Wrong Repentance


THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF FALSE TEACHING ON REPENTANCE WITH THE GOSPEL OF GRACE

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Galatians 1:8, 9.

     "The word Metanoia is in every instance translated repentance. The word means a change of mind.  The common practice of reading into this word the thought of sorrow or heart anguish is responsible for much confusion in the field of Soteriology ... This definition of this word as it is used in the New Testament is fundamental.  Little or no progress can be made in a right induction of the Word of God on this theme, unless the true and accurate meaning of the word is discovered and defended throughout."  Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology, Vol. III.  (p. 372).

     "Often the idea of believing is expressed by the word, repent (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 8:22; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20) ... The word means to change one's mind, and by its usage in the Book of Acts it means to change one's mind about Jesus of Nazareth being the Messiah.  This involves no longer thinking of Him as merely the carpenter's son of Nazareth, an imposter, but now receiving Him as both Lord (Jehovah) and Messiah. Thus, repentance as preached by the apostles was not a prerequisite to nor a consequence of salvation, but was actually the act of faith in Jesus which brought salvation to the one who repented."  Ryrie, Charles.  Biblical Theology of the New Testament.  (p. 116, 117).

     "What place has repentance in salvation? Should we tell people to repent of their sins to be saved?  The Gospel of John is the Holy Spirit's Gospel Tract, written that men might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing they might have life through His name (20:31).  And it does not mention the word 'repentance'.  But that is only because repentance is a necessary part of saving faith.  Strictly speaking, the repentance means a 'change of mind'.  It is by no means the same thing as sorrow (II Corinthians 7:10).  Since it is not possible to an unbeliever to become a believer without changing his mind, it is therefore unnecessary to say anything about it.  The only thing for a man to do in order to be saved is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: and to believe on Him is the same thing as receiving Him (John 1:11-13)."  Pettingill, William.  Bible Questions Answered.  (p. 215-216).

     "But in order to clarify the subject, it may be well to observe carefully what repentance is not, and then to notice briefly what it is.  First, then repentance is not to be confounded with penitence... penitence is simply sorrow for sin... Nowhere is man exhorted to feel a certain amount of sorrow for his sins in order to come to Christ.  Second, penance is not repentance.  Penance is the effort in some way to atone for the wrong done...  In the third place, let us remember that reformation is not repentance...  Need I add that repentance then is not to be considered synonymous with joining a church or taking up one's religious duties, as people say.  It is not doing anything.  ...the Greek word, metanoia, which is translated 'repentance' in our English Bibles, literally means a change of mind."  Ironside, Harry.  Except Ye Repent.  (p. 12-15).

     "When thinking of the word repent or repentance, there are at least two general ideas that are not repentance.  Repentance does not mean to be sorry for some wrong I have done...  Some may think repentance is promising to do good.  I do not want to seem to be too harsh, but how much good is it going to do for anyone to promise to do good?  ...Repentance is primarily a judgment about myself.  The expression is often used which has an awkward translation into English is 'repenting of our sins'.  Actually this is not a sound idea.  The reason it is so awkward to say is that man does not 'repent his sins' nor does he 'repent of his sins', he repents himself.  Repentance is judgment upon myself whereby I admit that I am not good...  Repentance is a very important matter.  Because it is not until I am willing to acknowledge before God that I am nothing in myself that I will believe the Gospel."  Gutzke, Manford.  Plain Talk About Christian Words.  (p. 122, 123).

     "It is our purpose to discuss the Scriptural doctrine of repentance.  It is important because so many minds have been confused concerning the simplicity of salvation by the perversion of the Scriptural teaching of this important doctrine... The doctrine has suffered tremendously from an erroneous concept held by most men, for when the word 'repent' is used, it brings to mind of the average individual the thought of sorrow for sin... And this sorrow for sin is usually called 'repentance'.  But there could be nothing further from the concept of the Word of God than the idea that repentance means sorrow for sins.  From the Word of God we discover that the word translated 'repent' means 'a change of mind'...  Now, such as change of mind as the Scripture enjoins when it speaks of repentance may produce a sorrow for sin, but it will be the result after one has seen his sin in the light of holiness of God and has changed his attitude toward it."  Pentecost, J. Dwight.  Things Which Become Sound Doctrine.  (p. 61, 62).


     "Repent of Sin."  This often-quoted phrase does not even occur in the Bible.  Most people are quite shocked to find that it does not appear in the Scriptures.  Nowhere does the Scripture use the phrase, "repent of sin" to be saved.  Scripture does say in Acts 20:21, "repentance toward God" ("change of mind", and "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ").

     Repentance is the translation of the Greek word "metanoia".  The literal meaning of "metanoia" is "a change of mind".  "Meta" means, "change".  "Noia" means "mind".  So, therefore, "meta-noia" means a "change of mind".  Before learning about metanoia, I am sure that you are already familiar with a Greek word with the prefix "meta".  That word is "metamorphosis".  "Meta" means "change", and "morphosis" means "form or structure".  This word metamorphosis is used to describe the change a caterpillar goes through to become a beautiful butterfly.  I am sure that you have studied about this change of form.  Repentance, therefore, (metanoia) is a change of mind.

     This misuse of the word repentance has caused untold confusion among believers and unbelievers alike.  Satan, the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), has delighted in this misuse of the word repentance.  One of the counterfeits Satan is using today is the misuse of the word repentance.  To insist upon repentance that in any sense includes a demand for a change of conduct either toward God or man is to add an element of works or human effort to faith.

     Let's define.  Penance is payment for sin.  Penitence is sorrow for sin.  Works and something of self is turning from sin.  But repentance (metanoia) means a change of mind.  Man's great need is to understand God's way of salvation and accept His sacrifice.  Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man might have and accepting God's way of salvation.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)."

     Why do we have the problem?  The problem has come about because "metanoia" should never have been translated in the English word "repent".  "Repent" (English word) does not mean the same thing as "metanoia" (Greek word).  Perhaps what the translators should have done is a "transliteration" of the Greek word.  For example: the translators of the King James Bible took the Greek word "baptizo"-they dropped the "o" and replaced it with an "e".  They brought the new word "baptize" into the English language.  This is called a transliteration.  They should have done this with "metanoia" and the problem would have been eliminated.  Can you imagine preachers saying "metanoia" to their congregations?  At least the correct meaning would be known.

     Understanding the doctrine may relieve some of the confusion you or your friends may have had concerning repentance.  Here is a way to get a handle on it.  Remember this, "A person may 'repent' without 'believing', but a person can't 'believe' without 'repenting'."  A person may "repent" (change their mind) without "believing" (trusting Christ), but a person can't "believe" (trust in Christ) without "repenting" (having changed their mind).

     Repentance is necessary for salvation, but keep it in mind that it means "a change of mind".  Dr. C. I. Scofield, in the Scofield Reference Bible (copyrighted in 1909) has the following footnote, "Repentance is the translation of a Greek word (metanoia-metanoeo) meaning 'to have another mind', 'to change the mind', and is used in the New Testament to indicate a change of mind in respect of sin, of God and of self.  This change of mind may, especially in the case of Christians who have fallen into sin, be preceded by sorrow (II Corinthians 7:8-11), but sorrow for sin, though it may 'work' repentance, is not repentance.  The son in Matthew 21:28, 29 illustrates true repentance.  Saving faith includes and implies that change of mind which is called repentance."  Dr. Scofield clearly points out that "saving faith" includes and implies that change of mind, which is called repentance.

     One misunderstanding is to say that the word repentance must be used in order to be teaching repentance.  If that were true, we would have thrown out the gospel of John from the New Testament.  Think of this in the light of why John's gospel was written, "But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name (John 20:31)."

     Repentance, you see, is taught in John 3:16.  A person can't believe (trust) in Christ as taught in John 3:16 without repenting (changing his mind) in the process.

     "Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He's done to provide forgiveness, and deliverance from our sins.  When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we're automatically repenting, because we couldn't accept Him in this way without having had to change our minds in some way concerning Him."  Hal Lindsey.  The Liberation of Planet Earth.  (p. 133).

     Salvation is by faith and not by works according to the Scriptures (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 4:5).  Let's not become tools of the devil to add works to salvation in a subtle way by the misuse of repentance.  Let's give out a clear message!  (I Corinthians 14:8).

* Written by Dr. Hank Lindstrom


The moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God who can read your mind knows, saves YOU and gives you the Gift of God, eternal Life.

You do not need anyone to pray over you, or pray for you, because this is between you and God in heaven. Because of your new trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ you are now a child of God. Before you trusted in Jesus, God was your creator but now and forevermore he will be your father.

You are saved in a moment of time, because you are trusting in the true Savior now, not working your way to heaven day by day which is not even possible.

Once saved you can never be lost, for any reason. This is because you were born spiritually the moment you put your trust in Him. Just like your physical birth which brought you into this human world, your spiritual birth gave you a new spiritual life that is permanent. You were born-again, made righteous and holy in Gods eyes. In fact you have the righteousness of God himself, your are sinless and perfect in God's eyes now and that's why you can enter into a perfect heaven. 

My favorite saying is:

God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.

You MUST put ALL your trust in Jesus to be saved, trust in the blood that He shed on the cross, trust that He is God in the flesh, trust that He made the complete payment for your sins, not just part; He paid for ALL of your sins (past, present, and future)! Trust that He rose again from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights, and in return for this trust, He gives YOU Eternal Life. All false Christians put part of their trust in Jesus and part of their trust the Church and part of their trust in themselves. If you put 99.99% trust in Jesus and 00.01% in something else, you will go to hell. It must be 100% trust in Jesus and what He did and 0% in you or your church! This information in critical... (grace always cancels works!) You are going to hell if it's by your works or you are going to heaven by Gods grace. It's as simple as that.

So I guess the question comes down to who are you trusting. Are you trusting yourself to get to heaven by being a good person and giving lots of money to your church or are you trusting Jesus, the lamb of God, that was slain for the sins of the world to get you to heaven? You receive the Gift of God (Eternal Life) as soon as you stop trusting in yourself, your church, your synagogue, your mosque, your money, or any other works and put your trust in Him and Him ALONE, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, The King of Kings, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, the Mighty God.

False religions are everywhere and they will find you, the one true God and His plan of salvation must be found.

If all this makes sense to you and you would like to trust Jesus as your personal Savior right now then tell the Mighty God in Heaven of your decision to trust Jesus Christ as your only hope of heaven. Tell Him that you are no longer putting your trust in your actions, or your church, or your church membership, or in your money, or in your Rabbi, or in your synagogue or your Mosque but that you are putting all of your trust in Him and the shed blood of the cross to pay your sin debt. Thank Him for doing it for you! Thank Him for giving you the Gift of Eternal Life that He paid for with His life. There is no greater deed than that of laying down your life for another.

Will you trust Jesus as your Savior right now, the one who shed His precious blood on the cross of Calvary to pay for all your sins?

Sinners Prayer

Lord, I admit that I'm a sinner & I don't understand a whole lot about the bible, but I do believe that Jesus Christ died & paid for my sins in full, by His death & shed blood on the cross. I trust right now the He died for me, was buried & rose again from the dead and will live forever more. I trust Jesus Christ right now to save me, to be my savior, to forgive my sins & to give me the GIFT OF GOD Eternal Life.   Amen

By reading this sinners prayer aloud, you are putting your trust in God and His plan of salvation. You are not saved by saying this prayer, you are saved the moment your mind made the switch from trusting in yourself to putting your COMPLETE TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST. That moment may have been five paragraphs up on this page or that moment may have been on another one of our pages. You will not feel any different, but you will be changed and changed for the better forever. Once you have trusted Jesus as your savior and received his gift of eternal life, this gift can NEVER be lost. You can NEVER go to hell for ANY reason. Your past, present and future sins were paid in full the moment you put your trust in Him. You are blameless and Holy in God's eyes now and FOREVER. If you have eternal life today what kind of life will you have in five years? ETERNAL! What kind of life will you have in ten years? ETERNAL!! What kind of life will you have in 50 years? ETERNAL!!! God does not give probationary life or temporary life, His gift is ETERNAL LIFE! Thanks be to GOD!

Why be good, now that I am assured of going to heaven? Because God's law of sowing and reaping still applies to you and me. You will reap what you sow. You will reap more than you sow and you will reap later than you sow. If you drink alcohol like a fish, you will reap a diseased liver. If you smoke like a chimney everyday, you will reap lung cancer. If you rob, murder, and steal you will reap a life in prison. You will reap what you sow. I guarantee it! Now that you are saved, when you do good things you WILL be rewarded here on earth and in Heaven. And when you do bad things you WILL lose rewards that God had planned on giving you here on earth and in Heaven. But you will NEVER lose your guarantee of going to heaven. That can never be lost for any reason!! You have God's word that your salvation can never be lost for any reason. You did not earn salvation and you do not work to keep salvation! Eternal Life, salvation, being born again, becoming a child of God, was, is, and always will be the GIFT OF GOD.

Remember: If your not saved forever... you are not saved!

Why is this true you might ask? Because if a person is not sure that they are saved TODAY / RIGHT NOW it means that they are still trying to be the savior! They can't be sure they are going to heaven because they don't know what sin's they may commit next week, next month or next year. We who have trusted in Jesus alone, can have comfort knowing that all our sins have been paid in full on the Cross of Calvary (past, present, and future sins). Jesus has already died for my sins so I don't need to pay for any sin I have or will commit in the future because Jesus already paid the price in full with His blood. So called Christians who say that you can lose your salvation because of suicide or murder or falling away from the church don't have a clue what the Bible says and clearly have not trusted Jesus ALONE!

Biblical Salvation is forsaking any other means of salvation but Christ and casting ourselves fully upon Him for eternal life.

The Gift of God, Eternal Life can never be lost once possessed for any reason. John 6:39 " And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day." You have God's promise that once you put your trust in Jesus you can never be lost for ANY reason whatsoever.

"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” Romans 11:29 Again, God is telling you that this Gift of God that you have just received is without repentance. He can never take His gift back for any reason, no matter how bad you get, or how bad your sins are it is not possible. God would have to cease to exist for that to happen because He cannot lie.

*** If you have put your trust in Jesus today, please send us a quick email and let us know. The email's we receive from those led to the Lord by our website is what keeps us going thru the difficult times. ***

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