Repentance: Not What You Think it is! | Repentance part 1

By Michael Pearl

Scripture: Topics: Repentance

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Repentance part 1

Repentance Not What You Think it is!

All right. We're going to talk about repentance tonight. Repent, it's not what you think it is. Now, I thank God that He allowed us space to repent. He didn't have to, but He's given us the occasion to repent. It's important then that we know exactly what it is. I'm afraid that much of Christianity has given a false definition to it. And so, we're going to straighten that out tonight and over the next couple lessons.

So I am Michael Pearl, and you are at The Door, located in Lobelville, Tennessee. This is No Greater Joy Ministries, and you can find us at

Repent of your sins

"Repent of your sins." Have you ever heard that term? You see it on the back of gospel tracts. You hear it in sermons all the time. It's a very popular phrase that you need to "repent of your sins."

In fact, the Bible says, Luke 13:1-3 "There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said unto them, 'Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.'"

So here was some people that Pilate killed and mingled their blood with sacrificed blood and sprinkled on the altar. That was a desecrating thing to do to the temple. So, He said, "Do you think these were great sinners because it happened to them?" He said, "If you don't repent, you'll perish in the same way."

Or another popular example in His day, a current event, something you'd find in the newspaper, Luke 13:4-5 "'Or those eighteen up on whom the tower and Saloam fell.'" They were erecting a tower, boom, fell on them and killed them. "'And slew them. Think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I'll tell you, Nay: but except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.'" So this is Jesus speaking, saying that repentance is essential if we don't want to perish. So for that reason, we'd better know what it is so we can make sure that we've repented.

What does it mean to repent?

So what does it mean to repent? Now, the popular answer is "Turn from your sin, of course." We sing that song and we've changed the words. I do when I sing it, anyhow, Victory in Jesus. "Then I repented of my sins and won the victory." Well, I reckon you did. If you repented of your sins, you don't even need Jesus. You'd have a lot of victory there. It'd be great if you repented of your sins. I'd love to be able to go out on the street and say to a drunk, a homosexual, an alcoholic, "All you need to do is stop sinning. Just repent of them. Put them away. Get rid of your sins and then God will accept you."

Wait a minute. I've been out on the street quite a bit during my life and I've yet to meet the first sinner that would think that was a good message, that would think that that was an exciting opportunity. "Well, all I've got to do is repent of all my sins and God will accept me." In fact, I'm not sure I've repented of all my sins yet. Have you? Have you discovered anything the last year that's sinful in your life, something you didn't repent of 10 years ago, just now getting around to? Do you think there's a good chance that before you die you will discover something else in your life that you need to repent of, that you have to repent of your sins? How many sins? How many sins must you repent of? Well, all of them, of course.

Steps to Heaven?

Well, here's what a lot of people think. They think that there's steps to heaven. In fact, I had gospel tracts, I've given out gospel tracts that said "Three steps to heaven" or "Five steps to heaven" or "Six steps to heaven," different ones like that. And there's different ways of expressing the gospel, so you put into steps to make it easy to understand. I'm not poo pooing that.

But here is a very popular belief, and this one is expressed by the Church of Christ denomination. They say there's six steps to getting to heaven.

Six Steps to Heaven:

The first one is you need to hear the gospel. The second one is you need to believe on Jesus Christ. Now if you're a Baptist, that settles it right there. It's done. It's two steps, right? But the Church of Christ then adds repent of your sins. After you believe, then you repent of your sins, in that order. You can't repent of your sins until you believe, and repenting your sins wouldn't work if you didn't believe. So they've got that order.

Then confess Jesus Christ. Some say, even some Baptists say, confess Jesus as Lord of your life. Let me ask you, when you got saved, was Jesus the Lord of your life? Is He the Lord of all your life yet? He ought to be, but is He? Let me ask your wife instead of you. Your husband, is Jesus the Lord of his life in everything? What about the husband, I'll ask him. What about your wife? Is Jesus the Lord of her life?

Confess Jesus Christ and then be baptized, or the proper way to say it, if you're Church of Christ is baptized. So be baptized after you confess Jesus Christ. Now we haven't gotten to heaven yet. We're working our way up the ladder. These steps are necessary.

And then, maintain good works. You have to maintain good works in order to be saved if you're a Church of Christ. That's the reason I've never met a Church of Christ who knew he was saved. And I've talked to a lot of them and asked them, "If you died right now, do you know you'd go to heaven?" And they've said to me, "Well, you can't know for sure till you die." That's a little bit late.

What does the Church of Christ Believe?

Now, this is on a Church of Christ website called This is the third here. Believe, repent of your sins. It says, "Third, one must repent of his sins in order to be saved." Probably 98% of Christianity teaches that. "Jesus commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Repentance is a result," now remember, when he says repentance, he's talking about repenting of sins, "repentance is a result of being sorry for one's sins." In other words, you get sorry, and then you quit sinning.

"When the Jews on Pentecost Day learned from Peter that they'd crucified the Son of God, they were cut to the heart. They wanted to be forgiven of their sins. So they asked, 'What shall we do?' They were told, 'Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto,'" that's not what the Bible says. They changed the word there. "'For the remission of sins.'" They're using a different homemade translation. So he says, "'When one repents, he turns away from his sins.'" That's very specific. They're specifying that when you repent, as you must, in the ladder to get saved, you must repent, turn away from your sins.

"He shows that he's repented by doing good works." In other words, the way you know a person is repenting and ready for the next step, water baptism, is that he's doing good works. That's why we say many of them believe in work salvation. Now they'd say, "No, it's God's working through us." But they don't know they're saved yet. Why? Because their works don't add up.

Repentance in the Bible

Okay. Look up in a Concordance, which I did, the word repent. And look up repentance, repenting, repented, and repenteth, those are the different ways repent is used in the Bible. And I found that it appears 112 times in all. Now, in my Concordance, it doesn't appear that times, about 105. In Strong's hard back, it only appears 111 times. But if you take the time to actually count them yourself, it appears 112 times in the King James Bible. Now some of the other bibles, it'll be 15 or 20 times less because they're uncomfortable with the doctrine, so they removed the word where they won't.

Does God Repent?

So of the 112 times it says repent, 39 times you're in reference to God repenting. Did you know God repents? We're going to talk about that in the next lesson. God repents. 39 times, the Bible, it references God repenting or not repenting. That's the number of books in the Old Testament. And none of the references of God repenting or not repenting are in the New Testament, they're all in the Old Testament. The 39 references are found in the 39 books of the Old Covenant.

Man Repents 66 times in the Bible

And then, 66 times among those 112, man is repenting. 66 is the number of books in the Bible, the number of times man repents or doesn't. And that happens to be, and I just accidentally ran across this as I was... I studied this back before I had a computer, and I actually took old Bibles and cut out every verse on repentance every time it appeared, and laid all 112 of them on a table in front of me. And so, then I started grouping them into God repenting, and that's how I found the numbers and man repenting. And then, I saw that there was some subgroups, actually six groups of six in the 66 that referred to man repenting. And it just happens that six is the number of man. The Bible has got God's fingerprints all over it.

  • Six times, man's repentance regarding sin or God in the Bible.
  • Six times John the Baptist preaches repentance.
  • Six times repentance and baptism are mentioned together.
  • Six times the apostles, excluding Paul, preached repentance.
  • Six times the book of Revelation says, "Sinners will not repent."
  • Six times in the book of Revelation, the church is called to repentance.
  • Six of 66 having to do with man.

39- Pertaining to God repenting or not repenting

Now, pertaining to God repenting or not repenting,

  • Seven times God is sending judgment on the people for their sin.
  • Seven times God is determined not to repent. He said, "I will not repent."
  • Seven times God will not repent in regarding to a judgment that He has sent.
  • And then, regarding something non-religious, there's seven times repentance appears, something doesn't have to do with salvation or anything like that.
  • Seven times there's a man-to-man repentance, a man repents before a man, and it has nothing to do with God or salvation or anything like that.

So those five groups of seven.

How many times Does “Repent of Sins” Appear in the Bible?

Now all references to repent of sins, repented of sins, or repentance from sin. What we're going to do, we're going to take our computer, we're going to type in parentheses, "repent of sins," "repented of sins," "repentance from sin." So every time the Bible uses one of those phrases, we're going to find it and study it, and see what it's got to say.

So we will open our Bibles and we'll go through and find all those verses where it says what happened to them. Surely, they must be in there somewhere. There's got to be... Sorry. "What?" The phrase you're looking for cannot be found. "It's not in the Bible, none of those phrases? You mean the term repent of sin doesn't appear in the Bible?" Never, not once. Repent from sin, not once. "Then where'd it come from?" Religion. God didn't say it. The apostles never said it. It's a made up doctrine. Not once, repent of sins is not in the Bible. And I know that's a shock to you.

Now if you've got a New International Version, then it will use it. Why? Because it does not translate the Greek. What it does is renders the Bible in everyday popular language with popular doctrine. So it is an interpretation of what the Bible says, not a translation, along with the other 300 English bibles that are available to you today. So it's not there.


Now let's illustrate it. Here's this guy walking along, and he needs to repent. All right? He decides that he's going the wrong direction. This is what repentance is. So he stops and he feels sorry about the way he is going, but that's not repentance.

What does Repentance Mean?

To repent, if you look it up in a dictionary, is to turn in another direction, the opposite direction from the direction you're going. And so, it's not a want to turn, it is a turn. It's actually reversing whatever it is that you're discussing.

Repentance is an about turn in regard to the Issue

So this man stops, and repentance is an about turn in regard to the issue. So this man's going, maybe he's going to grandma's house. And he changes his mind, and he turns around and he goes back the way he came. So that man has repented of going to grandma's house. Now that's something that Jeremiah might need to do. He comes running up to our house to find some kind of a snack if he can't get one at his house. We got rid of the crackers so they can't get crackers anymore, so he doesn't come as often as he used to. Maybe he's getting a little older. So he starts off and he repents and he goes back home, knowing that he's going to get scolded. He's not going to get his crackers when he comes up there. I'm going to give him a cabbage head to eat.

So that's what repentance is, it's a reversal of direction. Now it could be a change of mind if the subject is about something you think. In other words, you could be thinking, "I think I'm going to go to Vanderbilt. No, no, I changed my mind. I'm going to go to the community college." And that would be a good choice.

From what and to what must one turn?

Now, from what and to what must one turn, biblically, when one repents? Now there's a tract called Chick tracts that are the best tracts in the world. Thousands of people have gotten saved reading those tracts. I used them when I was younger before I wrote my own tract and I found them very useful. And I've run into people who have gotten saved reading Chick tracts. So they're still the best tracks that you can give out.

But after Chick had been distributing tracts for five or 10 years, he changed the back where it tells how to get saved, and put on it "Repent of your sins." Now I stopped using the tract, but within, I don't know, a couple years, he went back and changed it back. So apparently, for a short period of time, he got caught up in that, probably by the influence of people buying the tracts that said, "But you don't say 'Repent of your sins." So he changed it. But now he's gone back, but still it's not perfectly accurate. Now that doesn't prevent me from using them, because sinners don't know enough doctrine, can't understand what they're reading. They're going to get this message before they get to the backside with this little prayer list here.

"Be willing to turn from sin"?

Notice he says, number two there in his list, look at it a little closer, "Be willing to turn from sin." That's one of the steps to salvation then. "Admit you are a sinner. Be willing to turn from sin (repent). Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead." So he's got repentance and believing as two different acts, that belief must follow repentance. That's false.

Now understand, when you're trying to simplify things for people, that you end up dissecting in a way that it's not the animal any longer. And so that's forgivable. But just to be a nit picker, that's not accurate. That's not correct. That's false doctrine. Repentance and faith are the same act that occur simultaneously, we'll see that later, not two separate acts, one following the other.

Leading People to Christ

Now, "Be willing to turn from your sin." I have led a lot of people to the Lord just cold turkey, walk up, 20 minutes on the street and they get saved. I've never told one of them they need to be willing to turn from their sin. Not even when I was talking to a lesbian or homo, I didn't tell them they needed to turn from their sin. That wasn't the issue. The issue was not that they were sinning, the issue was they didn't have God. They didn't know God. They weren't God's child. They didn't have the Holy Spirit. They weren't born again. That was the issue.

And I always made that the issue. And so, when they did get born again, immediately when the Spirit of God came in, they were willing to turn from their sin. But never before they get saved, are they willing to turn from sin. Try to get a drug addict to give up his drugs before he's received Jesus Christ. Drugs is all he's got. Why should he give it up? Till he has something better, he's not going to give it up.

Why should he give it up?

That's like going up to a bum on the street who's hungry and he just got into a garbage can, and he dug out a biscuit that's half eaten and got a little cigarette butt smashed on it and some gravy and some jelly smeared on it. So he digs out that half biscuit and he's brushing the cigarette ashes off of it and he's getting ready to eat it. And I walk up and say, "Throw that thing away." He's not going to throw that away. That's his dinner. He's proud of it. I said, "Get rid of that and I'll give you something better." And he keeps dusting it off.

Now that's what it is when you walk up to a sinner and tell him, "You need to repent of your sin." Instead, what I do is I reach in and I pull out a brand new, freshly wrapped hamburger with cheese on it, dripping with all the... And I say, "I'll give you this if you want it." And he drops that biscuit in the process of reaching up and grabbing that package out of my hand. He just totally forgot it. Why? Because he's not focused on giving something up, he's focused on getting something, something much better than what he's got.

So to tell a sinner to "Repent of your sin, then you can believe on Jesus Christ" is getting it all backwards. And the fact is, it just doesn't work. Now this tract, people get saved reading it because they don't know what they're reading. They got saved before they ever got to this point when they read the message. But that could be said much better.

Does the Bible say “Be willing to turn from your sins”?

So, "Be willing to turn from your sins" is what Chick says. So let's search that then and see what the bible's got to say about repent and turn. Let's look up those two words together. We'll just type in into our computer repent + turn. And so, it's going to find any verse in the Bible that's got those two words in it, in any order, anywhere, on any subject, repent and turn.

Repent & Turn In the Bible

So we've typed that in, and... oh, found one!

Luke 17:4 "If he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, 'I repent,' thou shalt forgive him.”  I found one that had turn and repent in it. Of course, it's not about you turning from your sin, that's that's something else about a man forgiving a man for personal violations against him, so that one wouldn't apply to our subject.

Here's one, the only one where repent and turn is used together.

Acts 26:20 "But showed first unto them of Damascus and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coast of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent..." ..and return from sin? Repent "...and turn to God."  It didn't say turn from sin. It didn't say you need to want to turn from sin. It said "You need to repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance."

So instead of turning from your sin, it says "turn to God." That's kind of like the bum turning to the hamburger, right? In the process, when you turn to God, you will begin turning from sin. But you know, it's a lifetime experience. If you were to try to quantitate the turn from sin, none of us have done it enough to be saved.

There is NO willing to turn from your sins.

So there's no willing to turn from your sins anywhere in the Bible as a condition to being saved. Not only is the phrase not there, the concept is not there. Now, I know this is strange to many of you, seeing this and it's making you mad. The reason it is, is because this has been a dear doctrine to you all your life. And you're sitting there thinking, "Okay. I know what he's saying. He's saying people can just go on sinning after they get saved." I know what you're saying. You're wrong. It isn't what I'm saying at all.

I've got the cure, from the book of Romans, of sinning, the cure on how to stop sinning. And it's not to tell a lost man he needs to quit so he can come to God. And by the way, how many people have you ever led to the Lord doing that? Nope, me neither.

From what and to what must one turn?

Okay. Repentance from something and to something. So from what and to what must one turn? That's the question in repentance. When he says repentance must be preached, repentance, turning what? Turning where? Turning how? Turning from what? Turning to what?

So we research in our Bibles, repent toward, repent to, and repent from. That gives us the direction, because repentance is to turn in some direction, right? So we look up every time that's appeared. It's going to be there. I'm not fooling you again. Okay? So we're going to find it this time.

What do we Repent Toward?

Acts 20:20 "And now I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you and have taught you publicly and from house to house,"  This is Paul's gospel message, "testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks,"  universal message. Here's what he taught, "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."  This is Paul's summary of his gospel approach to Jews and Gentiles alike, repentance toward God.

Finally, we have a direction. What do you repent from? What do you repent to? You repent to God. You turn toward God, and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice the repentance is toward God, God the Father, the eternal God, the God of the Old Testament, toward faith, toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The faith is in what He did in His finished work.

What do we Repent From?

And then, we read Hebrew 6:1 "Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from,"  now we've got the word from, "dead works."  He's giving us the very foundation of getting saved, being born again, accepted by God. He gives a little list, and in this he starts off with "repentance from dead works." That's the foundation of your salvation.

Now, if the Church of Christ were right, that should say "repentance from sin." If many of the Baptists were right, that would say "Be willing to repent of your sin, be willing to give up." That never appears. What appears? He says, "repentance from dead works."

What is a dead work?

What's a dead work? Dead works are defined in the Bible. Dead works are those works that we do to please God and be acceptable to Him.

Do you know what the biggest dead work in the world is? Repentance from sin. That's the biggest dead work there is. The idea that you can turn from your sin and make yourself acceptable to God, that's a dead work. It's a work you're doing in anticipation of becoming a Christian, in preparation for becoming a Christian. And God rejects that dead work.

Hebrew 6:1 “repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”  There's the from and to; repentance from the dead works, faith toward God.

What are your dead works?

What are your dead works? Some people, it's water baptism. Some people, it's going to church. Some people, it's praying. Some people, it's reading their Bible. Some people, it's wearing plain clothes. Some people, it's head coverings. Some people, it's the diet they have, it's their worship patterns. People have all kinds of dead works that they do to try to please God.

Repentance is unto Belief

Now repentance is unto belief. Look at this passage.

Matthew 21:32 "For John came unto you in the way of righteousness and ye believed him not." Jesus is rebuking them for rejecting John. "But the publicans,"  the rank sinner, "and the harlots believed Him." See, he said the low class scum believed on Jesus, but you high class Jews did not. "And ye, when you have seen it, repented not afterward." Having seen Him die, buried, and raised again, see the miracles, afterward, you still didn't repent.

Now what does he mean repent? "That ye might believe Him."  So Jesus is defining the repentance they failed to do as believing God. The publicans and harlots believed, but they repented not. So belief and repentance are synonyms there. Repented not is stating it negatively, belief is stating it positively, "that ye might believe Him."

And then we read, and Mark said, Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand: Repent ye and believe the gospel."   Now those who have a misunderstanding of this subject think that's step two and three, in other words. But they get it backwards. Church of Christ, and most people have it, believe and then repent. He's got it, "Repent ye and believe the gospel," because that's one act. Repenting toward God and believing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is one act. That's not two steps, not something you do in preparation for believing.

Example of one sinner that repenteth

Example of one sinner that repenteth. Now, my very first sermon I ever preached was this story here.

Luke 15:10"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."  Boy, I've experienced that joy so many times. I've been speaking and watched, I can remember right now, a lesbian sitting right about here in this position as I was speaking, and her began to weep. And I saw God save her. She's still saved after 40 years. She's still saved.

I can remember just a couple to three years ago, Deb and I, stopping on the side of the road and witnessing to two hitchhikers. And as we sat there and a gas station that was closed underneath it, I saw the tears began to run down his cheek, and I saw a sinner repenting towards God and being born again.

I took a kayak trip down the river when I was young, and oh that was a big long story. I won't tell it all, but we got to the end of our trip and got out of the water, and here was a hitchhiker standing there. And I gave him the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that sinner repented towards God, had faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and was born again. And there's joy in the presence of the angels, and there was joy in my heart watching him get saved.

Jesus Tells a Story of Repentance

Luke 15:11 "And He said, 'A certain man had two sons."  Now this is following verse 10, this is verse 11. So He's going to give us an example, a parable, of joy over one sinner that repented. We're going to get a story from Jesus that is an example of repentance. Do you see that coming? All right, then. This is going to tell us something. "And He said, 'A certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that followeth to me.' And he divided unto him his living."

So two sons, one of them gets one half of the fortune, the other one gets the other half of the fortune. This old father, and the young man says, "I want my half now." So he gets his half. So they sell off cows and different stuff. They take money out of banks and they get rid of property. And this young man gets his inheritance, and off he goes. He goes off into the city. I left a lot of it out here because I don't have time to read it all. But he wasted his substance with riotous living. He's bought booze and drugs and women and parties. And pretty soon, he'd spent all that great fortune. And when he had spent it all, he ended up eating with the hogs. Nothing left, sick, frail, diseased, a shame and embarrassment to his daddy.

Luke 15:17 "And when he came to himself, he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perished with hunger?'"  He got to thinking about those servants back home, slaves they were, living in their slave quarters, eating really good food.

Luke 15:18-9 "'I will arise and go to my father and I'll say unto him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee. I'm no more worthy to be called thy son. Make me as one of thy hired servants.'" Now this young man wants to go back to his father, back under his father's care. Why? Because he knows he blew his whole life away. It's gone. Good example of repentance. A sinner's got to come to the place to where they know they've messed their life up and they wants something different. That's true, but that's not repentance. But this guy is going through this self-awareness. He said, "I'm no more worthy to be called thy son. Make me as one of thy hired servants."

Luke 15:20-22 "And he rose and came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him." Now apparently, the father was looking down the road as he maybe often did, hoping that son would come back home, might have heard word of him that he'd hit on hard times. He knew there was a famine in the area where his son located.

So the father runs out, falls on his neck, kissed him. "And his son said unto him, 'Father, I've sinned against heaven and in thy sight, no more worthy to be called thy son.'"  Do you see anywhere in this passage that he's repenting of his sins, that he's ceasing to sin, that he's stopping his sin? What he's doing, he's coming to the father. He's coming back home.

"And the father said unto his servants,"  without any promise, without any change, without any change other than coming home, other than repenting toward the father, "the father said to his servants, 'Bring forth the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, shoes on his feet, and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.' And they began to be merry."  Luke 15:22-23

The Father received him

Now before this son has made any lifestyle changes, before he has made any promises or commitments, the father receives him, embraces him, loves him, and exalts him. Now, I don't know what happened to the son after that. It could be that he took advantage of the old man. It could be he tried to go back out and hang out and spend what money he could get on drugs and stuff, but I doubt it. I expect that the experience he had and the kind of love the father displayed toward him broke his heart. I like to think of him as becoming the most faithful, diligent, and humble servant to his father, and being very thankful for anything and everything that he got. I see his heart as being changed by the love of the father towards him. And that's a beautiful example of biblical repentance, as Jesus said it was. That's His example of it.

All right, 2 Timothy 2:25, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure give them repentance to,"  stopping sinning, is that what it says? "Repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." Repentance results in acknowledging the truth.

Repentance and Belief are two sides of the same coin

So we'll finish up here. Repentance and belief are one event, two sides of the same coin. One side of the coin is repent; that's the negative statement. One side of the coin is belief; that's stating it positively. We'll go into this in following lessons, but Jesus never told a sinner to repent. The only people He told to repent were the scribes and Pharisees who were hanging on to their good works. He told them to repent from their dead works.

All of the sinners He came across, publicans and sinners and harlots, He didn't tell them to repent. He told them to believe. Why? Because they already were in a lowly state and they didn't have any hope. They were hopeless. He just gave them hope. But those who had a false hope, he told them to repent of their false hope, turn from their dead works, and believe the gospel, two sides of the same coin.

Back to the Illustration

So here's our man. He is told to turn from unbelief, turn from independence of God, and to turn to God in faith. That's what repentance is. You see, what Adam lost, what he threw away, was his fellowship with God. Salvation is a restoration of fellowship with God. It's coming back to allow God to be God, and you to be the humble, needy one. And that's repentance and faith. One act. Repentance is turning from that which takes the place of God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I know that you have half a dozen verses listing this. You say, "Oh, that's not true. I know it." I'm going to answer all your verses. I've got all that, I've written a book on the subject. It's called Repentance. It covers every single verse, gives you detail on all of it. So it's not like I haven't looked at it all yet, I just can't do it all in one little lesson here.

You stand in the place of decision

So finally, you stand in the place of decision. Will you repent toward God and lay aside all your religion? Or will you continue to clinging to religion and self-help and self advancement, and continue to cling to your repentance? You must repent of your repentance if you're going to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and Him only.

So this has been The Door, No Greater Joy Ministries. You can locate us at, and we will have part two later.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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