way that salvation is presented today even in the most fundamental circles is NOT the Way that it is presented by the Lord
Jesus Christ and by the apostles in the Bible.
The Lord Jesus Christ came preaching the way of salvation: "repent ye, and believe
the gospel" (Mark 1:15). The Bible teaches only one way of salvation; the one that the apostles, the Apostle Paul,
and the Lord Jesus Christ preached. As a result, if any ‘how to be saved' presentation leaves out a part
of the message, it is not a Biblical presentation and leads people astray.
Be aware that it is not because I call a box of sugary
cereal a very healthy breakfast that it makes it so! Following the same analogy, it is not because a pastor, church,
tract, or website says 'here's how to be saved' that it makes it so! It's important to trust a pastor or a church only
to the extent that he/it agrees with the Scriptures. (1 Thess 5:19)
As mentioned before, a key element of the presentation that is missing,
Let's first take the time to define this word, as we may have a wrong understanding of its true meaning.
Let's go to the original text: In Hebrew, it's 'nacham'; in Greek, it's 'metanoeo'.
Mxn nacham naw-kham' a primitive root; properly, to sigh,
i.e. breathe strongly; by implication, to be sorry, i.e. (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or
(unfavorably) to avenge (oneself):--comfort (self), ease (one's self), repent(-er,-ing, self).
It appears in this verse:
"I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every
one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle." (Jer 8:6)
Strong's Greek Dictionary:
metanoew metanoeo met-an-o-eh'-o from 3326 and 3539; to think differently or afterwards,
i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction):--repent.
It appears in this verse:
"Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" (Mt 3:8)
God commands us to repent: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying,
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:14,
hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18) If you want repentance, pray
for it (and start repenting and obeying what you understand from the Scriptures).
You may know the definition intellectually, but not have experienced it and thus still be unrepentant. Repentance in
one's life is Spirit illuminated. Repentance is not simply believing that I was born with a sin nature, or a turning
from the outward manifestations of sin, but it is the inward Spirit illuminated flash of realization that Self is the problem
and that it is exceedingly sinful and sitting on God's throne in my heart. It is then the denial of that Self that is
any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
Repentance is also action: turning from and abandoning sin, making restitution for wrongs, obeying what I understand
from the Bible.
Here is what John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress) wrote about repentance.
It shows how easy it is to repent the wrong way:
a repentance that will not save, a repentance to be repented of; and a repentance to salvation, not to be repented of. (2
Cor 7:10) Yet so great a similitude and likeness there is betwixt the one and the other, that most times the wrong is taken
for the right, and through this mistake professors perish. As, (1.) In saving repentance there will be an acknowledgment of
sin; and one that hath the other repentance may acknowledge his sins also. (Matt 27:4) (2.) In saving repentance there is
a crying out under sin; but one that hath the other repentance may cry out under sin also. (Gen 4:13) (3.) In saving repentance
there will be humiliation for sin; and one that hath the other repentance may humble himself also. (1 Kings 21:29) (4.) Saving
repentance is attended with self-loathing; but he that hath the other repentance may have loathing of sin too; a loathing
of sin, because it is sin, that he cannot have; but a loathing of sin, because it is offensive to him, that he may have. The
dog doth not loath that which troubleth his stomach because it is there, but because it troubleth him; when it has done troubling
of him, he can turn to it again, and lick it up as before it troubled him. (2 Peter 2:22) (5.) Saving repentance is attended
with prayers and tears; but he that hath none but the other repentance, may have prayers and tears also. (Gen 27:34,35, Heb
12:16,17) (6.) In saving repentance there is fear and reverence of the Word and ministers that bring it; but this may be also
where there is none but the repentance that is not saving; for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and holy,
and observed him; when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. (Mark 6:20) (7.) Saving repentance makes a
man’s heart very tender of doing anything against the Word of God. But Balaam could say, “If Balak would give
me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord.” (Num 24:13)
Behold, then, how far a man may go in repentance, and yet be short of
that which is called, “Repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of.” (a.) He may be awakened; (b.) He may acknowledge his sin; (c.) He may cry out under the burden of sin; (d.)
He may have humility for it; (e.) He may loath it; (f.) May have prayers and tears against it; (g.) may delight to do many
things of God; (h.) May be afraid of sinning against him—and, after
all this, may perish, for want of saving repentance.”
entire sermon is edifying: http://www.peacemakers.net/johnbunyan/bun-strait.rtf
Here is what A.W. Tozer
writes about repentance:
"When Isaiah cried out, "I
am undone!" it was a cry of pain. It was the revealing cry of conscious uncleanness. He was experiencing the undoneness
of the creature set over against the holiness of the Creator.
What should happen in genuine
conversion? What should a man or woman feel in the transaction of the new birth?
to be that real and genuine cry of pain. That is why I do not like the kind of evangelism that tries to invite people into
the fellowship of God by signing a card.
There should be a birth from above and within. There should be the terror of seeing ourselves
in violent contrast to the holy, holy, holy God. Unless we come into this place of conviction and pain, I am not sure how
deep and real our repentance will ever be.
Tozer, Whatever Happened
to Worship? p. 76
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Withering Work
of the Spirit', a sermon preached by Spurgeon on July 9th, 1871:
“In every one of us it must be fulfilled that all that is of the flesh in us, seeing it is but as grass, must
be withered, and the comeliness thereof must be destroyed. The Spirit of God, like the wind, must pass over the field
of our souls, and cause our beauty to be as a fading flower. He must so convince us of sin, and so reveal ourselves to ourselves,
that we shall see that the flesh profiteth nothing; that our fallen nature is corruption itself, and that "they who are
in the flesh cannot please God." There must be brought home to us the sentence of death upon our former legal and carnal
life, that the incorruptible seed of the word of God, implanted by the Holy Ghost, may be in us, and abide in us for ever.
The awakened sinner, when he asks that God would have mercy upon him, is much astonished to find
that, instead of enjoying a speedy peace, his soul is bowed down within him under a sense of divine wrath. Naturally enough
he enquires: "Is this the answer to my prayer? I prayed the Lord to deliver me from sin and self, and is this the way
in which he deals with me? I said, 'Hear me,' and behold he wounds me with the wounds of a cruel one. I said, 'Clothe me,'
and lo! He has torn off from me the few rags which covered me before, and my nakedness stares me in the face. I said, 'Wash
me,' and behold he has plunged me in the ditch till mine own clothes do abhor me. Is this the way of grace?" Sinner,
be not surprised: it is even so. Perceivest thou not the cause of it? How canst thou be healed while the proud flesh is in
thy wound? It must come out. It is the only way to heal thee permanently: it would be folly to film over thy sore, or heal
thy flesh, and leave the leprosy within thy bones. The great physician will cut with his sharp knife till the corrupt flesh
be removed, for only thus can a sure healing work be wrought in thee. Dost thou not see that it is divinely wise that before
thou art clothed thou shouldst be stripped!
What, wouldst thou have Christ's lustrous righteousness
outside whiter than any fuller can make it, and thine own filthy rags concealed within? Nay, man; they must be put away; not
a single thread of thine own must be left upon thee. It cannot be that God should cleanse thee until he has made thee see
somewhat of thy defilement; for thou wouldst never value the precious blood which cleanses us from all sin if thou hadst not
first of all been made to mourn that thou art altogether an unclean thing.”
Now, the important question is: 'Do you have the "inner witness" - the Holy Spirit?' The Biblical requirement
for salvation is "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). We must
repent for the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to be at work in us. Repentance is the conscious going away from
sin: if we are not daily convinced of sin, we can't repent, as we wouldn't have any reason to do so! (go back to the
Hebrew word for repentance : "to sigh, i.e. breathe strongly"...) It's repeated throughout the Bible:
"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he
may have to give to him that needeth." (Eph 4:28)
"The sacrifices of God
are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Ps 51:17)
This whole passage of Luke 3 is worth quoting :
"And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As
it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye
the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall befilled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low;
and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of
God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee
from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin 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. And now
also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and
cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath
two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be
baptized, and unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And
the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither
accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."
So, what makes for a perverted plan of salvation (as touching repentance)?
In short, the answer is the avoidance or the minimizing or downplaying of repentance, obedience,
commitment to the LORD and hence no possibility for a new birth, no "new creature", no "inner
The Lord Jesus Christ made it clear: "except
ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
definitions/points re: repentance (and faith):
► Repentance = surrender
(turning around and going the other way) "Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions" (Ezekiel
► Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has
► Scripture teaches that repentance is a gift from God, and
God has commanded all men to repent, so nobody has an excuse.
comes as a result of hearing the preaching of God's Word, as a result of God revealing Himself (a personal learning about
God which is received directly from Him), and it is also the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance (Romans 2:4).
► The Lord Jesus Christ said "...I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners
to repentance" (Matt 9:13)
The apostles were commanded to preach repentance: "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached
in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47). This is The Great Commission.
► Scripture makes it clear that God requires repentance both of the lost and of the erring believer.
► Everyone is commanded to repent: "And the times of ignorance God winked at;
but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30)
is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:10)
► What happens if one doesn't repent? "...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke
Repentance is not only one of the many nice ideas in the Bible. Rather it is central. Essential.
In Hebrews 6:1 the Apostle Paul calls repentance and faith the "foundation":
"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation
of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God".
To be saved then, one must repent.
If the notion of repentance is so central, capital, in the Bible, we should rightly expect it to
be as central and capital in the churches that claim to be taking the Bible as their sole authority. We can check it
out by looking at the doctrine of a church and looking to see if repentance is well and alive in that church. We'll
find out that today's North American churches, including the most fundamental ones, preach a false, and hence ineffective,
plan of salvation; a misleading message, which leads to false conversions, and people who think that they are headed for heaven,
when in fact they are still going to hell.
'Pastors' today have a tendency to be ‘smooth' and
'Pastors' do not warn listeners sufficiently about hell and they
rarely (if ever) preach repentance, even though that is what the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles do in the KJV. The best
that one can hear is a quick ‘repent from your sins', without any real explanation. How can such a capital step
in the way of salvation be left out completely or reduced like this?
Why are we
trying to reinvent the wheel? The Word of God is more powerful than anything we can come up with. "For the
word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword" (Heb 4:12). Does God need
our help? Does He need gimmicks, pageantry, empty ceremonies, rituals? What we need is the Word of God read
out loud and preached the way that the Lord Jesus Christ preached and the way that the Apostles preached. The first
churches were built on the preaching of repentance. It is the key to revival. It is also the surest way to persecution.
It is the only way.
The Lord Jesus Christ speaks more about hell than heaven and He calls
"sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32). The result of easy prayerism / easy believism is that people think that
by simply believing and praying a little prayer they can be guaranteed to go to heaven.
Listen to A.W. Tozer again: "I think there is little doubt that the teaching of salvation without repentance has
lowered the moral standards of the Church and produced a multitude of deceived religious professors who erroneously believe
themselves to be saved..."
you starting to see how diabolical this is? Repentance is essential to salvation; repentance is disappearing from the
modern ‘Bibles'. Using the wrong Bible version goes hand-in-hand with teaching the wrong doctrine. The result
is people who think they are saved, yet they are NOT... and Satan is laughing.
churches, including the most fundamental, present a false plan of salvation; one reason is because they make little or no
mention of REPENTANCE. The results of such partial and perverted presentations are ‘almost Christians',
who are ‘almost born again' and ‘almost headed for heaven'. What a tragedy. What apostasy.
"The Bible, especially the New Testament, is the handbook of repentance. It commands
it, urges it, enforces it, repeats it, drives it in everywhere. Over sixty times repentance is enforced.
The great doctrine of repentance occupies a very prominent place in the teaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles... I am
afraid that in our zeal to get people into the kingdom or the Church we have lowered the standard... We have made it too easy,
but Jesus never made it so: He never deluded anybody. He never cried ‘Peace' when there was
no peace. He knew the danger of saying ‘Peace' when the soul was in anarchy and the will in rebellion, and
the whole man against God... His first public sermon to the world was on repentance. He knew where to begin. ‘Repent
ye', said Jesus. That is His first utterance, and if you care to go to His last before He left Hisdisciples and was
received up yonder in the clouds, He gave them the commission to go and preach repentance." (Rodney ‘Gipsy'
Smith, Repent Ye, 1906)