Repent (National Mall: Washington, DC, USA)

When we hear the latest conference message or read the newly-released book on how to be a radical sold-out follower of Jesus, there is one thing that many of today’s popular speakers leave out: Repentance. The “R-Word” is rarely seen in emergent-progressive writings. It’s often seen as an “ugly” or negative, judgmental word that seekers would turn away from. And yet it is a fruit we should be looking for in our churches. Does your church preach of repentance when the Gospel message is shared?

Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries recently shared this article by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and I am reprinting it here:

The preaching and teaching of a false prophet does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way leading to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need not be aware of the blackness of your own heart.

You just “decide for Christ” and you rush in with the crowd, and your name is put down, and is one of the large number of ‘decisions’ reported by the press. It is entirely unlike the evangelism of the Puritans and of John Wesley, George Whitefield and others, which led men to be terrified of the judgment of God, and to have an agony of soul sometimes for days and weeks and months.

John Bunyan tells us in his book Grace Abounding that he endured an agony of repentance for eighteen months. There does not seem to be much room for that today. Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound.

It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world whatever the cost, the world in its mind and outlook as well as its practice, and you deny yourself, and take up the cross and go after Christ.

Your nearest and dearest, and the whole world, may call you a fool, or say you have religious mania. You may have to suffer financially, but it makes no difference. That is repentance. The false prophet does not put it like that.

He “heals the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly”, simply saying that it is all right, and that you have but to “come to Christ”, “follow Jesus”, or “become a Christian.” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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  1. Darrel says:

    As MLJ passed on to the Lord some 25 years ago, the importance of his words have grown. Repentance has been reduced to saying "I'm sorry for my sin" and that is all that is needed for one to be accepted by Jesus, but the Scriptures teach no such thing. If a person does not deal with their sins by putting them away forever, there will be no be salvation. Jesus' words to us was: "Repent and believe the Gospel" Mark 1:14. Salvation is never realized by praying a prayer and 'asking Jesus into your heart'. It is accomplished by the Holy Spirit bringing the sinner to utter helplessness where the sinner sees himself just as God sees him, full of all manner of sins and is drawn by the same Holy Spirit to cry out for mercy and forgiveness. Holding on to any sin is not even imagined, but all is laid at the feet of the sinner's new-found Savior.

    No repentance = no salvation.

    To minimize, trivialize, or ignore repentance is eternally dangeous and one should examine themselves closely if that is the case-2Cor. 13:5.
    Repentance is just as much a gift from God as is the faith to believe on Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are found inseparable in the grace of our Lord-Eph. 2:8&9.


  2. Bea K. says:

    I agree, check the channels today and see just how many of these 'ministers' even use the word, repentance? Joel Osteen still preaches a candy coated non-gospel (one reason why 'Schuller' is off the air?), and the others sadly aren't too much better. Armstrongism and some other false prophets are permeating the t.v. airwaves too, and while folks don't seem to notice or care about what they're seeing from a 'Biblical' stand point it really makes you wonder. Jack Van Impe is on fire for the Lord and talks repentance, but is so in love with the Catholic Church, the Pope, etc. it makes you scratch your head and feel sad that with all the bible reading he does, how is it the Holy Spirit hasn't warned or spoken to him about the shenanigans about the Catholic Church as of yet? A truly sad state of affairs for the church.


  3. Mr Davis says:

    This is the Lord speaking to him that hath an ear let him hear:

    Jeremiah 6:10-16, 18-19 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken , the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

    Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

    This is also Romans 1:22-32, Proverbs 1:24-31

    So here we are. Still we seek after vainity; still we seek wisdom from men and not from God, rather we heap up teachers for our itching ears desire as much but what will we do in the end. Though hand join in hand it will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5

    Psalm 12:2 KJV
    They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

    Isaiah 29:13 KJV
    Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

    Will we not consider our plight and draw near will we not cry out to Christ Jesus to be saved from our own wickedness and to be cleansed by His blood which Christ shed on the Cross, that we may be redeemed and brought near to Him? Will we plead that He would cover us in His righteousness and Hide us in Him. OH that we would cry out and plead for His divine mercy and the grace that is made available through the operation of Holy Spirit. Yes the grace that is given and the Holy Spirit that works in us True Fear of the LORD that makes The Fear of the LORD our delight and fills our thoughts with Him, Who alone is worthy of all Honor and Praise. Yes the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the Word. By His righteousness are we saved and He grants it to whom He wills.

    Praise the Christ who is Jesus of Nazareth Who died according to the Scriptures, was buried according to the scriptures and after 3 days was resurrected according to the scriptures who fullfilled the rigtheous requirement of the Law in His own Body and by His own Blood cut a new covenant with mankind. A covanant He would bind with the Holy Spirit for by Him we are sealed and made heirs of the promise.

    Do you have the Holy Spirit in you? Do you fear the Lord because God Himself has made Himself known to you.

    Jeremiah 31:34 KJV
    And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying , Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Or is your fear one that is taught by precept of man or of your own imaginings and does not bring Godly sorrow leading to repentance? Be honest, dishonesty brings destruction, where honesty provides the basis for a plea to God. Be honest!


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