LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

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Location: Horsham, Pennsylvania, United States

John is a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 41st year working on a wide variety of projects. He works on churches convenience stores, residences, and academies as well as industrial projects. He has helped in numerous property acquisitions and worked with real estate investors. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 55 years, he served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on "It's Your Call" TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage. John is a "Tentmaking Evangelist" (Architect). An Evangelist with the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 35th year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, and economic situations, and the producer of three weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley, a weekly message from current events on the WIlkins Radio network, and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many radio programs and written articles on the Internet.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

SALVATION CONTROVERSIES

Read an article that puts almost every minister/ ministry on their "false list". They are Free Grace people who say that repentance is not necessary to be saved. This is utterly absurd. but in the spirit of Christian kindness, perhaps they really never understood what repentance is. Read through this and tell me if you agree -
Repentance is essential for salvation. If a person does not repent, he will perish (Luke 13:3,5). God has commanded all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Repentance is absolutely necessary. "It is as dogmatically stated as language can declare, that repentance is essential to salvation and that none could be saved apart from repentance" (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. III, p. 373).
Repentance is not a requirement of salvation in addition to faith. "Faith and repentance are indissolubly linked together" (Ironside). "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. There are many passages which mention faith as the sole condition of salvation (Luke 8:12; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; 20:31; Acts 16:31; 10:43; Rom. 3:28; 4:5; 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 1:21; Gal. 2:16; 3:26; Eph. 2:8-9; etc. ). There are other passages which mention repentance as the sole condition of salvation (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 3:19; 17:30; 2 Pet. 3:9). This is not a contradiction at all. Some passages mention both terms (Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15). The mention of one term implies the other. The person who has truly repented has truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The person who has truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ has truly repented. "So intimately are the two [faith and repentance] 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. 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" (Harry Ironside, Except Ye Repent, p. 16).
The opposition to repentance is largely that it is "works salvation" or "Lordship Salvation". First, repentance is a change in the heart, not a new set of great works we do in order to be saved. "It is not by works of righteousness which we have done..." Without a change of heart, one cannot believe. I had a change of heart in 1955 when I was convicted that I was a sinner. That conviction led me to become joined to Christ for salvation, believing in the propitiation for my sins paid for by Christ. We are saved UNTO good works, not BECAUSE of them. Ministries like Joseph Prince are "HyperGrace" and actually forbid Christians from repenting once they are saved. I do not know where I would be today if I never repented as a Christian, and I have been born again for over 64 years.
In terms of Lordship, you would need a mighty big scissors or eraser to change all the references to the LORD JESUS CHRIST. One of the thieves on the cross called Jesus LORD. When you become saved, you must believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST. When you become saved, you are turning over your life to him. You are dealing with GOD here - you cannot be rebelling against God and simply try to grab a free gift. Salvation is NEVER simply "fire insurance" in the Bible. Now, I used to belong to a church where the Pastor asked those who had never confessed Jesus Christ as Lord per Romans 10:9 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;" and one by one at least half of the church stood and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. That church grew to five times its original size. We need to preach the full gospel.
I believe the FACT that so many have uttered a "sinner's prayer" or gone up front have no fruit or in many cases do not even make a pretense of serving Christ is because of the weak presentations of the gospel which are totally different from those in the New Testament. I have heard "Try Jesus." "What do you have to lose?" "If you died tonight..." Repentance is a gift of God and it is God who saves, not words or good intentions or even prayers. If God is quickening your heart to abhor your sin and to want forgiveness and be a child of God, and you believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, you are there - you have received the gifts of repentance and faith toward God - simply confess your sins to God and ask him for his forgiveness. Tell him you accept Christ's sacrifice on the cross on your behalf and that you now belong to him." If you do that, you will respond to his commands which are not burdensome but liberating. The Holy Spirit will take up residence inside you to enable you for obey the Lord. Do not refuse the Lord if he is calling you. If you do not sense him calling you, if you need faith to believe that Jesus is indeed God, cry out to him and ask him to do whatever is needed for you to respond to him and be saved, for God is not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

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