The purpose of the Gospel of John is to lead those seeking God to faith in Christ. Did you know the word “repent” is not mentioned once in the book of John? This is the age of grace. So, does that mean believing in Jesus is all we must do to be saved?
John the Baptist said; “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And read this: “This is what the Lord God says: “Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.” Ezekiel 14:6
But on the other hand, the Philippian jailer asked: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:29-31
And then this verse is also quite clear. “(Many signs) have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31
Jesus answered the salvation to eternal life question when He asked: “Do you believe this?” “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
So, Which is it? Do I need to repent and believe — or do I only need to “believe in the Lord Jesus, and be saved?” Does the bible contradict itself ? NEVER! And God’s truth is always true.
Do we need to repent to be saved? ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
Now, what does it mean to repent biblically? Repentance is: “the act of changing one’s mind.” And “Biblical repentance is changing your mind from the rejection of Christ to faith in Christ.” And this change from unbelief to belief is repentance – a decision to live for God; rather than live for yourself. God’s Word is clear: “turn away from your idols and abominations.” Turn from self-centeredness. “Repentance throughout the Bible is a summons to a personal, absolute, unconditional surrender to the Sovereign God. Biblical repentance is a complete change of direction (180° turn) toward God.”
Repentance is a change of heart and mind — believing Jesus is God and His promises for us are eternal.
And doesn’t Paul explain God’s plan best? “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
When all is considered, There’s no contradiction. Believing God’s way is repenting from the world’s ways. Repentance towards God leads to changed lives. We must first have a change of mind and heart regarding who God is (Jesus Christ) and believe in Him — His truth and promises. And then old ways pass away – new ways and things have come.
Repentance occurs when a people put God on the throne of their life, living for Jesus; rather than living to please themselves. They move from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. They replace human viewpoint thinking with divine viewpoint thinking.
Believers new belief and trust in God and His eternal truth results in forgiveness and eternal salvation. At that instant, we are born again spiritually “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” Ephesians 2:10. Ongoing repentance of sin comes after we believe, are born again, and receive the Holy Spirit. He will teach, guide, and remind us of all the things that we need to know.
And Jesus said God would send us a Helper — “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.” John 14:26
The moment one believes they are born again of the Spirit (John 3:3-21) and that it is the Spirit of Truth that reveals the newness of the Spirit and the new things that have come. The old ways and old things are then exposed, challenged, and repented of moment by moment, day by day.
Where has America gone wrong? Many believe in Jesus and pray to receive His free gift of eternal life. But then they just continue to follow their feelings, logic, old ways, and the teachings of men and the world; rather than looking to God and testing their motives and beliefs up against the Leading of God’s Spirit, and His revealed truth.
Joe Biden words give example of human viewpoint thinking when he says: “I follow the science.” And then quotes science that supports his politics. Human viewpoint thinking is certain to lose.
“But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
God’s word is clear about homosexuality, climate change, abortion, lying, idolatry and all other forms of biblical immorality. Pretending to live for God while following pride, lust, feelings, godless science and philosophies, and politics will always result in serving the god of this world(idolatry). America has allowed values-neutral and anti-God views to lead the teaching of our children, and creation of laws. Good and evil are like fire and water. Chaos will always be the result.
And will many supposed believers hear Jesus say; “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:23
I would never wish that judgment on anyone. The solution is simple: Repent and believe.
Grace and Peace to you my friends,
Bob West Geezerdust©2021