In these days of gross darkness a grievous heresy is deeply penetrating My Body: the teaching that you need not repent of your sins when accepting Christ as Savior. Apostate teachers, desperate to greatly increase their congregations (and their “tithe” income) have come up with a “plan of salvation” that’s quicker to fix and easier to swallow than instant oatmeal. According to them, all you need do to secure your salvation is to MOUTH the right words, whether your heart is saying them or not. No turning from sin is needed, no confession and repentance, not even an acknowledgement that you’re a sinner and have offended your own Maker’s standards of holiness. Just go up there and say a mass “prayer” led by a preacher who counts the scalps on his belt (and the cash in the collection bag).
I have seen very reluctant family members trudge up to the “altar” to shake hands with the preacher and “make their profession of faith”, in hopes that this simple act would finally make their friends and family quit nagging them about it. They came in the door a sinner, and they went out a more religious sinner. Only My precious Holy Spirit can ever induce people to see the folly of their ways and their need for a Savor. Only He can show sinners what terrible ruin will come to their souls if they refuse to accept Christ’s free offer of salvation. Only the Spirit of God can “seal the deal” by sealing a contrite sinner into the Kingdom of God through performing within them the miracle of the New Birth and joining their spirits to Christ. Only the Spirit of God can instill that “sorrow that leads to repentance” in the hearts of offenders. The fancy preacher can’t do it, and most likely, that preacher wouldn’t do it even if he could. HIS job is to stand up there like a circus clown and ENTERTAIN the folks so they’ll want to come back to HIS “church” and keep contributing to HIS “ministry” (of death). Far be it from him to want to make people feel BAD about themselves, or GUILTY for the sins they’ve committed against a just and holy God. If sin is ever mentioned at all, it is viewed as “a relative concept”, and situational ethics prevail even in the pulpit.
REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD and faith toward the Lord Jesus was faithfully taught by Paul the apostle. Paul thought repentance must be important if he paired it with faith toward Jesus. Today, many preachers figure they can just skip over the “repentance” part and get on to the “good” stuff. They reassure even the most depraved, evil sinners that they are ALREADY loved by God just as they are. The preachers RUSH to tell them that if only they’ll utter “Jesus save me” that’s all it takes, even if those people have NEVER been awakened by the Holy Spirit to the knowledge that they’re vile sinners in need of a Savior.
My Son said: “Except ye repent, ye shall ALL perish”. Many disparage repentance as being a “work” when salvation is by grace alone and not through human effort. If repentance is not important, then why did Paul the Apostle teach Gentiles as well as Jews that works “fitting for repentance” ought to be done (acts 26:20)? This was also taught by John the Baptist (Matt.3:8).
As the early apostles ministered, great fear fell upon the people so that wicked spirits fled the scene. As an OUTWARD TESTIMONY of the sincerity of their newfound faith, many who had been idolaters or sorcerers burnt up the books associated with those evil occult practices. Others confessed fully what evil they’d done, even AFTER they believed on Christ (Acts 19:18-19). How scared is satan of TODAY’S mealy-mouthed preachers who change their stance on issues from one week to the next, according to “which way the wind blows”?
How can anyone expect My grace to work in their lives while they stubbornly cling to old, cherished sins and refuse to swap their old fleshly habits for the NEW life of Christ within? Do those people suppose they can bring their adultery, lying cheating, swearing and fornicating into heaven with them? Whoever acknowledges and FORSAKES His sin shall have mercy (Prov.28:13).
Repentance from dead works is NOT a side issue! It is a FOUNDATIONAL truth of the New Covenant (Heb.6:1). Many preachers are laying a shaky foundation for their “churches”. They’re laying down the solid building bricks without using the mortar to make them hold together. Any “Christian” life lived without repentance will come tumbling down faster than the walls of Jericho.