Acts 16:27-31, “And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
QUESTION? - I have heard many preachers from different churches say that in order to be saved a person MUST repent of their sins. Is that true???
ANSWER - NO!!! It is true that you MUST REPENT. Yes in order for a person to be saved the individual has to repent. One thing a person needs to understand is that repentance and believing are one of the same coin. So, therefore, when a person trusts Christ as their only payment for their sins (i.e. believes the Gospel), that individual has repented.
TO CLARIFY what was said above The word REPENT (when it is in reference to salvation) is the Greek word MENTANOIA, which simply means A CHANGE OF MIND.
THE TRUTH... At the moment that a person TRUSTS CHRIST by placing their faith in JESUS' Death on a cross for our sins, Burial and bodily Resurrection (as the ONLY PAYMENT for their sins), that person has REPENTED; or in other words, they CHANGED THEIR MIND from what they once thought or believed it took them to get to Heaven, to believing God's way of going to Heaven.
THE CONFUSION begins when churches, preachers or missionaries place a FALSE DEFINITION (such as: “Turn from sin,” or “Be sorry for your sins,” or do XYZ to get saved. If anything more than childlike faith were required to get to Heaven, then the Apostle Paul and Silas would have said so in Acts 16:30-31, but they didn't, they just told the Roman jailor to BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
When Cain and Abel brought their offerings to the Lord, God accepted Abel's blood sacrifice, but He rejected Cain's grain sacrifice.
God NEVER makes a person to do anything, nor places any conditions upon them, in order to get saved except to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL. That is, believe the GOOD NEWS of Christ crucified, buried and risen three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4; John chapters 19 and 20).
TO PUT IT SIMPLE...
- God LOVES us (John 3:16)
- We are GUILTY SINNERS (Romans 3:19-23)
- Burning in HELL is the eternal penalty for our sins (Revelation 20:12-15)
- Jesus Christ DIED on a cross to pay down our massive DEBT of sin (Romans 5:6-9)
- Jesus was BURIED and RESURRECTED three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4)
- Simply BELIEVE (put your confidence in) these FACTS to be saved (Acts 16:30-31)
The Holy Bible plainly and clearly defines THE GOSPEL for us:
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
The person who BELIEVES has also REPENTED. That is, they have CHANGED THEIR MIND from unbelief to belief. You DON'T need to repent of your sin to be saved. You DON'T need to forsake the world or a lifestyle of sinning. That would be WORKS!!!
The way to be saved is to CEASE from your own labors (works), and just REST in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ. 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.” Don't miss that! Please don't miss that! Carefully notice that the issue here is UNBELIEF. The Bible is using the Jews who wandered in the Wilderness for 40 years as an EXAMPLE of their UNBELIEF, for which they perished in their sins and went to Hell. Hebrews 4:1-2, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” There are millions of people in the churches today, who have heard the Gospel preached all their life, but they don't believe it.
You get saved dear friend, by ceasing from your own DEAD WORKS (Hebrews 6:1), and just BELIEVE that Jesus did it all for you through Calvary's cross. Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty!
Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.
Turning away from sinful ways would be a work. Faith puts all of the merit where it belongs, on the object of our faith, Jesus and His work.
If to “repent” means to forsake our sinful ways TO BE SAVED, but Jesus already paid for our sins by dying on the cross, then what are we repenting from?
The true Gospel always points you to CHRIST; a false gospel always points to YOU.
Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980) was a godly man and a free grace preacher. But in his sincere ignorance Dr. Rice often used the unscriptural phrase to “turn from your sin” to be saved. Consequently, many people misunderstood Brother Rice (even still today decades later). But I have studied Dr. Rice's books much more than the average person who misrepresents him. Since Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) was lifelong good ministry friends with John R. Rice, I am very familiar with their teachings.
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 believed and taught:
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.
Oh dear friend, that is so beautiful. Please don't miss it! The only change of mind concerning sin that you need to have to be saved, is to ADMIT that you are one. 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.” To be saved, you just need to realize that you are a GUILTY SINNER, so that you will know what you are being saved from. As guilty sinners we all deserve to be punished by God's wrath in a burning Hell forever and ever (Revelation 20:12-15).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
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.
What Ray Comfort is preaching is something entirely different than what Dr. John R. Rice taught. 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,” as being something different than faith alone to be saved. 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.” That is, THINK DIFFERENTLY and believe the GOOD NEWS!!!
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. Repentance facilitates believing. 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 unpardonable sin dear reader!
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, Gary Walton, Bryan Denlinger, Sam Horn, John Piper, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and R.C. Sproul—all unbiblically require people to forsake a lifestyle of sinning to get saved, which is heresy. Salvation is a take proposition, not a give proposition.
Jesus doesn't forgive sin, He has already paid for our sins with His precious blood. You simply receive that free gift from God by childlike faith (trust, confidence) in the record which God has given to humanity in the inspired Holy Bible. Simply BELIEVE that Christ did it for you oh sinner and you are saved!!! John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Thank you for reading.
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