Wednesday, July 22, 2020

God Demands Perfection, Not Turning From Sin

James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

One of the most damnable heresies being taught in churches today is that a person must “repent of your sins,” or “forsake your sins,” or “turn from your sins,” or “be willing to turn from your sins,” to receive the free gift of eternal life from God. It's not what YOU DO that saves you, it's what JESUS DID! Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay your debt of sin (and mine). Romans 5:6, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” The only type of person that God saves is an UNGODLY PERSON! Matthew 9:12, “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”

God expects absolute perfection from you and me to get to Heaven. That is why God gave the Old Testament law, to show all humanity the IMPOSSIBILITY of perfectly keeping it. Romans 3:19-20, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.God understands that NO ONE can perfectly obey His Commandments, so He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to pay for our sins on the cross. What an amazing, great and merciful God! 

God couldn't merely pardon our sins just to be a nice guy. That would be evil, and God cannot do evil. When someone commits a crime, and the law looks the other way, that is another crime! That wouldn't be justice! A crime must be paid for. Christ paid our debt of sin, thankfully, so God the Father could JUSTIFY us (Acts 13:39), as if we had never sinned at all. Salvation is not a plea agreement, where you are still convicted but with a lesser charge. Nor is salvation an acquittal, where the charges are dropped for lack of evidence to convict. God has plenty of solid, irrefutable, concrete evidence to convict all of us to Hell forever! Salvation means to be declared JUSTIFIED by God, “JUST-IF-I'D” never sinned! But not only that, God places (credits) Christ's righteousness to your record by faith, as if you were as holy and perfect as Jesus Himself. Thank you Lord!!! 

I used James 2:10 for our text passage, because it says breaking even one of God's Commandments makes us guilty of BREAKING ALL OF THEM! God is 100% perfect, holy and immutable (he cannot change). God cannot do evil, neither can He be tempted with evil. James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:I love that about God! Aren't you glad that the Devil is not the supreme authority of the universe? I sure am! I am glad that the greatest being in the universe is not a malevolent monster! God is not a communist! God is not a pervert or homosexual. God is not a big coward. God is not a thief or a liar. We have a GOOD GOD!!! ...
Psalms 107:15, “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”  
Psalms 136:1, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” 
Psalms 143:10, “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” 
Psalms 145:9, “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
If you want to go to Heaven when this life ends, there are only TWO WAYS to do so. The first is to live a perfect, sinless life. You cannot have even one sin on your record in Heaven. Obviously, no human being other than Jesus Himself has ever achieved this. If you ever hear someone claim to be without sin, the Holy Bible says they are calling God “a liar” and the truth is not in them (1st John 1:8-10). God says in Romans 3:23a, “For all have sinned...” The second way to get to Heaven is for someone to pay your debt of sin for you. It would have to be someone who is without sin, obviously. Only Jesus is sinless. Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus never sinned even one time, not in the slightest way. If He had, He couldn't have been our Savior!

If you understand the Bible truth I just shared with you, then 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 will make sense... “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Many people misunderstand this popular passage of Scripture, thinking it affirms the junk theology of Ray Comfort and John MacArthur, that you must “turn from your sins to be saved. They say if you are living a sordid lifestyle of fornication, drunkenness and sin, you are not really saved! That is simply not what the Bible teaches. Please don't miss verse 11, BUT YE ARE WASHED”! Jesus' precious blood washes all our sins away (1st John 1:7).

We all deserve to go straight to Hell and burn forever, but God loves us enough that He made a way of escape! Jesus loves you so much dear friend, that He would rather die than live without you! That's how much the Son of God loves you! Do you love Him? 1st John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1st John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.The world hates Jesus, because He testifies against their sins (John 7:7). Therefore, the world hates Christians too (John 15:19). So when you hear anyone foolishly preaching another gospel, saying: “You must repent (turn) from your sins” to be saved, they are lying! The world is filled with theological liars today in church pulpits everywhere! Anyone who tells you, that you must “REPENT OF YOUR SINS” to be saved is corrupt. You cannot show me those phrases in the inspired Word of God. Nowhere are we taught to “turn away from our sins to be saved. 

Proponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy love to run to the story of Jonah and Nineveh. The Bible says Jonah 3:10, “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.” The Bible doesn't say they got saved, it says they repented of their sins. Judas “repented Himself” of his sins in Matthew 27:3, even returning the 30 pieces of silver, but Judas still went to Hell. You don't get saved by repenting, you get saved by believing the Gospel. The people at Nineveh listened to Jonah. I do think many of them got saved, but it wasn't because they turned from their sins. The prophet Habakkuk in Habakkuk 2:4 says “the just shall live by his faith.

It always irritates me that advocates of the Lordship Salvation heresy will cherry-pick passages of Scripture, while completely ignoring the entire Gospel of John, the Epistle of Galatians, Romans 4:1-6, and other very clear passages which emphasize salvation by faith alone. For example: In the Gospel of John the word believe is mentioned 85 times, but there is no mention of the word repent.” That is simply because the man who believes has repented. We do find repentance (not the word) taught in John 3:21, “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.Repentance is a change of mind concerning THE TRUTH. Anyone who acknowledges THE TRUTH that you are a needy sinner, and believes THE TRUTH of the Gospel is saved. What saith the Scripture? 2nd Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

If you want to go to Heaven, turning from your sins won't do my friend, you must be 100% PERFECT, WITHOUT SIN! Since you obviously cannot do that, and neither can anybody else in the world, you and I need a Savior! Jesus was born of a virgin. He lived a perfect sinless life. Jesus went to the cross and was beaten beyond recognition as a human being. Isaiah 52:14, “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:The Devil finally had his chance, through inspiring an angry mob of soldiers under orders from Pilate, to go to town wailing on the Lord's face, beating Him to a pulp. I have seen the 2004 movie, 'The Passion Of Christ,' by Mel Gibson, and I cried during the film. I don't see how anyone who loves Jesus couldn't cry, seeing the bloodied Lord beaten with whips, assaulted with solder's fists, barely able to stand on His own two fist, spit upon, hit with a big stick, mocked and stripped naked, treated like an animal being slaughtered. Jesus was so weak that He collapsed beneath the cross He carried to Calvary (the hill where He was crucified) in Jerusalem. He did that for your dear reader! Jesus loves you, and so do I as His disciple!

Thankfully, Jesus lived a perfect life, and was accepted by the Father, being the spotless Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus paid it all! That is why I make such a big fuss over this Satanic heresy that you must “repent of your sin” to be saved. The Bible doesn't teach that anywhere. I triple-dog dare you to show me where the Bible says we must “repent of your sin to be saved. It does not! What the Bible does teach is to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...” (Acts 16:31b). Turning from your sins is religion, human reformation, not regeneration (the new birth). I hope you see this! 

Dear friend, if you'll simply place your trust (reliance) in what God has recorded about His only begotten Son in His Word, then you will be immediately and forever saved! The moment that you make the decision to trust Christ, God can read your mind, and He saves you. Christ took your sins upon Himself on the cross, paying the price of your sins with His shed blood. God offers to you His free gift of eternal life, which Jesus paid for. The moment you get saved, God not only washes all your sins away, but He takes Christ's perfect righteousness and applies to you. 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.So if you are saved, God only sees CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS when He looks at you. When you sin, God only sees His redeemed child from now on! You may be a disobedient child (and we all are at times) who require discipline, but God is not an absent Father, He will chastise and scourge His children (Hebrews 12:6-8).

So forget about the idea of turning from sins to be saved, because IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Even if you could turn from 99.99% of your sins, you'd still go straight to Hell when you die, because of that .01% of sin. That is what James 2:10 teaches! The ONLY way to become perfect in God's sight is you need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matthew 6:33). You need God's imputed righteousness, which is through faith alone in Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9).


Didn't Dr. John R. Rice Teach The Need To Turn Away From Sin?

But wait, didn't Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980) teach that you must “repent from sin with all your heart to be saved? Yes he did! Yet, Dr. Rice clearly didn't believe that a person must attempt to reduce their amount of sinning to be saved, as evidenced by this quote from him:
There are those hyper-dispensationalists who think that John the Baptist preached a different Gospel from Christ when he commanded repentance (Matt. 3:2). But it is the same repentance Jesus commanded in Matthew 4:17, in Luke 13:3 and 5, and the same repentance that Paul preached in Athens that God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30 31). Repentance is not a different plan of salvation from having faith: it is part of the same plan of salvation. Or rather repentance is simply another way of describing or looking at the plan of salvation. One who turns from sin to God has done so by trusting in Jesus Christ. A change of mind toward sin is necessarily involved in saving faith. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Evangelist John R. Rice, “Acts: Filled With The Spirit,” pp. 251-252; Sword Of The Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; ©1963
Clearly, John R. Rice believed that the way you “turn from sin” is by trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior. This is one step, not two, to be saved. That is NOT what the Lordship Salvation crowd are heretically preaching today. I keep hearing these false preachers teaching that you must turn away from your sins first, and then secondly believe the Gospel. That is a false gospel of partial faith in Christ plus works! You don't repent AND believe, as Dr. Tom Ferrell preaches, you repent TO believe as Dr. John R. Rice rightly taught.

Having said that, I do not like nor approve of Brother Rice's poor choice of words. No preacher should ever add to the Scriptures, to say something that God didn't say. Nowhere in the inspired King James Bible are we taught to repent “OF YOUR SIN” to receive God's free gift of eternal life. Proponents of this damnable heresy are often quick to false accuse the free grace crowd (e.g., myself, Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. Curtis Hutson and Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold) of leaving off repentance. No, we have not left off repentance, we have not added something to the Bible which God did not say.

In 2014, I heard Pastor Marty Herron at Harvest Baptist Church on Guam errantly teach hundreds of people on a Sunday morning, and I quote: “It is not enough to admit you are a sinner to be saved, you must also turn away from a lifestyle of sinning.” I knew right there and then that Pastor Herron is an infidel, not a born-again Christian, a false prophet! Herron has added works to grace, perverting the Gospel. Where did he get that garbage theology? Look no further than his mentors, Dr. Steve Pettit and Pastor John MacArthur.

So, even though I disagree with Dr. John R. Rice's poor choice of wording, he vindicates himself by plainly explaining what he means by “turn from sin with all your heart” to be saved. Dr. Rice plainly taught that the man who BELIEVES on Christ has turned from his sins. This is not what the Bob Jones crowd are preaching today! Dr. Rice rightly recognized repentance and faith as being two sides of the same coin. He didn't see them as separate actions, and that is critically important to understand, lest you corrupt the Word of God and cast stumbling blocks before the people. 

If a man must commit to forsake his lifestyle of sinning as a requirement to be saved, then a payment has been demanded of him. This is a false plan of salvation. In God's true plan of redemption, a man ceases from ALL his works (good and bad alike, which the Bible calls “dead works” in Hebrews 6:1). One of my favorite Bible passages is Hebrews 4:10-11, For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.If you want to go to Heaven, you simply need to CEASE from trusting in all your works (good and bad works alike) and REST in Jesus Christ.

Dear reader, eternal life is the free gift of God (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9). You don't earn or merit that gift. You don't turn away from your sin to qualify for that gift. It is a gift! You don't have to be willing to turn away from sin to get that gift. You simply need to acknowledge the truth that you are a guilty sinner in God's sight (2nd Timothy 2:25; Romans 3:19-20), so you'll see your need to believe the Gospel (the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen) to be saved (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Our part is simply to BELIEVE, God does the rest. That is the simplicity that is in Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4).

2 comments:

  1. After we are saved we should stop sinning as much as possible, then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friend, do you have an inbox? If so, you can email him at kingjamesbible77@gmail.com

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