It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so strongly led to add to the archives of this section of our public website; but based on conversations and email communication with some who have recently contacted me, I want to share my Bible study notes from a FAM Conference call we had last March, which was about understanding the significance of repentance.
Sadly, many are deceived and misled into believing that simply “confessing” our sin is sufficient to merit God’s mercy and forgiveness and absolutely NOTHING could be more contrary to the truth of God’s written Word! Of course, that’s exactly what many “itching ears” want to hear and believe according to 2 Timothy 4:3-4, despite being totally untrue based on passages of Scripture like Isaiah 55, particularly verse 7, and Proverbs 28:9, as well as SO many others. It breaks my heart to think of people who sincerely believe they know and understand the nature and character of our HOLY God and yet believe that He will or ever could countenance, bless, condone and permit us to continue in what His Word so clearly calls sin (adultery in this case). Those who truly believe that, and there are MANY who genuinely do, only demonstrate their superficial knowledge and relationship with the written Word of God because without genuine confession (sorrowful acknowledgement and heartfelt conviction and regret for our actions, attitudes, thoughts and emotions that don’t line up with the written Word of God, as well as for our failure to live and do according to His Word) that LEADS TO REPENTANCE (turning away from our sinful thoughts and deeds and back to God), there is no forgiveness for sin. Yes, there are a few verses of Scripture that can be taken totally out of context to attempt to justify and rationalize such false doctrine, but it’s the heartbreak, despair and destructive consequences of attempting to live according to that very doctrine that most often brings people to contact me in the first place.
No matter how sincerely or genuinely we believe a lie straight from the pit of Hell, God’s Word doesn’t change and it will be manifested in all of our lives whether we believe it, understand it, agree with it or not…PERIOD! I’ve always wondered why adulterous marriages now sanctioned by most churches is the one sin most Christians are readily deceived into believing God doesn’t mind us continuing in, especially after “confessing” our sin and asking for forgiveness, and God finally answered that for me yesterday during a conversation with a woman currently in an adulterous marriage. She wanted to know why God wasn’t answering her prayers for restoration and why everything in her life was so bad, so I asked her if she knew what God’s Word says about remarriage after divorce. As we read Luke 16:18, Mark 10:10-12, Romans 7:1-3, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 and 1 Corinthians 7:39, I mentioned not understanding why adulterous marriage is the one sin people think it’s okay to continue in when God reminded me that marriage is an earthly representation of the relationship Jesus has with His bride, the church! Of course, that’s exactly why that false and deceptive doctrine is so prevalent–the devil’s sole purpose is to destroy our relationship with Jesus and what better way to accomplish that than to distort and destroy God’s Holy covenant of marriage, which He intended to be an earthly replica of our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And when people wrongly believe they’re standing for the restoration of a marriage that God’s Word so unambiguously calls adultery in faith and obedience to God, when they don’t get the expected results and their lives just keep falling apart, their faith in God to honor and uphold His Word is seriously shaken or totally destroyed and they quite often turn to a promiscuous lifestyle. Needless to say, that’s a victory for the devil and why the false doctrine that God forgives us while we continue in our sin just because we “confess it” is so destructive!
As I shared with the woman I talked to yesterday, my opinion isn’t worth two cents and the ONLY opinion that counts is God’s, which we ONLY find in His written Word. Not only that, my words and those of any other human don’t come with the grace (God’s anointing power to do what He calls us to do) needed to walk them out, so we ALL MUST read God’s written Word for ourselves, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us, and then we’ll have the understanding and ability to live and walk in obedience to God, which is the only way to experience the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit described in Romans 14:17, as well as to experience the manifestation of His promises in our lives.
A very powerful passage of Scripture which should be more than sufficient to dispel the myth that God’s grace (often wrongly equated with His mercy) ever allows or permits us to continue in any kind of sin under any circumstances is Hebrews 10:26-30 because it says:
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
As I also shared with the woman I spoke to yesterday, what Jesus taught in John 8:31-32 has always been my approach to ministry, so I hope and pray that those who read this and believe something other than the truth of God’s written Word will believe Him, hold to His teachings and truly be His disciples so they will know the truth and be set free!
Finally, here are my study notes for the above mentioned conference call regarding repentance:
Repentance Is Genuine Sorrow For Sin & Turning Away From It:
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (NASB):
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Romans 2:4 (NASB):
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Job 42:5-6 (NASB):
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;
6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”
Jeremiah 31:18-20 (NASB):
18 “I have surely heard Ephraim grieving, ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained calf; Bring me back that I may be restored, For You are the Lord my God.
19 ‘For after I turned back, I repented; And after I was instructed, I smote on my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated Because I bore the reproach of my youth.’
20 “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord.
Failure To Heed & Obey The Word Of God Or Repent Leads To Destruction:
Jeremiah 15:6-7 (NASB):
6 “You who have forsaken Me,” declares the Lord, “You keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting!
7 “I will winnow them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not repent of their ways.
Jeremiah 26:2-6 (NASB):
2 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the Lord’s house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word!
3 Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.’
4 And you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you,
5 to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened;
6 then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.”’”
Ezekiel 18:29-32 (NASB):
29 But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?
30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
Isaiah 30:15-18 (NASB):
15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses,” Therefore you shall flee! “And we will ride on swift horses,” Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill.
18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
God Longs For Our Repentance & His Mercy & Blessings Overflow When We Repent & Turn From Sin:
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NASB):
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Luke 15:7 (NASB):
I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Luke 15:10 (NASB):
In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Salvation & Forgiveness Are Not Possible Without Repentance:
Mark 1:4-5 (NASB):
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
Mark 1:14-15 (NASB):
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Luke 3:3-4 (NASB):
3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;
4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.
Luke 5:31-32 (NASB):
31 And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.
32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Acts 11:17-18 (NASB):
17 Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing
in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
Repentance Is Evidenced By Our Actions & The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit
Matthew 3:8-12 (NASB):
8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Luke 3:8 (NASB):
Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
Luke 13:2-9 (NASB):
2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
4 Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
6 And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.
7 And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’
8 And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer;
9 and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
Acts 26:19-20 (NASB):
19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
Jesus Came To Make Repentance For Forgiveness Of Sin Possible:
Luke 24:46-48 (NASB):
46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
Acts 2:36-39 (NASB):
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
Acts 3:18-21 (NASB):
18 But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
Acts 5:30-31 (NASB):
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.
31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Acts 17:29-31 (NASB):
29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
There’s Real Danger In Turning Back After Repentance:
Hebrews 6:4-6 (NASB):
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
John 5:14 (NASB):
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”