Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How to Create False Converts

Godzguy said... Ray, Don't want to be a bit off subject,wanted to see if you could quickly (lol) comment on this. I recently asked a youth ministry website why the said owner of ministry does not use repentance in their salvation message and he replied with this post:

"Hey all, great conversation. As for repentance I beleive it is absolutely essential for salvation but it is probably the MOST mistranslated word in the Bible. The NT word for repentance is "metaneo" which means "to perceive differently afterwards" or, a more common translation "to change your mind." So when talking in the context of sin it means to change your mind about that sin. But when talking about salvation it means to change your mind about what you are trusting in (good deeds).

"To repent is to believe and to believe is to repent.It’s two ways of describing the same thing…relying on Jesus’s work instead of our own. That’s why it’s used interchangeably throughout the NT. If repent is a separate act from salvation then John missed it when he wrote the book of John. He uses the word "believe" 98xs and doesn’t use the word "repent" once. What’s interesting is that this is the only book in the Bible written to a completely unbelieving crowd (John 20:31). If repentance and faith aren’t synonomous then it would seem that John the apostle preached an incomplete gospel.

"But he didn’t…and we aren’t. It’s those who add works to salvation under the guise of a misinterpretation of the word "repent" who are perverting the gospel of grace.

"We repent (change our minds) when we believe (trust in; rely upon) Jesus based on what He did for us on the cross and we are saved. He then comes into our lives and changes us from the inside out (turns us from our sins) day after day. But he doesn’t begin that work of spiritual transforamtion until He’s working from the inside (Philippians 2:12-13) and He doesn’t get on the inside until we trust in Him for our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14)."

I don't know how to respond to this; thanks for your input and ministry. God is great!

Guy R- Ky

Sin is no longer seen as "exceedingly sinful" (see Romans 7:13), when the moral Law (the Ten Commandments) is forsaken in the gospel proclamation. It is one of the great reasons why our Churches are filled with false converts, and the world is filled with what are erroneously called bitter "backsliders" (such as those angry folks who frequent this site). The following is from The Evidence Bible. I hope it helps:

"It is true that numerous Bible verses speak of the promise of salvation with no mention of repentance. These verses merely say to "believe" on Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (see Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).

However, the Bible makes it clear that God is holy and man is sinful, and that sin makes a separation between the two (see Isaiah 59:1-2). Without repentance from sin, wicked men cannot have fellowship with a holy God. We are dead in our trespasses and sins (see Ephesians 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ. The Scriptures speak of "repentance unto life" (see Acts 11:18). We turn from sin to the Savior. This is why Paul preached "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).

The first public word Jesus preached was "repent" (see Matthew 4:17). John the Baptist began his ministry the same way (see Matthew 3:2). Jesus told His hearers that without repentance, they would perish (see Luke 13:3). If belief is all that is necessary for salvation, then the logical conclusion is that one need never repent. However, the Bible tells us that a false convert "believes" and yet is not saved (see Luke 8:13); he remains a "worker of iniquity."
Look at the warning of Scripture: "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth" (1 John 1:6). The Scriptures also say, "He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesses and forsakes them [repentance] shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). Jesus said that there was joy in heaven over one sinner who "repents"(see Luke 15:10). If there is no repentance, there is no joy because there is no salvation.

As Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he commanded his hearers to repent "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Without repentance, there is no remission of sins; we are still under God’s wrath. Peter further said, "Repent . . . and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). We cannot be "converted" unless we repent.

God Himself "commands all men everywhere [leaving no exceptions] to repent" (see Acts 17:30). Peter said a similar thing at Pentecost: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you" (Acts 2:38).

If repentance wasn’t necessary for salvation, why then did Jesus command that repentance be preached to all nations (see Luke 24:47)?

With so many Scriptures speaking of the necessity of repentance for salvation, one can only suspect that those who preach salvation without repentance are strangers to repentance themselves, and thus strangers to true conversion.