Repent of your sins?

To go to heaven, you MUST repent of your sins?

      WRONG !!!!

2 Cor 5-7FaithnotSightForeword: 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)
  • Mormons
  • 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.

2 cor 11-3-4I 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).

WHY?

“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.

See part 2 here

22 Responses to “Repent of your sins?

  • Kearcy Suzanne Hahn
    3 years ago

    Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that was slain for our sins thus putting away the old law and is our gift of salvation through faith in believing God and accepting his gift of salvation. We willingly want to please God out of utter gratefulness and our love towards him. We will be the clay and he is our potter always trying to work out the imperfections through his patient loving kindness and love that forever keeps drawing us to him even when we fail.

    • Thanks Kearcy. Those who get to know the Savior once they have been saved are more likely to learn ways to please Him. Some continue in their old ways (such as the incestuous adulterer in 1 Cor 5), or those taking the communion unworthily. But if we love Jesus, we will feed His sheep. We will make disciples (students) by teaching believers His Word (John 8:31). As we spend time at His feet (Luke 10:38-42), we learn more and more of His goodness, His forbearance, His longsuffering with us <3. God bless you.

  • Janis Nihart
    3 years ago

    Again.Thank you for sending me the link to this site. The Gospel is so simple, but yet some people, as I once was, don’t see it because so much other stuff is thrown in to complicate it. It’s impossible to believe in works AND understand the Gospel.

    • Janis – thank you for visiting, I completely agree, and am so thankful the Lord has helped me see this too. Because of it I have seen friends come to a clear understanding of the gospel, some who I believe are with the Lord (and my husband) in heaven now. The enemy wants to corrupt minds, and 2 Cor 11 was speaking to believers… so it renders the gospel we preach ineffective, powerless.

      Bondage destroys believers, ruins the gospel and keeps people lost. May we all continue to try to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered, pleasing God and not men.

    • Feel free to ‘follow’ the blog Janis, I have a new one coming out in a few days.

  • I read Preston’s book. I thought he did a good job debunking “repent of sins” added on to the Gospel. I can’t understand why these pastor’s cannot see this.

    Thanks to all that keep trying to open the eyes of people that are willing to learn, as it seems like most people just accept whatever they’re told. I don’t know how anyone could think they’re saved if they have to turn from sin to make it (including the pastor).

    Thanks Holly

  • JohnBrian
    3 years ago

    I have been reading a few of your anti-repentance posts and provide the following as a rebuttal.

    In 3 of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus preached a message of repentance: Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14-15, and Luke 5:32

    Peter, preaching on the Day of Pentecost, end his message with a call to repentance: Acts 2:38

    Paul, preaching to the philosophers on Mars Hill ends his sermon with a call to repentance: Acts 17:30

    Those of us who preach a Gospel of repentance, do so because we follow Christ, Peter, and Paul!

    If your objection to the necessity of repentance for salvation is based on the notion that it is a work, and therefore is not grace, you should note the following verses that establish that repentance is a gift.

    Acts 11:18 – When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

    2 Timothy 2:25 – …in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

    God grants repentance, which leads to salvation, affirming that everything we have received for salvation and sanctification is gifted to us by God, as 1 Cor. 4:7 tells us.

    For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

    • JohnBrian, welcome and thanks for your comment.

      First, we do not object to repentance as a necessity for salvation. And, we do not believe that repentance is a work. This is provided that repentance is properly defined.

      Please allow me to share an excerpt from the Statement of Faith at expreacherman.com to explain further our beliefs:

      Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance is absolutely essential in salvation and the word “repent” in the Greek means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct or “turning from sin” to gain or keep, before or after salvation as that would entail a works salvation message. Acts 20:21; Matthew. 21:32.

      Second, when sin is the object of repentance in the Bible, eternal salvation is never the consequence. And, when eternal life is the consequence of repentance, the object of repentance is never sin.

      If you would like a great resource on repentance, click below:

      http://old.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

      Third, repentance is a response of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator.

      Acts 11:18 means that God has made salvation available to the Gentiles on the same basis as to the Jews – by grace, through faith in Christ.

      2 Timothy 2:25 is explained by my friend, the late Jack Weaver, below:

      I noted one thing in your note that I want to explore. You said that “God grants repentance.” Repentance is a change of mind for which the individual is responsible, not God. That phrase “God grants repentance” is not in the Authorized KJV Bible but it is in the ESV Bible (a Calvinist favorite) and the NIV (error prone), both of which we have proven to be, in many cases, interpolated, inaccurate and misleading. Calvinist John Piper uses that phrase from his ESV to justify his false “salvation” message of election, “God grants repentance for some.” In the KJV (2 Timothy 2:25) the correct wording is “God gives repentance,” which in this particular context (in the Greek didomi) means “to suffer or allow.” God, by His Grace, allows us to change our mind (repent) about a myriad of things. Repentance to believe in salvation by Grace in Jesus Christ alone being one of the greatest and that is our responsibility. But God also allows us to change our minds daily about many things Biblical as we grow in Grace and learn His word

    • JohnBrian – we are definitely not ‘anti-repentance’ 🙂 God has commanded ALL men everywhere to repent. So, obviously that means ALL have the ability to repent. What did we receive? The free gift of eternal life. On 2 Tim 2, that speaks to believers who have been led astray, who have erred concerning the resurrection, and so it tells us the manner we are to correct those (believers) who oppose themselves. They have been taken snare by the enemy.

      We do not believe faith or repentance is the free gift from God, but we believe Romans 6:23, that the free gift is eternal life.

      • JohnBrian
        3 years ago

        “God has commanded ALL men everywhere to repent. So, obviously that means ALL have the ability to repent.”

        The fact that God has commanded all men to repent does not mean that they have the ability to do so. Romans 8:7-8 affirm that inability.

  • Preston
    3 years ago

    John Brian,

    Use your KJV and look up Jonah 3:10. In it you will see “God Repented”. Did God turn from His sins????? of course not; He simply, changed His mind; as John above has explained.

    Here are some examples of the word “repent” in the gospels and Acts.

    Let’s take a look at three passages of scripture the “religious” use to say one MUST repent of his or her sins.They are in Matthew, Luke and Acts.

    “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, REPENT YE: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:1,2).

    The religious will say, “SEE, you must turn from your sins (REPENT)”. Notice, it does not read “of sins”. The answer to this passage is Matthew 3:9, which reads,

    “And THINK NOT to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father’: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

    Do you see it? These people were THINKING that just because they had Abraham as the father of their culture (Jewish), they were “automatically” saved. They were THINKING the WRONG thing. They needed to “change their minds; think differently”! They needed to “repent”.

    Jesus said, “I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

    The religious would say, “SEE, you must repent (turn from your sins).” What does the Bible say? Go back and read the verse that comes before, then the verse that comes after it. You will SEE the problem.

    “And Jesus answering said unto them, SUPPOSE YE that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?” (Luke 13:2).

    “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, THINK YE that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4)

    We CLEARLY see that they were THINKING (suppose ye) they were righteous because they were NOT sinners like the ones whom were killed. They needed to SUPPOSE OR THINK something different. They needed to “change their minds” (repent).

    I believe most professing Christians fall into this category. Because they have turned from many sins, they THINK they “are not sinners like most”. These folks need to repent (change their minds) and believe the gospel or they, too will perish.

    We also have the word “repent” in Acts many times. One such instance is in Acts 3:19 which reads,

    “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins maybe blotted out.” Now go back a few verses and read 13-18.

    There, Peter is telling Jewish people that they crucified their promised Messiah. Verse 14 reads that they denied Him. Peter was simply telling them to change their minds about who Jesus really was and to be converted so their sins would be blotted out—change your mind (repent) and be converted.

    We see, through analyzing scripture, “repent” simply means “to change your mind, to think differently”. When Jesus said, “Repent and believe the gospel”, He was telling them to “change their minds” and believe the gospel. Did they change their minds? Some did, but for the most part, the answer is “no”. How do we know? They crucified Him.

    PERSONALLY, if I hear one more preacher tell people they must “repent of their sins” to go to heaven, I think I am going to bang my head up against the wall! THEN I’ll bandage myself up and continue proclaiming the REAL gospel.

    with respect,

    • Trouble is Preston, many versions of today, NLT, the Living Bible actually add the words ‘from sin’ to the word ‘repent’. Oddly they don’t do that when God repented. Also ESV, a reformed favorite I noticed today translates Acts 3:19 as such:

      Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, ESV

      Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. KJV

      And no, before one should ask, I am not a KJVOnlyist (meaning claiming canonization of it over the original languages).

      If one was to take the word they translated ‘turn back’ (epistrephō) it should read ‘return or turn TO the worship of the true God’. In this case the audience (Jews in the temple) would be asked to return to the worship of the true God which they had (as a nation) forsaken.

    • Preston – I’m with you, good luck to them on repenting of their sins successfully. I guess they can start their own RA (Repenter’s Anonymous) to keep them from relapsing. Less then perfection won’t work, so they’ve already failed.

  • “Third, repentance is a response of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator.”

    On this we agree. I affirm that God gives both repentance and faith, and that those gifts actuate in belief. God does not do the repenting and believing for the individual, but without receiving those gifts, man is incapable of belief.

    “That phrase “God grants repentance” is not in the Authorized KJV Bible but it is in the ESV Bible (a Calvinist favorite) and the NIV (error prone), both of which we have proven to be, in many cases, interpolated, inaccurate and misleading.”

    While I disagree with this gentleman’s KJV view, he is incorrect about his statement. If he means that the words “God”, “grants”, and “repentance”, do not appear in that exact order in the KJV, he is correct, but the notion that repentance is a gift from God is clearly evident in both passages.

    Acts 11:18 (KJV) – When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    2 Timothy 2:25 (KJV) – In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    It may be that your anti-Calvinist notion clouds your understanding of what Calvinists actually affirm. The June 25th post about Spurgeon is a perfect example of attempting to merge an anti-Calvinist view into the Calvinist view and coming up with something that is not recognizable as Calvinism. I’ll comment on that in that thread.

    • Are we ‘anti-Calvinist’s’? If that means we are against the individual, I would disagree.

      Are we anti-Calvinism doctrine? Most definitely! We stand against all doctrine that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, including Arminianism, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Sinless Perfectionism, etc.. If you understand that repentance is a change of mind, God didn’t grant 100% of the Gentiles a change of mind, what He did grant is a grafting in of the nation. Those individuals who believed would remain and not be cut off for unbelief as was Israel. This is the recognition by the Jewish apostles that repentance unto life had been granted unto Gentiles too (nationally) and they now individually could believe unto eternal life, or again, individually be cut off from that ‘grant’ by unbelief.

      Again 2 Tim 2 addresses a manner of handling false teachings within the church so ‘perchance’ God might grant them (who oppose themselves) repentance. And we are given a long list of things to do. Not strive, avoid foolish arguments, study to show ourselves approved unto God so we can rightly divide His Word (which has the power to discern between even the thoughts and intents of their heart), to be gentle, to be patient, to be apt to teach, to meekly instruct SO that PERHAPS or PERCHANCE God might grant that BELIEVER a change of mind (repentance) to acknowledging the truth, regarding what the enemy had snared them in. Subjects had been those who had erred concerning the truth, the resurrection, and had overthrown some believers faith. These are the subjects addressed.

Trackbacks & Pings

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow

Follow me to see my latest blog posts!