1. Chas

    Part 2________

    Re: Acts 5:31–From his first message to Israel in Acts, Peter was preaching to Israel about their need to change their mind–as a nation–about Jesus; who and what He was; the Messiah of Israel. His message in 5:31 is along those lines. Israel was being called to repent–not of sins–but of their UNBELIEF, by which they handed their Messiah over to be crucified. If they did that, they would receive forgiveness for their unbelief. Peter preached repentance (change of mind) for the forgiveness of sins, not repentance of sins for forgiveness.

    Acts 11:18–in Acts 10, Peter had just preached the Gospel to Cornelius. Peter then says “whosoever believeth in Him [Jesus] shall receive remission of sins.” Peter did NOT tell Cornelius to “repent of your sins”, but to BELIEVE on Jesus FOR forgiveness of sins. (10:43.) The council at Jerusalem then concedes that the Gentiles are to be saved by faith just like believing Jews. “Repentance unto life” is not “turning from sins”, but turning from reliance on one’s own righteousness and relying on Christ’s righteous act of dying in our place, paying the price for all our sin.

    Re: Acts 19:4–Yes, Paul “tells Gentiles in Ephesus that John had told the people they should believe in Jesus who should come after him.” John said “believe in Jesus”, not “repent of sins” to be saved.

    Re: Acts 20–“Repentance toward God” is not “repentance of sins”. It is changing one’s mind about God, bringing one’s view of Him in line with reality. Jews had to change their minds that God counted them righteous just because they were Jews. Gentiles had to change their minds about their whole concept of God, that they “ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.” (Acts 17:29.)

    It is obvious what “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” is: believing on Him for eternal life. “Repentance from sins for salvation” is nowhere to be found in the Bible. When eternal salvation is the issue, repentance involves–not turning from sin–but turning from the self-reliant self-righteousness that keeps one from relying on Christ’s sacrifice ALONE for justification. By making “turning from sin” a requirement for receiving eternal life, many people are adding a self-righteous requirement to the Gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Any addition to the Gospel results in a false gospel, which cannot save. It is frightening how so many professing Christians have forgotten that God’s grace is FREE, that eternal life is a FREE gift. That means it is offered to us without cost, without trying to be better (turning from sin), without promises to pay in any sense. The repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved “gospel” is no gospel at all.

    Turning from sins is certainly God’s will for the believer. It is an aspect of discipleship, of sanctification; spiritual growth. But that is a wholly different issue than justification and the consequent receiving of eternal life, which comes by simple faith alone. As we are told in Romans 4:5…

    “To the one who DOES NOT WORK, but believes in Him who justifies the UN-godly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.”

    THAT is biblical justification by faith; apart from law, apart from works. “Repenting from sin” is a work, in the most blatant sense. Works are not required to receive eternal life. In fact they are rejected. Attaching works of any kind to the requirements of justification is an insult to Christ and His finished work on the cross. The professing church–even Evangelicalism–has been infected with what is the single worst poison there could be; a false “gospel” of works. Works to get saved, works to stay saved, works to prove one is saved, works to “validate” one’s “faith”… it is all self-centered self-righteousness of the most toxic form. It hinders the presentation of the true Gospel of Free Grace, and grieves the Holy Spirit. It shuts people out of Heaven. As bad as all the other doctrinal aberrations afflicting the Church are, lordship salvation–with its insidious distortions of the meaning of repentance–is the single worst. We can get everything else right, but when we attach works to receiving God’s free gift, we preach eternal death.

    May God forgive us and deliver us from our own self-righteous piety.

  2. Chas

    Ian, I’m afraid you’ve demonstrated the very problem I was getting at. That problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of the word “repent” as it is used in the Bible, particularly as it is applied to justification and receiving eternal life. You’ve found the words “repent” and “repentance” wherever you could find them and automatically supposed that means “turning from sin”, disregarding the context in each case.

    I never said that the sinner is not called to repent in coming to God for salvation. Indeed they are. The question is, what does “repent” mean? It is assumed by many (lordship salvationists especially) that repentance in salvation means “turning from sin” but it doesn’t. When finding “repent” or “repentance” in the Bible, it is always critical to examine the context to determine the object of repentance; that which is to be repented of. “Repent” does not mean “turn from sin” in and of itself. It only means “change the mind”. In the context of justification, “repent” is never used in the sense of “turning from sin” but (essentially) “turning from saving one’s self”; turning from self-righteousness, and turning to the unmerited favor of God in Jesus Christ. Whenever “turning from sin” is meant, the context states or implies the specific sin(s) to be turned from, and in those cases the consequence of not repenting is not the loss of eternal life, but some temporal judgment.

    To answer your last question first, YES, I can, but it will take more than one post.

    Re: Luke 13:3–What is it that those present were being called to repent of? Their sins? Jesus chides them for supposing they were better than the Galileans who were murdered by Pilate, that they were “righteous enough” by comparison, and so escaped. Jesus called them to change their minds, to repent of their self-righteousness, not of their sins. (Evidently, they thought they had “repented of sins” enough already.) The issue was self-righteousness, not “sins” per se.

    Re: Matt 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32–Yes, Jesus called sinners to repentance, not the righteous. But again, He called sinners to change their minds–about what? Sinning? That’s like calling them to become righteous (to some degree, at least) BEFORE coming to Christ for salvation. What those sinners were to change their minds (repent) about is their need for Christ’s righteousness, to cease trying to earn it in any way, and simply receive the forgiveness of sins He was offering them as a gift. Jesus did not say “repent of your sins” but to repent (change their minds) about their need for forgiveness of their sin. Again, it was self-righteousness, not sin, that they were called to repent of.

    Luke 15:7–Again, the sinner who repents is not “turning from sin” in this passage, but abandoning hope in his own righteousness and turning to Jesus to receive His righteousness. The “just persons” who don’t need to repent aren’t those who are righteous in themselves, but are those who have already come to Jesus in faith. (That’s the ONLY way anyone can be righteous in God’s sight, isn’t it?) The passage teaches salvation by placing one’s faith in Jesus as the Savior, not salvation by turning from sin.

    Luke 24:47–Yes, Jesus told them to preach “repentance and remission of sins.” If a sinner repents–changes their mind about their need for a savior and trusts in Jesus as that Savior–they will receive the remission of sins. But Jesus did not say “preach repentance of sins for the remission of sins.” That would be like saying “I’ll forgive you if you at least promise to stop sinning”, clearly a “gospel” of works. But eternal life is a FREE gift, received without promises from us.

    End of Pt. 1

  3. Chas, While we must be spiritually alert in these last days because of all the apostasy that is taking place left right and centre, I would like to draw attention to the words of our Lord Jesus:
    “I tell you, no, but unless you repent you shall likewise perish.” Luke 13:3, and 5.
    Here Jesus is, as always speaking what the Father wanted us to know. The Father then is drawing a connection between no repenting and perishing (He is not talking about natural death but spiritual death). This then makes it clear that repentance toward God is as far as God is concerned connected plainly to salvation – which is the opposite of perishing.

    Jesus tells us what He has come for – “…for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matt 9:13. (see also Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32)
    Sinners are lost. But if they obey the command of the Lord Jesus to come to Him, that will result in repentance which result in life eternal, then they are no longer called by God sinners, but saints.
    Also in Luke 15:7 Jesus tells us that there is much joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents, than over 99 just persons who don’t need to repent.
    In Luke 24:47 Jesus after His resurrection tells His disciples that they are to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name among all nations – not just for Jews.
    In Acts 5:31 Peter says that God exalted His Son to give repentance to Israel.
    In Acts 11:18 Peter then finds out that God had granted repentance unto Life also to the Gentiles.
    Paul in Acts 19:4 tells Gentiles in Ephesus that John had told the people they should believe in Jesus who should come after him. So they too were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    Paul says in Acts 20 to the Ephesian brothers as he departed, that he had been “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21.
    Repentance toward God first then faith in the Lord Jeus Christ.
    For by grace are you saved through faith (in the Lord Jesus Christ)…

    These are only some of the passages on repentance for Jew and Gentile, that clearly show the divine connection between repentance and faith and grace and eternal life and salvation.
    So I don’t know why you make this admonitioin- “Just try preaching the gospel of FREE grace without any “repent of sins to be saved” compromise.”

    Can you answer to the above Scriptures? Can you justify your statement with corresdponding Scriptures (plural) that refute the ones I have presented?

  4. Byron K

    That is probably one of the “least” quoted scriptures of all time, and it’s one that I use quite often. Let’s face it; in this day and age, no one wants to hear the truth and it’s this age that was prophesied would come, when the “falling away” would occur.

    So yes, Lighthouse Trails, continue to stand for the truth, and never compromise. Someone needs to stand in the breach, and your brethren will be praying for you and with you.

  5. Chas

    I remember when LHT began (rightly) pointing out the problems with Rick Warren, and how he was influencing Chuck Smith and others at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. That’s when the anti-LHT flack was turned up an order of magnitude, if I recall correctly.

    But if it seems the criticism from other Christians can’t get any worse, just try exposing the purveyors of lordship salvation–such as John MacArthur–specifically and openly. Just try preaching the gospel of FREE grace without any “repent of sins to be saved” compromise.

    Then brace yourself… You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  6. Roger

    May I encourage you LHT, and your readers, in your continued stand for truth.

    This morning I also read this short article by Mike Oppenheimer http://www.letusreason.org/Trin32.htm which also confirms that those who do say; ‘LHT are against everything’ should perhaps add to their statement; ‘..that I (they) believe in’, because those ones are following ‘another Gospel’ and have gone beyond ‘what is written’ in Scripture.

    The truths that continue to be spoken from LHT, commenters here, and other readers who believe and share these truths are as burning coals to those who have been led astray. Their easy dismissal of LHT truth sharing speaks clearly of their own deception and heresies.

    May we pray for those ones, that they will be turned away from evil and toward our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ..

    In His love, Roger

  7. Eloise

    I second that! I only learned about Lighthouse Trails and more about the apostasy/heresy/false gospels creeping in in the last year. I am very grateful for all that you do and it speaks volumes to me how you always do everything in a humble and objective, but thorough manner! God bless you abundantly for your ministry!

  8. CW

    Adding … I wonder if these critics have a hard time taking a stand for the Word of God, if they just want to “go along and get along” with the world, are not willing to speak out against sin which grieves the heart of God and delights people with evil hearts/minds (even as it is destroying them), and so are convicted by Christians who do stand strong for what matters to the Lord. Many people live to be popular and won’t speak out against sin because they know they won’t be popular anymore if they do.

  9. CW

    The other perspective ironically hits me. An old pastor used to say years ago, Some minds are so open, they need to be closed for repairs. He said this as a joke, but with a point. Are all these critics not against Anything At All? Are they happy when “anything goes”? Do they have no convictions against evil things that God hates? The Word of God tells us, “The fear of God is to hate evil.” If you are for the things of God, you are against evil! If you’re not against evil, you are not for the things that matter to God! It’s not rocket science to those who are wise.

  10. I thank you for the truth you always tell us. I so much appreciate your discernment. There is a remnant of believers that can often feel alone in these last days. Your voice helps us to not feel alone. I love and appreciate all you do for the Lord in standing for Him.

  11. Elizabeth Bennett

    As far as discernment I feel pretty much alone on an island, since my family and church do not understand, believe or know what I am talking about. Family just says do not believe everything you read on the internet.I answer that I go by quotes, not by opinions. My church does not do the spiritual formation, etc. but are ignorant of what the emergent church is doing. Thank you, LH for being a voice in the wilderness!

  12. Crystal Johnson

    I totally agree Ruth Allan, I’m from the UK too and you’re quite right!!! There are virtually no warnings at all! Praise God for Lighthouse Trails….I have directed a number of brothers and sisters to your site and asked them to read with the help of the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for all that you do. I’m reminded of Ezekiel 33 “if we don’t warn, it will be on our head” – sobering warning from Scripture. God bless you.

  13. Nina Perruccio

    People believe what they want to believe. And when somebody comes along and disturbs that belief with the truth, they will not comprehend the facts that stand before them. God will certainly give them up to that deception because they love not the truth.

  14. Sharon R

    I have been a Lighthouse Trails reader since 2003, and have only ever seen true, loving, humble, inspired, biblical warnings from them. What I have witnessed coming out of the so-called Christian celebrities, podcasts, literature and churches over the past 15 years has only served to prove that what Lighthouse Trails has been warning about all along, is actually happening! If you are one of those who think Lighthouse Trails is too negative, I beg you to ask God to reveal the truth to you. I have been blessed to meet the editors, work with and volunteer for them on occasion. I love them dearly and have witnessed for myself that they are precious examples of salt of the earth and watchmen on the wall!

  15. T. I. Miller

    How do we explain the reluctant pastors? is it insecurity or or is it pride or both. Have they been programmed to be hostile to current trends in apologetics? We know that the majority of seminaries currently embrace eastern trance inducing meditation while pretending that it has been chritian-ized when it is not.
    Is it because they have embraced the modern consumerist approach to church growth?
    Is it because they confuse discernment with insubordination?
    Titus 1:9 commands the elders to be competent in apologetics.
    How many people rejected the truths of the prophets of John the baptist of Jesus? Did these men run after the scoffers or let them go their own way? John 6:60 ….this is a hard saying who can listen to it?
    Jesus never watered down the truth, ever. Can real pastors do less?

  16. John J

    Gail, that’s part of the problem regarding deception . . . that people run after preachers, as we simply do not know what they will say tomorrow, or to make a list (which will keep on changing as deception sweeps through the world). A preacher could be on the right track today and off into the darkness tomorrow; you read about them all the time. The best way t/only way to approach our walk with God is through Jesus Christ, the only mediator between man and God. Not even the “best pastor” in the world has that authority. And Jesus does not change, and He is the light of the world, and He wants His true followers to be that light too. And He has given us the Holy Spirit to testify about Him and to reveal all truth (and falsehoods) to us.
    I hope my response helps. I know exactly how you feel, Gail.

  17. Lisa

    Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭23:37‬ ‭

    It’s always been like that…God sends people to warn and try to get people turned towards Him and they hate what God is saying…but they like those that tickle their ears. Nothing new under the sun.

  18. Damon

    Keep up the good work LHT! Many of us benefit greatly from your insightful and well documented articles. Thank you.
    “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” Romans 16:17

  19. Lillia

    Exactly. They will go right back inside and shut the door behind them because “the news they got was just too…. negative!” Will shutting the door stop their house from burning down? Was the neighbor trying to help them by telling them the bad news, or just be a negative Nancy?

    I also get so tired of that phrase being passed around; “Tell me what you are ‘for’ “! That is only half of the equation. We need to declare both, what we are for and what we are against! I am for good and I am against evil. Sometimes telling just about what is ‘good’ is not enough. We must warn of the dangers about what is bad too.

  20. Philip Tatler

    It has always been clear to me what you are for! There is much deception out there; a raging battle between good and evil, truth and falsehood. Someone has to say something!

  21. John J

    Lighthouse Trails is against everything . . . that is anti-Biblical. Good on you; please continue your great work. There are so many brilliant and uplifting sides to Lighthouse Trails, but those in darkness cannot see it.
    The deception is growing daily. Simply turn on the TV, watch the media, and you’ll see it. If you look carefully, you’ll see the deceivers behind their pulpits, laughing like the wolves they are.
    Lighthouse Trails is against everything . . . that is anti-Biblical. Hallelujah.
    God will continue to bless your ministry.

  22. Susan

    I tried to alert our church to false teaching and also ref’d an article on Lighthouse. The minister said you had no credentials and that I should never read you again because the articles were not truth.

  23. Ruth Allan

    God bless you for everything you do! From a grateful reader in the UK, where there are virtually no warnings about the fire sweeping our house.

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