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Possibly the most deadening perversion of doctrine in the Lord's Church
Steve Van Nattan
The object of faith is not my vocal or demonstrative actions and sincere declarations. Faith, and the confession thereof, is vested in a person, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Repentance without faith in Jesus Christ will damn your soul to hell.
Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence 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.
Christians can fall from their first profession of faith. They are then called to repent and return to their first love. This is not a second brand of repentance, like there is a yellow package and a blue package, like when we find many flavors of potato chips at the super market. Repentance is the human experience of us all, for we are saved from the old nature, but we fall, as Jesus said above.
Now, here comes Frank down the aisle weeping at the end of the sermon. Six months ago he was counseled by the pastor not to get a divorce. Frank has been a deacon for many years, and he knew very well what the teachings of Paul and Jesus were. His "ex" also knew the Word of God taught against divorce, but the couple ignored the counsel and got a divorce.
Frank then was seen in the company of another lady, oh so godly, oh so zealous, spiritual works in your mouth, works and zeal in the assembly, bla bla bla. Franks "ex" went to another Fundamental Baptist church in the area and was taken in with joy. She plays the piano very well, and that church was fresh out of a pianist.
As Frank is wending his way to the altar this morning, his "ex" is wending her way to the altar across town. They are NOT wending their way into one another's arms to restore the home they destroyed. In fact, Frank is talking about marrying the good godly lady at his side, and his "ex" is spending much time with the preacher's son over yonder.
The only variation on this is when the parties in the plot wait until AFTER the remarriage. They each get remarried in some evangelical church where there are no standards at all. Then, they repent, possibly with several weeks to alleged soul searching with their new spouses, and one Sunday morning, wallah, they walk the aisle weeping and even confess out loud. The diddle head preacher, knowing how well the man involved tithed previously, sweeps 1 Timothy away and quotes verses which seem to force all present to "restore such an one" with no reservations.
Indeed, since all is forgiven, the next conclusion is that the Blood of Jesus cancels 1 Timothy 3, and the man can be put back on the deacon board and teach Sunday School. Here is a wicked thought-- This picture gives the impression to new believers and the weaker brother that when Jesus died on the cross, 1 Timothy 3 was nailed to the cross with our sins, and the Blood of Jesus cancels 1 Timothy. Read that again please.
So, what shall we say about this repentance program here, this weeping and open self-condemnation of themselves before the saints.
Answer: To hell with their repentance.
In the end of the Church Age we find that there are a multitude of scams being pulled at the church house. Preachers, hyperventilating evangelists, church leaders, and other saints are using the alter call, or some form of response time, to fake godly sorrow.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to
salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
When a lost sinner repents of sin, believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, and says so publicly, the church rejoices. Later, that person rebels, ignores counsel, and sins on purpose in order to satisfy the same old lusts they were saved from. Their alleged repentance, after this scam, damns their first confession of faith, and they must be run off from the presence of the Lord as manifested in the local church.
But, modern Fundamentalists, unlike the Puritans and Anabaptists of the past, will always cave in as the red hot tears course down the face of the penitent. The action at the weeping rail at the front of the church house will sucker in the average Fundamental preacher because he craves that public vindication of his banal sermons.
If you think this circus is a case of "restore such an one," you are a damned fool.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Psalms 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in
his holy place?
Psalms 101:7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
Nothing deadens the life of the Lord's Church worse than public lies, whether told by the preacher from the pulpit, or the lies of consecration, repentance, and dedication which are solidly built on a foundation of sexual lust and self-love.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness,
let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
It is the responsibility of the saints to prove what is acceptable unto the Lord. This is not done in committee meetings or behind closed doors with the jack boot pastor brokering the response of the saints to some four flusher at the altar.
We should briefly mention false repentance which is caused by the emotions only. This happens when a mob moves down the aisles to the front, and a certain weak minded saint becomes overwhelmed with the need for the hubris of being part of the mob. Billy Graham learned the value of the rush to the front, and he arranged for "counselors" to get up at the start of his altar calls and move forward showing affect. This inspired others to follow.
The other emotional trick is the pastor who whines about nothing happening anymore. Never mind that he is no longer studying the Bible to preach, the slow belly whines, and certain people will hit the altar to give the preacher a rush.
Also, we have the Oxford Movement principle. Long ago saints in the UK, who longed for the power of God, would gather in groups and confess sin to one another. They would even confess sin of evil thoughts which no one knew existed. This was thought of as deeply spiritual. So, in Fundamentalism there is a kind of sick competition to see who can confess the nastiest sin in public.
The above three devilish forms of repentance will be justified by the preacher when he makes emotional mention during prayer meeting and praise times, "what a blessing it is to see the Holy Ghost moving people to get right." This is also mentioned at altar call times, and this is the reason you see the same people over and over shuffling down front to charge the preacher's batteries again and again.
If the preachers and fat faced evangelists will not stop promoting this circus, who will? "Proving what is acceptable" MUST become the duty of every father of every home, and he must teach his wife and kids how to approve and disapprove of the confession and profession of salvation, and the repentance performances, at the church house.
HOW CAN A FATHER TEACH REPENTANCE AT HOME?
First, we saw above that true repentance is not repented of.
Second, fruit proves the profession.
Third, the Word is exalted above feeling.
is only one thing a truly
8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto
her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
No genuinely repentant saint will settle with the "te absolvo" of the Whore or Rome, and no true Bible believer will settle for the grinning bluster of the jack boot preacher....
only the voice of Jesus will do.
the repentant one will indeed,