Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Folly Of The Wrong Repentance Crowd

Acts 8:17-22, “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

A man emailed me yesterday trying to defend Wrong Repentance. He quoted Acts 8:22 from our text passage above, attempting to use this verse to prove that “repent means turning from sins. I kindly replied by quoting to him Acts 8:13, where Simon was saved, Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” The Bible very plainly teaches in verse 13 that Simon was saved simply by BELEIVING... Then Simon believed also.

Then in verses 17-22 we read that as a new believer, Simon thought he could purchase the power of God with money. The Apostle Peter sharply rebuked him, telling him to perish with his money, and warning Simon that he had better repent (think differently) and ask God to forgive him. The Greek verb for repent in verse 22 is metanoeo, which simply means to think differently. It does not mean to turn away from sin. It means to think differently. The noun form of the word is metanoia, meaning a change of mind.” People change their mind about all kinds of things every day. God even changed His mind numerous times in the Bible. 

John 3:9-10, “Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 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. Was God turning from His sins? No, of course not. God simply changed His mind concerning the judgment He had intended to bring upon Nineveh. Repentance concerning salvation is simply a change of mind toward THE TRUTH, that compels a person to trust Jesus as their Savior. 2nd Timothy 2:25-26, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.Salvation is simply acknowledging THE TRUTH that you are a guilty sinner (Romans 3:19), and believing THE TRUTH of the Gospel to be saved (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).

Sadly, when I explained these Bible truths to the man who emailed me, he arrogantly wrote back and said I was a heretic. The Bible says he is subverted of himself. Titus 3:10-11, “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” The Bible says such a man “sinneth,” because he rejects sound doctrine. Likewise, Bob Jones University “sinneth,” because they reject sound doctrine. The Harvest Baptist Church of Guam “sinneth,” because they reject sound doctrine. These corrupt money-making religious institutions all teach that you must “repent of your sin” to be saved, which is nowhere taught in the infallible and inspired King James Bible.

It is abundantly clear from Acts 8:13-22, that Simon (a former sorcerer) was saved in verse 13, not in verse 22. So the application of the word “repent in verse 22 has absolutely nothing to do with Simon getting saved in verse 13. We learn from Acts 5:1-11 that Ananias and Sapphira were killed because they lied to God about money they had promised to give the church. And now Simon is trying to buy God's power with money. The Lord takes serious offense to money issues, if you haven't noticed. Luke 19:45-46, “And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” 

Sadly, all across America today, wicked men (whom Jesus called “thieves) have turned Christianity into a stinking business. From Evangelist Ken Ham's lucrative multi-billion dollar Ark Encounter disgrace in Kentucky, to Bob Jones University's shameful lack of morals and doctrinal soundness in South Carolina, to corrupt churches like Harvest Baptist Church on Guam who prey upon the simple and naïve—they have turned Christianity in America into a DEN OF THIEVES!!! Don't get mad at me, I'm telling THE TRUTH! Right doctrine matters. Which Bible we use matters. Which Gospel we preach matters.

The fact of the matter is that you cannot show me one verse in the entire Bible that says to “turn away from your sin or repent of your sin” to receive God's free gift of eternal life. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the man I mentioned earlier, who emailed me in an attempt to justify Wrong Repentance, he got mean the second time he wrote. That is why I didn't reply a second time. He said that I am teaching a man can attack children and still be saved. I am using delicate terms, he wasn't as pleasant in his wording. Do you see what he is doing? He is using an extreme, like abortionists do with their coat-hanger in the alley scenario (which has never once been medically reported) as a desperate attempt to justify the norm. 

You simply cannot justify over 99% of abortions (murder according to Exodus 20:13) which are the result of personal irresponsibility, on the basis of less than 1% of women who were forced against their will to have carnal knowledge. Likewise, the man who wrote to me is trying to use an extreme example to justify his corrupt theology. Okay, let's say that a backslidden Christian man does commit horrible wickedness (Proverbs 14:14). Does that make him any more self-righteous than the good man who gossips, lusts, hates and lies to his boss at work? No! I am saying that little sinners are just as guilty in God's sight as big sinners!

We Are Saved UNTO Good Works, Not BY Good Works

Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Turning away from sin is a good work (Jonah 3:10. Keeping the law is a good work (Romans 3:20).

So the issue is not about turning away from sin TO BE SAVED (Ephesians 2:8-10); but rather, a man ought to depart from evil because HE IS SAVED (Romans 3:31). That is the big difference theological, and it is the difference between going to Heaven or Hell. The wrong repentance crowd pervert the Gospel by adding reformation (cleaning up your life of sin) to it. In true salvation, God saves you and indwells you with His Holy Spirit (1st John 3:24), and then the Lord begins to work on cleaning up your life if sin (Hebrews 12:6-8). But depending on many factors, a believer may or may not live a holy life (Galatians 5:25; Romans 7:14-25; 1st Corinthians 3:15; 5:1-5).

The ignorant man who emailed me is thinking way wrong. In his mind, a believer must turn away from willful sinning to be saved. That is reformation (turning from sin), not repentance (thinking different). Judas was a reformed man. Judas returned the 30 pieces of silver, but the Pharisees didn't want it. The Pharisees called it blood money (Matthew 27:1-8). So in this foolish man's thinking who wrote to me, a Christian man cannot continue abiding in deep sin (i.e., evil). He thinks you can still have small sins in your life (lust, lying, gossip and envy), but you cannot be a hard core blatant sinner. That is 100% self-righteousness folks!!!

You listen to me dear friend, the ONLY thing that makes me or you as a born-again believer any more righteous than Adolf Hitler, the Golden State Killer, or the worst sinner on the planet, is the precious blood of Jesus Christ that He shed on Calvary's cross to pay for our sins!!! The changed life in me is the presence of the Spirit of Christ in me. Galatians 2:20-21, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.I love this Bible passage. It is JESUS Who lives the Christian life through me. I make it from day to day in Christ's strength, not my own. 

We grow in the grace of Jesus, not in strength. Jesus is our strength!!! 2nd Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.That is how salvation works friends. Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9). You don't have to give up one sin to be saved. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15-18; 6:23). You mean I can accept Christ as my Savior, and then go out and live like the Devil and still go to Heaven? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. I didn't say it is okay, it's not okay. I didn't say God approves of it, He doesn't (Romans 3:31). 

Living in sin always has consequences (Hebrews 4:13; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Romans 14:10-12). The Lord will chastise and scourge disobedient children, because He is not an absent parent (Hebrews 12:6-8). But we must never confuse or conflate (to mix together) service to the Lord as His child, versus the gift of salvation which God freely offers through faith alone in Christ (Philippians 3:9; Romans 4:5-6). Wrong repentance will send you to Hell.

What Repentance Is Not

There is so much confusion in the churches today on this issue. Let's define a few terms:

  • penitence - sorrow for sins
  • penance - making a mend for sins
  • reformation - turning from sins
  • repentance - a change of mind

Some or none of these elements may accompany repentance, but God does not require (nor permit) them in addition to faith in Christ. We are saved by BELIEVING, not by repenting. Repentance facilitates (makes possible) believing. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin of salvation. They are inseparable. Repentance and faith are not two separate acts, they are just one. The man who repents has believed, and the man who believes has repented. That is why in Acts 2:38 we read, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Please notice that there is no command to “believe.” I have heard countless preachers use this passage as Go-to Scripture to prove that we must turn away from sin to be saved, but that is bad theology. The reason why the Apostle Peter didn't mention believing is because repentance and believing are one and the same act. Proof of what I say is found in Acts 2:44, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common;”

So we see in the King James Bible how the words “repent and believe” are sometimes used interchangeably when referring to salvation. I am not saying that repentance and faith are the same thing, not at all. Mark 1:15 says, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.Here we see that repentance is separate from believing. Since they happen at the same time, they are viewed as one act. You don't repent first and then believe. The man who believes has repented, and the man who repents has believed. The Bible is simply saying to think differently and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross for our sins, buried and risen the third day.

Acts 2:38 Is Often Misunderstood

Sadly, Acts 2:38 is often misunderstood by Bible students and preachers. Notice that Peter didn't tell the people to be baptized (immersed) in water; but rather, in the name of Jesus Christ. Church of Christ, Lutherans, Seventh-Day Adventists and other religious cults use Acts 2:38 as a Go-to passage to support the heresy of Baptismal Regeneration (i.e., the false teaching that you must be water baptized to go to Heaven). Getting dunked in a baptistery is NOT required (nor permitted) to be saved. This would be a work, and pervert God's free grace (1st Corinthians 1:17). I love something that Pastor Curtis Hutson (1934-1995) taught me, “A good rule to follow when interpreting the Bible is to never use an obscure passage to contradict a clear one.” 

Acts 2:38 is definitely an obscure passage. We must consider that in the entire Gospel of John, the word “repent is not mentioned even once. Yet, according to John 20:31 the book of John was written to show us the way of salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ, But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.Ah, there is that big beautiful word “BELIEVE.” Dear friend, I'll go to seed before I die over this issue of wrong repentance in the churches today. Wrong Repentance is usually combined with Lordship Salvation, but not always. I have actually seen the heresy of Wrong Repentance taught by preachers who refute Lordship Salvation, which makes the matter even more confusing to people. 

What am I saying? I have no Seriously, I am simply saying what God says in His Word, that salvation is by faith alone without works. Romans 4:4-5, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” The Bible can be tortured (wrestled) to say anything by unlearned and foolish people. 

Only The Gospel Is The Power Of God Unto Salvation

Sadly, there are many false teachers today, but the Word of God foretold that they would come. 2nd Peter 2:1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Please don't misunderstand the preceding Scripture from 1st Peter 2:1. Roman Catholics don't deny the name of Jesus, do they? They sure do! When Catholics add keeping the Seven Sacraments to faith to get to Heaven, they are not wholly leaning on Jesus' name. That is what the Bible means in 2nd Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” That “power” is the Gospel. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 

Listen you can believe in the Catholic church all you want to, but that won't get you to Heaven. I visited St. Anthony's Catholic church on Guam once with a friend from work years ago. The priest literally told the congregation not to read the Bible! The priest said that they (the priests) were specially trained to interpret the Bible, and that you could do great harm to yourself and loved ones by studying the Bible on your own. I kid you not! There wasn't a Bible in the place! There were no song books! These Catholics had memorized every song, creed and ritual since childhood, brainwashed by Catholicism (the biggest cult in the world). How sad! 

Guam sadly is a cesspool of false religion! I have seen families pass around a 3 foot statue of Our Lady Of Fatima, going from home to home for weeks at a time. Each Catholic family decks out their home with decorations, in preparation to honor the patron saint Fatima and Mary. I had to leave a home once, as a group of ladies bowed in worship to their idol of Fatima. They took pride in seeing me watch them bow to their idol. I left quickly.

The Bible speaks for itself if we'll just listen. Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.The following passage from Titus 2:7-8 condemns the Bob Jones University crowd with their repent and turn away from your sin” junk theology, which is another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). Titus 2:7-8, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.There is a woeful lack of sincerity today in churches, which you can easily see by looking at the following picture...

Bible Verses Changed Merely To Obtain A Legal Copyright

According to U.S. copyright law a publisher cannot obtain a copyright without producing a work that is significantly different in context. The changes must be substantial and creative! Dear reader, why do the Bible colleges and churches bid Godspeed to this confusion and woeful evil? It just shows how utterly insincere most churchgoers are today! Titus 2:7-8, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.Shame on Moody Bible Institute in Chicago! Shame on Bob Jones University in South Carolina! Shame on Harvest Baptist Church of Guam! 

These aforementioned organizations (I could name thousands more) are as insincere as can be, evidenced by their use, sale and promotion of Devil's Bibles. Dr. Steve Pettit at BJU still insists that there is little difference between the modern revisions, yet by law the U.S. government requires “substantial and creative” changes just to get a copyright. Wake up Mr. Pettit! Stop lying to the students and faculty at BJU!

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