Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Friday, October 6, 2006

Doctrine of Salvation - Two Extremes

A prostitute picks up a newspaper one day and sees an ad that interests her. A very rich man is looking for a wife. He wants to shower her with love and gifts and make all her dreams come true. The prostitute decides to answer the ad. Now this woman has slept with so many men she can’t remember them all. She’s a heavy drinker and she likes to get high on coke. She loves to gamble. She figures she’d like to have some of this rich man’s money for herself. She meets with the man and tells him that she’d like to marry him, but she has no intention of giving up her lifestyle. She says she likes sleeping with other men, and she likes to party and she’s never going to love him. What do you think he’s going to tell her?

Pretty ridiculous scenario.

But there is a false doctrine out there that says that an unrepentant sinner can get saved; that repentance is not necessary for salvation. This doctrine teaches that anyone who believes in Jesus for their salvation will be saved. Doesn’t matter if they understand who Jesus is, or why they need salvation, or if they are sorry for and have remorse over their sins and are willing to repent of them and ask forgiveness.

A sinner who hears that believing in Jesus will save them from going to hell, but who could care less about Jesus and who has no intention of asking forgiveness for their sins, or who has no intention of giving up their sin, but is just looking for “fire insurance”, is not going to get saved in that condition. (James 2:19; Mark 3:11) There has to be an understanding of their sinful nature and their need for a Savior, along with a repentant heart and humble approach to Christ in receiving salvation. (James 4:6)

Am I saying that they have to DO anything in their repentance? No. Do they have to turn over a new leaf and get right first before they come to Jesus? No. Do they have to start going to church and doing good deeds before they come to Christ? No. What I am saying is that they have to come humbly before Jesus and repent of their sins, trusting in Him and what He did on the cross to save them. We’re saved by grace through faith, not works. Faith and repentance are not works – they are a decision of the will.

The Greek word for repent is matanoeo, which means to change one’s mind, to turn from something and toward something. Jesus expects us to turn from our sin and toward Him in faith for our salvation. Without repentance, there will be no rebirth, and you must be reborn or you are not saved. (John 3:3,7;1 Peter 1:23) Jesus Himself said, “…repent ye, and believe the gospel.”(Mark 1:15). When he sent his disciples out, they were to preach the gospel and repentance (Mark 6:12). Repentance and faith go hand in hand throughout Scripture (Ezekiel 14:6; Ezekiel 18:30; Psalm 32:5)

Unfortunately, in many churches across America, people are being dealt a counterfeit salvation. They’ve walked an aisle and said a prayer, and asked Jesus into their heart. But there was no realization of their sinful nature or their need for a Savior. There was no repentance. There was no re-birth. There was no regeneration. And there was no salvation. They are still lost in their sin, living their lives basically no differently than before. There is no fruit, and there is no clue that they are still on their way to hell.(James 2:14)

Calvinism, in an effort to “protect” God’s sovereignty, claims wrongly that God chooses some to go to heaven and some to go to hell.

This second doctrine, in an effort to combat the false teaching of Calvinism, teaches wrongly that God will save an unrepentant sinner. Not so. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18) “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”(James 4:6)

I believe Scripture teaches that both extremes are wrong.

Scipture References:

James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Mark 3:11: “And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.”

James 4:6: “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

John 3:3: “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 3:7:”Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

1 Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Mark 1:15: “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Mark 6:12:”And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”

Ezekiel 14:6 “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.”

Ezekiel 18:30: “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”

Ezekiel 33:11: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

Psalm 32:5: “I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Luke 13:5: “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Acts 3:19: “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.”

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

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At 2:12 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

A lot of churches don't even seem to mention Hell anymore. Thanks for this post!

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Haven't you heard? Hell isn't politically correct anymore. It offends people. After all, we're all basically good people - God wouldn't send US to hell. OUR sins are nearly as bad as OTHER people's sins...


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