REPENTANCE: Legal vs. True

Repentance

Grant Swart

If our forgiveness was dependent on what we as sinners could do (or refrain from doing), in order to repent, who would be so bold as to claim that they could achieve it sufficiently as to gain recognition by a perfectly Holy God? Is repentance something we can and should do in order to be saved, or is repentance a gift granted to those who are saved by God?

All too often one hears the instruction issuing forth from religious zealots: “You must repent, you must turn from your sin, you must turn to God, or…!”. In my country, as I suppose it is in many others, many will-worshipping churches have coined a new favourite phrase: “Turn or burn!”, and in some Afrikaans congregations the translated phrase, “Draai of braai”, is bandied about with even more self-righteous enthusiasm. As if it were simply up to the listener to do the turning, and God will have no choice but to accept those who turn!

Those who do not have Christ, hear these warnings and are left terrified by their own inability to do what the preacher expects of them. They have heard the stern instructions, but have no understanding of it, no idea of where to start, or how to go about this seemingly impossible task. How can they turn to God when they do not know Him, do not know where He is, or who He is? How could they possibly repent without God’s help and without the guidance of His Holy Spirit? Continue reading

Advertisements

Entertainment and Style of Music Do Not Convert People

John MacArthur,

“It’s not the style of our music that gets people converted. It’s not because of the entertainment level that they enjoy that gets them converted. Sooner or later you’ve got to get down to confronting them with the message and my judgment is sooner is better than later. So what are we waiting for? Let’s just get them to hear the message, that’s how they’re going to be saved. Take out the preaching of sin, take out the preaching of hell, take out repentance, take out the cross, and then people will feel comfortable. That’s the new trend. Build an image of love, care, being nice and if everybody is nice, they like us, they might like Jesus. That is tragically not the case. Continue reading

Christian Legalism: The Dark Side of Christianity (Part 2)

Grant Swart

Although legalism and the error it represents cannot be taken lightly, I thought it might be apt to place this well known bit of humour before Part 2 of this article. It (sort of) addresses legalism, yet it is contradictory as there is no pre-requisite for us to “earn” life eternal in lieu of the perfection of the sacrifice made by the Lamb, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  

Of course, there are those out there who love and cling passionately to their legalism, who would fault the relevance or suitability of even this humour. I am well aware of some of them who do read my articles and in particular, I refer to those of immature contentious spirit who confuse a regard for the severity of sin, repentance and true sanctification with the gross error of legalism.  

A man dies and goes to heaven.  He is met at the Pearly Gates by a Heavenly custodian.

The custodian says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. Continue reading