The issue here is a misunderstanding of the word repentance. These people are well meaning and in many cases are saved in spite of their message not because of the way they pervert the truth. The committed legalist or one that is just stuck with a message he has heard many times and has bought into will find a reason not to deal with the truth revealed below.
The Bible says: all have sinned and that includes me.
- If I quit sinning will that work?
- If I promise to quit will that work?
- If I turn from my sin will that work?
- If I repent of my sin will that work?
If I were able to do the above then my problem would be my past sins.
- I tried to quit as a 9 year old and found it impossible.
- A promise to do the impossible is vain effort and God mocks those without Him.
- The lost cannot turn from sin but His people are commanded to turn from wicked ways in verses like II Chronicles 7:14 but note that these are His people. New Testament believers receive the power to turn from sin after coming into the family of God by faith in Jesus without any human effort.
- Repent of sin is a term not found in the New Testament
Those stuck in this accursed message fail to see that God repents more than anyone and He never sinned.
John 3:18 says “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
So when a condemned person believes God repents. God changes His thinking about sending him to hell and writes his name in the Lambs Book of life.
Those stuck with a false message are prone to confuse the issue by quoting passages that say a person must repent to go to heaven.
- Does a person have to repent to be saved? Yes.
- The real question is what is repentance? A change of mind, a new way of thinking
- Is changing from unbelief to belief repentance? Yes.
- Why do some cloud the issue with confusing a term? The focus should be changing an unbelievers mind.
- How does one clear up the confusion? Give well researched Biblical definitions.
- How do I answer those that agree “turning from sin” is not in the NT but the concept is? Ask for two verses. Because Bible doctrine is built on two or three witnesses not man’s thinking.
Example: I use to think that I had to keep the 10 Commandments for one week to earn heaven. Then I heard the truth that Jesus paid the complete payment and the only thing I could do was to receive the gift of His offer by faith.
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