Repent of your sins?

To go to heaven or receive eternal life, you MUST repent of your sins?

      WRONG !!!!

2 Cor 5-7FaithnotSightForeword: This is another excerpt from my friend Preston Greene’s book, RELIGION vs JESUS Do vs Done.  

There are many teachers, pastors, and authors who teach ‘repent from sin’ in order to be saved. Some even teach turn from all of your sins (Ray Comfort).  Unlike Preston, I will name names and if someone asks, I will provide the screen shots or links to prove what I have said is true. Turning from sin, is a good thing, a righteous thing for one to do after we are saved. But it cannot be added as a requirement for receiving the FREE GIFT of salvation.  

Here are a few well-known names and religions that do add this requirement TO THE GOSPEL OF GRACE, while at the same time calling the gift of eternal life free, and saying we don’t have to do anything to receive it. (Double-mindedness)

  • Billy Graham (lordship – repent from your sin)
  • Ray Comfort (closet Calvinist-turn away from your sins, stop sinning)
  • John MacArthur (Calvinist- confess your sins, repent from sins)
  • Paul Washer (Calvinist – repent from your sins, keep repenting from your sins)
  • Mormons
  • Seventh Day Adventists
  • Westboro Baptists (Calvinists)
  • R.C. Sproul (Calvinist)
  • Matt Slick – (Calvinist – CARM)
  • James White (Calvinist – turning away from your sin)

There are many more people and religions (The majority of the ‘religions’ in the world teach turning from sins as part of the way to be saved).

But is it?

Holly Garcia – administrator at Redeeming Moments


Chapter 10 by Preston Greene – Part 1

Repent of your sins?

How many protestants believe one MUST “repent of their sins” (or turn from their sins) to go to heaven? If I had to guesstimate, I would say 80%. This teaching is what Galatians calls “another gospel”, a perverted gospel that frustrates grace. It does not save.

Why do so many people believe this term?  It is the direct result of what is being taught in the pulpits today. Who teaches this? Just about every “famous” protestant evangelical today preaches this heresy. I did not name names, as I would feel the need to provide references. Pick a famous protestant evangelical and search to see if they use this phrase FOR salvation. You will find it easily. This will be one of the longest chapters, since this phrase “repent of your sins” is sending more people to hell than anything else today. We will spend a lot of time in Galatians. Then we will visit Acts and Romans to conclude.

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: We need to DEFINE sin. The definition of sin is in 1 John.

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4).

We see from this passage that sin IS “transgression of the LAW”. For example, if I stole something that was not mine, then I have transgressed the law, “thou shalt not steal”. Thus, I have sinned.  However, if a person says that one must turn from his or her sins FOR salvation, that is the same thing as saying one must keep the law or keep the law better. WHY?

Sin IS transgression of the LAW.

turn from sin = keep the law (or keep the law better).

Do you see it? IF YOU DID NOT GRASP THIS; PLEASE RE-READ IT AGAIN (and again, and again) Do NOT continue from here UNTIL this concept is understood. Once you have grasped this, we will move on to Galatians.

2 cor 11-3-4I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would PERVERT THE GOSPEL of Christ. 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. (Galatians 1:6-8)

We see that someone had come into Galatia and preached “another/perverted” gospel. What was being preached to them? AFTER Paul goes through his conversion and his dispute with Peter, he gets into the problem.

“Knowing that a man is NOT justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED” (Gal 2:16).

 “I do not FRUSTRATE the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21).

Frustrate does not mean to irritate in this passage; it means “to make void; to nullify”. The LAW nullifies GRACE.  “I do not “make void/nullify” (frustrate) the grace of God, for if righteousness comes by the law, Christ died in vain.” This simply means, if the law could save you, Christ would not have had to die.

Let’s keep going in Galatians.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:1-3)

Paul is asking them, “Did your salvation (sealed by the Holy Spirit) come from the LAW or the hearing of faith?” The answer should be obvious (Eph 1:13,14; Rom 10:17). Someone has bewitched them telling them that the law needed to be kept. He called them “foolish” for thinking they are made perfect by the flesh. In Philippians 3:3 we read,

“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the SPIRIT, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have NO CONFIDENCE in the FLESH.

Back to Galatians.

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of FAITH, the same are the children of Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law ARE UNDER THE CURSE: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that NO MAN is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might RECEIVE THE PROMISE of the Spirit through FAITH. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of NONE EFFECT. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is NO MORE of promise: but God gave it to Abraham BY PROMISE. (Gal 3:6,7,10-12,14,17,18)

 Salvation is about God’s PROMISE to us and NOT how well we keep the LAW. This PROMISE comes by faith only. The LAW makes VOID the promise.

“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith IS MADE VOID, and the promise made of NONE EFFECT” (Romans 4:13,14).

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the PROMISE BY FAITH of Jesus Christ might be given to them that BELIEVE. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the LAW was our SCHOOLMASTER to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we ARE NO LONGER under a schoolmaster (LAW). For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:21-26; commentary added)

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the FREE. (Gal 4:21-23, 31)

As you can clearly see, a born again believer IS no longer under the schoolmaster (the LAW) but under GRACE. A believer is of the FREE woman by promise.


Sin is defined as transgression of the law. When one states that one MUST repent of his or her sins FOR salvation, he is putting that person “under the law” (schoolmaster).


“Turn from sin” = “keep the law”, because sin is transgression of the law. Salvation is by PROMISE through FAITH in the gospel of Jesus alone. The LAW makes faith VOID and the PROMISE of none effect (Rom 3:13,14). Does anyone want to make faith void? Does anyone want to make God’s promise of none effect? No? Then STOP preaching this “turn from your sins” FOR salvation message!

Today’s major protestant evangelicals are preaching “another/perverted gospel” (1:6-8). If you keep reading in Galatians 5, you will read what Paul would have said about them.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the WHOLE LAW. Christ is become of NO EFFECT unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Gal 5:1-4)

NOTE – it does not read “fallen from salvation”. You cannot lose your salvation (see chapter on eternal security). “I would they were even CUT OFF which trouble you” (Gal 4:21). I also found it funny in Galatians 6:13 when Paul wrote this:

“For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.”

This verse simply means the people who were preaching law really couldn’t keep it! Remember, if one is required to keep one law for salvation, then that person is a indebted to the whole law (Gal 5:3). Who can keep the whole law? Nobody! This is why Christ had to die!

Part 2 will start with Acts.

For a free pdf book on the meaning of repentance, please Click here – Pastor Tom Cucuzza’s “Repentance” (

Please also read Preston’s article too discussing Matthew 7 and those who accuse people of being False Converts.

You can find Preston’s book at the link at the top of the page at Amazon, both in paperback or in kindle form. For anyone on a limited budget, please feel free to contact me, Preston has a free pdf available for all who request.

See part 2 here

39 Responses to “Repent of your sins?

  • Kearcy Suzanne Hahn
    9 years ago

    Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that was slain for our sins thus putting away the old law and is our gift of salvation through faith in believing God and accepting his gift of salvation. We willingly want to please God out of utter gratefulness and our love towards him. We will be the clay and he is our potter always trying to work out the imperfections through his patient loving kindness and love that forever keeps drawing us to him even when we fail.

    • Thanks Kearcy. Those who get to know the Savior once they have been saved are more likely to learn ways to please Him. Some continue in their old ways (such as the incestuous adulterer in 1 Cor 5), or those taking the communion unworthily. But if we love Jesus, we will feed His sheep. We will make disciples (students) by teaching believers His Word (John 8:31). As we spend time at His feet (Luke 10:38-42), we learn more and more of His goodness, His forbearance, His longsuffering with us <3. God bless you.

  • Janis Nihart
    9 years ago

    Again.Thank you for sending me the link to this site. The Gospel is so simple, but yet some people, as I once was, don’t see it because so much other stuff is thrown in to complicate it. It’s impossible to believe in works AND understand the Gospel.

    • Janis – thank you for visiting, I completely agree, and am so thankful the Lord has helped me see this too. Because of it I have seen friends come to a clear understanding of the gospel, some who I believe are with the Lord (and my husband) in heaven now. The enemy wants to corrupt minds, and 2 Cor 11 was speaking to believers… so it renders the gospel we preach ineffective, powerless.

      Bondage destroys believers, ruins the gospel and keeps people lost. May we all continue to try to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered, pleasing God and not men.

    • Feel free to ‘follow’ the blog Janis, I have a new one coming out in a few days.

  • I read Preston’s book. I thought he did a good job debunking “repent of sins” added on to the Gospel. I can’t understand why these pastor’s cannot see this.

    Thanks to all that keep trying to open the eyes of people that are willing to learn, as it seems like most people just accept whatever they’re told. I don’t know how anyone could think they’re saved if they have to turn from sin to make it (including the pastor).

    Thanks Holly

  • JohnBrian
    9 years ago

    I have been reading a few of your anti-repentance posts and provide the following as a rebuttal.

    In 3 of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus preached a message of repentance: Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14-15, and Luke 5:32

    Peter, preaching on the Day of Pentecost, end his message with a call to repentance: Acts 2:38

    Paul, preaching to the philosophers on Mars Hill ends his sermon with a call to repentance: Acts 17:30

    Those of us who preach a Gospel of repentance, do so because we follow Christ, Peter, and Paul!

    If your objection to the necessity of repentance for salvation is based on the notion that it is a work, and therefore is not grace, you should note the following verses that establish that repentance is a gift.

    Acts 11:18 – When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

    2 Timothy 2:25 – …in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

    God grants repentance, which leads to salvation, affirming that everything we have received for salvation and sanctification is gifted to us by God, as 1 Cor. 4:7 tells us.

    For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

    • JohnBrian, welcome and thanks for your comment.

      First, we do not object to repentance as a necessity for salvation. And, we do not believe that repentance is a work. This is provided that repentance is properly defined.

      Please allow me to share an excerpt from the Statement of Faith at to explain further our beliefs:

      Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance is absolutely essential in salvation and the word “repent” in the Greek means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct or “turning from sin” to gain or keep, before or after salvation as that would entail a works salvation message. Acts 20:21; Matthew. 21:32.

      Second, when sin is the object of repentance in the Bible, eternal salvation is never the consequence. And, when eternal life is the consequence of repentance, the object of repentance is never sin.

      If you would like a great resource on repentance, click below:

      Third, repentance is a response of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator.

      Acts 11:18 means that God has made salvation available to the Gentiles on the same basis as to the Jews – by grace, through faith in Christ.

      2 Timothy 2:25 is explained by my friend, the late Jack Weaver, below:

      I noted one thing in your note that I want to explore. You said that “God grants repentance.” Repentance is a change of mind for which the individual is responsible, not God. That phrase “God grants repentance” is not in the Authorized KJV Bible but it is in the ESV Bible (a Calvinist favorite) and the NIV (error prone), both of which we have proven to be, in many cases, interpolated, inaccurate and misleading. Calvinist John Piper uses that phrase from his ESV to justify his false “salvation” message of election, “God grants repentance for some.” In the KJV (2 Timothy 2:25) the correct wording is “God gives repentance,” which in this particular context (in the Greek didomi) means “to suffer or allow.” God, by His Grace, allows us to change our mind (repent) about a myriad of things. Repentance to believe in salvation by Grace in Jesus Christ alone being one of the greatest and that is our responsibility. But God also allows us to change our minds daily about many things Biblical as we grow in Grace and learn His word

    • JohnBrian – we are definitely not ‘anti-repentance’ 🙂 God has commanded ALL men everywhere to repent. So, obviously that means ALL have the ability to repent. What did we receive? The free gift of eternal life. On 2 Tim 2, that speaks to believers who have been led astray, who have erred concerning the resurrection, and so it tells us the manner we are to correct those (believers) who oppose themselves. They have been taken snare by the enemy.

      We do not believe faith or repentance is the free gift from God, but we believe Romans 6:23, that the free gift is eternal life.

      • JohnBrian
        9 years ago

        “God has commanded ALL men everywhere to repent. So, obviously that means ALL have the ability to repent.”

        The fact that God has commanded all men to repent does not mean that they have the ability to do so. Romans 8:7-8 affirm that inability.

        • JohnBrian, I don’t see Romans 8:7-8 affirming the inability of men to repent.

          • I agree John that this is not an passage that speaks to doctrine of total inability. Thanks.

  • Preston
    9 years ago

    John Brian,

    Use your KJV and look up Jonah 3:10. In it you will see “God Repented”. Did God turn from His sins????? of course not; He simply, changed His mind; as John above has explained.

    Here are some examples of the word “repent” in the gospels and Acts.

    Let’s take a look at three passages of scripture the “religious” use to say one MUST repent of his or her sins.They are in Matthew, Luke and Acts.

    “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, REPENT YE: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:1,2).

    The religious will say, “SEE, you must turn from your sins (REPENT)”. Notice, it does not read “of sins”. The answer to this passage is Matthew 3:9, which reads,

    “And THINK NOT to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father’: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

    Do you see it? These people were THINKING that just because they had Abraham as the father of their culture (Jewish), they were “automatically” saved. They were THINKING the WRONG thing. They needed to “change their minds; think differently”! They needed to “repent”.

    Jesus said, “I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

    The religious would say, “SEE, you must repent (turn from your sins).” What does the Bible say? Go back and read the verse that comes before, then the verse that comes after it. You will SEE the problem.

    “And Jesus answering said unto them, SUPPOSE YE that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?” (Luke 13:2).

    “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, THINK YE that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?” (Luke 13:4)

    We CLEARLY see that they were THINKING (suppose ye) they were righteous because they were NOT sinners like the ones whom were killed. They needed to SUPPOSE OR THINK something different. They needed to “change their minds” (repent).

    I believe most professing Christians fall into this category. Because they have turned from many sins, they THINK they “are not sinners like most”. These folks need to repent (change their minds) and believe the gospel or they, too will perish.

    We also have the word “repent” in Acts many times. One such instance is in Acts 3:19 which reads,

    “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins maybe blotted out.” Now go back a few verses and read 13-18.

    There, Peter is telling Jewish people that they crucified their promised Messiah. Verse 14 reads that they denied Him. Peter was simply telling them to change their minds about who Jesus really was and to be converted so their sins would be blotted out—change your mind (repent) and be converted.

    We see, through analyzing scripture, “repent” simply means “to change your mind, to think differently”. When Jesus said, “Repent and believe the gospel”, He was telling them to “change their minds” and believe the gospel. Did they change their minds? Some did, but for the most part, the answer is “no”. How do we know? They crucified Him.

    PERSONALLY, if I hear one more preacher tell people they must “repent of their sins” to go to heaven, I think I am going to bang my head up against the wall! THEN I’ll bandage myself up and continue proclaiming the REAL gospel.

    with respect,

    • Trouble is Preston, many versions of today, NLT, the Living Bible actually add the words ‘from sin’ to the word ‘repent’. Oddly they don’t do that when God repented. Also ESV, a reformed favorite I noticed today translates Acts 3:19 as such:

      Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, ESV

      Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. KJV

      And no, before one should ask, I am not a KJVOnlyist (meaning claiming canonization of it over the original languages).

      If one was to take the word they translated ‘turn back’ (epistrephō) it should read ‘return or turn TO the worship of the true God’. In this case the audience (Jews in the temple) would be asked to return to the worship of the true God which they had (as a nation) forsaken.

    • Preston – I’m with you, good luck to them on repenting of their sins successfully. I guess they can start their own RA (Repenter’s Anonymous) to keep them from relapsing. Less then perfection won’t work, so they’ve already failed.

  • “Third, repentance is a response of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator.”

    On this we agree. I affirm that God gives both repentance and faith, and that those gifts actuate in belief. God does not do the repenting and believing for the individual, but without receiving those gifts, man is incapable of belief.

    “That phrase “God grants repentance” is not in the Authorized KJV Bible but it is in the ESV Bible (a Calvinist favorite) and the NIV (error prone), both of which we have proven to be, in many cases, interpolated, inaccurate and misleading.”

    While I disagree with this gentleman’s KJV view, he is incorrect about his statement. If he means that the words “God”, “grants”, and “repentance”, do not appear in that exact order in the KJV, he is correct, but the notion that repentance is a gift from God is clearly evident in both passages.

    Acts 11:18 (KJV) – When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    2 Timothy 2:25 (KJV) – In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    It may be that your anti-Calvinist notion clouds your understanding of what Calvinists actually affirm. The June 25th post about Spurgeon is a perfect example of attempting to merge an anti-Calvinist view into the Calvinist view and coming up with something that is not recognizable as Calvinism. I’ll comment on that in that thread.

    • Are we ‘anti-Calvinist’s’? If that means we are against the individual, I would disagree.

      Are we anti-Calvinism doctrine? Most definitely! We stand against all doctrine that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, including Arminianism, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Sinless Perfectionism, etc.. If you understand that repentance is a change of mind, God didn’t grant 100% of the Gentiles a change of mind, what He did grant is a grafting in of the nation. Those individuals who believed would remain and not be cut off for unbelief as was Israel. This is the recognition by the Jewish apostles that repentance unto life had been granted unto Gentiles too (nationally) and they now individually could believe unto eternal life, or again, individually be cut off from that ‘grant’ by unbelief.

      Again 2 Tim 2 addresses a manner of handling false teachings within the church so ‘perchance’ God might grant them (who oppose themselves) repentance. And we are given a long list of things to do. Not strive, avoid foolish arguments, study to show ourselves approved unto God so we can rightly divide His Word (which has the power to discern between even the thoughts and intents of their heart), to be gentle, to be patient, to be apt to teach, to meekly instruct SO that PERHAPS or PERCHANCE God might grant that BELIEVER a change of mind (repentance) to acknowledging the truth, regarding what the enemy had snared them in. Subjects had been those who had erred concerning the truth, the resurrection, and had overthrown some believers faith. These are the subjects addressed.

  • Hi, I consider myself to be free grace and believe that “turning from sins” is not a requirement of salvation. However, recently I think of a question, if one is not ready to say goodbye to one’s sinful lifestyle, WOULD he really trust Jesus Christ for salvation? It’s not a matter of can or can’t, it’s a matter of will or won’t. What’s the nature of salvation? Does salvation mean being saved from sin’s penalty only, or does it also mean being saved from sin itself? If salvation also means being saved from sin itself, would an unsaved sinners who still enjoy living in sins really trust Jesus Christ for salvation?

    • Hi Daniel, some good questions, hope this will answer them all.

      A person needs to believe that Jesus can save them from an eternity in hell. That He is God, and came to save us from separation from Him because that is what our sin does.

      You asked, “WOULD he really trust Jesus Christ for salvation?”

      I think on Philip and Simon in Acts 8. Simon was a sorcerer who bewitched the people into thinking he was someone great, and they all listened to him and thought he had great power. But when the people believed, so did Simon. And he was amazed by the miracles they did and followed Philip. Then Peter and John came into the picture, and were laying hands on those who had not heard of the Holy Spirit yet (understood only John’s baptism) and when Simon saw it, he wanted to pay for the ‘power’ so he could do it too. He was chastised for this great wickedness. We see that he hadn’t turned yet from His lifestyle of wanting power. He was already saved yet chastised by still being poisoned by bitterness and bound by sin. So believers need to be helped into disciples (John 8:31-32)

      At this point it becomes a fellowship matter (turning from sin). The moment we believe, we are justified from all things (Acts 13:38-39) and we are forgiven all of our trespasses (Col 2:13-15). So positionally, in that moment, we are being saved from the penalty of sin forever. That is the great salvation.

      Often people look at the word ‘saved’ or ‘salvation’ and don’t ask ‘from what’? What are we being saved from? In terms of eternal life, we are being saved from the penalty of sin which is eternal death.

      We are ‘being’ saved from the power of sin in this life (practical sanctification) as we cooperate with Him to continue in His Word, and abide in the Vine. But that doesn’t have to do with the receipt of the free gift of eternal life (what most call ‘salvation’). But it does have to do with the things that ‘accompany salvation’. We need delivered from the power of sin and it’s a walk right? Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal 5).

      I think the wisest thing for us to do as believers when we see a believer not growing is to show Christ that we love Him by feeding and tending His sheep (John 21:15-17) or follow His example as He said, and wash their feet (even though they are already clean positionally). We need washed because our feet get dirty (all of us) in this lifetime. We all sin. As Paul said, there is nothing good in this flesh. We do the very things we don’t want to do. Paul said in Romans 7 that he ‘practiced’ sin (prasso). But when will we be delivered from the power and presence of sin forever? At the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:32).

      We need to be sure not to confuse salvation from hell with our walk/discipleship because we tend to muddy the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4), God forbid we should bear with anyone that does.

      • Thank you for replying. But my concern is, what if an unsaved person desires to be saved from hell but don’t have the desire to be saved from sins? In Matthew 1:21 the angel said that Jesus is going to save people from their sins. I remember Aw Pink has once said that lots of people desired to be saved from hell but don’t desire to be saved from sins. Even though I don’t agree with Lordship salvation, I guess maybe he has said that right?

        • Hi Daniel, thanks for asking that question, it’s a good one that I hear often from Load-shippers. No, I do not agree that Pink said that right although it’s understandable it is something he would have said. He was a hard-core lawkeeper. A legalist who tried to live by the letter, and we know when you want to live by the law, you break one, you break them all. It just never works.

          I think most people when they are unbelievers probably desire to be saved from hell rather than sin. We are not told our desires will help us receive eternal life but that our belief of God’s testimony will save us from hell. When one knows the penalty (wages) of that sin, they need someone to save them. Matthew 1:21 speaks of why Mary will call Him Jesus, for He will save people from their sins. His name means Jehovah saves or Jehovah is salvation. Our sin caused the curse of death (eternal separation from God) from the first sin, the first rebellion.

          A person who is completely in the flesh, who has only one nature (a non-believer) may actually wish he/she could be saved from certain sins which seem more apparent or destructive, (like pornography, infidelity, homosexual, drunkenness etc.), or maybe they don’t desire to be saved from it because they want to do wrong. Maybe an angry person doesn’t recognize their anger, or a selfish person doesn’t see that in themselves, or an arrogant and prideful person doesn’t know God resists the proud.

          Believers have a second nature, the new man, born again of an incorruptible seed, and that nature doesn’t sin. So our flesh wars with our new man. And as Paul said, he found himself doing the very thing he did not want to do (Rom 7) because evil was still present in his flesh. I remember reading Pink, and pondering how I didn’t want to give up certain sins, therefore I must not be saved. Believers should want to live Holy, to walk in the Spirit so they won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh. But the examples we see in Scripture is that often they did not, so they need chastened with God’s Word. That is what those inspired letters to the different churches were often about. Believers even, not desiring to be saved from sin, even very grievous sexual immorality (1 Cor 5), they weren’t even mourning the sin amongst them.

          So, I say when we read those things, we have to search the Scriptures to see if it aligns with God’s Word (Acts 17:11). Do we see examples of the apostles telling people that they must desire to be saved from their particular sins in order to be saved? I can’t think of one. God bless you, and I hope that the Word will override anything you remember from those people. When we are sinning as believers, the Word is going to help cleanse us and so is talking to God about it (Ps 119:9, Eph 5:26; 1 John 1:9). Paul lamented struggling with this flesh. But I didn’t get it until I got back into the Word, and I still mess up, still do things my own way. But His Word helps keep us from sinning (Ps 119:11) as we hide it in our heart. This comes from spending time continuing in His Word as He asked believers to do (John 8:30-31). It helps us grow in wisdom, and grows our faith, and helps us discern between good and evil (Pr 22:17-21, Rom 10:17; Heb 5:12-14).

          • Ron Coursenn
            5 years ago

            What about Charles Stanley, and Joel Osteen? Front loader?

          • Hi Ron, thanks for stopping by.

            Charles Stanley is a bit of both. He was inconsistent at best. Every now and then it sounded as if he understood grace. But basically he is a heavy frontloader, here is just a small snippet from his ‘way of Salvation’ as an example of him adding to the gospel. “Believing in Jesus includes complete trust in Him for salvation, repentance from past sins, and surrender of our lives fully to Him.”

            Notice how they use qualifying words that are not in Scripture such as ‘complete’ trust or ‘full surrender’?

            They have condemned themselves.

            Charles Stanley also is a backdoor loadship. If one is ‘really saved’ or a ‘true’ believer’, they will do this, or they will not do that. In addition he teaches an Outer Darkness for believers, sort of a protestant purgatory, punitive damages for sin later.

            Joel Osteen doesn’t like to talk about sin, the Bible, or much of anything else. Not sure that I know if he even has a gospel. If you know where he has one, let me know 🙂

            Thanks for commenting Ron.

          • Hi Holly, i think that in Matthew 1:21 when the angels said that Jesus saves us from sins, it is just saying that Jesus saves us to heaven, because it’s the final destination of salvation where everyone will be sinless there. I feel like that no one can be completely “saved” from sins in this life, because we still have a sinful nature after we get born again and we still struggle with many temptations and sins (Romans 7: 1-8) until we go back to the Lord.

          • Hi Daniel, thanks for responding, I started to answer and then someone dropped by.

            I agree with you (regarding Matt 1:21), it is basically addressing the gospel in short — who He is, and what He came to do. He is Jesus (Jehovah saves), God who came as a Savior, the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of this world.

            No, not one is saved from sins in the lifetime, but we are made more aware of our failings as we are in His Word more and taking heed to it.Those who somehow think they’ve stopped sinning or turned from sin, or some say they don’t sin, are deceived. Rom 7 is clear, we won’t be delivered from this body (which has evil still present in it) until we die and the corruptible is raised incorruptible (1 Cor 15:50-58)

  • Another problem with the “turn from sins” to be saved doctrine is that how one can ensure that he has already “turned” from his every sins? Can one list out every sins in his life and turn from them one by one. I guess no one can. Even if he tries to do so, he may still in doubt whether he still has some “hidden sins” that he has not aware of. If we add “turn from sins” to the requirement of salvation, it would be almost impossible for anyone to be saved because no one can completely know what sins they still have in their lives, not to say to turn from them.

    It’s not saying that we shouldn’t turn from our sins, of course we should, but making “turn from sins” to be a requirement of salvation is wrong.

    • DL, thanks for commenting. It’s an obvious problem, but one they answer with, ‘you have to be willing to turn from every sin’, or something to that effect. The trouble is, often they sadly miss their own self-righteousness. They condemn themselves without knowing. They also assume we don’t want to grow in maturity or somehow we don’t want to follow Christ.

      Turning from sin is simply keeping the law, as sin is transgressing the law. And they just do not seem to realize that they cannot be justified by a work of the law (Galatians 2:16). It is wrong to make turning from sin, stopping sinning, surrendering all, or any acts of discipleship a part of receiving eternal life. It seems they are unable to separate works from salvation no matter what they say.

  • Kelly Kavanaugh
    1 year ago

    Look how double-minded the following author is. She is the very type of false teacher making salvation complicated by adding “repenting of your sin. You have to read closely. She contradicts herself often. No works are necessary as proof but your faith should result in a changed life. This sentence is further down: “God made salvation simple for us, because He loves us. If you claim to be a Christian, that means you’ve repented of your sin and asked Jesus to forgive you. Repent means you’ve changed your mind about sin. Don’t stay in the sin that once separated you from God. By faith you’ve become a new creation in Christ.”

    God Made It Simple
    By Nathele Graham

    According to Scripture, salvation isn’t complicated, but humans have complicated it. Justification happens at the moment of true faith in Christ, sanctification takes a lifetime, and glorification comes when we finally are Home with Jesus. God made salvation simple. You only need to realize that you’re a sinner and believe that only Jesus can forgive your sin. Your faith should result in a changed life, and that’s the sanctification process. We all sin, but a true Christian will ask for forgiveness and learn from mistakes. One evening a Pharisee came to Jesus to ask about some important truths, and the conversation is very enlightening.

    “There was man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” – John 3:1-2.

    Nicodemus had some understanding, but needed to hear the truth from Jesus. He could have listened to the gossip on the street or the prejudice and misinformation among his fellow Pharisees, but he did the right thing, Nicodemus went directly to Jesus for answers. Jesus didn’t beat around the bush. He knew why Nicodemus was there. Eternal life is something most people have questions about, and there are many complicated, and wrong, answers to that question. For instance, the Sadducees didn’t believe there was life after death. Today we have some people who think there’s a place called purgatory where sinners go after death, but it’s not permanent. That’s not Biblical. God made it simple.

    “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3.

    Born again. Now there’s a phrase which has stumbled many well-intentioned people. Nicodemus was a man who was searching for truth. He knew the Old Testament and had enough head-knowledge to recognize Jesus as a “teacher come from God”, but he didn’t have the heart-knowledge to recognize that Jesus was God incarnate. Without that heart-knowledge, he was blind to the fact that he was speaking with the Messiah. All who seek Jesus need to have more than an intellectual knowledge of Him. Nicodemus asked many questions that night, and Jesus was patient to answer. Being “born again” was an idea that confused Nicodemus, and Jesus explained:

    “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8.

    Jesus wasn’t talking about a physical re-birth, but a spiritual one. The word “wind” is the Greek word “pneuma”, which appears 385 times in the New Testament, and is often translated as Spirit. Neither the wind nor the Holy Spirit can be seen, but both can be felt.

    Without the Holy Spirit we cannot know the things of God. Nicodemus was smart to seek answers directly from Jesus, but what do we do today?

    “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Corinthians 2:11-14.

    Is it complicated to receive the Holy Spirit? No, God made it simple. When a person truly and honestly accepts the free gift of salvation only found through Jesus, the Holy Spirit is sealed within that person.

    “In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13-14.

    People like to complicate this, and try to convince you that you need to do something aside from believe in order to receive the Holy Spirit. People might tell you that you aren’t Spirit-filled if you sin again. Scripture says we only need to believe. The Holy Spirit will never guide us into sin and will help us to understand Scripture. It is possible to ignore this gift, and that’s where trouble comes from. We can choose to live contrary to God’s ways, but that isn’t God’s desire for us.

    “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:30-32.

    Godly character should follow your belief, so listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and study Scripture. Apply God’s truth to your life. If you continue to hold tightly to sin and ignore the Holy Spirit’s guidance, you will have little joy in your life.

    Nicodemus questioned how a man could re-enter his mother’s womb, but as the conversation went on, Jesus explained:

    “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” – John 3:6.

    Being born again is something that happens inside a person after faith in Jesus. No human has the ability to judge another person’s faith in God, but our faith should be evidenced by changes to our lifestyle and attitude. The Apostle Paul was a man who allowed his faith in Christ to govern his life. His heart was changed and his way of life was evidence of the inward change. He stopped hating others, and he shared the Gospel with everyone he met, even if it meant his life was in danger. He chose to praise God in even the most perilous situations. Paul and Silas were once asked by a jailer in Philippi what he could do to be saved.

    “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” – Acts 16:31.

    Paul could have told him to be baptized, or to perform community service, or say certain prayers, or any number of other “works” related “evidences” of salvation. Instead, Paul and Silas shared the Gospel.

    “And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.” – Acts 16:32.

    Nobody can be born again unless they hear the Gospel.

    “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:14.

    If you have truly placed your faith in Jesus for salvation, you are a born-again Christian and you need to share your faith with others. My grandmother always said “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with words.” That means we can say “I’m a Christian” all we want, but our actions will speak louder than words.

    “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” – James 2:18.

    We can’t work for our salvation, but we can let others see Christ in us by doing good works.

    God made salvation simple for us, because He loves us. If you claim to be a Christian, that means you’ve repented of your sin and asked Jesus to forgive you. Repent means you’ve changed your mind about sin. Don’t stay in the sin that once separated you from God. By faith you’ve become a new creation in Christ.

    “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” – John 1:12-13.

    Being born again is a personal choice. Nobody can make that choice for you. It’s been said that God has no grandchildren, we all have to make our own choice. If you think you’re a Christian because you were baptized as an infant, think again. A baby can have no understanding of his or her need for salvation and the parents made the choice. Baptism is outward evidence of a choice you personally have made, but it doesn’t bring salvation.

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10.

    An infant cannot make a confession of faith. Notice, too, that this verse says nothing about adding works to belief. God has made salvation simple, but all the many Christian denominations have complicated it.

    The important thing for you to do right now is be sure that you have believed upon Jesus When my husband and I were married, he wasn’t a Christian. He thought he was because he lived in the United States and it was a Christian nation. That really bothered me and I spoke to him about it and I also prayed and prayed. One day, he was talking with a Christian friend, and the Gospel suddenly made sense. Ron accepted Christ and I was amazed as I watched the Holy Spirit work in him and change him into a man who was a fearless witness for Christ. Ron died ten years ago, and my greatest comfort is knowing that he is with Jesus. If he had continued thinking he was a Christian because of the nation where he was born, he would have been eternally lost. That’s as wrong as thinking you’re a Christian because you’re a Baptist, a Catholic, or any other man-made denomination. Only faith in Jesus brings salvation. What about you? Are you born again? The Rapture is very near and that means all Christians will be taken from earth prior to the time when God’s judgment falls upon all the unbelieving world who will be left behind. Some people like to complicate things by judging who is a Christian based on works. Mostly those who judge another’s salvation, set themselves up as the standard to aim for, forgetting that they, themselves, fall short of God’s standard.

    “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and com short of the glory of God’ being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forebearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” – Romans 3:22-26.

    One interesting idea is saying only born-again Christians will be Raptured. That’s true, but it’s belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes us a born-again Christian. If you just attend Sunday morning services but have no faith in Jesus, you aren’t a Christian. Being baptized doesn’t make you a Christian. Being a very nice and kind person doesn’t make you a Christian. Only Faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross makes you a Christian.

    God made it simple.

    “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:16-18.

    Yes, it’s that simple.

    God bless you all,

    Nathele Graham

    All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

    If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries just drop me an email and let me know.

    • Kelly, thanks for bringing that to my attention. Haven’t followed them for years, although I used to read Ron’s stuff years ago, I saw some similar flip flops in the language.

      She gets believe right, and what we ‘should’ do right, and yet, she says this:

      “If you claim to be a Christian, that means you’ve repented of your sin and asked Jesus to forgive you. Repent means you’ve changed your mind about sin. Don’t stay in the sin that once separated you from God. By faith you’ve become a new creation in Christ.”

      I don’t even think these people think about what they’re saying.

      Turned from how much sin?
      How long do they have to turn from sin? Mean it one second when they believe then turn right back?
      Is salvation a process of turning from sin?

      It’s sad because on one hand she’s saying the natural man doesn’t desire the things of God (a better rendering) yet she’s telling them they must do good works (turning from sin is attempting to keep the law).

      People, preach the gospel, and share what He has asked us to do (believe it).

      Thanks Kelly, we need to be ever vigilant.

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