Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Repentance Not Optional

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

If you want to enter the narrow gate you must repent. Many Jews during Jesus’ time believed that just being physical descendants of Abraham was sufficient for entrance into heaven. And many people today believe that simply being churchgoers or morally good people qualifies them for salvation. After all, they reason, God is too benevolent to exclude anyone but the most evil people.

God does desire that everyone enter the narrow gate because He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). But you will not pass through the narrow gate unless you follow Charles Spurgeon’s admonition: “You and your sins must separate or you and your God will never come together. No one sin may you keep; they must all be given up, they must be brought out like Canaanite kings from the cave and be hanged up in the sun.”

HT: John MacArthur


Anonymous said...

I have to say that repentance is optional for some. I was watching John Hagee this evening and had to laugh; the people wanting to receive Christ were asked to lift an arm and come forward. Never do you see in Scripture an aisle walked and a prayer prayed by a sinner. My heart really sank where there was no repentance mentioned by him. We must turn and continually turn and repent from our sins when we are in Christ. To me, it seems like we are deceiving people to tell them they are okay and going to heaven; there is no need to repent from sin.

Justice said...

Jonathan Edwards himself notes that the mind, active in repentance, is passive in regeneration. Edwards often notes that conversion too has reference to the passivity of the mind as well as its reflex activity. He especially observes that repentance is a change of the mind, which he constantly attributes exclusively to God, the mind of man being passive (if not hostile) at the time of the change. Man's active turning away from sin and toward God is, again, a reflex of God's activity in changing. So, in Edwards, regeneration, repentance, conversion, and effectual calling possess this feature of passivity, though they are all followed by a human response, of course.