATIVE GOSPEL THAT INCLUDES FAITH+REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/LAW BECAUSE YOU ARE VIEWING SALVATION FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE. LET GOD VIEW SALVATION FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE (BY FAITH ALONE) THAT DOESN'T NEED ANY OUTWARD "SHOW" OF REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/LAW.
hey bro, love you dearly, and appreciate your zeal for the LORD (definitely a better man than me) printed out and read your reasonings, but disagree with you on this one - not going to destroy our relationship over it - lets chat about it for a million years or so when we get to glory
Acts 20:20-21 (Pauls testimony in the NT Church age of his ministry) "(20) _And_ how I kept back nothing that was profitable _unto you_, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, (21) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. – been using the same pattern for years, saw a 25 yo man receive CHRIST the same way Sunday morning after Main service".....onward, forward, in CHRISTS love, your Brother - [name withheld]
[MY RESPONSE] HEY BRO....THE PASSAGE YOU QUOTE IS "PAUL'S TESTIMONY" TO THE EPHESIANS (VERSES 18-21) INCLUDING HOW PAUL HAD "REPENTANCE UNTO GOD" AND PAUL HAD "FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" AS A SAVED PERSON - THE PASSAGE DOESN'T SAY THAT PAUL PREACHED "REPENTANCE UNTO GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST" TO THE UNSAVED AS YOU ARE MAKING OUT - THIS WHOLE PASSAGE FROM VERSES 18-21 IS PAUL'S TESTIMONY TO THE EPHESIANS AND HOW HE CONDUCTED HIMSELF AS A BELIEVER - IT DOESN'T MENTION THE WORD "PREACHED" AND TO CLAIM THAT PAUL SOMEHOW "PREACHED" A REPENTANCE+FAITH=SALVATION GOSPEL IS SIMPLY NOT IN THE PASSAGE.....PLEASE, BRO....WE MUST GET THE GOSPEL RIGHT!
BY THE WAY, HOW MUCH "REPENTANCE" DID THE MAN DO TO HELP SAVE HIMSELF?....JUST CURIOUS....I WOULD SAY THAT ANY REPENTANCE YOU "PERCEIVED" HIM TO DO IS IRRELEVANT TO HIM GETTING SAVED - JUST HIS FAITH IS THE SAVING BIT AND PRAISE GOD FOR THAT. GOD BLESS YA, BRO. WHEN WE GET TO HEAVEN, WE CAN ASK JESUS DIRECTLY ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND HOPEFULLY WE WON'T BE TALKING THEN ABOUT HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE IN HEAVEN IF ONLY WE HAD PREACHED TO THEM THE RIGHT GOSPEL. MY PRAYER IS THAT PEOPLE WILL ONLY LISTEN TO THE "FAITH PART OF YOUR EVANGELISM AND IGNORE THE "REPENT PART".
> Hi Neil,
> If making salvation conditional on repentance turns salvation into a reward and repentance into a work, then making salvation conditional on faith does the same for it.
[MY RESPONSE] THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT FAITH IS NOT A WORK (HEB 11:1), WHEREAS ALL BIBLICAL REPENTANCE IS A WORK (EG. COMPARE COMPARE JONAH 3:10 WITH MATT 12:41, REPENT=WORK)....PLUS, GOD (IN HIS DIVINE WISDOM) SAYS IN MANY, MANY VERSES THAT IT IS FAITH ONLY THAT SAVES, BUT NEVER BY REPENTANCE. THE REPENTANCE VERSES USED TO SUPPORT THE "REPENTANCE GOSPEL" (REPENT+FAITH=SALVATION) IS SPECIFICALLY TO ISRAEL AS A NATION, AND ISRAEL'S REPENTANCE DOESN'T HAPPEN UNTIL CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.
> Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin and no one has ever been saved without both.
[MY RESPONSE]....HMMM....ABRAHAM'S FAITH WAS "COUNTED AS RIGHTESOUSNESS" (ROM 4:9-11, GAL 3:9) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; WHEN JESUS SAW FAITH HE SAID "MAN, THY SINS ARE FORGIVEN THEE" (LUKE 5:20) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "THY FAITH HATH SAVED THEE" (LUKE 18:42) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "DOOR OF FAITH TO THE GENTILES" (ACTS 14:21) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "PURIFYING THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH" (ACTS 15:9) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "GENTILES...ATTAINED RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS OF FAITH" (ROM 9:30) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "THE WORD OF FAITH, WHICH WE PREACH" (ROM 10:8) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "FAITH COMETH BY HEARING" (ROM 10:13) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED; "WHATSOEVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN" (ROM 14:23) - NO REPENTANCE MENTIONED.....PLUS SALVATION BY "FAITH ONLY" VERSES ARE: ROM 3:22-30, ROM 4:5, ROM 4:12-13, ROM 5:1-2, 1 COR 15:17; 2 COR 5:7; GAL 2:16-20; GAL 3:5-26; GAL 5:6; etc, etc, etc....I'VE LISTED ONLY SOME OF THE "FAITH ONLY" VERSES HERE (THERE ARE PLENTY MORE) AND THEN THERE ARE ALL THE VERSES THAT USE THE WORD "BELIEVE" THAT DON'T INCLUDE REPENTANCE (LIKE JOHN 3:16). WOW, YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG! WHICH BIBLE ARE YOU READING?....YOU ARE MAKING A BIG EFFORT TO IGNORE THE OBVIOUS THAT REPENTANCE IS NOT IN THE GOSPEL.
> Repentance and faith are things that the sinner "does" to be saved, but they are not meritorious works, they are instrumental works.
[MY RESPONSE] FAITH IN THE BIBLE IS NEVER A "WORK" (HEB 11:1), SO YOUR DEFINITION OF "FAITH" IS FAULTY AND EVEN IF THEY ARE LINKED TOGETHER AS "TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN", THEN BY YOUR OWN LOGIC, JUST PREACHING "FAITH ONLY" GOSPEL IS ALL WE NEED TO DO BECAUSE REPENTANCE WILL HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY BY DEFAULT - SEE??....THERE IS NO NEED TO INCLUDE REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL.....HOWEVER, BIBLICAL REPENTANCE IS ALWAYS MERITORIOUS WORKS AND IT IS YOUR RE-DEFINITION OF REPENTANCE THAT MAKES IT "INSTRUMENTAL WORKS" , THERE IS SIMPLY NO NEED TO INCLUDE REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL WHEN GOD (BY HIS OMNISCIENCE) CAN SEE GENUINE FAITH IN A PERSON AND WILL SAVE THEM "ON THE SPOT" WITHOUT ANY NEED TO SEE REPENTANCE TO "PROVE" THAT THEIR FAITH IS GENUINE OR NOT. YOU ARE VIEWING SALVATION FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE THAT NEEDS AN OUTWARD "SHOW" OF REPENTANCE/ATTITUDE TO "PROVE" THAT A PERSON IS SAVED OR NOT, BUT GOD DOESN'T NEED ANY OUTWARD "SHOW" BECAUSE HE IS OMNISCIENT....PLUS, HE CAN SEE THE FUTURE TO SEE THAT THERE IS REPENTANCE IN A NEW BELIEVER, SO IT IS IRRELEVANT TO GOD IF REPENTANCE HAPPENS "BEFORE SALVATION" OR "AFTER SALVATION". IN THE BIBLE, THE ONLY REPENTANCE THAT IS MENTIONED IN SALVATION IS THE REPENTANCE OF ISRAEL AS A NATION - NEVER IS IT MENTIONED AS PART OF THE CHURCH AGE GOSPEL. WE SHOULD THEREFORTE LET GOD DO THE SAVING THE WAY THAT HE WANTS (BY FAITH ALONE), AND NOT TRY TO DO GOD'S WORK OURSELVES BY TRYING TO "PROVE" IF A PERSON IS SAVED OR NOT (BY ADDING "REPENTANCE" IN THE GOSPEL).
> F.W. Grant defined repentance as “the acceptance on man's part of the sentence under which he lies” (guilty of sins, condemned etc), while faith is “the acceptance of the mercy which comes to him in that condition.”
[MY RESPONSE] THESE ARE WORDS OF A MERE MAN - GOD'S WORD DOESN'T INCLUDE REPENTANCE AS "ACCEPTANCE ON MAN'S PART", TO THE CONTRARY, WE READ IN MANY VERSES THAT A PERSON "RECEIVES" THE GOSPEL BY FAITH. "REPENTANCE" IS NOT HOW A PERSON "RECEIVES" THE GOSPEL MESSAGE TO BE SAVED. IF GOD WANTED THE WORD "RECEIVE" TO BE THE SAME AS "REPENT", THEN HE WOULD HAVE USED THE WORD "REPENT" ALL THE TIME AND NOT USED THE WORD "RECEIVE" AT ALL - THERE ARE MANY BIBLICAL PASSAGES WHERE BELIEVERS "RECEIVE" THE GOSPEL (SUCH AS MATT 11:14, MARK 4:16, MARK 4:20, MARK 10:15, MARK 12:2, LUKE 8:13, LUKE 18:17, 1 COR 15:3, 2 COR 11:4, JOHN 17:8, REV 3:20 "OPEN THE DOOR").
> I had a quick peek at your website and I don't expect to change your mind...so that for writing and signing off here.
[MY RESPONSE] IS IT WORTH CHANGING YOUR MIND IF IT MEANS PREACHING A GOSPEL THAT SAVES COMPARED TO A GOSPEL THAT CAN'T?.....I HOPE YOU CAN SEE THE NEED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND SO THAT A TRUE BIBLICAL GOSPEL GETS PREACHED INSTEAD OF A MAN-MADE, "WORKS-BASED" GOSPEL. PLUS, THE DAMAGE THAT THE REPENTANCE GOSPEL CAUSES IS AS BAD AS ANY OTHER FALSE GOSPEL OUT THERE....IT'S HORRIFIC....THE SLANDER, JUDGING, DISUNITY AND CONFUSION IT CAUSES IS PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT IT IS NOT FROM GOD, BUT FROM SATAN - I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT YOU WOULD AVOID BEING USED BY SATAN TO CAUSE SUCH DAMAGE.
> Hi Neil....but what about the "parachute" analogy that Ray Comfort of WAY OF THE MASTER, LIVING WATERS and EVIDENCE BIBLE puts out to support repentance in the Gospel?
[MY RESPONSE] RAY COMFORT SAYS THAT THE PARACHUTE IS "THE GOSPEL" AND REPENTANCE IS "US PUTTING ON THE PARACHUTE", BUT WHAT RAY COMFORT CONVENIENTLY LEAVES OUT OF HIS ANALOGY IS THAT, WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING SAVED FROM THE FALLING PLANE, WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT THE PARACHUTE ON, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT STRAP GOES WHERE, WE DON'T KNOW IF IT IS UP-SIDE-DOWN OR NOT, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT/HOW/WHERE TO PULL THE RIPCORD, WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THE DOOR IS TO JUMP OUT AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO AS WE ARE FALLING TO THE GROUND, IN FACT, WE ARE SO HOPELESS AT SAVING OURSELVES THAT WE ARE SITTING IN THE AEROPLANE SEAT LIKE STUNNED MULLETS UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING AT ALL....SO RAY COMFORT'S "PARACHUTE" ANALOGY IS AS HOPELESS AND DESTRUCTIVE AS IF WE NEVER HAD A PARACHUTE AT ALL AND WE JUST GO DOWN WITH THE PLANE IN A BURNING HEAP!.....BUT IF YOU WANT TO USE THE "PARACHUTE" ANALOGY IN A BIBLICAL WAY, THEN IT WOULD NOT BE HOW RAY COMFORT SAYS IT, IT WOULD BE:
1. YOU ARE SITTING IN THE AEROPLANE SEAT DOING NOTHING TO SAVE YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO;
2. JESUS COMES UP TO YOU WITH THE PARACHUTE ("THE GOSPEL") AND WITH HIM IS ANOTHER PASSENGER ALREADY WEARING A PARACHUTE WHO EXPLAINS TO YOU WHAT JESUS CAN DO WITH THE PARACHUTE AND HOW IT WILL SAVE YOU IF YOU ARE WEARING IT (THIS IS "EVANGELISM" OR "HEARING THE GOSPEL");
3. YOU THEN BELIEVE THE MESSAGE AND AGREE TO HAVE THE PARACHUTE PUT ON YOU (THIS IS YOU "RECEIVING" THE GOSPEL BY FAITH). NOTE: YOU DO NOT PUT THE PARACHUTE ON YOUSELF BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO. THERE ARE ALSO OTHER PASSENGERS AROUND YOU WHO DON'T BELIEVE THE MESSAGE AND SO THEY REJECT HAVING THE PARACHUTE PUT ON THEM (THESE ARE THE "UNSAVED");
4. JESUS PUTS THE PARACHUTE ON YOU HIMSELF, YOU DO NOT PUT THE PARACHUTE ON YOUSELF, HE THEN HELPS YOU OUT OF YOUR SEAT AND HE DIRECTS YOU TO THE DOOR, IN THE MEANTIME, YOU ARE TELLING OTHER STUNNED-MULLET PASSENGERS YOU PASS ALL ABOUT JESUS AND HIS PARACHUTE (THIS IS YOU "LIVING YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE HERE ON EARTH AS A PILGRIM" AND YOU ARE "EVANGELISING OTHERS" ON THE WAY);
5. JESUS HELPS YOU FALL OUT THE DOOR, HE HELPS HOLD YOUR ARMS AND LEGS OUT AS YOU ARE FALLING AND THEN HE PULLS THE RIPCORD AS YOU ARE FALLING DOWN TO EARTH;
6. FINALLY, HE HELPS YOU LAND SAFELY ON THE GROUND BY PUTTING HIS LEGS OUT AND HOLDING YOU UP OFF THE GROUND UNTIL YOU HAVE SAFELY LANDED. HE GENTLY LOWERS YOU TO THE GROUND
THROUGH-OUT THIS WHOLE PROCESS, THERE IS NO EFFORT, CONFUSION, WORK, OLD TESTAMENT LAW, REPENTING, JUDGING, SLANDERING, etc ON YOUR PART TO GET SAVED. SEE HOW THE BIBLICAL "PARACHUTE" ANALOGY IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE TO HOW RAY COMFORT SAYS IT. RAY COMFORT IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW MERE HUMAN REASONING AND INTELLECT CAN PERVERT THE TRUE GOSPEL MESSAGE AND TURN PEOPLE AWAY FROM SALVATION - NOBODY CAN GET SAVED BY HIS GOSPEL....PLUS, HE IS MAKING PILES OF MONEY OUT OF HIS BUSINESS PUSHING A FALSE GOSPEL AND SO, LIKE THE EPHESIAN DIANA WORSHIPPERS IN ACTS 19:24-41, HE IS UNLIKELY TO REPENT FROM HIS SIN AND START PREACHING THE TRUE, BIBLICAL "FAITH ONLY" GOSPEL. SEE HOW PRIDE AND GREED DESTROYS GOD'S WORD?
> and what about Ray Comfort's "burning flame" analogy?
[MY RESPONSE] ONCE AGAIN, THIS ANALOGY IS RAY COMFORT'S ANALOGY AND NOT A BIBLICAL ANALOGY, SO IT IS A PERVERTED AND MISLEADING ANALOGY - HERE'S WHY:
1. THE FLAME IS SUPPOSE TO BE "SIN" AND WE ARE DRAWN TO THE "FLAME".
2. AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE FLAME, THE HEAT ("THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW") FROM THE FLAME STARTS TO INCREASE. THE HEAT MAKES US SQUIRM WITH PAIN (WHICH IS SUPPOSE TO BE OUR "CONSCIENCE" OR "GUILT" PRODUCED BY THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW) AND THE CLOSER WE GET TO THE FLAME, THE MORE THE HEAT INCREASES AND THE MORE PAIN WE ENCOUNTER.
3. AS THE HEAT GETS SO HOT (BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD THE "OLD TESTAMENT LAW" PREACHED TO US SO MUCH AND WE ARE SO "GUILT-TRIPPED" BY BREAKING THE LAW), WE BACK OFF FROM THE FLAME (WE NO LONGER WANT TO "SIN" AND WE TURN AROUND OR "REPENT" BACK TO GOD).
4. BUT HERE IS THE ERROR.......IF THE FLAME IS "SIN" AS RAY COMFORT SAYS, THEN WE DON'T ACTUALLY SIN UNTIL WE TOUCH THE FLAME....THE DRAWING TO THE FLAME IS SIMPLY "TEMPTATION TO SIN" AND JESUS HIMSELF WAS TEMPTED IN ALL WAYS (HEBREWS 4:15). TEMPTATION IS NOT SINNING....SO THE HEAT ("OLD TESTAMENT LAW") IS NOT GOING TO GUILT-TRIP US AWAY FROM THE FLAME ("SIN") AT ALL. WE WOULD GO ALL THE WAY UP TO THE FLAME AND TOUCH THE FLAME BEFORE WE GET ANY PAIN, AT WHICH POINT, WE HAVE ALREADY SINNED. IN FACT, PREACHING THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW ONLY CONVICTS US OF SIN AND IN SOME CASES, MAKES SIN LOOK MORE INVITING AND MORE TEMPTING AND WE WILL RUN TO IT FASTER. WE WILL NOT TURN AWAY ("REPENT") FROM THE FLAME AS RAY COMFORT SAYS.....AND EVEN IF WE DID, WHERE DO WE TURN TO?....WE DON'T KNOW WHICH DIRECTION GOD IS AT AND SO WE JUST TURN AWAY ("REPENT") FOR THE SAKE OF IT. THE WHOLE "BURNING FLAME" ANALOGY OF RAY COMFORT IS PURE NONSENSE!....ONCE AGAIN, IT IS RAY COMFORT'S LIMITED AND PROUD MIND THAT HAS MADE HIM COME UP WITH SUCH A FALSE ANALOGY THAT CONFLICTS WITH WHAT GOD IS TEACHING IN THE BIBLE - IT IS NOT THE "OLD TESTAMENT LAW" THAT DRAWS PEOPLE TO GOD, BUT HIS GRACE ("THE TABERNACLE") THAT DRAWS PEOPLE TO HIM. THE WHOLE BUSINESS OF RAY COMFORT IS PURELY A MONEY-GRABBING BUSINESS THAT USES A FALSE "GOSPEL" AS BAIT....NOTHING HE TEACHES CAN SAVE ANYONE, SO I SUGGEST THAT YOU STAY AWAY FROM ALL RAY COMFORT'S MATERIAL AND DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY BUYING HIS MATERIAL WHEN IT ONLY SUPPORTS HERESY.
ADDING REPENTANCE TO THE GOSPEL COMES FROM MORMONISM AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BIBLICAL DOCTRINE:
"According to Mormon doctrine, repentance can be outlined in 6 basic steps:
1. You must be able to recognize that you have sinned. If you cannot comprehend what sin is, or that an action you have taken was a sin, then you will not be able to repent, because you will not have a desire to change the incorrect practice.
2. You must stop the committing the sin. if you do not stop doing what’s wrong, none of the following steps will help. You will be stuck in a pattern that will disallow you from truly changing.
3. Remorse is the next step. This is often referred to as “Godly Sorrow.” The natural consequences of sin, at some point, are pain and sorrow. These feelings are a blessing, not a curse, because they drive us to change, to be better, and to get rid of those feelings. A desire to make changes and improve ourselves is central to repentance.
4. Confession follows remorse. We must confess our sins to God, and to those whom we have offended or injured through our careless acts of sin.
5. Part of repentance is restitution. Those who have sinned must make things right when they have sinned against someone else or themselves. This means that if I stole from Bobby, I would need to give back what I had stolen.
6. Finally, one must never commit the sin again. This is the hardest, and most important step. Repentance is not complete until we have overcome the wrong actions that we often commit. For instance, if I had a problem with stealing, I could not truly be rid of the sins of stealing until I had actually stopped stealing permanently. It is vitally important to remain free from the sins we commit after we have repented of them. The Savior will never turn us away, but it does get harder to repent as we continue to commit sin over and over. Our commitment to stopping needs to be authentic.
Why do I need to Repent? Mormons often compare sin with dirt, and a soul with a clean shirt. If we get dirt on a shirt, we have to wash the shirt before it returns to its clean state. Until the dirt (sin) is removed from the shirt (soul), we cannot return to live with Heavenly Father. Consequently, when we sin, we stand in need of being washed before we can return to being clean and spotless. The Lord promises that He is the “…one that blotteth out thy transgressions [sin]”. As we repent, Christ washes away our sins and we become free from the stains of sin. Thus, repentance only works through the application of Christ’s atonement.
Finally, Mormons believe that repentance is a process. Repenting at one time in our lives is not enough. We must repent continually. We must also continually strive to overcome our natural tendencies to sin."
[copied from http://www.mormonismdoctrine.com]
ALL OF THE QUOTE ABOVE FITS EXACTLY WITH WHAT REPENTANCE PREACHERS TEACH, BUT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE!....HOW MANY EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS ARE INADVERTANTLY FOLLOWING A MORMON DOCTRINE INSTEAD OF A BIBLICAL GOSPEL??....ANSWER: TOO MANY!....IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL BECOME A GOD ONE DAY (LIKE THE MORMONS BELIEVE), THEN YOU WILL THINK THAT REPENTANCE CAN SAVE YOU BECAUSE REPENTANCE IN THE GOSPEL ONLY MAKES SENSE WHEN VIEWING SALVATION FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE, BUT FOR CHRISTIANS WHO BELIEVE THAT ONLY THE FATHER, SON (JESUS CHRIST) AND HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD, THEN REPENTANCE DOESN'T NEED TO BE IN THE GOSPEL BECAUSE FROM GOD'S PERSPECTIVE (AN OMNISCIENT PERSPECTIVE), HE CAN SEE GENUINE FAITH BY LOOKING IN THE HEART AND SAVE A PERSON "ON THE SPOT" WITHOUT ANY OUTWARD SHOW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OR CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. NO MERE HUMAN HAS THE DIVINE CAPABILITIES TO JUDGE SALVATION BY HOW MUCH REPENTANCE/WORKS/SANCTIFICATION/ATTITUDE A PERSON HAS PERFORMED - IT IS A FUTILE EFFORT AND SHOULD BE LEFT UP TO GOD TO DO!
[more email responses to be added here shortly]