Alongside the false doctrine of salvation by works of discipleship (the so-called “Lordship salvation” taught by John MacArthur, John Piper, and many other false teachers), is the false doctrine of salvation by “repentance.”
The Greek word for repentance is “metanoia,” which means, “a change of mind.” But a change of mind about what? A change of mind about Jesus. Change your mind from believing that He is not the Savior God to believing that He ~is~ the Savior God-man.
Today, many churches have major falsehoods on the most essential, main, Christian doctrines. They are wrong about what the Gospel is, (hint: 1st Corinthians 15:1-4—memorize it!); they are wrong about what saving faith is (believing in Jesus) (it is not lifelong discipleship works); they are wrong about saying that ~water~ baptism, changing your life, turning from your sins, the Lord’s Supper, church membership, no big sins, regular church attendance, a big emotional experience, a life commitment—or anything else–has anything to do with salvation. ~None~ of these things has anything to do with salvation!
Jesus said that there would be ~many~ false prophets. Bless His Holy Name for saying that, because now we know that all of the wolves in the church today were expected and predicted.
Those who say that repentance is, “turning your life around” for salvation–are dead wrong. Changing your life is ~not~ a part of salvation. You are saved simply by believing in what Jesus did for you in His perfect life and in His death on the cross, and in His resurrection.
Salvation is the permanent, irrevocable GIFT of God, through faith in Jesus ALONE.
I never get tired of hearing or preaching this Gospel message, because I sin every day, no matter how much I follow the Spirit of God, and no matter how much I live under His grace–and I need the assurance of my salvation. (This is why we say, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,” in the Lord’s Prayer. It is also why we have the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, which assures us of God’s ongoing forgiveness.)
The life-change is a part of our ~sanctification,” which comes ~after~ believing and being saved.
To combine justification by faith and sanctification as requirements for salvation would be to obligate God to save people because they do good works!
Here’s the truth about salvation from someone you can trust: Jesus. Here’s Jesus in John 6:47: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he [or she] who believes in Me has everlasting life.”
In John 11:23-27, Jesus directly promised Martha that she would be saved and resurrected simply through her belief in Him.
Notice that there is nothing else in these verses (or in any of the surrounding verses, or in any part of the New Testament!) that says anything about adding repentance or anything else to simple faith in Jesus to be saved.
The Bible says to repent and believe. Change your mind from not believing–and believe.
To absolutely prove this point, consider this: the word “repent,” and no form of the word “repent,” is even in the Gospel of John.
If repentance, in the sense of changing your life were a part of the Gospel, it would be in the Gospel of John. It’s not.
Believe in Jesus and be saved and blessed by God’s grace, forever. Hallelujah! 🙂