To go to heaven, you MUST repent of your sins?
Foreword: This is another excerpt from my friend Preston Greene’s book, RELIGION vs JESUS Do vs Done. There are many teachers, pastors, and authors who teach ‘repent from sin’, some even teach turn from all of your sins (Ray Comfort). Unlike Preston, I will name names and if someone asks, I will provide the screen shots or links to prove what I have said is true. Turning from sin, is a good thing, a righteous thing for one to do. But it cannot be added as a requirement for receiving the FREE GIFT of salvation.
Here are a few well-known names and religions that do add this requirement TO THE GOSPEL OF GRACE, while at the same time calling the gift free, and saying we don’t have to do anything to receive it. (Double-mindedness)
- Billy Graham (lordship – repent from your sin)
- Ray Comfort (closet Calvinist-turn away from your sins, stop sinning)
- John MacArthur (Calvinist- confess your sins, repent from sins)
- Paul Washer (Calvinist – repent from your sins, keep repenting from your sins)
- Seventh Day Adventists
- Westboro Baptists (Calvinists)
- R.C. Sproul (Calvinist)
- Matt Slick – (Calvinist – CARM)
- James White (Calvinist – turning away from your sin)
There are many more people and religions (The majority of the ‘religions’ in the world teach turning from sins as part of the way to be saved).
But is it?
Holly Garcia – administrator at Redeeming Moments
Chapter 10 by Preston Greene – Part 1
Repent of your sins?
How many protestants believe one MUST “repent of their sins” (or turn from their sins) to go to heaven? If I had to guesstimate, I would say 80%. This teaching is what Galatians calls “another gospel”, a perverted gospel that frustrates grace. It does not save.
Why do so many people believe this term? It is the direct result of what is being taught in the pulpits today. Who teaches this? Just about every “famous” protestant evangelical today preaches this heresy. I did not name names, as I would feel the need to provide references. Pick a famous protestant evangelical and search to see if they use this phrase FOR salvation. You will find it easily. This will be one of the longest chapters, since this phrase “repent of your sins” is sending more people to hell than anything else today. We will spend a lot of time in Galatians. Then we will visit Acts and Romans to conclude.
FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: We need to DEFINE sin. The definition of sin is in 1 John.
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).
We see from this passage that sin IS “transgression of the LAW”. For example, if I stole something that was not mine, then I have transgressed the law, “thou shalt not steal”. Thus, I have sinned. However, if a person says that one must turn from his or her sins FOR salvation, that is the same thing as saying one must keep the law or keep the law better. WHY?
Sin IS transgression of the LAW.
turn from sin = keep the law (or keep the law better).
Do you see it? IF YOU DID NOT GRASP THIS; PLEASE RE-READ IT AGAIN (and again, and again) Do NOT continue from here UNTIL this concept is understood. Once you have grasped this, we will move on to Galatians.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would PERVERT THE GOSPEL of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-8)
We see that someone had come into Galatia and preached “another/perverted” gospel. What was being preached to them? AFTER Paul goes through his conversion and his dispute with Peter, he gets into the problem.
“Knowing that a man is NOT justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED” (Gal 2:16).
“I do not FRUSTRATE the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21).
Frustrate does not mean to irritate in this passage; it means “to make void; to nullify”. The LAW nullifies GRACE. “I do not “make void/nullify” (frustrate) the grace of God, for if righteousness comes by the law, Christ died in vain.” This simply means, if the law could save you, Christ would not have had to die.
Let’s keep going in Galatians.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:1-3)
Paul is asking them, “Did your salvation (sealed by the Holy Spirit) come from the LAW or the hearing of faith?” The answer should be obvious (Eph 1:13,14; Rom 10:17). Someone has bewitched them telling them that the law needed to be kept. He called them “foolish” for thinking they are made perfect by the flesh. In Philippians 3:3 we read,
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the SPIRIT, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have NO CONFIDENCE in the FLESH.”
Back to Galatians.
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of FAITH, the same are the children of Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law ARE UNDER THE CURSE: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that NO MAN is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might RECEIVE THE PROMISE of the Spirit through FAITH. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of NONE EFFECT. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is NO MORE of promise: but God gave it to Abraham BY PROMISE. (Gal 3:6,7,10-12,14,17,18)
Salvation is about God’s PROMISE to us and NOT how well we keep the LAW. This PROMISE comes by faith only. The LAW makes VOID the promise.
“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith IS MADE VOID, and the promise made of NONE EFFECT” (Romans 4:13,14).
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the PROMISE BY FAITH of Jesus Christ might be given to them that BELIEVE. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the LAW was our SCHOOLMASTER to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we ARE NO LONGER under a schoolmaster (LAW). For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:21-26; commentary added)
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the FREE. (Gal 4:21-23, 31)
As you can clearly see, a born again believer IS no longer under the schoolmaster (the LAW) but under GRACE. A believer is of the FREE woman by promise.
SUMMARY OF GALATIANS
Sin is defined as transgression of the law. When one states that one MUST repent of his or her sins FOR salvation, he is putting that person “under the law” (schoolmaster).
“Turn from sin” = “keep the law”, because sin is transgression of the law. Salvation is by PROMISE through FAITH in the gospel of Jesus alone. The LAW makes faith VOID and the PROMISE of none effect (Rom 3:13,14). Does anyone want to make faith void? Does anyone want to make God’s promise of none effect? No? Then STOP preaching this “turn from your sins” FOR salvation message!
Today’s major protestant evangelicals are preaching “another/perverted gospel” (1:6-8). If you keep reading in Galatians 5, you will read what Paul would have said about them.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the WHOLE LAW. Christ is become of NO EFFECT unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Gal 5:1-4)
NOTE – it does not read “fallen from salvation”. You cannot lose your salvation (see chapter on eternal security). “I would they were even CUT OFF which trouble you” (Gal 4:21). I also found it funny in Galatians 6:13 when Paul wrote this:
“For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.”
This verse simply means the people who were preaching law really couldn’t keep it! Remember, if one is required to keep one law for salvation, then that person is a indebted to the whole law (Gal 5:3). Who can keep the whole law? Nobody! This is why Christ had to die!
Part 2 will start with Acts.
For a free pdf book on the meaning of repentance, please Click here – Pastor Tom Cucuzza’s “Repentance” (northlandchurch.com)
Please also read Preston’s article too discussing Matthew 7 and those who accuse people of being False Converts.
You can find Preston’s book at the link at the top of the page at Amazon, both in paperback or in kindle form. For anyone on a limited budget, please feel free to contact me, Preston has a free pdf available for all who request.