Chapter 3: Is repentance a requirement for salvation?

The first requirement that we will examine is ‘repentance.’

In the New Testament, the word ‘repentance’ is associated with salvation more often than one would think. Yet, some churches do not teach that repentance is a requirement for salvation. Others teach that it is the same as faith. That is, they teach that ‘to repent’ is the same as ‘to believe.’ Yet others teach that true repentance must bring about obedience.

Given that there are all these ideas floating out there, what is the truth about repentance? It is very easy for one to get totally confused, throw up her hands and say, "Whatever!"

That, of course, is exactly what Satan would have us do. Satan wants us to get confused. He wants us to have many alternatives to the truth. It lowers the chance that we will choose the correct alternative.

However, given that so much is at stake, it is important to know what repentance is, and whether repentance is a requirement for salvation. This is because, if repentance is a requirement for salvation, and we are not repentant, then we are not saved.

Further, if repentance is a requirement for salvation, and while witnessing to people we don’t tell them that they have to repent, then we have not properly declared the whole gospel to them. If they are lost while thinking that they are saved, will we not be responsible for their blood?

Now you must think I am joking. But I am not. Take a look at what Paul told the Ephesians when he was leaving them. He testified to them that he was innocent of the blood of all men because he did not shrink from declaring the whole purpose of God to them (Ac 20:26,27).

Ac 20:26,27 "Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God."

What is the implication? Is it not that if we shrink from declaring the whole purpose of God to people then we can be guilty of their blood?

In view of this, if repentance is a requirement for salvation, and we do not mention that it is a requirement while preaching the gospel, then we are putting ourselves in the danger of being guilty of their blood.

Now, it is not my intention to scare you, but I hope you see the seriousness of what we engage in as witnesses, missionaries, pastors and teachers of the word of God.

Keeping the seriousness of our endeavor in mind, in this chapter, let us examine whether repentance is a requirement for salvation.

If repentance is a requirement for salvation, then we must carefully understand what repentance means. If it is not a requirement, then we don’t really need to bother with it anymore in this book.

We will see that pretty much everyone who preached the message of salvation in the New Testament taught that one needs to repent in order to be saved. Therefore we will conclude that repentance is a requirement for salvation.





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