[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Repentance is NOT a condition of eternal salvation: An argument

by Antonio da Rosa

Many people believe that repentance is a condition for eternal life. Ron Shea posted something to this effect on Lou Martuneac's blog. The following is an argument that was made by your humble co-host of Unashamed of Grace some 2 years ago and still has not been answered by the critics of consistent Free Grace Theology. It is here again provided as another opportunity for those who believe that repentance is a God-ordained condition to give us a scripture that conjoins a command to repent with a resultant of eternal life, eternal salvation, or justification, or a cause of repentance with a resultant effect of eternal salvation.

Example: John 6:47 - Most assuredly I say to you (promise), he who believes in Me (cause) has everlasting life (effect).

[Taken from the 7 part article on Repentance and Free Grace Theology. You can find links to all 7 articles here: Free Grace Theology Blog]

As a preliminary consideration, the reader must be aware of a cogent biblical fact that necessarily places a huge burden of proof upon the Traditionalists:

Nowhere in the Bible is the reception of eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification conditioned on an act of repentance.

The Traditionalist must string together texts and arguments in order to support his unbiblical assertion that repentance is a theologically binding requirement for the possession of eternal salvation. In his arguments, the fallacy of special pleading is a common trait, for there is no clear text that makes his point.

He cannot point to even one text that explicitely commands repentance for the express purpose of the appropriation of eternal life. There is no such verse or passage.

If this is such an important element in the discussion of the critical components of the gospel message it is odd – no, it is incredible – that not a single verse clearly conjoins a command to repent with a resultant appropriation of: eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification.

Isn’t the reception of eternal life/justification of utmost importance to a lost sinner on his way to hell? I mean, listen – the information on how a person is initiated into a relationship with God is of dire necessity! Wouldn’t you think that an issue of such great import would be properly clarified by the God who “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4)? Isn’t it unbelievable that in the whole canon of scripture, that if eternal well-being is contingent partly on an act of repentance, that no text whatsoever conditions a result of eternal salvation on such an act?

The apostle John, who is not unfamiliar with the doctrine of repentance, as he presents it more than any other New Testament writer other than Luke (10 mentions in Revelation), whose gospel was written for an express purpose of evangelism (John 20:30-31), nevertheless is conspicuously silent on repentance as a condition for the appropriation of eternal life.

Would it not be a major error of inestimable proportions that if repentance is indeed a necessary requirement for eternal life that John the apostle would not include a single reference to it as a condition for salvation, yeah, even further, fail to mention it even once in the whole of his gospel written so that men could have eternal life?

This would be like writing a book on “Major Treatments for Heart Disease” and yet fail to mention open heart surgery (an illustration borrowed from Zane Hodges).

The evidence in regard to this chilling and absolute silence of the fourth gospel in mentioning repentance in conjunction with the indisputable instrument of eternal life’s appropriation, faith into Jesus for it, can have only 1 of 3 possible ramifications:

1) John, the disciple who leaned “on Jesus' bosom”, the apostle “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23), was not aware that the free reception of eternal life was in someway conditioned upon an act of repentance by the unsaved and thus presented an inadequate and therefore faulty testimony in this matter.

2) John, the apostle “who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24), purposely omitted a crucial component of the promise of eternal life for reasons that could only be speculated upon (the first one that would come to mind is some form of mal-intent).

3) John, who knew that “which was from the beginning”, who declared what he “heard” and saw with his “eyes”, who revealed that which he “looked upon” and his hands “handled, concerning the Word of life”, who bore “witness” and declared to us “that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to” him (1 John 1:1-2) did not consider, did not believe, and was not under the conviction that repentance was a necessary requirement for the appropriation of eternal well-being.

If we agree to the following:

1) John told the truth
2) John wrote his gospel with a purpose of evangelism

and admit to the following (which cannot be denied):

3) John did not require repentance in his Gospel as a condition for the appropriation of eternal life, as he did not even mention it once in the whole of his discourse; repentance being shockingly absent from its whole.

We must necessarily come to this conclusion:

4) Repentance is not a theological necessary condition for the reception of eternal life.

Furthermore, we must consider our dear brother, the apostle Paul. The idea of repentance is a category strikingly absent from him. In his whole discussion of justification by faith in Romans 3-5, there is not even one mention of repentance as a condition for eternal salvation. It is also noteworthy to share that Paul only mentions repentance 5 times in his epistles (half as many as John), although he wrote 13 (possibly 14) out of the 27 New Testament books. And none of these passages in which he speaks of this doctrine does he regard repentance as a condition for the reception of eternal salvation.

In addition, what is even more damaging to the Traditionalist position is the utter absence of repentance in the book of Galatians. This epistle is Paul’s defense of his gospel wherein he heralds clear and loud the essential tenet that righteousness is imparted through faith alone in Jesus. It is indeed significant that repentance is absent in a book where Paul is presenting and defending the gospel message he received directly from the Lord. For Paul, faith alone into Christ is the sole theological requirement for justification and eternal salvation.

What we are faced with is dozens upon dozens of clear and unambiguous statements of scripture that condition eternal life/justification through faith alone in Christ alone.

For thoroughness, I feel I ought to at least refer us to some of these clear and unambiguous statements that conjoin the requirement of faith/belief with the result – eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:36
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life

John 6:40
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47
Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

Rom 3:21-22
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

Rom 3:26
that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Rom 4:5
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Rom 5:1
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Gal 2:16
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Gal 3:2
This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Gal 3:21-22
But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

1 Tim 1:16-17
16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

We are equally confronted by the striking absence of a single verse in the whole of the Bible that conjoins a command to repent with a stated purpose of the appropriation of eternal salvation.

Can the Traditionalists produce even ONE clear and unambiguous verse that conditions eternal life, justification, or eternal salvation with a requirement of repentance?

41 Comments:

  • On one issue you challenge "Nowhere in the Bible is…" but moments later you violate this yourself when go on to promote a different unbiblical idea when you cannot cite a single verse that would justify teaching this idea - that would be the man-made tradition that says John was "the disciple whom Jesus loved". The reason that tradition is cited to promote this idea is because the Bible itself can't be cited (since it actually refutes this unbiblical idea.) While some find the facts troublesome because they want to cling to their unbiblical traditions, a love of the truth would no doubt welcome the correction that the word of God has to offer. If you are in the later category, you need to heed the Biblical admonition to "prove all things" because you clearly have not done so here.

    The truth is there is not a single verse in scripture that would justify teaching the idea that John was the unnamed "other disciple whom Jesus loved" and yet most simply assume that this tradition cannot be wrong and then interpret scripture to fit this idea. But if one heeds Ps. 118:8 then the NON-BIBLE sources on which this man-made error is based give way to the facts in scripture which prove that WHOEVER this anonymous author was he most certainly was not John.
     
    We're told, "[It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man". Given this explicit statement (along with similar statements in scripture on this matter) it is clear that one should be leery of those who encourage people trust in NON-Bible sources and put their confidence in unbiblical man-made traditions. To show respect for the word of God we need to heed the Biblical admonition to "prove all things" - and not simply be repeating the ideas of men but rather looking to scripture and searching the scriptures to see if what we have read or have been told can stand up to Biblical scrutiny. The John idea cannot.
      
    Since you will discover that you cannot cite a single verse of scripture that would justify promoting the idea that John was this unnamed “other disciple”, you may be led to take another look at what the Bible has to say on this matter. If so instead of looking to the writings of men try a Bible-only based strategy; examine the facts stated in scripture and compare what the Bible says about "the disciple whom Jesus loved" with what it says about John. The Bible evidence proves that whoever the one who "Jesus loved" was he could not have been John -- because the Bible cannot contradict itself as the John idea requires.

    The Bible says what it says. So no matter how many men one can find parroting the ideas of men found in NON-Bible sources the facts in scripture prove that John was not the "other disciple whom Jesus loved" (the anonymous author of the fourth gospel). The John idea comes from NON-Bible sources and the hand-me-down ideas of men but scripture says otherwise. [PS if one has to change the subject because they cannot cite scripture, then the point is made by the very need to dodge the light of scripture.]

    By Blogger bk, at Friday, October 03, 2008 1:39:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio:

    If we, Evangelical Christians, who believe in the necessity of repentance to enjoy eternal life are to branded as “Traditionalists” then it leaves us little choice but to brand those of you who don’t simply as “Modernists.”

    One key verse which teaches the necessity of repentance for salvation is in Romans 2:5 where the impenitent (i.e. those who do not repent) “treasurest up unto [themselves] wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God;” The whole context shows that Paul is speaking of the unsaved , both Jew and Gentile alike.

    When you cut through your bombast (”stringing verses together” and ”special pleading” etc.,) simply ask the question:

    Do those who remain impenitent treasure up for themselves eternal life or the wrath of God in the Day of Wrath?

    What you ridicule as “stringing verses together” is called comparing and interpreting Scripture by Scripture by your Evangelical opponents. Since I am commanded to “Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15) then all the benefits of the gospel (including eternal life) come to me on the condition that I repent and believe. If I do not repent and believe, then condemn myself and I treasure up myself wrath against the day of wrath i.e. I will hear God say to me, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:23) Therefore the disciples went out, and preached that men should repent. (Mark 6:12) But then, this is exactly what Evangelicals do.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Friday, October 03, 2008 2:04:00 AM  

  • Amen.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 03, 2008 3:33:00 AM  

  • bk,

    Let me preface my comment to you that I am aware of the controversy. I have studied it for myself, and have come to the conclusion that the 4th gospel is indeed Johannine.

    But this post on repentance could easily be re-worded to accomodate your convictions concerning what is known to the world as the Gospel of John. I trust you would at least give me that. I could substitute "the author of the 4th gospel", etc.

    Unless you are going to argue that the 4th gospel is non-canonical, you would have to stipulate, that for the sake of argument, I could re-write the disputed portions of my argument here to fit your convictions (again providing you believe that the 4th gospel is indeed canonical, otherwise, why bother?)

    Seeing this is the fact, would you care to comment on my arguements? If not, this thread is not the place to discuss your most passionate conviction that the apostle John did not author the 4th gospel.

    I would be interested in your arguments. If you have written something, you may bless the readership here with a LINK to your thoughts on the matter. Otherwise, this comment meta is reserved for the arguments concerning repentance.

    Seeing that I am the co-host here at Unashamed of Grace, I will briefly give some thoughts concerning the authorship of the 4th gospel, for my readership. No other comments to this regard will be allowed here, but as I have stated, please do leave a link to something that you would like for us to read concerning your thoughts in this arena.

    John 1:14
    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
    NKJV

    I wasn't there. Jesus did not dwell among me. I did not behold His glory. But the author here is indicating that Jesus dwelt among him and that he personally saw Christ's glory.

    It is reasonable here to suppose that the author intended his readers to understand that the facts of the gospel he was writing about could be authenticated by the fact that he himself witnessed them.

    John 19:35-36
    35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.
    NKJV

    Not much weight could be attributed to this testimony if it merely was referring to someone othe than the author himself, who we already learned saw the Lord's glory with his own eyes.

    That is like me going around saying "This unnamed person saw it, and I believe that his testimony is true, because he says that he knows that he is telling the truth, therefore you should believe."

    Such a suggestion is self-refuting. The author is undoubtedly making reference to himself as an eyewitness in order to attach weight to his testimony concerning not only Jesus' death (which context this statement is found) but the use of the greek 'tauta' suggests that the reference indicates the whole of the Lord's ministry.

    John 21:24
    24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
    NKJV

    Here John identifies the "disciple who Jesus loved" as the author of the 4th gospel, the same one who was the one who laid on Jesus' bosom at the last supper.

    Who is the beloved disciple? Although his name is not given, he was among the group mentioned in 21:2, comprised of Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two others. The unnamed disciple must be among the last four. The same beloved disciple leaned on Jesus' bosom and asked about the betrayer.

    He was in close contact with Peter as the narratives show. He was found with Peter when Mary Magdalene tells them about the disappearance of Jesus' body. Christ's mother was commended into his care. John was of the inner circle of 3 with Peter. Peter and John were selected by Christ to prepare the passover. Peter and John were closely associated with each other in Acts. There is much more evidence. John is never mentioned once in the 4th gospel but is mentioned 20 times in the synoptics.

    I could go on and on with circumstantial evidence which invariably points to Johannine authorship. The biblical testimony is indeed strong. People have been convicted of murder with less circumstantial evidence.

    And I didn't even discuss any of the external evidence for Johannine scholarship, such as Iraneaus and Eusebius, who claim support from Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John.

    You may give links for your arguments to the contrary, but this thread will be reserved for any Traditionalists who rise to the challenge of the opening post which has as its subject matter repentance and its relationship to the appropriation of eternal salvation. You may share all you wish concerning this topic. On the essential nature of your post here, having to do with disputes concerning the authorship of the 4th gospel, please reserve these for your own blog, which I state you may link to here in this comment thread.

    Please abide by my wishes.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, October 03, 2008 10:02:00 AM  

  • Dearest Colin,

    I see that you have not risen to the challenge of providing a passage or verse that conjoins a cause and effect relationship between repentance and eternal salvation. Neither have you found a verse conjoining a command to repent with a resultant of eternal salvation.

    This is quite telling!

    Nor did you deal with the information concerning Paul in Romans 3-5, Galatians, and the fact that Paul only uses the word 5 times in the whole of his 13 epistles. Nor did you deal with the information concerning the apostle John who wrote with an evangelistic purpose who conciously ommitted any reference to repentance whatsoever in his gospel.

    Is Romans 2 the best you have?

    Like the opening post states:

    If this is such an important element in the discussion of the critical components of the gospel message it is odd – no, it is incredible – that not a single verse clearly conjoins a command to repent with a resultant appropriation of: eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification.

    Isn’t the reception of eternal life/justification of utmost importance to a lost sinner on his way to hell? I mean, listen – the information on how a person is initiated into a relationship with God is of dire necessity! Wouldn’t you think that an issue of such great import would be properly clarified by the God who “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4)? Isn’t it unbelievable that in the whole canon of scripture, that if eternal well-being is contingent partly on an act of repentance, that no text whatsoever conditions a result of eternal salvation on such an act?


    I don't think you have allowed that import to sink down deep into your old time evangelical consciousness.

    And all you can come up with is Romans 2? A verse that does not do either thing: have a cause effect relationship between repentance and eternal salvation or a command of repentance with a resultant of eternal life. This observation here, cannot be overemphasized. There is no necessary connection of repentance and eternal salvation, or even hell, in this text.

    Let us make some observations and interpretations of this text, the best you can give to us.

    The judgment of God is on sin, whereby His wrath is currently being displayed, presently, on the earth. Cross reference

    Rom 1:18
    For the wrath of God is revealed [gk present tense] from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    NKJV

    with

    Rom 1:32
    knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death [present consequence]
    NKJV

    and

    Rom 2:2-3
    But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God [which is currently being meted out presently in the world]?
    NKJV

    The judgment of God is presently being expressed through His wrath (anger) toward the ones who practice sin and are unrepentant. Repentance will avert God's judgment upon sins of the inhabitants of the earth. Just look at the story of Ninevah and Jonah. God pronounced doom and wrath, the Ninevites repented, and God spared their city of His wrath. (They later resumed their evil ways and were destroyed some 100+ years later because of God's wrath, we must note).

    God's wrath is both on unrepentant believer and unbeliever alike. Unless they repent, they both alike will be subject to God's temporal judgments against sin, which can include physical death.

    Ezek 33:18-20
    18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say,'The way of the LORD is not fair.' O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways."
    NKJV


    In Romans 1, Paul addresses blatant gentile sin. In Romans 2, he is discussing the "moralist" jews who take themselves to be better off and not worthy of God's temporal wrath and judgment because of their outward morality and standards. But 2:1 states that they have sins that parallel those spoken of in Romans 1 and are rightly subject to God's temporal judgment of sins and wrath.

    Ezek 33:11
    11 Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD,'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'
    NKJV

    There are a number of valid interpretations to this passage that would preclude your understanding of it.

    I don't want to take the time to enumerate them here. I know of at least 3 that take into account the whole context of this passage that does not square with your understanding.

    But nice try, in that this is supposed to be of great importance for man to do for eternal life, and Romans 2 is the best you can do. Like I said, it does not have any cause/effect or command/resultant activity happening there. All that can be authoratatively stated is that men and women treasure of forthemselves wrath for a future temporal date.

    Gen 15:13-16
    13 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
    NKJV

    2 Peter 3:9
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
    NKJV

    God does not want any to die, for He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. He would rather that they repent and live. Repentance averts His temporal wrath. But someday, the iniquity of the world will be full and He will dispense out His wrath full steam (ala Revelation) on the sinful, temporal world, in the Day of the Lord.


    You wrote:

    Since I am commanded to “Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15) then all the benefits of the gospel (including eternal life) come to me on the condition that I repent and believe.

    Jesus was only sent to the lost tribes of Israel. Israel was God's covenant people. Repentance was necessary for Christ to institute the Kingdom of God -- that was what He was preaching!
    Mark 1:15
    "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand."
    NKJV

    Repentance was God's condition to Israel as His covenant people. It was also a condition laid upon them for the institution of the Kingdom of God which was "at hand".

    "Repent" was always a message of the prophets to God's covenant people! It was not some new message. It was a call to RETURN to their God! Precisely what Jesus was commanding!

    Still, you are making illegitimate connections and making no arguments for those connections. Nowhere in Mark are we told that eternal life is conditioned on repentance. You are importing that into the text ripping Christ's command out from its context.

    This is telling, Colin!

    Your position of Ol' Time Evangelicalistic Traditionalism does not have a leg to stand on.

    You cannot answer the arguements posed from John and Paul, nor rise to the challenge to find a single passage or verse that unambiguously conditions eternal salvation on repentance, like we find all over for the simple fact that faith alone in Christ alone is how one receives eternal life.

    You are allowing your theology to inform your reading of the Bible, rather than the opposite. There is no evidence for your theology. The strongest evidence is that God does not require repentance to recieve His gift of eternal life.

    And your attempt to divert from this fact with your vain struggle to find any scripture that conditions eternal salvation on repentance, and your subsequent assertions which do not have a cogent argument attached to them, is a supreme indicator of the weakness of the Traditionalist theology.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, October 03, 2008 11:30:00 AM  

  • Excellent Antonio!!!

    But I don't understand why it would really make any difference to the Calvinist who doesn’t have to believe anything to be born again but is born again so that he will repent and believe. That surely isn’t Ol’ time Evangelicalism.
    But than as Zane quoted in that last Grace In Focus:
    It must be pointed out that typical Lordship theologians insist that they believe in salvation by faith alone. Not to insist on this would be to give up the sola fide of Reformation doctrine, which most are not willing to do. Instead, they redefine saving faith so that it fits the parameters of their own doctrine. In the process, biblical faith becomes unrecognizable because in Lordship thought it takes the form of self-surrender instead of simple confidence in Jesus Christ.

    I know they would say they are being mis-represented by calling them Lordship. But what caught my attention is Instead, they redefine saving faith so that it fits the parameters of their own doctrine.
    Other words they get it all in there because regeneration happens first. So they can say no we don't believe that, but if it's not there after the fact then they never were born again.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, October 03, 2008 3:36:00 PM  

  • God's wrath is both on unrepentant believer and unbeliever alike

    ought to say

    God's wrath is both on unrepentant believer and unrepentant believer alike

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, October 03, 2008 6:58:00 PM  

  • Yes, the wrath of God can be upon believers.

    The Lord's anger burned against Moses.

    Was Moses not justified? If we deny that believers can be under God's wrath we must become extreme Dispensationalists who deny the justification of OT saints.

    God Bless

    Matt

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 04, 2008 3:10:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    One of the main differences between your Modernist view of the Bible and my Old Evangelicalism (my position being something which you acknowledge ala your reference to my old time evangelical consciousness)
    is that I treat the Bible as a whole. Thus, it matters not to me where truth appears in the Bible i.e. in what particular book, when we have the whole. Granted, the canon of Scripture was not formally discerned/decided until a later date, but this does not mean that the Lord’s people beforehand did not have access to the whole canon of Scripture.

    If you are going to relegate the judgement warned of in Romans 1-2 to a temporal nature, then we may consistently assume that the salvation and redemption spoken of in the later chapters also pertains to a temporal kind. I reject your novel view. The Athenians in Acts 17 would love it.

    Repentance is not only for the Jew, because God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30) since He has appointed a day in which He will judge the whole world i.e. Jew and Gentile alike (Acts 17:31)

    In Romans 2, the wrath that follows impenitence is contrasted with the glory and honour and eternal life that flows to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for them. Once again: The impenitent heart does not enjoy eternal life, but a treasured up wrath against the Day of Wrath, then it is both logical, reasonable and Biblical to insist that men sinners repent to avoid it.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Saturday, October 04, 2008 3:44:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger bk, at Saturday, October 04, 2008 10:31:00 PM  

  • bk,

    Your last comment was deleted per my warning..

    Not only did you not answer the arguments I brought up, you merely cut and pasted something you probably do all over the blogosphere.

    If anyone wants to read the arguments of bk, he left this url:

    www.TheDiscipleWhomJesusLoved.com

    Go there at your own risk...

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, October 04, 2008 10:56:00 PM  

  • Colin,

    something 4 u tomorrow

    By Blogger Antonio, at Saturday, October 04, 2008 10:58:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    You said, "In Romans 1, Paul addresses blatant gentile sin. In Romans 2, he is discussing the "moralist" jews who take themselves to be better off and not worthy of God's temporal wrath and judgment because of their outward morality and standards. But 2:1 states that they have sins that parallel those spoken of in Romans 1 and are rightly subject to God's temporal judgment of sins and wrath."

    Have you read Romans 2? Here is verses 5 through 8.

    Romans 2:5-8 "But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation."

    What does Paul say will happen on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God? He will render to each person according to his deeds, will He not? Paul is not referring to temporal judgment, he is talking about the day of judgment.

    And what will His judgment be? Those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, what do they receive? Eternal life. Is this a different "eternal life" than what John speaks of in chapter 3 of his gospel?

    Those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, what do they receive? Wrath and indignation.

    So, the one who is unrepentant, storing up for himself wrath in the of judgment does not receive eternal life. But the repentant one, the one who is doing good, seeking glory and honor and immortality, they will not experience God's wrath in the day of judgment, they receive eternal life.

    That's why Paul is not ashamed of the GOSPEL, it's the power of God for salvation to everyone who BELIEVES.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Tuesday, October 07, 2008 11:17:00 AM  

  • Do Believers Experience the Wrath of God?

    Quote
    God’s wrath also falls upon the regenerate, as one can reasonably
    argue from Heb 3:11 and 4:3. In Heb 3:7-15, the writer exhorts the
    Hebrew Christians by quoting from Ps 95:7-11. This is an appropriate
    worship psalm for this occasion. The author’s audience is on the verge of
    leaving the Christian worship system (cf. 10:25) and returning to
    Judaism.22 Three clues give evidence to the fact that these were Hebrew
    Christians.
    ===============
    Quote
    Thus, even in passages that speak of God’s future wrath, this writer
    could not find one single instance where wrath referred unambiguously
    to eternal punishment. Wherever God’s future wrath appears, it can
    reasonably be argued, given the context, as referring to the time of the
    tribulation judgment. Whether God’s wrath should ever be understood as
    eternal judgment is highly questionable.42 Instead, God’s wrath should be
    defined as His temporal displeasure and display of judgment against all
    human sin, whether performed by unbelievers or sinning believers. This
    is also true in the Book of Romans.

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002ii/lopez.pdf

    Enjoy!

    By Blogger anton, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 2:40:00 AM  

  • Anton, quite so.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 7:16:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    What then is the "Wrath of God"? Is it an outburst of anger through which God inflicts pain on people?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 10:02:00 AM  

  • And Matthew, what about Revelation 14:9-11

    "Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

    Would not the language here reveal that those who worship the beast will experience the wrath of God, they'll be tormented with fire and brimstone and the smoke of their torment goes up FOREVER and EVER. Sounds like eternal wrath to me. Is it just temporary?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 10:15:00 AM  

  • “Great White Throne Judgment” of Revelation 20. The term “the
    righteous judgment of God” in Rom 2:5 appears only once in the entire
    NT. However, a variant occurs in 2 Thess 1:5: “righteous judgment of
    God.” Upon a closer examination of the context of 2 Thess 1:4-9, we
    discover other terms like “tribulations,” “revealed,” “flaming fire”
    [=judgment, cf. Rev 1:14; 2:18], “everlasting,” “obey,” and “glory”
    which are all found in Rom 2:5-8. Of course, 2 Thess 1:4-9 refers to Rev
    19:11-16 which is part of “that day,” “the day of wrath,” and “the day of
    the Lord.”
    In 2:5 Paul refers to “the day of wrath” (en he„mera orge„s), also
    known as “the day of the Lord,” which is located in the seven-year tribulation
    period when God will judge the world.52 Numerous passages
    point to this coming day (Isa 2:12; 13:6, 9; 24:21; Jer 24:21; Joel 2–3;
    Ezek 7:7; Zeph 1:7, 14-15, 18; 2:3; Mal 3:2; 4:1; possibly Rom 9:22;
    1 Thess 1:10; 5:9). It will culminate at the tribulation with “indignation
    and wrath” (=orge„ kai thymos, 2:8). This phrase is used three times by
    John in Rev 14:10; 16:19; 19:15 and it refers to God’s judgment in the
    tribulation.

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002ii/lopez.pdf

    By Blogger anton, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 11:19:00 AM  

  • Anton, in that passage the people referred to do suffer everlasting punishment.

    We should not assume that the wrath of God is always manifested the same way.

    Where the wrath of God is mentioned in a text we have to consider carefully who the subjects are and how the wrath is displayed.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 1:53:00 PM  

  • Matt,

    I must insist that there is not one instance in the whole of scripture that speaks of God's wrath in an everlasting sense. God's anger DOES NOT LAST FOREVER, but the consequences of man's lack of life does.

    God's wrath is only demonstrated in TIME.

    "The Day of the Lord," although having two major ranges, always refers to the display and execution of God's anger in time. The well attested usage of it refers to God's eschatological wrath in the tribulation. This is THE Day of the Lord, in its culmination of world history.

    There is not one usage of the wrath of God which refers to the eternal. God's wrath does not last for ever. And the culmination of His wrath will be exercised in time, not to spill over into eternity.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 08, 2008 7:14:00 PM  

  • Okay.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 12:30:00 AM  

  • Hang on, that comment I made about everlasting punishment was directed at Ten Cent, not Anton.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 12:31:00 AM  

  • Antonio, I don't think I did say God's wrath was eternal in nature.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 12:31:00 AM  

  • Sorry to get you confused, Anton.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 2:06:00 AM  

  • I am sure I am not the only one who gets confused in these exchanges.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 2:07:00 AM  

  • Is 5 in-a-row a record?:o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 5:35:00 AM  

  • So, Matthew, Antonio,

    What is God's wrath?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 6:46:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    What about Matthew 25:46?
    "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

    Is the wrath of God punishment? Does this not say that they go away into ETERNAL punishment?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 6:51:00 AM  

  • Have a look in your dictionary, Ten Cent.

    You might find that wrath and punishment are two different things.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 7:21:00 AM  

  • OK, Matthew, I'll give you that they have different meanings, but you'd have to agree that they are closely connected.

    And you still haven't said what the Wrath of God is.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 7:52:00 AM  

  • "Repentance is NOT a condition of eternal salvation"

    Of course not, because if it was then Paul would not have said "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:30) Clearly what Paul actually means is that rather than commanding all men to repent because he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, instead of this, God commanded all men to become Calvinists and "turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness" as Jude says in Jude 1:4. Oh wait, that's not right. Why would Paul say something so stupid? Perhaps because "God is not the author of peace, but of confusion, as in all churches of the Calvinists." Oh wait, that's not right either, because 1st Corinthians 14:33 actually says "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."

    What about where Peter says 1 Pet 1:13-19 (KJV) "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; {14} As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: {15} But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; {16} Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. {17} And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: {18} Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
    ? Clearly what he really meant as Owen, Calvin, Luther, Edwards, Spurgeon, Beza, Sprawl, and Piper would learn you, is that we ought to fashion ourselves after our former lusts and "trample Christ underfoot." After all, doesn't Hebrew 10:26 say "if we continue in wilfull sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, we get more sacrifice for sins"? Wait a minute! No, it doesn't say that. It says in Heb 10:26-29 (NASB) "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, {27} but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. {28} Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. {29} How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?"

    By Blogger beowulf2k8, at Thursday, October 09, 2008 8:57:00 PM  

  • He cannot point to even one text that explicitely commands repentance for the express purpose of the appropriation of eternal life. There is no such verse or passage.

    What a wild claim. Especially since repentance and faith are really the same thing viewed from different perspectives. Repentance is turning away from our sin and to God (Acts 3:19; 20:21; 26:20; Hebrews 6:1). F. Leroy Forlines explains this very well:

    “While repentance includes a ‘from’ and a ‘to,’ the stress of repentance is on the to instead of the from. Repentance is a forward moving word. This is not to diminish the importance of the from. It is to place primary focus on the to. The ‘to’ of repentance is identical with faith. In Acts 20:21 Paul speaks of repentance toward God.’ In 2 Timothy 2:25, he speaks of ‘repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.’ Faith and repentance are involved in each other. To exercise faith implies a change from unbelief, whatever the from of unbelief may be. Repentance terminates in faith. If we tell a person to repent, or if we tell him to believe, we are telling him to do the same thing. Repent stresses that change is involved. Faith stresses the end to which change is directed.” [The Quest for Truth, pp. 254, 255]

    You can’t turn towards God without turning away from sin and you can’t turn away from sin without turning towards God. You also need to realize that how often a writer uses a certain word does nothing to make your case. Paul likes to use the word “justification” to describe God’s forgiveness and the right standing with God that results from that forgiveness. Peter prefers to speak only of forgiveness and does not use justification. But they are talking about essentially the same thing. Will you argue that Peter does not believe justification is necessary for salvation because he does not use the word?

    Forgiveness is often tied directly to repentance in the NT both in the gospels and the epistles as well as in Acts, and plainly implies justification before God (you can’t be justified without being forgiven and you can’t receive forgiveness without repentance: Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 2 Cor. 7:10).

    Nowhere in the Bible is the reception of eternal salvation, eternal life, or justification conditioned on an act of repentance.

    This is plainly false. Two passages come to mind immediately. Acts 11:18 states, “When they heard this they had not further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even Gentiles repentance unto life’” Now what sort of life do you suppose they are speaking of here? Something other than eternal life?

    And look at 2 Pet. 3:9, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Do you see that? Either you repent or perish. The way to avoid perishing (attain life) is to repent. That plainly means that repentance is necessary for receiving eternal life. Peter likes to focus on the repentance aspect of the condition and Paul likes to focus on the faith part of the condition, but it is still just one condition viewed from different perspectives.

    Repentance is certainly necessary for justification and the reception of eternal life. Paul says repentance leads to “salvation” in 2 Cor. 7:10. This is both explicitly and implicitly taught in Scripture (and BTW, even if it was only implicitly taught it would still be valid doctrinally just as the Trinity is only implicitly taught in Scripture, and yet is an essential Christian doctrine).

    It seems to me that you have not even come close to making your case and never will as Scripture is clearly against you “argument.”

    God Bless,
    Ben

    By Blogger kangaroodort, at Friday, October 10, 2008 7:54:00 AM  

  • Teb Cent, how about 'the temporal manifestation of God's anger against sin?'

    I am sure somebody could suggest a better definition.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 10, 2008 9:17:00 AM  

  • So Matthew, would one manifestation be separation from God? Is that not an expression of God's anger? Wasn't that what Christ experienced on the cross?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Monday, October 13, 2008 9:40:00 AM  

  • Friends,

    HOPE SOMEONE WILL ANSWER THIS!!!
    What do you do with the little child who has simply believed in Jesus as his only way to heaven?
    No repentance there!!!

    Thank you.

    Diane

    By Blogger Diane, at Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:36:00 AM  

  • Diane,

    Repentance is an act necessary for the morally responsible adult. An adult who is morally responsible (and BTW the Bible is written to morally responsible adults, not that children cannot learn from Scripture, but they are not the ones being addressed) must repent to be saved. For the morally responsible adult you cannot have faith without repentance.

    A child who is not yet morally responsible (before the age of accountability) does not have a firm grasp on what sin is and is therefore not held to the same standard as an adult. A child can trust in Christ without repentance because their lack of moral understanding and accountability makes repentance essentially irrelevant for them. This is not the case for morally responsible adults.

    We could extend this to the unborn or infants. If you believe that the unborn and infants do not need faith to be saved then you draw a similar distinction. God does not hold them accountable to beleive since faith is not possible for them. He saves them unconditionally. But God does not save that way with morally responsible adults. He saves them on the condition of repentance/faith. Hope that helps.

    God Bless,
    Ben

    By Blogger kangaroodort, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 10:29:00 AM  

  • Hi Ben,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Could I please ask you another question?
    What happens to this little 3 year old girl when she reaches the age that you believe she is morally responsible? Does she have to repent and believe at that time and be "born again" AGAIN?

    She DOES understand that Jesus came to earth from God to give eternal life to people as a gift if they will believe only in Him. She DOES understand that people who don't believe in Him do not get to go live with Him when they die (move out of their bodies). In fact, it bothers her when she hears that people die who didn't believe in Him. This little girl has child like faith. She's born again. How can she be born again AGAIN???

    Thank you.

    Your friend in Christ,
    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Saturday, October 18, 2008 10:55:00 AM  

  • Hi Ben,

    Just wanted to let you and others know that I posted your comment about children's salvation (not your name) at Antonio's other blog for discussion....
    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2008/09/unconditional-gift-of-god.html
    dated... Oct 20, 2008 9:34 PM

    Thank you.
    Diane

    By Blogger Diane, at Monday, October 20, 2008 9:42:00 PM  

  • Diane,

    She may understand all of that but (likely) not understand it to the extant that would constitute moral resonsibility.

    In the case of infants and newborns I would not call them "born again" but would say that they are in a state of grace where God does not count their sins against them. So they are not fully experiencing spiritual death. Paul says in Rom. 7:9-11, he was "alive" prior to becoming conscious of the law and therefore morally responsible for his sin. No doubt this is not quite the same as the abundant life received in Christ by those who are born again. When he became fully aware of his sin and willfully violated the commands of God, he "died" and would then be in a position of needing life (the new birth).

    So I would say that a child who puts trust in Christ without being morally responsible enough to fully understand the nature of sin and therefore the need of repentance, is not yet born again. She is in a state of grace, but the new birth has reference to those who have died in sin (which implies moral reponsibility and willful sin) and therefore need a resurrection by way of the life that is found in Christ alone (and for them this would include repentance).

    You will notice that in John 3 where Jesus discusses the new birth, he ties it to the need for atonement and looking to that atonement in faith (John 3:15-18). A child cannot look to the atonement in faith or trust in the blood of Christ prior to the mental capacity necessary for understanding what sin is and how it seperates us from God (and therefore the need for atonement).

    Really, it is mostly speculation when speaking of how God relates to and saves children as the Bible never directly addresses it (which is why I mentioned that the Bible is written to morally responsible adults). But however we understand the way God saves children prior to an age of accountability, we can be certain that repentance is necessary for the salvation of morally responsible adults.

    God Bless,
    Ben

    By Blogger kangaroodort, at Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:30:00 PM  

  • Hi Ben,

    Thank you for your reply.
    I have to respectfully disagree with you because I don't believe that the Bible teaches that repentance is a requirement for the free gift of eternal life. If everyone could come to grips with John, then the rest of the Bible would open up beautifully to this truth.

    Your position is that children cannot be born again because they are ALL under the age of accountability (whatever age that is)... because they don't have the capacity to realize their own sinfulness and repent.
    Well, I personally never repented either when I got saved as a teenager in high school. The Holy Spirit just turned the light on for me to understand WHY Jesus died. It was to pay for my sins personally so that He could give me the free gift of eternal life when I believed in Him for it. Faith happened for me just by understanding John 3:16. There was nothing that I repented of.

    The death and resurrection of Christ is the 8th sign recorded in John for the purpose of bringing people to believe in Christ for eternal life.
    Today (after the cross) most of us come to believe in Him as the Christ when we get to the PLACE where we understand the purpose for His death and resurrection. That's what happened to me. But believing in the 8th sign is not a requirement for salvation.
    This little 3 year old girl came to believe in Him as the Christ (giver of eternal life) BEFORE she understood the 8th sign. That's what happen with all the apostles. Just because we now live AFTER the cross doesn't mean that the content of the saving message to be believed has changed. It hasn't!!! But now we have more of the picture of HOW Jesus provided for our salvation. John makes it real clear that His death and resurrection is the 8th sign.... for the purpose of bringing someone to believe in Him as the Christ. That little 3 year old girl believes that Jesus is the giver of eternal life. So she believes that He is the Christ. That's what John says we are to believe to be born again. Taking God at His Word... she is born again!!! No repentance is required. Repentance isn't even mentioned in John.

    Repentance is something we do. We decide to turn from our sins. But salvation is of the Lord. He does it all..... 100%. It's not that He did His part of 99% and we must do our part (repent) 1%. NO! It's never about us. It's about Him and what He did for us. We're just the recipients of His gift when we believe. We just come to him with open hands, and He gives us His gift of eternal life freely as a gift when we believe. Isn't that just the most wonderful message one could ever hear!!! It's really FREE!!! FREE!!! FREE!!! Praise God!

    So Children are not the only ones who get saved by just believing in Jesus for everlasting life. Adults also get saved that same way. In fact, repentance has nothing to do with getting saved. Believing is the only condition, and that is not a work. It's just being a recipient of a free gift. Sometimes repentance puts a person into the position to more easily hear and accept God's free gift through faith in His Son because their attitude has changed and they have a softer heart to hear the saving message. But repentance is never a condition in receiving eternal life. Salvation is a free gift to all who believe. BELIEVE... the only condition.

    Ben, I recognize that you are probably in the majority in believing that repentance is required. But the book of John clearly shows that believing in Jesus as the Christ is the only condition to have eternal life.
    Paul, Luke, Peter, and all the others in the Bible are in total agreement with John.

    Thanks for being so courteous in your reply. Even though we disagree, you are another friend I've met on the blog, and I'm very glad to meet you.

    Wishing you God's best,
    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:31:00 PM  

  • Here is a little three year old girl who has been made aware of her need,
    by seeing death.

    Her mother believes and knows that Jesus invites
    “whoever”
    to come and take of the water of life freely.

    Who are we to say to a child who thirsts for Jesus living water
    “that they cannot take it?”

    That’s like telling them their not old enough to thirst.


    Revelation 22:17

    And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

    And let him who hears say, “Come!”

    And let him who thirsts come.

    Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.



    This little three year old girl has “Come!”

    Because she has heard Jesus invitation to “Come!”

    Death had made her thirsty for that living water!

    She is one of the “whoever” that desired to take it freely!

    And when she drank (believed Jesus promise) the living water sprang-up into eternal life!!!!

    Matthew 19:14
    But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    Mark 9:42
    And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.


    Just a word of warning: before I would tell a little child they were not old enough to come to Jesus I would be looking for a millstone for a necklace.



    Psalm 36:7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
    Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
    8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
    And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
    9 For with You is the fountain of life;
    In Your light we see light.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, October 22, 2008 7:19:00 PM  

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