Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Man Who Believes On Jesus Christ Has Repented

Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Luke 13:3, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Acts 3:19, 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; Acts 17:30, And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

These beautiful passages of Scripture are commonly cited by advocates of Lordship Salvation to justify their heresy of “turn away from your sin to saved. However, none of these passages teach that repentance means to turn away from your sins. A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one. The Gospel of John was written for the purpose of getting people saved (John 20:31). In the book of John we find the word believe mentioned 85 times, but the word repent is not mentioned even once. This plainly evidences that the man who believes has also repented.

Something that bothers me is the deceitfulness of Baptist pastors and churches all across America. Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980) is still recognized as one of the most notable and respected leaders in the independent fundamental Baptist movement today. Dr. Rice founded the Sword Of The Lord in 1934. I love Brother Rice and fully support his ministry and the Sword Of The Lord still today, whose editor is now Dr. Shelton Smith. 

As an example of what I mean by deceit, please read the following quote from the Statement of Faith of the Metro Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas...

You must repent.

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30) To repent literally means to have a change of mind (or spirit) toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see then, how the man who believes in Christ, repents, and the man who repents, believes in Christ. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: https://metrobaptistchurch.com/eternal-life

To an unsaved person, the preceding skewed quote gives the impression that they must forsake sinful living to be saved. Here is a quote from the Statement of Faith from the Highland Baptist Church in Cumberland, Maryland...

You must repent

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30) To repent literally means to have a change of mind (or spirit) toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned from sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: http://highlandbaptistcumberlandmd.com/salvation

Did you notice that these two Statements of Faith are almost identical? That is because many churches, like these, simply repeat what Dr. John R. Rice teaches in his popular Gospel tract titled: “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” Here is a direct quote from Dr. Rice's tract:

“To repent literally means to have a change of mind or spirit toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned form sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

SOURCE: What Must I Do To Be Saved?

It bothers me when Baptist churches skew (a slanted position) Dr. Rice's writings, misrepresenting what he really taught. Anyone who represents Dr. Rice as teaching that you have to turn from sins, as a separate act from believing, is slandering him! Please read what Dr. Rice actually believes and teaches:

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 ChristA change of mind toward sin is necessarily involved in saving faith. 

Everyone who genuinely repented under the preaching of John the Baptist put his trust in the Saviour John the Baptist preached, and was regenerated. There is no such thing as being “a disciple of John the Baptist” in any honest sense without being a disciple of Jesus, that is, without trusting Christ for salvation. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Evangelist John R. Rice, “Acts: Filled With The Spirit,” pp. 251-252; Sword Of The Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; ©1963

Oh dear friend, that is so beautiful. Please don't miss it! I have heard Missionary David W. Cloud and other false teachers, attempt to portray Dr. Rice as a proponent of Lordship Salvation, saying he taught that people must turn away from a lifestyle of sin to be saved. David Cloud even goes as far as to pitch Dr. John R. Rice against his successor Pastor Curtis Hutson (1934-1995). I explain this issue in the preceding hyperlink. Mr. Cloud claims that Curtis Hutson leaves off repentance, thus corrupting the Gospel. Nothing could be further from the truth

Kindly said, I am so sick and tired of Ray Comfort's damnable doctrines of devils. In all of his YouTube videos, Ray requires people to do TWO things to be saved. He first requires that people repent of their sins. He defines repentance as telling God you're sorry, and then living a LIFESTYLE OF REPENTANCE to prove the reality of your salvation. John R. Rice rightly taught that repentance and faith are simply two parts of ONE STEP of believing to be saved; whereas Ray Comfort errantly teaches that repentance and faith are TWO STEPS, which require an effort to stop living in sin to be saved. 

These are two very different plans of salvation. It is very deceptive for any Baptist church to partially quote John R. Rice, telling people that repentance means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart.” In reality, in fact, that is NOT what repentance means!!!!!!! The word repent regarding salvation in the Bible is either the noun metanoia (a change of mind), or the verb form metanoeo (to think differently). Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” 

To be saved, you must think differently and believe the Good News (i.e., Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, He was buried and physically resurrected three days later). We are saved by believing, not by repenting; but repentance makes believing possible. If you didn't change your mind about whatever it is that has been preventing you from believing, then you wouldn't have come to Christ to be forgiven and saved. The only thing you need to change your mind about is whatever has been hindering you from believing.

Unbelief is the only thing that keeps a person from believing. To require that someone commit to turning away from living a lifestyle of sin, has absolutely nothing to do with receiving God's free gift of eternal life. I hope you see that. False teachers like John MacArthur, Steve Pettit, Marty Herron, James White, Bryan Denlinger, Sam Horn, John Piper, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and R.C. Sproul, unbiblically require people to forsake a lifestyle of sinning to get saved, which is heresy. Salvation is a take proposition, not a give proposition.

Out Baptist churches today are filled with people who are very ecumenical, accepting and bidding Godspeed to all manner of heresy, false teachers, counterfeit Bible versions and other gospels. Sadly, anybody who professes faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone is embraced as being a true Christian; yet many of these so-called Christians” adhere to a very different plan of salvation than what is clearly taught in the King James Bible. I have just shown you two Baptist churches, whose Statement of Faith add turning away from sins to the Gospel, corrupting the simplicity that is in Christ by faith alone.

Most churches are in denial today. While they insist that salvation is a free gift that cannot be earned, at the same time they also insist that you turn away from sinning to receive it. I can take you to the Mormon, Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Church of Christ and Seventh-Day Adventist websites to show you where they all insist that salvation is obtained solely by God's grace. Yet, all of these false religions require some form of works for salvation, or to prove that you are really saved by performing works. The Word of God teaches the exact opposite, that a person is saved solely BY FAITH and nothing else is required...

Romans 3:20-26, “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. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Repeatedly in the Bible we are taught simply to BELIEVE on the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). Nowhere are we told to repent “of our sins to be saved. NOWHERE!!! In closing, let me repeat these doctrinally sound words by Evangelist John R. Rice once again. And may I say, the inspired Scriptures are our final and only authority in all doctrinal and moral matters. You'll find those inspired words only in the King James Bible today. Having said that, Dr. Rice gets it 100% correct here, in my humble opinion as a fundamentalist Baptist preacher:

“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

Repentance is not a separate act from believing, but one and the same. This is the great Bible truth which is woefully lacking in thousands of Baptist churches today, perverting the simple Gospel of free grace. God bless you dear friend, and thank you from my heart for reading this humble sinner's writings. To God alone be the glory!

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