SAVED BY FAITH
Appendix: The Kingdom of Heaven: A Kingdom Within the Heart
The Bible tells us to call upon the name of the Lord and we will be saved. When we do, we taste of his mercy and grace; we receive an imputed righteousness, and his blood covers our sins; but many say we need to repent before we can receive this mercy. So how do we define repentance?
Do we just need to turn from sin toward God and make our best effort? Without any guidelines?
Or do we need to repent of all these things listed: for the Bible states that those that do these things will not inherit the kingdom:
fornicationidolatry (worship of others; like movie stars, athletes)adulteryeffeminate (not manly in appearance or behavior)abusers (mistreatment of others)thievescovetousness (a desire for what belongs to another)drunkardsrevilers (use of abusive language)extortionersuncleanness (impure)lasciviousness (like pornography)witchcraft (use of medicine, drugs, spells)hatred (unforgiveness)variance (disagreements, dissensions, disputes)emulations (striving, jealousy, zeal)wrath (vengeful anger)strife (conflict, dissensions)sedition (resistance to authority)envy (displeasure at the prosperity of others)murder (hatred)revellings (wild parties or celebrations)filthiness (obscene, impure)foolish talkingjesting (inappropriate joking)whoremonger,
heresy**1. adherence to a religious opinion contrary to church dogma b : denial of a revealed truth by a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church c : an opinion or doctrine contrary to church dogma
2 a : dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice b : an opinion, doctrine, or practice contrary to the truth or to generally accepted beliefs or standards
Do we need to keep the ten commandments? As taught in the old testament.
Or do we just need to love one another: “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Rom 13:8-10
“If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said, also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” James 2:8-11
Or do we need to keep the new commandments that Jesus taught in the sermon on the Mt? The ones that call for an inward righteousness; For once the kingdom of heaven had come, Jesus said this was the standard of repentance:
forgive and reconcile with those that are angry with usdo not lust, commit adultery in our heart, divorce or remarrylet our word be yes or no; ie speak the truth at all timesgo the extra mile; give to him that askslove our enemies; not just those that love usdo good to them that hate us; pray for those that use us bless those that curse usfast, pray, and give alms without hypocrisydon’t lay up wealth upon the earth; for where our treasure is, that is where our heart isseek first his kingdom; rather than seek after moneydon’t have an evil eyebe perfect, like our father in heaven is perfectdon’t judge our brotherbring forth good fruit; as our hearts are either good or corruptdo the will of our Fatherkeep all his sayings
Or do we need to do all of the above?
At what point am I righteous enough to call upon his name and ask for mercy? After I have mastered 1 Corinthians 13 and love perfectly? Or mastered the Sermon on the Mt?
The good news is that we don’t have to do any of these things to receive his mercy and grace; for we can never be good enough or righteous enough to deserve what Jesus did on the cross; it just means that we are called to repent and do all these things for a different reason: for repentance is an absolute requirement to enter into the gates of the kingdom, but not a prerequisite to believe in Jesus Christ or miss the lake of fire!
For when we examine the gospels, we find they are written in two parts. Matthew, Mark, and Luke preach repentance that is tied to the kingdom of heaven, but they don’t instruct us to believe in Jesus Christ; by contrast, the Book of John tells us numerous to believe, but he never tells us to repent; in fact, repent or repentance isn’t mentioned once in the book of John; So yes, we are called to repent! And yes, we are called to believe in Jesus Christ; but each part is an independent truth that has its own reward and consequence.
I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel
For 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. Eph 2:8 What then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid; don’t you know that even though we are saved by faith, we are going to be judged by our works? And that many will be denied an entrance into the kingdom because they lived unrighteously; And that’s why we are called to repent. For we are all going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things we have done, whether they be good or bad; (2 Cor 5:10) So not only did Jesus die on the cross to save those that believe, but he also called on sinners to repent:
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners to hear him, But when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mark 2:16-17; Now the Pharisees weren’t asking why Jesus ate with unbelievers, but with sinners, and the two are not the same; even though we might not understand the difference, they knew exactly what this means: when Jesus ate with sinners, he was dining with extortioners and adulterers, or with those that broke the commandments; for the Pharisees avoided these Asinful people, and they couldn’t understand why Jesus didn’t do the same. So Jesus went on to explain: a physician doesn’t call on those that are healthy, (those that keep the commandments) but he calls on those that are sick; and that’s exactly what he did; just like a doctor that goes from house to house, he called on sinners to repent! For he was calling them to live righteously; trying to make them whole.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (Do you really think the Pharisees murmured because Jesus was eating with unbelievers?) And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you that like wise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (righteous) persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:2-7) In other words, Jesus spoke a parable to help the Pharisees understand: he was spending time with sinners because he was trying to gain them back; for even they would go after a lost sheep, and keep searching until they found it; and even they would call their friends and say rejoice when they found their lost sheep; and how much more joy do you think takes place in heaven when one sinner decides to keep the commandments, compared to the ninety nine righteous ones that have no need to repent.
So just like a Shepard that leaves his flock behind, Jesus went searching for his lost sheep; not calling on Joseph, or John the Baptist, or Elisabeth and Zacharias: for they were both righteous before God, walking in all of the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; (Luke 1:6) but he went calling on the publicans like Zaccheus that had fallen into extortion and greed; (Luke 19:10) and he went calling on the sinful woman that washed his feet with her tears; (Luke 7:36) For Jesus was calling on the Jews that were not keeping the commandments, because they were his lost sheep. "
"But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mat 15:24).
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
Then Jesus continued to address the Pharisees: A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. Luke 15:11-13 And we all know the rest of the story: after the young man acknowledged that he had sinned, he decided to head for home. When his father saw him coming, he ran to him and rejoiced. Did the prodigal son find Christ as savior? No. Did he return to his father to keep his commandments and serve him once again? (Luke 15:29) Yes, and for that his father said: AIt was meet that we should make merry; and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and he was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32:
Just like finding a lost coin, the prodigal son was found once he decided to repent: Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not take a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and neighbours together, saying, rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:8-10) You see, the prodigal son isn’t a story about an unbeliever that becomes a son, but it’s a parable about a father that finds the son he had lost (to sin); not ending up with a new one, but simply gaining back the one he had: So no wonder the father rejoiced; for it was just like finding the roll of hundred dollar bills he had been searching for, or a precious coin he had lost a while back.
Not only did Jesus preach repentance, but he sent his disciples to preach the very same thing: These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mat 10:5-7 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily, I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. Mark 6:10-12
And they went everywhere preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing the sick. (Luke 9:1-6) Not going to the Gentiles, or preaching Jesus, but calling on the house of Israel to repent! And not only did Jesus send out the twelve, he sent out seventy others: After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest (of fruit that comes with repentance) is truly great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest... And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding, be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. Luke 10:1-14
Jesus preached repentance. The disciples preached repentance, but they didn’t preach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ until after it had happened. So when Jesus pronounced his woes, it wasn’t spoken to those that rejected him; but it was spoken to the lost sheep (of the house of Israel) that rejected his repentance message, and for that he said, they were going to have a less tolerable judgment.
Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. (Mat 11:20-22) For Jesus likened their sinful generation unto children that called to their friends: We played music, but you didn’t dance; we acted sad, but you didn’t mourn; for no matter what they did, they couldn’t get their friends to join in; and in like manner, when John the Baptist (who didn’t eat or drink) preached repentance, they said he had a devil; and when Jesus (who ate and drank) said repent; they called him a winebibber, and a friend of publicans and sinners! (Matthew 11:16-19) For no matter who was sent, they found a reason not to repent! And that’s why Jesus reproached the cities where his mighty works were done; Not because they didn’t believe in him, but because they repented not! And once again, Jesus said it will be more tolerable on judgment day for those that repent, than for those that do not.
John preached repentance! Jesus preached repentance! The disciples preached repentance; but none of them said repent and believe in Jesus; for they all linked repentance to the kingdom:
In those days, came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent, ye: for (because) the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:1-2
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for (because) the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matt 4:17
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:14-15 (see “gospel of the kingdom”)
Now if only they had said, “repent, and believe in Jesus,” this discussion would come to an end; but that’s not what they said; for the call to repentance was tied to the coming of the kingdom and not to Jesus Christ! So let’s look at the reason why: Because the kingdom of heaven had come, the house of Israel was called to repent. For the kingdom brought new teaching, and new commandments, that moved the law into our hearts; for the law and the prophets were until John; since that time, the kingdom of heaven was preached, and so was this new way of life; so the house of Israel was called to repent. (To change one’s mind or purpose, always involving a change for the better: Vines) Not just by turning from sin toward God, for Jesus was calling them to an inward righteousness of love, mercy, and compassion, that is essential to enter his kingdom gates.
Now the Pharisees wanted a sign before they would repent, and they were very slow to make these changes; for they did not believe the kingdom teaching; and besides, they were already living righteously and very proud of it. But Jesus made it clear: Unless our righteousness exceeds the outward righteousness of that of the scribes and Pharisees, we are not going to enter his kingdom gates. For many will say to him in that day, ALord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And I will say to them, depart from me you that work iniquity or you that didn’t keep my commandments; for the gates of his kingdom are not symbolic, but they are going to separate those that lived righteously from those that didn’t do all the things he said: for the gates of his kingdom are going to separate by works, all that believe in Jesus Christ: and that is why we are called to repent!
Know ye not that the unrighteous (by works) shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6:9 (Those that are unrepentant can believe in Jesus Christ, but they won’t enter or inherit the kingdom)
Fruits meet for repentance
Do we need to believe in Jesus Christ to have eternal life? Yes. Do we need to repent of our sins to enter his kingdom gates? Yes, but the two are separate truths; Just as there are consequences for not believing, there are consequences for not repenting; and in fact, repentance is linked with the judgment that takes place after we get to heaven, rather than something we do to get there; and to those that have ears to hear: when Jesus comes with his holy angels, he is going to reward (misthos: pay for services; good or bad) each and everyone of us according to our works; whether they’ve been good, or whether they have been bad. (Mat 16:27; Rom 2:6-11; 1 Corinthians 3:8-15; Col 3:24-25)
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (don’t say I am a son of God, so this doesn’t apply to me) And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Mat 3:8-10
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree (not just the unbeliever) that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matt 7:18-20) Not a casting into the lake of fire, but a casting into the furnace of fire that takes place at Jesus fiery return. (Mat 13:47)
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (those that are unrepentant; not keeping the commandments) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matt 13:43) For when the Son of man comes in the glory of his Father with his angels, he is going to reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27) For even though we are justified by faith, we are going to be judged by works, and separated by works, and that’s why we are called to repent.
And unto the church in Thyatira write... I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel.. to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Rev 2:21) So if we don’t want to be cast into great tribulation, we need to repent of our adultery and fornication; for Jesus clearly taught these consequences to his church or to those that believe in him.
There were present at the season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all like wise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and came and sought fruit thereon, (fruits of repentance) and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. Luke 13:1-9
Do you think the Galileans died because they were worse sinners than others? No, they died because they didn’t have fruits of repentance. Or do you think the tower fell on the eighteen men because they didn’t believe in Jesus Christ? No, they perished because they weren’t producing fruit; So we need to take heed to his words and repent; for these are the kind of things that can happen, even to those that believe. If we want to understand how repentance works, we need to see ourselves in a vineyard. Those that bring forth fruit are pruned so that more fruit comes forth, while those that lack fruit are eventually cut down: And men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:6 Not because God is angry or upset, but that’s how a vineyard works. In fact, we would do the very same thing; if year after year we had a vine that didn’t produce fruit, we too would cut it down. But before we did, we would fertilize it, and dig it, and help it along. Not despising it or wanting to see it destroyed; but doing everything we could to save our vine; And that my friend is God’s heart for you and me. (Matt 18:10-14; Luke 9:54-56; Luke 15:1-7; John 15:8-11)
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones (that offends, or sins against you) For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (those not keeping the commandments) How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray; doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Mat 18:10-16 For we too are called to seek after lost sheep; not despising those that sin against us, but going after them with a heart to gain them back; and if they say they repent, we need to rejoice, for we have found our lost sheep!
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit; O generation of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth for evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, (as righteous) and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned. (Judged against) Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold a greater than Jonas is here. Matthew 12:33-41
Not a condemnation that makes us pay for our sins, but a judgment that is based on our works. (Repentance is clearly an issue of works: Luke 3:8-14; Gal 5:19; Heb 6:1) So we either need to repent and make our fruit good, or realize that we are a lost sheep, and one of the sinners; for in that day, there is going to be a separation of the good from the bad; (Mat 12:33; Mat 13:48; Mat 22:10; Mat 25:21: John 5:29) the wicked from the just, or those that lived righteously from those that brought forth corrupt fruit: (Mat 7:17-23: Luke 13:27) And the men of Nineveh are going to rise up and condemn their generation; not because they didn’t believe in Christ, but because they repented not:
For the men of Nineveh believed God, and they proclaimed a fast. And they covered themselves in sackcloth, and they cried out to God: let everyone turn from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. AAnd 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. Jonah 3:10
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (Condemnation or judgment based on our works) John 5:28-29
So Jesus went about calling on his sheep to repent: AAnd, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, (she wasn’t keeping the commandments) when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears. (Luke 7:37-38) For just like the prodigal son, she was dead, but now she was alive, and she cried tears of repentance; But the Pharisees found fault: AThis man, if he were a prophet, would have known what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. (Luke 7:39) But Jesus knew exactly who and what she was; for he was calling sinners to repent! AAnd they that sat with him began to say within themselves, AWho is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. Luke 7:50
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, And, behold, there was a man there named Zaccheus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. Luke 19:1-2 For he was a dishonest tax collector that made his riches from extortion and abuse. But when Jesus saw him in a tree, he didn’t condemn him, but he called him by his name. And when the Pharisees saw it, Athey all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. Luke 19:7 But Jesus wasn’t calling on those that were righteous (those that were keeping the commandments) for he was calling on sinners to repent: AAnd Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Luke 19:8
And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:9-10 For not only did Zaccheus receive Jesus joyfully, but he also brought forth fruits of repentance!
Now this isn’t talking about the saving of our spirit that comes by faith in Christ, (John 3:5-6) but a saving of the soul that takes place when we repent: For when we save our life we lose it: but when we lose our life we save it. (Mark 8:35) For what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose (be cast away) his own soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For when the Son of man comes in the glory of his Father with his angels, he is going to reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:26-27 For even though we are justified by faith, we are going to be judged by works: and that is why we need to repent; for one is a saving by faith, and the other a saving by works; and whether you believe it or not, we are all going to receive for the wrong that we have done, Aand there is no respect of persons. Col 3:25
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. James 5:19
Repentance: it’s a matter of life and death. For when we love our life, we lose it; but when we hate our life in this world we Akeep it unto life eternal. John 12:25 For to save our life is to lose it, and to lose our life is to find it, in the world to come. (Romans 8:13; Matt 16:25) For if we want to be in the resurrection of life, enter the city of life, partake of the tree of life, the river of life, and inherit life, we must repent. For outside the gates of New Jerusalem are those that worked iniquity or those that didn’t keep his commandments. (Mat 7: 23; Luke 13:24-30; Rev 22:14) For truly this is a narrow way, and few are going to find it.
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:12-14; see Matt 19:17-29
"Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:13-14 Not the death of our spirit, but the death of our soul, for each one is uniquely different.
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the church
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelations 3:6 For not only does Jesus promise wonderful things to those that repent, but he speaks of a justice for those that do not: Unless we repent of our fornication, he will come unto us quickly and fight against us with the sword of his mouth; unless we return to our first love and do the first works (i.e. keep the commandments) we will miss out on the tree of life; unless we repent of our imperfect works, he will come as a thief in the night and find us sleeping; unless we repent of our adultery and fornication, he will cast us into great tribulation; unless we repent of our trust in money, we will be shamed by our nakedness and he is going to spew us out of his mouth; for he is going to render unto everyone of us according to our works: Abe zealous therefore, and repent for he rebukes and chastens those he loves. (Rev 3:19)
"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write...I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember, therefore from which thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh (by repenting) will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Rev 2:2-7
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write.., . I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is; and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith.... But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication... Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.(see Rev 19;15-21) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh (by repenting) will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Rev 2:12-17
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write... I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name... Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down from heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev 3:7
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (See Matthew 24:36-51; Matthew 25:1-13) Thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shalt walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (See Matthew 22:8) He that overcometh, (by repenting) the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels; he that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev 3:1-6
"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write....I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works... And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. (see Mat 25:21-23) And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev 2:18-29
"Unto the angel of the Laodiceans write... I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, (see Matt 22:11) and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; (see Revelations 16:15) and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: (see Luke 12:35-36) if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (see Luke 12:37-40) To him that overcometh (by repentance) will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcome and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev 3:13
Do you want to miss the lake of fire and go to heaven when you die? Then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you want to enter into his kingdom gates and partake of the tree of life? Then repent and keep his commandments! (Humble yourself; don’t judge or speak against; don’t hold unforgiveness or make others pay for their sins; don’t covet, have an evil eye, be deceitful, lie, steal, or use the church for gain; don’t be lustful, fornicate, divorce or remarry: Do you also want to have a more tolerable judgment when you stand before his throne? Then bring forth fruits meet for repentance: be full of mercy, compassion and humility; do good works, and give of your goods; have good speech; speak for, rather than against; and love your neighbor as yourself; for even though we are saved by grace, we still need to repent of our unrighteousness acts and work out the salvation of our souls. (Phil 2:12)
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness." Acts 17:30
Once again, the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Luke 21:31) and Jesus is going to send out his disciples; As they go, they will heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons: saying Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Not calling on those that are righteous, (those that are keeping his commandments) but calling on the lost sheep (unrepentant, not keeping his commandments) of the house of Israel (his church) to repent. For just as Jesus preached repentance, those that follow him are called to preach the very same thing.
And it came to pass, that as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, let the dead bury their dead: but go though and preach the kingdom of God. (go preach repentance) And another said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:57-62
And that repentance and remission of sins (in this life) should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:47
And that’s exactly what Peter did; after he preached his salvation message: Awhosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,(Acts 2:21) he also preached repentance; for he told the house of Israel that the same Jesus they crucified had become both Lord and Christ: (Acts 2:23,36) ANow when they hear this, they were pricked (vexed, distressed) in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? (Act 2:37) For they had murdered Jesus Christ; So Peter said repent, and be baptized for the remission of sins; not the forgiveness that takes us to heaven, but the remission of sins that releases us from guilt and suffering in this life and cancels the debts we owe; (Luke 7:40-48; Mat 6:12-15) for when our sins are not remitted, we pay in different ways; (Mat 18:25) not only with sickness and disease; (Mat 9:5; John 5:14; James 5:15) but we pay by torment and bondage. (Mat 18:23-35)
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14
BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house. Acts 16:30-31 Simply believe! For if we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we have eternal life; and when you look at the following scriptures, you won’t find repentance mentioned:
Now this was the perfect time to tell us that repentance is required; in fact, it would be irresponsible not to do so; but when we look at the scriptures about salvation, we find this is the standard, rather than the exception; for salvation occurs by faith alone and not by faith and works. In fact, not one scripture directly tells us to repent and believe for salvation for a good reason: for we are saved by faith and grace, without any works on our part.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at the time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? it is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Rom 3:22
Clearly we are saved by faith, without any works involved; in fact, when we add works to the mix, it is no more grace, but debt, and we insult the grace of God; and when we look at scripture, we find it’s not the righteous, but the ungodly that are justified, and the ungodly that are forgiven:
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned by grace, but of debt. 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.” Rom 4:1-7; see Rom 5:6-8
The moment we believe in Jesus Christ, our sins are totally forgiven; so we don’t need to do more good works, or less bad works, for our righteousness is given by faith; and the moment we receive this imputed righteousness, it is credited to our account, and we are as righteous as we are ever going to be.
“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise... 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto them that call upon him, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13
For it’s not whosoever repents and calls upon his name, but whosoever calls; For we are saved by faith, and not by the things we do: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave us his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:14-18
He that believes in Jesus Christ has eternal life: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he hasn’t believed on the name of Christ; for we are saved by faith; and the moment we call upon his name, we pass from death to life, and all of our sins are forgiven: past, present and future.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” Colossians 2:12-14
The Bible teaches a plain and simple truth: we are saved by faith, and not by works; we are forgiven by grace and not by debt, and we are made righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, without any repentance involved; for all that believe in Jesus Christ have this witness in themselves: we know that we have passed from death to life because we believe in him:
“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that beleiveth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave us his son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life, and this life is in his son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that nath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:9-13 For if we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we will be saved; and when you look at the following scriptures, you won’t find repentance mentioned:
Eternal life to those that believe
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house.” Acts 16:30-31
"Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." John 6:47
"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." John 3:36
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hearth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from life to death." John 5:24
"Jesus said unto her, 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?" John 11:25-26
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.... 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 3:18
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:11-12
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:69
"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." John 20:31
"And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." Acts 13:48
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he powers to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:11-12
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.” John 2:23
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
"For after that in the wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Corinthians 1:21
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him, for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did....and many more believed because of his own word. And said the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the shepard of the world.” John 4:39-42
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24 (“before Abraham was, I am” John 8:58; Jesus declared himself to be God)
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48
“Preaching the Lord Jesus, And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” Acts 11:21
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” 1 John 5:1
"Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should herafter believe on him to life everlasting." 1 Timothy 1:16
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." 2 Cor 4:3
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Phillip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Acts 8:35
“Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe. And many others 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.” John 20:27-31
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:15
“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” John 6:64
“For neither did his brethren believe in him.” John 7:5
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a school master, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:24-26
“Be it know unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him, all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned by grace, but of debt. 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.” Romans 4:1-6
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16
“He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But to us also, to whom it shall be imputed , if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:20-25
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:43
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Galatians 3:7
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephes 1:6-7
“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved as they.” Acts 15:10-11
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Phillipians 3:9
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us; Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Jesus Christ. For 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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?.. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.” James 2:14,26 For the faith that takes place in our hearts is dead until we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and call upon his name; For even the devils believe there is one God, and they tremble; (James 2:19) but they don’t have a saving faith.
“I know that he shall rise again at the last day. Jesus said unto her, 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: believeth thou this. She said unto him, Yea, Lord, I believe thou art the son of God.” John 11:24
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being Justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” Titus 3:5-8
In summary, let’s review what the Bible says about salvation by faith and grace:
-if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved.
-he that does not believe is condemned already
-as many as received Christ, he gave power to become the sons of God
-all that believe on his name are saved; they will be raised up in the last day
-if we believe in our hearts, and confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be saved
-if we believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, and Jesus is God (the I am) we will be saved
-whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord will be saved
-we are saved by grace through faith
-we are saved by faith and not by works, lest any man should boast
-we are justified by faith
-we receive forgiveness of sins by faith in Christ; all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
-our righteousness comes by faith in Christ
- Righteousness is imputed to those with faith in Christ; not by works
-we are justified freely by his grace
-our faith is counted for righteousness; for he justifies the ungodly
-we receive redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins
-remission of sins to those that believe
-saved by mercy, not by our own works of righteousness
-he blotted out the ordinances that were against us and nailed them to the cross
-a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law
-justified by grace, we are heirs of eternal life
-being dead in our sins, he has quickened us and given us eternal life
-those that have eternal life will miss the second death, which is the lake of fire (Rev 20:14-15; Rev 21:8)
-salvation is a gift; it is not of ourselves, but it is freely given to those that believe
-those that believe in Jesus must be careful to maintain good works, for they are profitable to men
-even though we are saved by faith, we are judged by works: And that’s why we are called to repent:
So yes, we are called to repent; (if we want remission of sins in this life; if we want to enter his kingdom gates; if we want to have a better judgment) and yes, we are called to believe in Jesus Christ, (if we want to have eternal life and miss the lake of fire) but each one is a separate truth with it’s own reward and consequence.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
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