This morning I want to preach on the subject of repentance, and specifically repentance in regard to salvation. The reason that I want to preach about this is that I believe it is one of the greatest battles of our generation. Let me rephrase that. It's the greatest battle of every generation. The doctrine that salvation is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, "Not of works lest any men should boast." All the way to Cain and Abel, this is what it comes down to. Is it our produce, is it the works of our hand, that will be acceptable for the Lord as an offering for our sin? Is it the blood of the land, when Abel brought of the first flings of the flock that saves us from our sins? Is it Jesus Christ finished work on the cross and the [perpetuation 00:00:51] through faith in His blood? Is it turning over of a new leaf? Turning from our sins? Turning from our wicked ways in order to be saved?
What is salvation? Is salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ or is it by faith and you have to clean up your life, or and you have to be willing to clean up your life, or and you have to give up this sin, or give up that sin, or turn from this evil way, or turn over there? You hear these phrases that roll off the tongue like, "Turn from sin to the savior. Turn from sin unto Christ." But turning from sin is works.
Pastor: Okay? The proof for that, and I'm not going to turn there for the sake of time, I do want you to turn to Luke, chapter 1. While you're turning there, I'll just quote for you from Jonah 3:10, where it says, "And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not." What that's saying is, that turning from our evil way is works in the side of God. When God looks down and sees people turning from their evil way, He calls it works, in Jonah 3:10.
Now, turning from your evil way is great, but it's not going to save you. Going to church is great; not going to save you. Getting baptized is great, but it's not going to save you. Reading the bible every day is great; not going to save you. Praying every night is great; not going to save you. Whatever you do on a continual basis to serve the Lord, whether it be feeding the poor, or whether it be going to door to door and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, those are all good thing to do but none of them saves you because salvation is a free gift of God that's been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. You either get saved for free or you don't get saved.
Pastor: You receive it as a gift or you don't receive it.
Pastor: You get saved easy or you don't get saved at all, because if it's hard it's not salvation. Because "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe."
Pastor: What I wanted to turn to in Luke Chapter 1, to show you, is the purpose of the Book of Luke. This morning I want to focus on 2 books because this is such a big subject of repentance. In order to just cover this subject in the whole bible, would not be possible in one sermon. I want to focus in on 2 books. I want to focus on the Book of John, and I want to focus on the Book of Acts. Especially, I'm going to focus on Acts. The reason that I've chosen these books is because of the fact that John is the book the flat out tells you, it's written to tell people how to be saved. It's the only book that makes that claim and says that it's written for people to get saved as a result.
The reason that I've chosen the Book of Acts is because Acts is one of the books that mentions repentance the most in the New Testament. John doesn't mention repentance at all. The word repent is never found in the whole Book of John. Now it's interesting that a book about about how to be saved uses the word believe 101 times. 101 times he said believe. He didn't use the word repent at all. My question to these people who want to make salvation all about you repenting of your sins and turning from your sins is, how did God give us a book that claims to be about getting people saved that never mentions it one time?
Pastor: Okay. I want to show you that in John, but I also want to show you in the Book of Acts because Acts is one of the books in the New Testament that mentions repentance the most. I want to look at every time the word repent is used on the Book of Acts and see what God is telling people to repent from, what is the context, what's going on in that story. First of all, another book that uses the word repent a lot is the Book of Luke, okay? In fact, the 3 books that use the word repent the most in the New Testament are Luke, Acts and Revelation. We could have focused on Luke this morning, we could have focused on Revelation. I've chosen Acts to be the focus this morning. What's interesting is that John wrote Revelation, so it's not like John just doesn't know the word repent or it's just not a word that he uses, he likes to use different words. When he wrote Revelations he used it 12 times, so that's a word he used.
Let's look at the purpose of the Book of Luke versus the purpose for the Book of John. Look at Luke, chapter 1, verse 1. "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."
Now, there's no doubt, from these first 4 verses, that this book has been written unto us as believers who are already most surely have believed in Jesus Christ, in order to confirm us and show us the certainty of the things that we believe in. Isn't that what it says? Even in verse 1 he says, "I'm writing a declaration ..." Look at the second half, "... of those things which are most surely believed among us ..." He says, in verse 4, "... that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."
Go to John, chapter 20. Let's compare that with what the Book of John says. John, chapter 20, verse 30 says, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 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." In John we see the book is being written that you might believe on Christ and have eternal life. Whereas Luke is saying, "I'm writing unto people that believe on Christ so that you can know the certainty of what you believe, and so that you can be straightened and confirmed in the faith that you already have."
Pastor: Different purpose. That's why there is a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, a John. They have different purposes that God spells out, and they have different emphasis. Matthew emphasizes things in regard to the Hebrew Old Testament that are not as emphasized in some of the other books, and so on and so forth. Turn to Acts, chapter 2. While you're turning there, let me just give you some verses from the Book of John because, remember, John is the book to tell us how to be saved. That's what it says. These are written, "that you might believe." Unlike Luke, which said, "Hey, there are written to you that are already saved, that already believed."
Listen to some verses from the Book of John. John 1:12. You don't have to turn there. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:18. "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:36. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
How about John 5:24? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." How about John 6:47? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life." How about John 10:28? "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." How about John 11:25-26? "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
There're more scriptures. There're 101 mentions of the term believe. We could go through John 6 alone and see there's a tour de force of believe scriptures. The bottom line is, that over and over again in the Book of John, he tells us that if we believe we will have eternal life, we will have everlasting life, let alone all the other scriptures that talk about the fact that "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." One of my favorites, Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works saying, 'Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.'"
Pastor: He said, "him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." So many scriptures, so many places in the bible that tell us this. Yet people come along and they tell us, "No, believing is not enough." "What must I do to be saved? And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." No, not enough. You also must turn from your sins. You also must repent of your sins in order to be saved. Now, we're going to look at every time repent is used in Acts because this is one of the books where it's used the most. These are the verses that people try to point you to many times, to tell you, "Hey, you have to repent of your sins to be saved."
What you'll notice about people who teach this doctrine is that they just add the phrase "of your sins" to the word of God. The bible says repent, and they have this filter in their mind, where every time they see the word repent, what they hear is, "Repent of your sins." They're not getting just the pure word of God. They're adding their own bias of saying, "Oh, repent of your sins." You'll say, "Show me in the bible where you have to repent of your sins to be saved." They'll show you a verse that says "repent." Okay. The problem is that today, in our modern vernacular, we don't really use the word repent in everyday speech.
In Spanish they do use it in everyday speech. They'll use the word repent in an everyday situation. "Hey, I was going to go to the grocery store but I repented." Now if we said that in America, speaking English, people would think, "Whoa. You're talking in the King's English? How art thou, my friend?" They'd think, "What are you doing?" In other languages that word has stuck around. In English, unfortunately, it's a word we don't really use. Therefore, because it's a word we don't really use, a lot of people have forgotten what it means. It's really easy for a preacher to get up and tell them it means something different than what it really means.
A Spanish person, they hear somebody say, "I was going to go to the grocery store but I repented." They're not thinking, "Well, was it sinful for you to go to the grocery store?" Because they don't have the bias of, "Just repent is repent of your sins." You know? They haven't been taught that. They just hear repent, "I repented of going to the grocery store." How do we say that in English? "I was going to go to the grocery store but I changed my mind." Or, "I was going to go to the grocery store and I changed plans or I did something different." The word repent, just to help you understand it, it simply means to turn or to change, okay? That's what the word repent means. Now, how do we know what's being turned from, or what's being turned to, or what are we changing, or changing our mind about, or changing our axis about?
It's always determined by the context. You have to look at the context to see what is being turned from, what is being repented up. "No, no, no, repentance means to be sorry for your sins. It means to turn from sin." Wait a minute. God repented more than anyone else in the whole bible. If you look at all of the 105 verses in the bible that use the word repent, look all 105 of them, and see who repented the most. It was God. God doesn't have any sin.
Pastor: If repent means turn from sin, be sorry from sin, then God would be a sinner. We know that that's false. God is not a sinner. Let's look at these mentions in the Book of Acts and let's see if we can get a context of what is being repented of in each. I'm not just going to cherry-pick this morning and just say, "Hey, let's just cherry-pick certain verses that bolster my doctrine." You know what we're going to do? We're looking at every mention in the Book of Acts. A major book in the bible. We could have done this in Luke, we could have done it in Revelation. A couple of years from now I'll probably do that in a different sermon, but today it's Acts. It will be just as easy to do with those.
Let's go to Acts 2 and start reading at verse 21. Let's get context to figure out what's being repented of. Acts 2:21. This is a great verse. "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Does that have anything to do with giving up your sins, or turning over a new leaf, or living a godly lifestyle, just calling on to the name of the Lord? Does that sound like you joined Alcoholics Anonymous and you quit drinking?
Pastor: No. You call on the Lord by faith. It's the word of faith which we preach. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Let's keep reading. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." "Ye men of Israel ..." Verse 22. "Hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."
Jump down to verse 37 for sake of time. "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, 1Men and brethren, what shall we do?1" Then Peter said unto them, "Quit drinking. You guys were drunk when you crucified Jesus." Is that what he's saying?
Pastor: What should we do? "Stop living with your girlfriend, Pharisee, a bunch of Pharisees, and your concubines." Is that even the subject of the chapter at all? People giving up their sinful life? Did he say, "I'll tell you what to do. You need to quit going to that casino that you're going to. You need to quit going to the gentlemen's club. You need to quit watching all that garbage on your TV." Is that what he's saying here?
Pastor: Let's get the context here. He says, "Look, you rejected Jesus. You crucified Jesus. You didn't believe in Jesus. He rose from the dead. This is the fulfillment of prophecy. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. That name of the Lord in the New Testament that we revealed is Jesus."
Pastor: They're pricked in the heart. About what? "I knew I shouldn't have drank so much last night." No, they're pricked in the heart about rejecting the Lord Jesus, and so they're like, "What do we do?" He said onto them, Peter said them, "Repent." Now he said repent of your sinful life? No. He's saying, "Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ." Look, why is he bringing up the name of Jesus Christ? Who did they reject?
Congregation: Jesus Christ.
Pastor: Jesus Christ. They're like, "What should we do?" Well, you should repent and you should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ because "that's the name that's been given among men whereby we must be saved." When we see the word repent, which simply means to turn, or to change, or change your mind, what is it that needs to change here? The thing that needs to change is that they need to accept Jesus as their messiah because what did they do wrong? They rejected Him. What needs to change? They need to turn to Him. How are they going to make a public show of that? By getting baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. To publicly acknowledge whom they publicly condemned.
It says, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins." The word "for" there means "because of." Like, "Wanted for murder." It doesn't mean you're trying to hire someone to go commit murder for you. When you say, "Wanted for murder." They're wanted because of a murder that already took place. The bible says, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." We see in the first mention in Acts, there's no repent of your sins here. There's no turn from a life of sin. There's no, you're not going to walk in your old ways anymore. No, it's all about putting your faith in Jesus.
Pastor: Go to Acts 3. We're skipping nothing. We're leaving no stone unturned. Every mention of repentance in the Book of Acts, we're going to look at it. Acts, chapter 3, verse 12. "And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."
"And his name through faith ..." Through faith, through faith, through faith "in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God had before shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you."
What's the context? What are we talking about here? Same exact thing as chapter 2. This is pretty much a repeat of the chapter 2 speech of, "You killed Jesus. You were wrong. You need to change here. You need to get under the name of Jesus Christ because that's where salvation is." Same thing. No mention of, "You're living a wicked lifestyle. You got to turn from that in order to be saved." That would be works, salvation. Not only would it be works ,salvation, I'll go a step further. If that's how a person get's saved, than no one's saved.
Congregation: Right. Amen.
Pastor: I defy anyone to come up to me, "You know what? I've turned from all my sins. I've turned from sin in general. I just don't sin." "Well, we're not saying you have to top sinning. You just have to turn from sin. Turn from it and still do it, and thou shall be saved." See how weird this becomes when you actually stop and think about it? "Well, you have to at least be willing to turn. What if I'm just ..." Goodnight, I'm losing cuff-links. I'm losing a microphone. I need to settle down this morning. I'm falling apart up here. Here's the thing. "Oh, you just have to be wiling to turn." Yeah, but show me that. Like, "Be willing to turn and thou shall be saved." How willing do you have to be? "Well, I'm willing but I'm not going to do it." When you say, if I'm willing to do stuff, it probably means I'm doing it.
"Well, you have to be willing to stop sinning." You're not even able to stop sinning. You're human. You're flesh. God knows that we're flesh. God said that back in Genesys, after he flooded the earth. He said, "You know what? I just know how men is. He's sinful." That's why he has that mercy and grace for us to be saved. We just looked at chapter 2 and chapter 3. Pretty clear, right? Now let's go to chapter 8. Let me tell you something. Chapter 8 is a guy being told to repent of a sin. Here's the thing about chapter 8. Nothing to do with salvation. Does the bible ever talk about people repenting of their sins? Sure, but it's not about salvation.
For example, God talks to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and keeps telling them repent of this, repent of that. They're already saved. Repentance is daily for the Christian. Why? Because we sin, so we have to keep turning from sin. Let's look at Acts, chapter 8. So far, chapter 2, repent of rejecting Jesus. Chapter 3, repent of rejecting Jesus, to be saved. Look at chapter 8. Verse 12. "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Verse 13. "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done." Now look. Isn't the bible pretty clear in verse 13 that this guy is saved?
Pastor: It says he believed. That's Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost telling us that he believes, so we know he really did believe. Not only did he believe, he got baptized after he believed. Not only did he get baptized, he continued with Philip. There's nothing in this to say that he didn't get saved. In fact, anybody who says, anybody who can read Acts 8:13 and say this guy didn't get saved just doesn't know the gospel. It would be a contradiction of John 3:16 that says that, "Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This guy believed, and he got baptized to boot. Not that has anything to do with salvation, but it was a nice public profession of his salvation to others. Even continued with Philip. I think this guy is a pretty good guy in the sense that he had his heart in the right place. He received the word, and he got saved, and he believed, and he's following Philip. I mean, this guy has got ... Now look. Watch the sin that he commits. Let's keep reading.
Acts 8:14. "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, 'Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.' But Peter said unto him, 'Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness.'"
What's this guy being told to repent of? His wickedness. What's the wickedness? Thinking that he could purchase the power of the Holy Spirit with money. He thought he could give money unto the apostles and receive the power of the Holy Spirit through money. That's not something that you can buy with money. It says, "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." Then answered Simon, and said, "Who do you think you are to tell me that? Why are you judging me? Only God can judge me."
Look what he says. "Then answered Simon, and said, 'Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.'" This guy is a nice guy. I've been a pastor for a long time, and I've come to a lot of people, and rebuked them. You know what? It's very rare that you rebuke someone and they're that humble. To find this in the bible you got to to David, the man after God's own heart. Where the prophet comes, and rebukes him, and he's humble. This guy has his heart in the right place. Look, he did something stupid. He said something stupid. He thought something stupid. Okay, we all have. You know what? All of us don't do, all of us don't receive correction as well as Simon did. This should be an example. This could be a whole sermon on how to receive correction.
Pastor: How to handle correction rightly. When somebody comes to you, and corrects you with the truth. The bible says, "Rebuke a wise man and he'll love thee." What did Simon say when he's rebuked? "Would you please pray for me that none of those things happen to me? Because you're right. What I did was wrong." There're Hollywood movies that depict this guy Simon as being just a devil worshiping sorcerer. He was a sorcerer before he got saved but after he got saved, he's learning, he's growing. Being rebuked for stupid things and getting them right is part of the Christian life. If you can't take rebukes as well as Simon did, you're going to fail. We never hear about Simon again in the bible. I believe that this guy succeeded in his Christian life because of the fact that he's so good at taking correction. He's so humble. Those are such important characteristics for a Christian to have.
Again, this guy is repenting of wickedness after he's already saved as just part of his Christian life. This isn't teaching, "Hey, you have to repent of your sins to be saved." Is that what this teaches? "Repent of all your sins in order to be saved. That's part of salvation. You have to turn from sin." No. This is a Christian who gets caught up in sin after he's saved and has to be corrected, and told, "Get it right." Now some people will declare him unsaved because it says in verse 23, "I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." First of all, the bible says, "Whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin." The bible says it's possible for us, after we're saved, to go back into bondage of sin, and to put ourselves back in bondage. Number one.
Number two, Peter is not God. Peter is looking at the outside and saying, "I perceive that you're still in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity." That's man talking to him. His answer shows is that actually no. Actually it was just a screw up. Actually it was an honest mistake. "Actually, as soon as I heard what was right, I got it right. He's told repent of your wickedness." He says, "Yes, sir." See, other story can be misused thought. I've heard people say he wasn't saved. Well, the bible said he believed, and that he was baptized, and then he [fall 00:28:59] on Philip. Then he screwed up. Well, join the club. We've all done stupid things and said stupid things.
Let's go to chapter 11. I don't think there's any question about that story. I think that story is a great story to teach how to accept correction in your life. The catholic church has this sin that they talk a lot about, called Simony. Who's heard of it? They have a sin that they call Simony. They condemn Simony. You know what? Simony should be when you actually are corrected right. That should be called Simony. If you're going to name something after this guy, let people live it down. Why are you just so unforgiving of this guy that for the rest of humanity we're just going to call it Simony? When the guy repented on a dime. Give the guy a break. Man alive. It's too bad the Catholics won't be able to apologize to Simon when they get to Heavens since they're all going to Hell.
Pastor: You know what I mean? They owe him an apology. Acts, chapter 11, verse 15. I'm serious. I'm going to go up and be like, "Man, you've got a bad rep." When I get to Heaven I'm going to seek this guy out. I'm going to be like, "I stood up for you. I preached the sermon on repentance on the Book of Acts. I gave you a big eulogy and everything." He's going to be like, "I know. I was listening up in Heaven. I was like, yes." It reminds me, I asked my son, John. I said, "Who do you want to meet when you get to Heaven?" He said, "I want to meet Legion." I'm like, "What are you ... Legion? What?" He meant the guy. He meant the guy who had the Legion. The guy who Jesus, He saved him, he was cutting himself. He's like, "I'm going to meet that guy." You expect him to say Moses, Elijah, Jonah. He's like, the demon possess guy that got saved. I mean, he would be a cool guy to meet.
Let's go to Acts 11. We're leaving no stone unturned. Acts 11, verse 15. My notes start in verse 15, but doesn't verse 14 say, "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved"?
Congregation: Yeah. Right.
Pastor: That's a great verse too. Verse 15. “As I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at the beginning." By the way, how did they know the Holy Ghost fell on them? Because of what came out of their mouth. They spake. That's another story. "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, 'Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.'"
When the bible says here "repentance unto life" did he just finish telling a story that said, "You know what? You should have seen it. I mean, people were quitting drinking, they were quitting smoking, they were getting off drugs, they stopped stealing, they got out of fornication." Then they were like, "Well, God granted them repentance unto life." Is that what this says?
Pastor: No, what it actually says is that they believed on the Lord Jesus Christ in verse 17. They were told words whereby they and all their house would be saved. They heard those words, and then it says in verse 17, "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?" Then when they heard that they said, "God is giving him repentance unto life." What was the change? What they turned to? They turned to Jesus. They changed over from being ignorant of biblical salvation, to understanding biblical salvation. From not having heard the word of God to hearing and believing the word of God, and God granted them repentance unto life. It's pretty clear, isn't it?
Pastor: Move on. Acts 13. Verse 23. Man, I'm losing my voice. With this one we're going to hit kind of a 2 for 1 here. I want to show you 2 verses together. Look at Acts, chapter 13, verse 23. It says, "Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus: when John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Men and brethren, of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you that feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent."
This word of salvation about the one that would come after, John the Baptist, whose shoes he was not worthy to unloose. Obviously Jesus. Look at verse 24 again. "When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel." Keep your finger there. Go to Acts 19:4. We're going to cover 2 mentions at the same time. Put them side by side because we have an interesting term there. In Acts 13:24, the baptism of repentance. Everybody see that term? He preached the "baptism of repentance." Look what it says in chapter 19, verse 4. "Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."
When Paul was preaching the baptism of repentance, what words did he use? What did he say? What does it mean that he preached the baptism? He preached that they "should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ." If you go back to chapter 13 it's right there. Same thing. Verse 24 says baptism of repentance. Verse 25, as John fulfilled his course, he said, "Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose." Who's he talking about? "Believe on him that's coming after." Same thing. It doesn't say John preached the baptism of repentance and in regard to salvation ... Hey, [Juja 00:36:18], if you're making me something to fix my throat, pour of salt in water. Salt and warm water. I'm going to fix my throat and finish this sermon. This is an important subject.
Pastor: This Ricola is not getting the job right. Some warm salt water up here. I'm going to drive it until the wheels fall off this morning. I'm fired up about this stuff.
Pastor: I'm leaving no stone unturned, all right? If I have to start doing sign language or have an interpreter, I'm getting through these notes. Let's go to Acts 17. We've only got 3 mentions left in the Book of Acts. So far it's not looking real good for this repent of your sins salvation crowd, is it?
Congregation: Right. No. Amen.
Pastor: And we only got 3 more left. Hopefully, for their sake, they've got an ace up their sleeve or they're in trouble. They're going down. Acts 17:29. "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." What are they repenting of in verse 30? Their ignorance. What specifically was their ignorance? They thought that the Godhead could be liken unto gold, or silver, or precious stones. They thought a statue is God. He said, "You know what?" "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where ..." To quit drinking. You heard me. Quit drinking.
You used to think God was gold, and silver, and stone. That's why you need to quit living with your girlfriend. Look, don't anybody twist my sermon. I'm not saying that you should be drinking, or living with your girlfriend, of smoking pot. Those are all things that you should repent of, but remember back in ... You should go to church. You should read the bible. You should [tide 00:38:29], you should go soul winning. You should help the poor. But is that how you get saved?
Pastor: No, because those are all good works. Notice the word good. Good works. We're not against works. We're not against repenting of your sins. In fact, I just spent several minutes praising Simon for repenting of his sin, but when it comes to salvation it's faith, it's belief.
Pastor: Yet people will pull out Acts 17:30. "Here's the proof that you got to repent of your sins to be saved." It isn't there. "But isn't that idolatry a sin?" You know what my answer is to this, isn't idolatry a sin? My answer is avoid foolish questions. Let me put that into modern vernacular. Avoid stupid questions because that is a stupid question, because any mathematician who knows anything about logic would know that that is illogical to say that, "Well, if you have to repent of believing in a false god, if a false god is a sin, then therefore you have to repent of your sin." This might go over the head of some of the people in the auditorium.
Who in here knows a lot about math or you're computer programmer of some kind. Put up your hand if you're a computer geek or a math ... Don't put your hand out just because I added geek. Computer geek, math nerds out there. I'm guilty. I'm one of them, okay? Hopefully everybody understands what I'm saying. Everybody turn on your math brain for a second. Idolatry does not equal sin. Idolatry is a subset of sin. Who understood what I just said? Okay. Unbelief is not equal to sin. Unbelief is a subset of sin. Therefore all unbelief is sin, but not all sin is unbelief. They're not equivalent. Let me put it to you in a way that might be simpler. This is the logic. Cat equals mammal. Dog equals mammal. Therefore cat equals dog. Stupid isn't it?
Pastor: You must repent of bowing down to a statue and thinking it's God to be saved. Bowing down to a statue and thinking it's God is a sin, therefore you have to repent of your sin to be saved. It's the same logic. They don't understand the difference between something being a subset of something. A cat is a subset of the group mammals. A dog is a subset of mammals. "Oh, but a dog is a mammal." No, but that doesn't mean that every mammal is a dog. If you don't understand that, it doesn't matter. Anyway, go to Acts 20. Some people understood it. They're like, "That computes." Other people are just like, "Oh, man. Quit talking about math." Is this my salt water?
Pastor: Sorry I have to subject you to that but it's the only way. Still not working. All right. That's always the best thing so if that doesn't work, I give up. What's that?
Congregation: That's [the sheer word 00:41:47] you're preaching.
Pastor: Yeah. I know it. Acts 20:21. I'm just going to have to power through this thing. Go back to Ricola. All right, Acts 20:21. It says this, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." In this passage there's really no context to tell us exactly what the repentance of, except that it's toward God. It's turning to God. It's coupled with faith toward Jesus. This does not bolster a repent of your sins to be saved one iota because it's talking about putting your faith in Jesus as turning toward God, okay?
Now let's go to Acts 26. The last mention in the Book of Acts of repent. It says in verse 19, "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me." Look at this verse. If you would, go to Ephesians 2:10. Keep your finger here in Acts 26. Let's compare this to Ephesians 2:10. It says here, in Acts 26, that Paul is going around preaching that they should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
If this was all about just everything you have to do to be saved then this would be teaching work salvation. You have to repent, turn to God, do works meet for repentance. Look at Acts 2:8. It says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship ..." Watch this, "... created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God had before ordained that we should walk in them." Notice it doesn't say we must walk in them to be saved. Does it say, "Hey, God has ordained good works that you must walk in in order to be saved." No, He said you're saved by faith not works, but that there are works that has God has ordained that you should walk in. Is there a difference between what we should do and what we must do?
Congregation: Yeah. Yes.
Pastor: What must we do to be saved? Believe?
Pastor: What should we do? Good works?
Pastor: What should we do? Works meet for repentance?
Pastor: Again, we just looked at every single mention in the Book of Acts of repentance. People will say, "Oh, the bible mentions repentance so much." I know, but none of it proves your stupid doctrine, because salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing minus nothing.
Pastor: A lot of us, we have it down, as Independent Fundamental Baptists, the plus nothing part. That it's by faith plus nothing. Just faith. Here's the thing, it's plus nothing minus nothing.
Pastor: You don't have to minus all of the sin out of your life in order to be saved. Okay. I wanted to go through this also. I'm going to have to skip part of my notes just so that I don't completely destroy my throat for life here. I want to cover one more thing. Here's an article. You say, "Why do you preach on this? Why are you teaching this? Why do you go through it line by line?" Because it's a major false doctrine that's out there even amongst Independent Baptists. Even in our own area. I'm not going after anybody in our area this morning. I have other times. This is an article that I found online. This article just blew my mind. The blindness of anyone who wrote this article or thinks that this article is the truth. The blindness, it just blew my mind.
Let me show this to to you. This is written by a guy. I have never even heard of this guy. It's written by a pastor called Matt McPhillips. He's a pastor from Port Huron, Michigan. I don't even know who this guy is. This was on the website of a church called Old Paths Baptist Church, pastored by a guy named Jason Cooley. Not only that, but at the end of it there's this paragraph added by a traveling circus of Evangelist known as brother Ted Alexander. He basically says, "I'm Evangelist Ted Alexander and I approve this message." So 3 heretics and false teachers are promoting this article. In fact, when you go to that Baptist church where I found it, under Bible Doctrine they have one article, one tab, Repentance, and this is the article.
Just listen. You've seen what the bible said. You've seen what John said. You've seen what Acts said. We didn't go through the other 64 books today but we saw a lot. "I am going to attempt to write about the doctrine of repentance." Okay, that's not how you start an article. That's just something you think in your mind. You think to yourself, "I am going to attempt to write about an article." Then you start writing the article. This is like when people are writing a letter. They're like, "Hi. How are you? I'm fine." You can go on and leave that out. "I am going to attempt to write about the doctrine of repentance. About 2 years ago I became so troubled about my lack of study about the Gospel and my acceptance of 4 points and a prayer that I dove into studying it head first." When you hear that, don't you expect that he's going to get out of the bible? He's going to be, "I want to see what Luke says. I want to see what John says. I want to see what Acts says. See what Romans says." Right?
Pastor: He says, "I dove into studying it head first. Not knowing completely what my conclusion would be, I saturated myself with ..." Scripture, the bible, the word ... No, no, no. "I saturated myself with books, articles, and sermons by men." I'm reading it verbatim. "I saturated myself with books, articles, and sermons ..." You're saturated with something else, buddy. Anyway. "Saturated myself with books, articles, and sermons by men of the 1900’s, 1800’s, 1700’s, and 1600’s only to find an amazing thing. The issue of what is repentance in reference to salvation is a modern issue." What's he saying? This is only controversial in modern times. I mean, when you look at the 1900’s, the 1800’s, the 1700’s, the 1600’s, everybody is saying the same thing about repentance. "This is modern."
Listen to what he says. "I looked at the numerous confessions of faith only to realize they all defined it as a sorrow for and turning from sin. This would include the London Confession, 1644, the Armenian Confession of 1834, the Philadelphia Association of 1734, the French Confession of 1879, the Swiss Confession of 1848, the New Hampshire ... " Yeah, because when everybody in a country all gets together, all the Baptists in a country all get together, and agree on what they believe, that's being an Independent Baptist, right?
Pastor: When the whole country of France gets together and writes a confession. The whole country of Switzerland, all the Baptists get together. Is it? "And many others. As much as it pained me, I even began to look at non-Baptist confessions only to find the same." Even unsaved people are agreeing with my definition of repentance. "So, maybe it was that I would find men from the past that would define it as a change of mind from unbelief to belief or from one’s dependence ..." Like depending on something else to save you. Depending on Christ. "I was amazed at what I found. Notice that all of these men agreed as to the true nature of repentance." He gives a bunch of quotes from famous preachers of the past. Most of which were not Baptists.
He's like, "Oh, it's really painful for me to look at non-Baptists." Well, it must not have been that painful since more than half of who you quoted was not a Baptist. Otherwise you were in a lot of pain when you wrote this article. Then after he quotes all these men, which mean nothing to me, then at the end, he has these questions. He's like, "I'm going to leave you with these questions." He confronts us, the reader, with these questions. He gets 5 questions. Question number 3 is this. "Can you find our modern day definition of repentance more than 100 years ago?" What's he saying? "Hey, I looked at all this stuff. Everybody agrees. There was no dispute. This controversy is a modern day issue. Everybody defined it the same way." Okay.
He says, "I defy you to show me anyone that was more than 100 years ago saying they changing your mind, turning from unbelief to belief or just trusting in one thing to another." You want to know what's funny? He gives the answer in the article. One of the people that he quoted was Charles Spurgeon. Listen to this. From 1872. Somebody help me out. Is 1872 more than 100 years ago? This is in his article. I didn't even have to go do reading. "I'm going to find people. I'm going to go find people that define it." No, no, no. It's right here in his article. Listen to the quote that he gives from Charles Spurgeon. "Just now ... " Meaning in what year? 1872. This is the first words out of Charles. It's one of the first quotes he gives.
"Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many by saying that 'repentance is only a change of mind.'" What in the world? He just spent 2 paragraphs like, "I checked, nobody believed in this. Nobody has ever heard of this modern thing of changing your mind, be in repentance. You can't find it anywhere. I defy you to find in more than 100 years ago." Let me just show you. Here's a quote from Charles Spurgeon in 1872, and Charles Spurgeon says, "Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many ..." He's like, "There's multiple preachers and they're misleading many people, teaching them that repentance is only a change of mind."
Here's what he says next. "It is true that the original word does convey the idea of a change of mind." I'm not leaving anything, I'm reading this verbatim. This is like a parody. You can't even make this stuff up. Well, "it is true that the original word does convey the idea of a change of mind, but the whole teaching of Scripture concerning the repentance ..." Is more radical than that. Here's what's funny. He doesn't quote a single scripture in this quote. In fact, there is virtually no scripture quoted almost in this entire article; 4 pages, no verses backing up their position. Okay, one of the quotes, a guy references Isaiah. In one quote. The rest of it is just void of scripture.
What's funny is, you're like, okay, Charles Spurgeon give us scripture. Well, okay. "That is what repent means, to change your mind." Okay, well, Spurgeon give us a scripture to tell us that it means something different. "It's just the whole scripture." Don't you love it when you tell people, "Can you show me the preacher at [inaudible 00:54:43] scripture?" It's just like, "Just the whole bible." Where is the bible teach that you have to repent of your sins to be saved? "Whole bible." Can you point me to a specific verse? "The whole thing."
"Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many by saying ... " It sounds like, man, praise God for all that soul winning that was going on in 1872. Sounds like to me that there're a bunch of faithful word Baptist charities over there in England that were doing the real soul winning while that phony Charles Spurgeon is just all famous, and everybody loves him, and he's all interdenominational, and he's all big and popular. Are all the popular preachers today phony? Name a big popular name preacher on TV that's not a phony. Name one.
Congregation: Joel Osteen.
Pastor: Oh, he's not a phony? You mean he is a phony.
Pastor: All right. Good. You need to pay a little more attention. Joel Osteen. Rick Warren. Bill Hybels. Kenneth Copeland. What's the [hackalagandla 00:55:51]? Benny Hinn. Benny Hinn. T. D. Jakes. Billy Graham. Billy Belem. When we name the big name preachers of our day ... If we look at the biggest churches in Phoenix. Phoenix First Assembly. Cornerstone down in Chandler. These are churches that are so apostate. Where do we begin? Yet, we have this weird idea, "Oh, the popular preachers of the past, they all preached the truth." No, even in Jesus day he said, "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you." So at the end that [Paul's prophet 00:56:31].
Why does everybody love Spurgeon? Because he's a phony? Why is he so popular amongst a whole bunch of denominations? Because he was phony? Because every popular preacher has always been a phony? You know what's funny? We don't even know the names of all these Christian teachers "who are misleading so many people by telling them it's by faith alone, and that repentance is just changing your mind and believing on Christ." We don't know who they are but you know what? They're the ones with all the crowns in Heaven. We don't even know who they are but, they were doing some major soul winning to the point where Charles Spurgeon is like, "Man, I need to deal with this. This is spreading. This doctrine of faith alone salvation. I need to get up and teach all my Calvinistic garbage. I need to ramp up my teaching of Calvinism and repent of your sins salvation."
This is what it is folks. "I delved in and figured out my doctrine by reading a bunch of men." Not only that, you're reading the phonys. You know why? He's like, "Well, everybody I read was a phony." Yeah, because you know what? The real preachers, they didn't get published by all of Satan's media institutions. They couldn't get a book published. They couldn't get on TV. They couldn't get on the radio. Why? Because they're telling the truth. Think about it. What if, all of a sudden, what if our country somehow ... Let's say our country was just nuked, and everything crumbled and collapsed. Everything's dead. Hundreds of years later somebody comes and excavates it as an archaeologist, and they want to talk about what Christians believed in America in the 21st century. What are the chances that they're going to find an "After the Tribulation" DVD versus finding a Joel Osteen DVD? What do you think there's more of in circulation?
Congregation: Joel Osteen.
Pastor: Yeah. They're going to be brushing off. This artifact from 2015 is of a Joyce Meyer book. That's what they're going to find. Go walk into Wal-Mart. It's not like, "Hey, you get a deal when you buy 'After the Tribulation' and new [other 00:58:45] bible versions. You get a discount." No, in Wal-Mart, it's all going to be ... Who?
Congregation: "Left Behind."
Pastor: "Left Behind." Rick Warren. Joel Osteen. Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, "The Harbinger." It's everything that's false. Don't even get me started on that. I don't have the throat for that. Let me tell you something. Whoever wrote this article was blindfolded while they wrote it. How can you sit there and defy us, "Show me one, show me one person 100 years ago." Then they provide it. Here's the noose to hang me with. Here's a gun, shoot me with it. It's like, "Here, let me dig my own grave real quick." These people are nuts. That's why we go to the bible. "Well, but what's the historical position?" Not important to me. I don't care. What does the bible say? There's power, is in that word.
A prayer. Father we thank you so much for this morning Lord, when we could come together and assemble with your people in your house, Lord. I just pray that you would please just let these words sink down into our hears, Lord. There's a lot of error and false teaching out there, Lord. I pray that you would help us to steady, to show ourselves approved. Not approved by famous men of the past, but approved unto God. Lord, help us to rightly divide the word of truth. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.