… the cult of repentance …

.. a number of years ago, a famous child tv star and an evangelist from New Zealand, got together and created a system for street evangelism that they called “The Way of The Master.”  this program, in a nutshell, was to ask people a few simple questions that get them to admit that they are sinners. once you get them to admit that they have broken some of the 10 Commandments then you get them to “repent” and say they are sorry to God, then they are “saved for all eternity” because once you repent and tell God that you are sorry, then you are saved for ever and ever …

.. but is that what the Bible teaches?

.. well, here we see that Jesus tells people to repent, but what does that really mean? is that even what He really said?

… for an answer to that question we need to look at some definitions and the words in the original languages of the Old and New Testaments. remember, your English Bible is a translation. it is not the original and sometimes the translations don’t get it quite right. and then, with living languages, words will change their meanings over time. e.g., when we say something is “bad” what are we really saying? and what’s a ‘google’? in 2018 alone, the Oxford English Dictionary added over 1,100 new words to the dictionary …

.. so we can see that the English word repent is about a feeling – the feeling of regret or remorse – or you could even say to feel sorry about. synonyms include regret, deplore and rue. as a side note, the word repentance has synonyms such as penitence, attrition, compunction, contriteness, contrition, penance, penitency, remorse, rue, ruth.

.. is that what the Bible teaches? that you need to feel sorry to God for breaking His commandments and if you can feel sorry, then you are “saved”?

.. in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, we see that the English word “repent” is used 13 times in the ESV, 26 times in the NLT, and 42 times in the KJV. this alone should show that even the translators disagree about how to translate some words. the very first time ‘repent’ is used in the KJV, is in the book of Genesis … ‘repent’ comparison chart

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Genesis 6:6

.. and again in Exodus 6:14 it says:

And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Exodus 32:14

.. and then we read:

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Numbers 23:19

.. so, in the first 2 verses it says that the LORD repented – but then in Numbers that the LORD has no reason to repent. so, what’s going on here?

.. in all three of the above verses the original word translated as repent, is the Hebrew word נחם [nacham], with a meaning of: to have regrets about something, be very sorry, to change one’s mind. in the ESV translation, they used the word regretted

.. 37 of the 42 times the KJV translation uses the word repent in the Old Testament, it is the same Hebrew original word. another word, used only one time, is the Hebrew word נׄחַם [nocham], from the base נחם [nacham] above, with a meaning of: to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, have compassion …

.. the final Hebrew word translated as repent in the KJV, is the Hebrew word שׁוּב [shuwb] , with a meaning of: to return, turn back, to bring back, to restore, to turn away …

.. and then we move to the Greek of the New Testament. in the ESV there are only 2 Greek words translated as repent. μετανοέω [metanoeo] with a meaning of: to change one’s mind, to feel remorse – and μετάνοια [metanoia], with a meaning of: turn about, primarily a change of mind …

.. the primary definition of the word repent, especially in the New Testament, is to change one’s mind. and so when we get to the third chapter of Matthew, and read the words of John the baptizer, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) – what he is saying is “Change your mind,” in fact he goes on to say in the 8th verse, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) or as the NCV puts it, “Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives.” (Matthew 3:8)

.. in many, many churches today, the concept of repentance is all about saying you are sorry to God and takes place with or without an actual change of mind. this goes along with a OSAS –once saved always saved theology that teaches if you repent and say you are sorry to God, then there is nothing you can do to loose your salvation …

… back in my 20’s i had a friend who was killed by his bi-polar girlfriend. this man was a nice and generous man, but by no means was he a believer or follower of Christ and although i was a believer, i certainly was not active in my walk at all. in fact, the group i used to run with used to buy our LSD and pot from this man …

… when we went to the funeral, a pastor got up in front of everyone and told us that he was glad that this friend had “given his life to Jesus as a young child” and he was fully assured that he was “in Jesus’ arms for all eternity.” now, this pastor had not seen my friend in years and years, but the OSAS theology was certain that my friend is in paradise… i am much less sure …

… in his letter to the church in Philipi, the apostle Paul wrote:

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:12–13

Work hard to show the results of your salvation.” if you only have to repent to be OSAS, then why would the apostle write this?

… Paul went on to write; “Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be blameless and innocent. You will be God’s children without any faults among people who are crooked and corrupt. You will shine like stars among them in the world as you hold firmly to the word of life. Then I can brag on the day of Christ that my effort was not wasted and that my work produced results.” Philippians 2:14–16

… so Paul is stating that complaining and arguing are things that would keep us from being blameless and innocent before God. if you spend a few minutes, that’s all it will take, and flip through the so-called “Christian TV” channels, you will find a plethora of pastors, teachers, evangelists, deacons and apostles who spend all their time complaining and arguing. these people get their followers to make phone calls and write letters to their elected officials to complain and argue about the things that they don’t like …

… and when they are not complaining and arguing they switch over to name calling and slandering the people they disagree with. back in August of this year, there was a viral video of an ‘evangelist’ who brought up a Jewish comedian in his ‘sermon’ and with all the appropriate arrogance of the self-righteous man, stated: “I hope that God breaks her teeth out and she dies.

… the Man Jesus, called Christ, taught us a different way. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that! Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that!” (Matthew 5:43–47)

… so how can a supposed teacher of the Word of God so very clearly go against the Word that he claims to teach? OSAS – he said he was sorry once, and he may have even changed his mind about a few things, but he never actually changed his mind to believe that all the words of the Christ matter. in his discourse against the unsaved Jewish comedian, he went on and on calling her all kinds of names and telling everyone how evil she is …

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:21–22

… but isn’t an evangelist calling for God to kill someone, itself pure evil? he said she was persecuting Christians with her jokes and comments. and that gives an ordained member of the body of Christ the right and license to slander and call for someones death?

Those who try to live a godly life because they believe in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil people and phony preachers will go from bad to worse as they mislead people and are themselves misled.

2 Timothy 3:12–13

… so now we have churches full of people who say they believe in God who say that they are now and forever saved because they said The Sinner’s Prayer®, who say some of the most awful, hateful things about people the Bible teaches are trapped in sin – the very people that Jesus the Christ came to seek and to save …

… these are the people who bring shame to the name of the Christ and to Christians and Christianity world wide. people who said they are sorry for offending God, and so now that they are saved for all eternity, they can do and say whatever they want …

… so now you can understand how people who claim to be “Christians” can speak ill of foreigners, immigrants, and refugees – how they can support taking children from their mothers arms and putting them in cages – how they can so blindly follow leaders who lie, cheat, and steal in plain view.. they simply believe that they have “repented” and now can go and do whatever they want …

After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and told people the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come, and the kingdom of God is near. Change the way you think and act, and believe the Good News.”

Mark 1:14–15

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Author: orland

.. i was born into an average family in the mid-west of the United States of America. my parents were divorced when i was young. ... i have been fortunate to have experienced many things that only the rich get to see. i once stayed in the Presidential Suite of the Lai Lai Sheraton Hotel, in Taipei, Taiwan. this suite composed the top two floors of the Lai Lai, where my private room overlooked the city of Taipai. ... and i have spent time in the Federal Prison System of this country as well. ... i had a construction company on the road to 'success and prosperity' and fell pray to the lures of the American Christianity Syndrome. but thank the good LORD, He allowed it all to crash around me. ... now i am quite happy to be poor, relying only on Him ....

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