A False Understanding Of “Turn From Sin”

by David J. Stewart | December 2013 | Updated August 2016

Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

       Nowhere in the Bible will you find anything that teaches “turn from sin” to be saved. That phrase is not in the Bible, nor anything similar. I am saddened every time I hear a pastor tell a group of people that the first step to being saved is to “turn from sin” to be saved. Apostasy has crept into our churches as the Bible warned, perverting the Gospel over time to align with Catholic dogma.

The words “believe” and “believed” appear 85 times in the Gospel Of John, but the word “repent” does not appear even once. Clearly, the person who believes has also repented, and the person who repents has believed. Please watch the excellent sermon titled, The 'Repent Of Your Sins' Heresy” by Pastor Afshin Yaghtin. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved. We are saved simply by BELIEVING, nothing else! Eternal life and forgiveness of sins is a free gift, which cannot be merited or earned. They can be no stipulations, obligations nor requirements to receive a gift... YOU JUST TAKE IT!


The Simplicity That is in Christ

 Before I say another word, let me share with you the simplicity of the Gospel. 2nd Corinthians 11:3 mentions “the simplicity that is in Christ,” which is THE GOSPEL (Romans 1:16; 1st Corinthians 1:21). You are a guilty sinner in God's eyes (and so am I). God is holy (morally perfect). We are unholy. We deserve to be punished for our sins. The penalty for our sins, even if we commit just one sin (James 2:10), is a second death in the eternal Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8; 20:12-15; Romans 6:23). But God in His unconditional love has made a way of escape (Romans 5:8-9). God sent His only begotten Son into the world to pay our sin debt (John 3:16). Jesus died for our sins on the cross, and was buried. Three days later, Christ resurrected bodily from the dead. This is “the Gospel” (i.e., Good News) according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4).

If you admit that you are a guilty sinner in God's sight, and you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full-payment for your sins, believing that He raised up from the dead the third day, YOU ARE SAVED. Jesus is our sin payment! Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. If you don't read any further into this article, you don't need to know anything more than what I just shared with you to be saved. Any admitted sinner who believes the Gospel is saved. We have plenty of examples from the Scriptures; such as the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” The 3,000 souls saved in one day on the Day of Pentecost simply believed the Gospel when they heard the apostle Peter preach it. That's it! That is how easy it is to be saved!!!

Again, the Bible teaches us that salvation is obtained simply by THE HEARING OF FAITH (that is, placing your faith in the Gospel when you hear it). The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Galatia and asked them how they were saved? Did they get saved by keeping the law? If so, they were not saved. Or did they get saved (which brings the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) by placing their faith in the Gospel they heard preached? Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?What a beautiful Scripture!!! This is the simplicity that is in Jesus Christ. Even a small child can be saved simply by placing their faith in their Gospel when they hear it preached. God had to make getting saved very simple and easy, otherwise stupid people couldn't do it. I say that kindly. God made salvation so simple that even a little child can do it, by simply believing on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). What an awesome God and Savior!
 

We Are Not Saved by Repenting, But by Believing

We are not saved by repenting, we are saved by putting our faith in Jesus Christ! In order to turn toward God by faith in His only begotten Son to be saved, of necessity you had to turn from something, which is repentance. For example: A man cannot turn to face toward north without at the same time turning away from some other direction. 1st Thessalonians 1:9, “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” They turned TO God FROM idols. Repentance in the Greek (metanoia) means “a change of mind.” You cannot turn TOWARD God without at the same time turning FROM something (whether it be idols, sin, intellectualism, et cetera). Whatever it is that is hindering you from coming to Christ to be saved, that is what you must change your mind about! If a man didn't repent, he would never believe. It is impossible to believe without repenting, because without a change of mind toward God, no one would come to Christ.

Here is the best quote that I've found on repentance, by Dr. Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):

“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16)

A person DOESN'T have to “turn from sin” to be saved in the sense of forsaking a sinful lifestyle or turning over a new leaf. The person who comes to Jesus to be saved HAS turned their back on sin. The very fact that they are coming to Jesus for salvation is plain evidence that there has been some degree of sincere repentance in that person's heart. Romans 3:19 tells us the correct understanding of sin concerning salvation, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

Repentance is the admission of one's guilt of sin before God. Pastor Harry Ironside has is correct...

“Repentance is the very opposite of meritorious experience. It is the confession that one is utterly without merit, and if he is ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' Here is firm footing for the soul who realizes that all self-effort is but sinking sand. Christ alone is the Rock of our salvation.”

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside; Except Ye Repent, pg. 36

Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel. Dr. Ironside correctly recognized repentance as the confession that “one is utterly without merit” and that if one is “ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation is without works of self-righteousness. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to one's heavenly record by faith. 

“Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word.”

SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3

Repentance and faith are inseparable. The Gospel of John mentions the word “believe” 85-times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once. In genuine salvation, one who believes on Jesus Christ has repented, and one who repents has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. The idea that one must repent first and then believe second is a false understanding. Biblically, these two parts of salvation happen simultaneously (at the same time). These are not two steps to salvation; but rather, two parts of one step. Repenting and believing are inseparable!

Having said that. I DON'T believe that every pastor/preacher who uses the phrase “turn from sin” is a heretic (not at all). It all depends on what is meant by “turn from sin.” If you mean, acknowledge one's SINNERSHIP, then I agree; but if you require a person to cease from their sinful behavior to be saved, then I wholeheartedly disagree! Christ bore the full weight of our sins upon Himself, so that we wouldn't have to in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

It is heresy to say, “Well, if you got what I got brother you wouldn't be watching those dirty movies, playing that Rock music, smoking, drinking and living in sin.” That's not true. There is such a thing as “babes in Christ” (1st Corinthians 3:1). 1st Peter 2:2 speaks of growing in grace in the milk of the Word. It is just as unreasonable to expect a new convert to live a righteous life as it would be to expect a newborn baby to run a marathon. The saved life and the crucified life are not the same. They are completely separate from each other.

If you choose to use the term “turn from sin,” then you ought to explain to others what you mean, because a lot of people have needlessly and tragically gone to Hell, errantly thinking that Christ wouldn't receive them because of personal sins they weren't ready to stop committing. And who can stop committing all their sins? No one!

The Bible teaches that a changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. God changes a person's life because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in them. So how can anyone demand or require that a person first have a desire to reform before a person has even been regenerated (born-again)? Requiring a person to commit to reform as a prerequisite to being saved is as foolish as asking a baby to agree to behave once born from the womb.

As Pastor Charles Spurgeon correctly taught (please read for full quote), there are no conditions of salvation...

“You must not expect that you will be perfect in 'repentance' before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. 'Repentance' is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself...” —Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on Sept. 23, 1855)

As Spurgeon correctly taught (if you read the full quote in the preceding link), repentance is a lifelong process that begins at salvation. Being saved is immediate, but the believer's sanctification (being conformed into the image of Christ) is a lifelong process. Salvation is NOT a process, but sanctification is. The repentance (metanoeo, change of mind; Mark 1:15) that compels a person to believe the gospel of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection continues throughout that believer's life.

What Did Pastor Charles Spurgeon Believe About Repentance? (quotes you'll rarely hear)

False teachers who say that believing upon the Lord is insufficient to saved without some degree of leaving sins behind are pulling on the same rope as the Devil. This heresy is commonly called “Lordship Salvation.” Jesus didn't ask the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11) if she first promised not to do it again; but rather, He told her to go and “GO, AND SIN NO MORE”! You don't clean up your life to GET SAVED; but rather, God helps you clean up your life by His Holy Spirit AFTER you're saved. I try to live right in Christ's power because I AM SAVED (Romans 3:31; Galatians 2:20), not to BE SAVED (Ephesians 2:8-9). Notice that Ephesians 2:10 says the believer is SAVED UNTO GOOD WORKS!!!

The truth is that the Pharisaical religious hypocrites who require people to stop living in deliberate sin to be saved, are living in habitual sin themselves. Although it is possible to live above reproach, NO ONE can live above sin! NO ONE!!! Any preacher who says that you have to “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved is teaching “another Gospel,” a false plan of salvation (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4; Acts 15:1, 24). Christ bore the full weight of our sins on Calvary's cross! Beware of any false Gospel that places the burden of sin upon the sinner's shoulder, requiring reformation (i.e., turning from sinful bad habits) to receive the free gift of God. It is a gift.

Did you know that Jesus doesn't forgive sin! That is correct! Jesus has already paid for our sins on the cross! Christ died as our Lamb (John 1:29), rose as our High Priest (Romans 8:34), and sprinkled that precious blood upon the heavenly Mercy Seat in the presence of God the Father on our behalf (Hebrews 9:12, 22-24; 12:24). Since Jesus has already paid the price for our sins with His precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19), forgiveness of sins is a gift that we simply need to receive. To get saved, you simply receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, and by faith God counts (imputes) His righteousness to you, and your sins to Christ. What a great deal! Every false religion teaches that we must do something to get to Heaven; but Christianity teaches we must completely rest in what Jesus Christ has done for us!!! Those errant preachers who teach that turning from sins (or being willing to turn from sins) is necessary to be saved are not completely resting in the finished redemptive work of Christ!!!
 

Woe Is Unto Me, If I Preach Not “THE GOSPEL”!

1st Corinthians 9:16, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

The gospel is that Jesus DIED FOR OUR SINS, was BURIED and RESURRECTED from the dead after three days (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). If anyone ADDS or SUBTRACTS anything to or from the gospel, they have corrupted the plan of salvation. Requiring a person to forsake the sinful world, cease from sinful behavior or stop sinful bad habits is ADDING to the gospel message. Such irresponsible ministers have corrupted the simplicity that is in Christ. If a person must cease from a sinful lifestyle to be saved, then salvation is very hard. It is tragic that so many of today's Baptist preachers are teaching the same false meaning of repentance as the cults; namely, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Seventh Day Adventism. I will prove this later in this article.

The phrase “turn from sin” is spiritually dangerous, because many preachers errantly teach it to mean ceasing from a past life of sin, forsaking the sinful world and making a full surrender to Christ's Lordship in order to be saved. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to do any of those things to be saved. Somehow we've drifted away in our theological circles from the plain Biblical teaching of the GIFT of eternal life by faith in Christ Jesus. As with lying Jehovah's Witnesses, who claim salvation is a gift that requires works to receive, so also do reprobate Baptist preachers pervert the gospel by requiring people to forsake the act of sin to be saved.

Tragically, I've noticed that many Baptist preachers are woefully ignorant of their beliefs, so they remain vague on the subject of repentance, telling people to turn from sin without elaborating what they really mean. Hence, they fit in with BOTH the Free Grace crowd and the Lordship Salvation crowd. We are in a heated spiritual battle in our churches nowadays over the meaning of repentance and what God actually requires of a sinner to be saved. The Bible is very clear on the matter if you study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. I know a lot of preachers who ought to be ashamed (and will be on Judgment Day).
 

The Gospel DOESN'T Include Stopping Your Sinful Lifestyle

The apostle Paul proclaimed in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” It is THE GOSPEL that is the power of God unto salvation, to him that believeth...

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

This is the gospel, that is, Christ DIED, was BURIED and RESURRECTED after three days. It is believing the gospel that saves a man.

What happens is that some people get so sick of shallow Christians who are “SO SAVED AS BY FIRE,” that they change the plan of salvation to require a person to cease from sins to be saved. That's a false plan of salvation! This is what John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, William Lane Craig, Chip Ingram and other false teachers today have done, that is, they've ADDED the requirement that a person MUST “turn from sin” (meaning the deliberate lifestyle of sin) to be saved. That is a false plan of salvation. Forsaking sinful behavior is reformation, a work, not the gift of God. 2nd Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” Carefully notice in the preceding Scripture that “repentance” is to acknowledge THE TRUTH, and not turn away from sin. Acts 20:21 speaks of “REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD,” not from sins. You cannot show me one verse in the Bible that says to “turn from sins” or “repent from sins” to be saved.

No one says “I'm going to get caught up into a heresy,” but it sincerely happens every day. I hope that you, the reader, haven't been caught up into the Lordship Salvation lie which has crept into most churches these days. If you'll stay focused on the truth that eternal life and forgiveness of sins is a FREE GIFT from God, obtained only by God's imputed righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, then you won't be led astray (Romans 10:3-4; Philippians 3:9). I am saved solely because of what Jesus Christ did to pay for my sins on the cross as the sacrificial Lamb of God, His burial, His bodily resurrection as my High Priest, and the precious blood that He sprinkled upon the Mercy Seat in Heaven.

The right price had to be applied to the right place! (by Dr. Jack Hyles, from The Church). The price was Jesus' precious BLOOD. The place was the MERCY SEAT in the heavenly Holy Place in the Tabernacle. This is why I am saved, because this is my only hope for Heaven, that is, THE GOSPEL. My hope is Christ's death on the cross for my sins, His burial and bodily resurrection three days later. The life that I live has absolutely nothing to do with the gift of God. I didn't desire to turn away from my sins to be saved, not one bit!!! I simply trusted Jesus the best I knew how at age 13, and I've been saved ever since. I was born-again the very moment at age 13 that I trusted Christ, and I can NEVER lose my salvation (and neither can you if you are genuinely saved)! I am not perfect, but I desire to live right (in God's Holy Spirit power, Galatians 2:20) because I AM SAVED, not to be saved. Good is good!
 

Don't Add Or Subtract From The Gospel

By far, the best and simplest explanation of the subject is by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001). Brother Hyles gave the following sermon a sub-titled called, “THE ROOT OF ALL HERESY!” Please study the following life-changing truths...

The Saved, Crucified, Resurrected And Ascended Life (awesome MP3 sermon by Dr. Jack Hyles)

The Christian Life Verses The Crucified Life (mix the two and you've corrupted the gospel)

And on the other extreme you've got corrupt preachers who abandon sin altogether. They say to invite Jesus into your heart and life to be saved, but they fail to mention sin. You're not saved by asking Jesus to come into your heart. You've got to address the matter of your sinnership. God saves THE UNGODLY (Romans 4:5). God doesn't save the self-righteous who errantly think they can earn eternal life. No one has ever got saved who didn't realize that he was a sinner. You've got to know what you're saved from.

So we've got two false extremes! On one hand we've got the false prophet who adds “turning from sin” as a prerequisite to salvation. And then on the other extreme we've got the false prophet who just says to “trust Jesus” and ignores sin altogether! There can be no salvation without the law to diagnose our problem (you must know that you're a sinner to be saved), and then look in faith to the cross of Christ which solves our problem (faith in the gospel saves). No one ever got saved who didn't know that he or she was a sinner. That's what salvation is... settling the SIN QUESTION/SON QUESTION!

It's not enough to turn over a new leaf. You need the Savior! And it's not enough to believe on the Lord if you don't acknowledge that you're a sinner in need of forgiveness! We must admit our sinful condition! You're not saved because you give up sin! You must trust upon the Savior to be saved (believing that He died, was buried and resurrected). And trusting Jesus is not the way to Heaven if you don't come as a guilty sinner. Somewhere in the middle is the correct position. You've got to know that you're a SINNER and also that Jesus is the SAVIOR! We are saved the moment that we receive the gospel as full-payment for our sins!

You don't give up your sins to get saved. Salvation is receiving, not giving! The man who repents toward God in faith for salvation has already turned his back against sin. When you turn about and face the Lord, your back is toward sin. Repentance is not the act of ceasing from sins; but rather, the acknowledgment of one SINNERSHIP!

May I quote the words of former Moody Memorial Church pastor, Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951)...

"Repentance is the very opposite of meritorious experience. It is the confession that one is utterly without merit, and if he is ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' Here is firm footing for the soul who realizes that all self-effort is but sinking sand. Christ alone is the Rock of our salvation."

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside; Except Ye Repent, pg. 36)

Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the gospel. Pastor Ironside correctly recognizes repentance as the confession that “one is utterly without merit” and that if one is “ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation is without works of self-righteousness. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of God is imputed to one's heavenly record by faith. 

“Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word.”

SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3

The inspired King James Bible teaches that salvation is a “gift” from God. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is a gift because Christ paid for it. Hence, we are saved by GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, and not our own. Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” It is just as contradictory for professed evangelical Christians to teach that a person must turn from sin to be saved, as it is for Roman Catholics to claim that they don't worship Mary while bowing and praying to her statue.
 

Jehovah's Witnesses Teach “Turn From Sin” Heresy

Here is what the satanic Jehovah's Witnesses teach at their official Watchtower.org website (where their monthly AWAKE magazine is published). Notice that the Jehovah's Witnesses cult teach the same contradictory perversion of the plan of salvation...

“Salvation is a free gift from God. It cannot be earned. Yet it does require effort on our part.”

SOURCE: What Must We Do to Be Saved? - Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site

Blasphemy! Notice the 180 degree opposite teachings! This is a classic example of a half-truth! Manly P. Hall, a prolific author and high level 33rd degree Freemason, wrote:

“The half-truth is the most dangerous form of lie, because it can be defended in part by incontestable logic.”

SOURCE: The Secret Destiny Of America, pg. 195, by Manly P. Hall, a 33rd degree Freemason; 1944; ISBN: 0-89314-388-X; publisher: The Philosophical Research Society, Inc, Los Angeles, California.

Manly P. Hall is 100% correct! First, notice the truthful part of the Jehovah's Witness' deceptive statement, “Salvation is a free gift of God. It cannot be earned.” These statements are 100% true and can be defended with 100% uncontestable, irrefutable, Biblical, evidence. But now look at the second part of the deception, THE LIE... “Yet it does require effort on our part.” Do you see how hiding a lie between two truthful statements makes it almost invincible to exposure? Literally, the best place to hide a LIE is between two TRUTHS!

 Jehovah's Witnesses Teach Lordship Salvation (Beware of Satan creeping into the churches!)

Seventh Day Adventists & John MacArthur Teach “Turn From Sin” Heresy

In the Biblical Gospel of free-grace, the burden rests completely upon Christ Jesus, Who bore our sins upon Himself at Calvary. In the perverted gospel of Lordship Salvation which John MacArthur, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and Paul Washer teach, the burden rests largely upon the sinner (who is told he or she cannot be saved unless they decide to stop living a life of sin). You don't have to take my word for it, you can read these heretic's words for yourself...

Here's the garbage theology of Dr. John MacArthur which says...

Heretic, Dr. John MacArthur, who denies the efficacy of Jesus' literal, physical blood; denies once saved, always saved; teaches Lordship Salvation; and is a hardcore Calvinist.

Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t gained by reciting mere words. Saving faith transforms the heart, and that in turn transforms behavior. Faith’s fruit is seen in actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile. Remember that what John saw in his vision of judgment was a Book of Life, not a book of Words or Book of Intellectual Musings. The life we live, not the words we speak, reveals whether our faith is authentic. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Dr. John MacArthur, Grace To You, an updated quote from his book 'Hard To Believe', page 93.

Is it hard to be saved? Does getting saved cost us everything? What happened to the free gift of God (Romans 5:15; 6:23)? Is John MacArthur a Seventh Day Adventist? As with Lordship Salvationists, Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) deceitfully profess to believe in salvation by grace through faith; but then horribly contradict themselves in their writings. Here is what Jan Paulsen (President of the General Conference of SDA's) errantly teaches...

Faith is not simply looking at a distant, historical Jesus. Rather, it is responding to His invitation to “follow me.” That is how I become a disciple. It is by accepting the obligation to live a life of discipleship that faith becomes obedience. Surely this is what Mrs. White meant when she wrote that the faith that leads to salvation "is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. . . . The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour" (ibid., p. 347). “To have faith means to find and accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes” (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 112).

SOURCE: SALVATION BY FAITH, Jan Paulsen; http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/Salvation%20by%20Faith.htm

Do you see that? John MacArthur almost word-for-word teaches the same exact Satanic Gospel as do the Seventh Day Adventists!!!

Heresy! Salvation is not “accepting the obligation to live a life of discipleship.” This negates the gift of God. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” SDA's ignore and disregard Romans 4:5. Salvation is without works of self-righteousness. The man who believes on Christ is saved, because his faith is COUNTED for righteousness. I tell you plainly that Seventh-Day Adventism is straight out of the pits of Hell.
 

Mormons Teach “Turn From Sin” Heresy

Mormons have another Gospel—a false Gospel of self-righteousness. Mormons preach ANOTHER JESUS, ANOTHER GOSPEL AND ANOTHER SPIRIT that are all of the Devil. Tragically, Dr. John MacArthur of the Grace Community Church in California teaches a very similar FALSE Gospel as do the Mormons. Don't take my word for it, read what they have to say for themselves.

Kindly, here is the false Gospel taught by Mormons at MORMON.ORG...

"Repentance ...To repent we need to recognize and feel sorry for what we’ve done wrong, do whatever is possible to repair the damage it may have caused, and to leave our sinful behavior behind. Repentance can be difficult and requires a lot of honesty, but the joy and freedom we feel when we turn away from our sins are well worth the effort. Because Christ suffered for our sins, we can be forgiven when we repent. That’s why the Atonement is so important to all of us.

We believe Christ's Atonement gives us the ability to repent and become clean from sin. To say we have to repent for our sins may sound like a punishment, but the real punishment is the guilt, sorrow, and disappointment we feel when we sin.
Repentance is the opposite of punishment, then, because it allows us to become clean in God’s eyes and remove the feelings of guilt that follow our bad choices." [emphasis added]

SOURCE: http://mormon.org/jesus-christ

This is almost identical to the quote I gave you earlier by John MacArthur! These last day false teachers all require (mandate) human change, personal effort and self-determination as a prerequisite to salvation. The errant plans of salvation they teach ARE ALL BASED IN WORKS!!! My friend, you do not get saved by doing good works, and you cannot be denied salvation by bad works. The ONLY sin that can keep a person out of Heaven is the sin of UNBELIEF!

Thus, anyone who requires a person to “TURN FROM SIN” to be saved is in agreement with the satanic Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Mormons. What's the difference between teaching that a person cannot do good works to get to Heaven, verses saying that a person must stop doing bad works to get to Heaven? Are they not both one and the same, that is, by WORKS!
 

So What Does The Bible Teach About Repentance?

Yes, you do need to repent to be saved. It's not an option. But repentance Biblically is A CHANGE OF MIND, and not a change of behavior or lifestyle. There are millions of people who have placed their confidence in Christ as their Savior to be saved, who are also doing their best to avoid committing sin because they've been taught this is necessary to be saved. They are not saved. They are not saved because they are relying upon their own human effort to reduce their amount of sinning as part of salvation. It's a works-based mindset of heresy.

In sharp contrast, the Bible teaches that repentance is a change of mind that compels a person to turn to the Lord for forgiveness, which is what Isaiah 55:7-8 means...

Isaiah 55:7-8, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”

Notice the emphasis on THOUGHTS. Repentance is “a change of mind.” “His way” refers to a person's attitude toward sin, and not the sin itself. Who can stop sinning? I've spoken with multitudes of Lordship Salvationists and have found that they vary widely in beliefs. In most cases they are just confused between sonship verses discipleship. They've never been properly taught, which is why I have published these series of articles on the internet in hopes of educating people from the Word of God. I try to provide as many resources as possible, but the only authority we truly need is the Bible itself. God's Word is our Final Authority!

There are some godly preachers of the past who used the phrase “turn from sin,” but they only did so in the sense of a person acknowledging their SINNERSHIP. This is an acceptable application of the term. I DO believe that repentance is necessary for salvation, but Biblical repentance unto salvation is “a change of mind” (not a change of lifestyle).

It's a very serious matter, because some heretics like Ray Comfort have totally perverted the meaning of the Bible in Matthew 7:22-23. Mr. Comfort teaches that professed Christians who deliberately have lustful thoughts or willingly tell lies have never repented and thus, have never truly been saved. Kindly, Ray Comfort has a totally WRONG mindset toward salvation because his understanding of repentance is WRONG. It's like buttoning a shirt, that is, if you get the first button wrong, then all the other buttons will be wrong too. And if a person is WRONG about salvation, then their going to be WRONG about everything else as well. There is nothing more important in life than to have a correct understanding of salvation, lest you go to Hell.

Today's misguided preachers effectively teach salvation as a REWARD, saying that one's faith must be validated by works to obtain; instead of proclaiming the GIFT of God that He freely provides, freely offers and can only be freely received. If you have to stop living an adulterous lifestyle to be saved, then it is nothing more than a REWARD that you have to qualify to receive. Eternal life is a GIFT, not a REWARD!

A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance, and NOT a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. Albeit, it takes years for a new convert to grow in the Lord. Biblically, there is such a thing as “growing in grace” (1st Peter 2:2). Biblically, there is such a thing as “carnal believers” and “babes in Christ” (1st Corinthians 3:1). Biblically, there is such a thing as “weak in the faith” (Romans 14:1). Biblically, there is such a thing as “saved; yet so as by fire” (1st Corinthians 3:15). Ladies and gentlemen, it is just as unreasonable to expect a new convert to live a consecrated life as it would be to expect a newborn baby to run a marathon! You have to learn to crawl before you can walk, and you have to learn to walk before you can run, and this includes the spiritual world!!!

Dr. John R. Rice Refutes The “Turn From Sin” Heresy

May I quote once more the words of former Moody Memorial Church pastor, Pastor Harry Ironside...

"Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word."

SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3

Repentance and faith are inseparable. The Gospel of John mentions the word “believe” and “believed” 85-times; but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once. In genuine salvation, one who believes on Jesus Christ has repented, and one who repents has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Pastor Harry Ironside has it 100% correct.

Please read the following excellent explanation of the Gospel by Dr. Ironside...

Harry A. Ironside“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …

Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

SOURCE: Dr. Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?

Clearly, Ironside correctly taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel. Amen! Don't mess with the gospel. Just believe it!
 

Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon Has Repentance Correct!

Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) said it correctly...

“'Repentance' is a grace.
Some people preach it as a condition of salvation.
Condition of nonsense!”

—Pastor Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on Sept. 23, 1855)

Stop Lying About Charles Spurgeon!

What Did Pastor Charles Spurgeon Believe About Repentance? (quotes you'll rarely hear)

Spurgeon is not saying that repentance is not necessary for salvation. What he is saying is that repentance is NOT A WORK. It is a grace, that is, “For BY GRACE are ye saved through faith...” (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is God's mercy, kindness and gentleness toward sinful mankind, offering redemption through faith in Jesus Christ. Eternal life is a free gift! Those who teach repentance as a condition (work) for salvation have woefully corrupted the Gospel.

So if you mean “turn from sin” in the sense of admitting (acknowledging) that you're a big sinner who needs to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, then I agree wholeheartedly. Thank God for Charles Spurgeon...

“You must not expect that you will be perfect in 'repentance' before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. 'Repentance' is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself...” —Pastor Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on Sept. 23, 1855)

Did you know that Judas repented? Read Matthew 27:1. Yes, Judas repented, but he still hung himself and went straight to Hell forever. Why? It's because Judas was only sorry for what he had done. A different Greek word is used for “repented” in Matthew 27:1 (which means “to feel remorse afterwards”) than the Greek word “repent” in Mark 1:15 (which means, “a change of mind”). Mark 1:15, “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Notice that the Bible doesn't say to repent and turn from sin; but rather, repent and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.

The only turning from sin that God requires for salvation is the admission of our sinnership, the renouncement of our sins, the realization of our guilt. It simply means that whereas we used to defend our sins as an unsaved person, now we've had a change of mind and say, “I have sinned and am guilty in God's eyes.” Biblical repentance is turning to the Lord to be forgiven of our sins. So we see that genuine repentance unto salvation and belief are inseparable.

God gave us the Law to show us the awfulness of our sins (Romans 7:13), to convince us of our GUILT OF SIN (Romans 3:19). Thus, we MUST come to Christ for salvation as a sinner. This is the only extent to which a person must “turn from sin” to be saved. God only saves “THE UNGODLY” (Romans 4:5). To require a change of lifestyle is a works-based false gospel. To “repent” concerning salvation means “a change of mind” (not a change of lifestyle). Whereas an unsaved person used to defend their sins and live shamelessly in shameful sin without guilt, now there has been a change of mind and they desire forgiveness in Christ, knowing that they've broken God's Law and deserve to be punished. The Law points us as SINNERS to Jesus Christ the SAVIOR to be saved (Galatians 3:25-26).

Only the Christian can lead a Christian life; therefore, AFTER we are saved by faith, and faith alone, God wants us to maintain good works. Titus 2:12-13, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” In other words, I try to live right because I AM SAVED, not to GET SAVED!

As believers we don't live the Christian life in our own strength, nor even with God's help; but rather, the Lord's Holy Spirit lives through us as we yield to His holy Word in the Bible. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Amen! Thus, there's no way to gain the victory over sin in the flesh! The unsaved person is doomed to failure in sin and weakness until they get saved. Only then, when a person has been born anew by the Spirit of God, can the Lord live the Spirit-filled life through them.

This is why it is IMPOSSIBLE for an unsaved person to surrender to Christ, depart from the heathen world and cease from a lifestyle of sin as a requirement to be saved. Until they get saved and receive the Holy Spirit, they CANNOT do any of these things. How can an unsaved person experience godly sorrow for their sins? They cannot! When Paul spoke of “godly sorrow” in 2nd Corinthians 7:10, he was referring to the saved (but worldly) man in the church at Corinth in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5. Paul is not teaching that godly sorrow is required for salvation; but rather, he is teaching about the process of being salvaged as a Christian. Being saved is instant, but sanctification takes a lifetime. Dr. Hyles does an excellent job explaining this truth in his timeless book, Salvation Is More Than Being Saved.
 

Are All “Turn From Sin” Preachers Corrupt?

No, not at all. I don't condemn a preacher as a heretic just because he believes that salvation should produce a changed man. That is exactly what the Bible says ought to happen (2nd Corinthians 5:17). The problem with Lordship Salvationists (like MacArthur) is that they mandate the change as a requirement to be saved, and that is a damnable false gospel that sends people to Hell. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, plus or minus NOTHING! If you ADD or SUBTRACT anything to the gospel message you have perverted it! Eternal life is received, not achieved. It's not what you're doing that gets you to Heaven, it's where you're looking. LOOK TO JESUS!

I've listened carefully to the preachers who use the term “turn from sin” (or something similar) and it is abundantly clear that not all preachers believe in Lordship Salvation. May we all be careful as Christians to maintain the purity of the gospel by leaving it alone. Jesus died, was buried and resurrected after three days. That's the gospel message, that is, the good news! If you ADD sacraments to the gospel as do Roman Catholics, then you have a false plan of salvation. If you SUBTRACT from the gospel as do the “invite Jesus into your heart” crowd, then you've got a perverted plan of salvation. You don't get saved by “inviting Jesus into your heart,” nor by “making a commitment to Christ,” nor by “having a relationship with the Lord.” Judas had a relationship with the Lord, being one of His very apostles; yet Judas had a devil (John 6:70) and went to the Lake of Fire forever.

Don't make the grave error of confusing discipleship and fellowship with Sonship. 1st John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” Many people attempt to use 1st John 1:6 to justify the heresy of Lordship Salvation. However, notice that the subject of this passage is “FELLOWSHIP” and not SONSHIP. The very fact that Hebrews 12:6-8 teaches that the Lord chastises and scourges His children is proof that there are believers who refuse to live right. Samson was a crooked stick his entire life, living in deliberate sin. The Bible is filled with imperfect saints. Noah went from being the captain of his ship to a drunken sailor. Peter, who swore he'd never deny Christ, denied Him three times, even cursing Jesus' holy name!
 

What Saith The Scripture?

The sad reality is that a lot of people are going to spend eternity in Hell, because some arrogant and misguided preacher told them they couldn't go to Heaven without forsaking their sins. I've witnessed to many people who refused to get saved because they weren't willing to receive the Holy Spirit into their life because of sin. So you see, the problem takes care of itself. You don't have to change the gospel to force people to live right, because John 3:20 says, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” Don't you dare tell someone who wants to receive Christ that they cannot unless they first decide to cease from living a worldly lifestyle. What wickedness!

Let the following Scripture forever silence every Lordship Salvationist...

John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and
him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Jesus PROMISED never to turn away nor reject ANYONE who comes to Him to be saved. This means YOU! That means ME! That means EVERYONE, even the vilest and filthy sinner on earth. As we learned in John 3:20, the wicked who love their sins won't come to the Lord. But if you want to be saved, no matter how much you may refuse to give up your sinful lifestyle, the Lord PROMISED to save you if you'll simply place your trust in Him because of what He did to pay for your sins! IF YOU WILL COME, JESUS WILL SAVE YOU!!!

You get saved by believing THE GOSPEL (good news) that Christ died, was buried and resurrected for YOUR SINS! Make that your hope for Heaven! You are born-again the very moment you receive the gospel as full-payment for your sins. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Confusing Discipleship With Sonship

In Brother Hyle's book, Enemies of Soulwinning, in the chapter Misunderstood Repentance, he states:

So, from what must a person repent in order to be saved? He must repent of that which makes him lost. Since "believing not" makes him lost, "believing" makes him saved. In repentance there is a turning from the thing that keeps him from being saved to the thing that saves him. So, yes, there is a repentance from unbelief in order to believe. It is simply a change of direction. It means a turning around. You are going away from believing, and you decide to turn around and believe. You change your direction; you change your mind. With your will you believe and rely upon Christ to save you. In order to believe, you have to repent of unbelief. That which makes a man lost must be corrected.

SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles, a quote from chapter 4, titled “Misunderstood Repentance—An Enemy Of Soul Winning,” from the classic book titled, ENEMIES OF SOUL WINNING!

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

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