Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Statement Carefully Crafted to Leave Out the Parts of the Gospel Most Disagreeable to Sinners

If you go to the Lancaster Baptist Church website, you can read its doctrinal statement and the following paragraph on sin and salvation:
Sin and Salvation 
We believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam. We believe that because of his nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power. We believe the only hope of deliverance for man is a total change of mind concerning his sinful condition and inability to change it, and a turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. We believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin. We believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the lake of fire. (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:10-23; Romans 5:6-12; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14)
Lancaster Baptist Church, its pastor, Paul Chappell, and its resident West Coast Baptist College, have a big (maybe the biggest) influence on a large swath of independent, fundamental Baptists  I want to look at this statement on salvation, talk about what it says and what it misses that corrupts the gospel, and then consider what should be done about it.

Even though they are stated in awkward fashion, the first two sentences are fine in their stated content.  The third then reads,
We believe the only hope of deliverance for man is a total change of mind concerning his sinful condition and inability to change it, and a turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour.
One, the statement never uses the necessary word, either "repent" or "repentance."  It is obviously purposefully leaving out repentance.  From reading this statement, someone would not know it was necessary to repent in order to be saved.  This distorts the gospel enough to call the statement a "false gospel."  When Jesus told His disciples what to preach, providing the only account of the message of salvation in the Great Commission, He said in Luke 24:47,
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
At the same time, someone might ask, "It says, 'change of mind,' and isn't that the meaning of repentance?"  "Change of mind" isn't what repentance means.  You don't know what a word means by its etymology, but how it is used.  Repentance is more than intellectual.  It is intellectual, but even more so volitional as seen in its usage.  The Lancaster statement won't even use the word repent or repentance in a statement on salvation, and then uses "change of mind" instead for obvious reasons.

As insufficient as "change of mind" is, it is even worse in the Lancaster statement, because it is only a "change of mind concerning his sinful condition and inability to change it."  The idea expressed is that man's only hope of deliverance is for him to change his mind about his sinful condition and his inability to change it.  I've talked to only three people in my life that would not admit they were sinners, and they may have been kidding me.  All but those three had changed their mind about their sinful condition.  The thought here is that someone was thinking that he did not have a sinful condition, but now he is thinking that he does have one.  Again, I've found that almost all people already know they are in a sinful condition, as ambiguous as the word "condition" is.

Furthermore, the Lancaster statement says someone must also change his mind about his inability to change his sinful condition -- his condition, not his sinful or rebellious or ungodly activity or way. This though relates to the last part of the sentence, "a turning to Jesus Christ as the only Savior."  For anyone who is familiar with revivalist salvation statements, this is just another way of saying, "turning from unbelief to belief."  Lancaster uses the word "turn" as an impression of repentance.  However, it's a very narrow, specific turning, which is not the meaning of repentance.  This is a person who thought he could change his condition on his own from a sinner to a saint, but only Jesus could change that condition, and instead he started thinking that.

I said that the first two sentences were fine in their stated content, however, they are lacking and even strange.  Somebody can't reform himself or cease from his sin in his own power.  Is salvation someone being reformed or ceasing from sin?   The statement itself is true, but it doesn't get at the root of the problem of sin.  It isn't representing biblical doctrine.  I don't recall reading anything like that in a doctrinal statement.

What one is reading when he reads the Lancaster salvation statement is that a sinner need just change his mind about his condition and his inability to change his condition, essentially thinking that he can't change his condition, and then turning to Jesus Christ simply as Savior.  The assumption here is that Jesus will save the person who does that.  He doesn't have to repent, but that's not all.  Strangely enough, he doesn't even have to believe in Jesus Christ. What is salvation if it is neither believing or faith either?  How does this happen?  When a group minimizes salvation, carefully reduces it based on conforming to its methodology, it ends up with something that isn't salvation at all.  Perhaps the assumption is that a statement about salvation doesn't even matter, because what really matters is how big your church will get.  You don't want your salvation statement to get in the way of that, so minimize it to something that is very easy to accept, even though it is less than and different than what the Bible teaches.

More to Come


JMark said...

Having been a student at WCBC 10 years ago I can tell you we had discussions about repentance and several were keen on Paul Washers message of repentance at the time. THere is still a Hyles influence, but I think it goes back to TN Temple and the philosophy that we are not to point out errors, but unify.

I like Pastor Chappell, but I see the church has little to no root once he dies.

Bill Hardecker said...

It would be absurd to define the word butterfly by its etymology. But repentance (which is far more important) gets that treatment. Salvation is what the Lord Jesus himself preached: "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mk. 1:15). Thankfully, repent and repentance is included in God's for ever settled word. And while many don't like it, won't include it, some even redefine it, in the end, it will remain. Heaven and earth shall pass away but His words shall not pass away. His authoritative command still stands today, undiminished in power, and calls all men every where to repent.

Kent Brandenburg said...


No root sounds like no salvation, like the rocky soil of Matthew 13, at least as I'm reading your comment. There is so much wrong with the Chappell doctrine and philosophy, it would take an entire book to point out the error. It's not only his wrong doctrine, but the methodology that is manipulative. I can't even get started there are so many problems, and he is spreading this all over the country, people wanting to be a "success."

You like Paul Chappell. I've had many, many men I like. They are likeable. How likeable can someone who pushes a false gospel be?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Billy. I agree.

JMark said...

I think a book is warranted. Way too much of mans philosophy is being promoted. Book after book is being published. Lots of money is being made. Lots of debt. Its bigness bigger than Hyles ever achieved.

His own son has a CCM church olant and the end of the bigness will not be pretty.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brandenburg, this is just a technical note to inform you that your blog must be having some technical issues. My comments are not showing up.

Thank You

Kent Brandenburg said...


I don't always post anonymous comments. Yours were so off the wall that they read like satire. I had a hard time believing you or taking you seriously, so I didn't post them. If you will be honest about your identity and I could be sure that it wasn't a joke, then I would post them. Maybe.

Unknown said...

Gods Gospel Tract. Revelation 20:11-15 why you need to have all of your sins forgiven and become justified in the eyes of God and salvation from hell fire. The gospel today is found in the book of Romans. Before Paul gives you the glad tidings of good things which is the gospel and the Gospel that is the power of God unto Salvation (Romans 1:16) , he's going to talk to you about some evil tidings and things you have to understand regarding your soul. If you have committed sin, which you have, your soul is in danger. Its clear. Read the evil tidings from Romans 1:18 through Romans 3:20 and believe it. Romans 3:19 let every mouth be stopped and all the world come guilty before God. From Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:6 we have to glad tidings of Salvation. Let the Bible define itself.

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 this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Romans 3:24‭-‬26 KJV

The Bible is very clear when we read it ourselves. Too much trash today, oh to God would we read our Bibles with an open heart and mind instead of through these glasses and views of men and denominations.

Brandon E. Not sure why my account says unknown.

God bless.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I can't tell if you support the post or don't support it. I talked mainly about repentance and faith. Romans isn't THE gospel today more than Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts are. I couldn't tell by what you wrote whether you might be someone who likes the Lancaster statement.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I got all your other anonymous posts and you are still anonymous and it is still strange, so it goes on unpublished.

Unknown said...

Yes, Romans is the gospel to the gentiles. Romans in after the cross of Christ. Paul is our Apostle. Romans is more of the gospel today, for us. Who is Christ speaking to in Mark 1:15? Context. The Bible speaks for itself. You mention Luke 24:47,
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. If you base all gospel preaching off repentance, then tell that too all the mentions of Believe without mention of repentance like the philipian jailer in acts 16. The whole book of John, zero times mentioned is repentance.

Unknown said...

To Mr. Bill Hardecker, tell me who Jesus is talking to in Mark 1:15. What does the gospel of the kingdom of God mean? And where does Christ define this meaning of the gospel we are to repent and believe in the passage of scripture? What are we to repent of in that context?

Unknown said...

Bill, forgive me I should of probably worded it, define repent in this context and not what are we to repent of. My apologies.

Bill Hardecker said...

It appears to me that you have "wrongly" divided the word of truth. I do hope I am wrong, but when I read your comments and questions, it seems that I am correct, unfortunately.
Concerning Mark 1:15, the Lord was preaching to lost sinners. Yes, they were most likely Jews, but the gospel isn't limited to just the Jews. Certainly, to the Jews first, but then also to the Greeks, hence not limited to the Jews.

Concerning "gospel of the kingdom of God" this is in reference to the rule of God on earth (cf. Dan. 7:13-14) which will happen in the future. A rule that includes the attendant blessing of salvation to all who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Concerning the object of repentance - it is implied that sinners are to repent of their wicked ways. This is turning from sin, and self. The object of repentance always has to do with sin, sinful ways, & sinfulness. This turning is done with knowledge, will, and affection. When the Lord preached repentance, He was calling on men to turn from their sin unto Himself. Of course, there is the fact of a dispensational truth that He would have literally ruled had they repented and believed in Him, but the biggest and brightest point is that He would rule and not self. The message is true for us today as it was in the day when the Lord preached. We call men to repentance and belief in the gospel so that lost sinners may be saved and have God rule over them. His future coming kingdom will take place in God's good time.

Concerning the Philippian Jailor. You don't need to tell a man to repent who is obviously repentant.

Concerning the book of John and it's absence of the term repentance. While it is true that the word repent does not appear in John’s Gospel, the manifestations of repentance are found everywhere.

A. In John 3:19-21, Jesus expounds on regeneration and that it involves a coming to the light over against one’s sin. This is no doubt an aspect of repentance.

B. In John 4 the Lord Jesus dealt with the woman at the well. He did not merely ask her to believe on Him, but dealt with her sin (vs. 16-18). Then the Lord Jesus explained the nature of worship (v.24), this touches on the intellectual aspect of repentance (a person can’t repent without being exposed to the truth). We can see her repentance by her action which followed (vs. 28-29).

C. In the account of the blind man and of the woman caught in adultery (John 5 and 8), the Lord Jesus expected their repentance when He said, “go and sin no more” (5:14; and 8:11 respectively).

D. John 12:40 quotes from Isa. 6:9-10 which is illustrative of repentance. In John 16:8-11, we are reminded by John that the Holy Spirit directly deals with the conviction of sin, which is a fundamental element or object of repentance.

And so although the word repentance does not appear in the Gospel of John, the various concepts and elements of repentance are seen.

Unknown said...

2Chronicles 34 describes King Josiah and his two repentances. He was a good king that began to seek the Lord when he was 8 years old at which time he brake down the idols and graven images. At that time he undoubtedly had a soft and sincere heart and wanted to do what was right. Fast foward to vrs 18-19, they found the book of the law and it was commanded to be read before the people. Now Josiah was much older,but when he heard the book of the law read before the people he rent his clothes and said " great is the wrath of the Lord kindled upon us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord.
Something to ponder. People want release from guilt Bible way or otherwise.

Unknown said...

Bill, how do you tell a man who is dead in his trespasses and sins, to turn from sin and self? Have you turned from your sin and self? That's a work my friend. Turning from sin is labor and a work. Jonah 3:9-10 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And 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.

God saw their works.

And once again you quote many things BEFORE THE CROSS. You and many others seem to take repent and add repent of sin and self which is not found once in the Bible. You teach works and it is no different than Roman Catholism.

Anonymous said...

I recently wrote the following in response to someone who was essentially saying the same thing as Brandon is here:

Much has been made about the fact that the word “repentance” is not found in The Gospel According to John. In such statements it becomes quite obvious that somebody is violating the above principles. If we see that repentance is necessary and crucial for salvation in many, many other passages (Acts 17:30-31, 20:21; 2 Peter 3:9, etc., etc.), what kind of point are you trying to make by pointing out that the word is missing from John’s gospel. Did God forget to include it? Does its absence indicate that God didn’t really mean it when it is mentioned elsewhere? Does its absence from John’s gospel indicate that it isn’t really all that important even though it clearly is from other passages?

Using the above principles about God and His Word, we would not expect that God gave something different in the gospel of John, but something consistent. We would expect that the “gospel of Christ” that Paul preached and that Christ preached in the other gospels would be the same gospel found in the book written for that purpose. We would expect that what we find in one book of the Bible would clarify what is written in another book of God’s word, not confuse it; nor would we expect it to supersede or be at odds with what we find elsewhere in the Bible.
The point is, when we go to the Book of Acts and see Peter preaching repentance, when we go to Luke’s Gospel and see that repentance is commanded to be preached, and when we go to the Gospel of John and see the message proclaimed that “Jesus is the Christ”, we would expect to find that each author is telling us something about the same thing that God consistently reveals to us, and that is exactly what we find.

In John’s Gospel, the word “repentance” is not used but the concept is clearly and consistently presented, as we would expect. Repentance and faith are not the same exact thing, but they are two sides of the same coin (Acts 20:21).

I have observed that people of the Hutson / Hyles / Sword of the Lord camp are masters of twisting or taking scripture out of context. One pertinent example is John chapter 3. This is one of the most crucial gospel passages in all the Bible, so we would expect to get some good information on this subject here. John 3:18 is often quoted to support the idea that repentance is merely the subtraction of unbelief and the addition of belief:
“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.”

Some false teachers use this verse to “prove” that a man is only condemned because of his unbelief, and that “the only sin that sends a man to Hell is the sin of unbelief”. That is not at all what this passage is saying. That is like saying, “the only reason that person drowned is because nobody jumped in to saved him”. Or, “the only reason that man got hit by a train is because nobody pushed him out of the way.” Certainly, these things would have rescued the person from the tragedy, but they did not cause the dilemma. (to be continued...)

Mat Dvorachek

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of 2...

So, if a person wants to make the Bible say “the only sin that sends a man to Hell is the sin of unbelief”, they have to stop at verse 18. And so they do. But verse 19 begins with the words “And this is the condemnation...” So, now, God is going to explain to us what the condemnation of verse 18 is all about. The clue in verse 18 is the word “already”. A man is already condemned and will continue to be condemned as long as he doesn’t believe. Why is he already condemned? Verse 19 tells us—“light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” The person who continues on in their sin does so in darkness, hating the light. Why? Because he doesn’t want his evil deeds to be exposed (“reproved”). He willfully knows that coming to the light would bring his sins into the light, and that isn’t where he wants them, because he loves his sins and wants to continue doing them.

What about the person that “believeth in him” (v. 16), the person that “believeth on him (v. 18), that is “saved” (v. 17), that “believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (v. 18). He now, instead of hating the light in darkness, “doeth truth” and “cometh to the light”. Why? “That his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” Why does Jesus Christ mention “deeds” several times in this great passage about salvation? (This word translated “deeds” here is the same word that is translated “works” 104 times in the NT!) Is Jesus teaching works salvation here? Of course not! He is teaching that when a person is saved there is more going on than just the person making a decision to “stop believing the wrong thing and start believing the right thing”. The sinner is on the run from God, because he hates God and loves his sin. This needs to be reversed (converted). By the grace of God, when a man is drawn to Christ for salvation, something supernatural occurs where he begins to love the light and hate the darkness. Remember the reason he loved the darkness? He didn’t want his deeds (“works”) to be exposed. He wanted to keep doing them.

So, when a person is turned “from darkness to light” (Acts 26:18), he is consciously aware that his deeds (works) are being reproved (exposed). There is a level of awareness (albeit sometimes small) that he is now headed in a different direction where his deeds (works) will be wrought (from the same word as “deeds”) in God. The person is turned “from darkness to light” and this clearly has to do with a change in his attitude toward his “deeds” (works). He is turned “from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18), so now his deeds (works) will be wrought (worked) by God (Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 2:10). But that happens sometime after justification. It is “made manifest” sometime after salvation (God doesn’t fail to sanctify-Philippians 1:6; 2:13; I Thessalonians 5:23-24), but the conversion occurs, well, at conversion—“that they may receive forgiveness of faith that is in me”. Those are also the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Acts 26:18. Did Jesus Christ teach works salvation?

The Bible uses many different terms to describe what takes place when a person is converted. You can’t just pick out a few times where the term “faith” or “believe” is used in the same verse as the word “repent”. You can’t just say “the word repent is not found in the Book of John” and act like that means that you have actually made a case. You have to see everything that the Bible says about salvation and accept it all as one truth.

The Gospel of John clearly teaches repentance for salvation in a way that is consistent with the other passages in the Bible about salvation. Even in John chapter 3, we have one of the best descriptions of repentance in the Bible, even though the word is not used. We see that when somebody “believeth in Him”, there must be a repentant attitude toward sin.

Mat D.

Unknown said...

Hello again,
I dont sighn off on Lancaster Bible statement. I grew up learning the ABC's of salvation 1)mans a sinner, 2) Jesus died for your sin, 3) ask Jesus into your heart and to forgive you of your sin. Im a strong believer in repentance, but deprogramming people about easy believism takes time. Let me illustrate, a man is sitting in his living room sipping on a beer contemplating suicide. Someone knocks on the door. The man hears and understands that he is not saved and needs Jesus. He accepts Jesus in his heart and pours all the booz down the drain. This man is saved,but he will need to be discipled and taught the whole council of God. A mature Christian will be willing to listen. We may disagree and argue a bit , but in my reality bigotry is not acceptable. Thanks Craig.

Unknown said...

My apologies the bigotry statement was misleading. I meant to write denominationlism promotes bigotry thanks Craig.

Unknown said...

Dear Mat d,
Here Here! I've been thinking John3 all day!

Unknown said...

Mat D. You made a great statement there. And if I understand you correctly I agree. My problem is that people take the emphasis off God and put it on man. By telling a lost sinner to turn from their sins and self. You are putting that effort on that lost sinner. Putting that as a requirement is troubling to me. From my understanding the change of heart is from God.. And not man. When I got saved nobody told me to repent or turn from sin or anything of that nature. What sealed me was the quoting of 2 Corinthians 5:17. Right there God made it all real to me. Now I know God works differently with all people and to compare my experience to yours would be off. The issue I have always had with people who preach turn from sin repentance to a lost man, is how can we turn from all sin? When is it enough sin to turn from? When I got saved I wanted a new life, I wanted God in full control no matter what. But to require that over another man I couldn't see that. You point, Mat is very thought out and I respect that. If turning from sin is a requirement, like I said before how much sin is enough? What about the brethren in 1 Corinthians 5? Fornication was commonly reported? They obviously didnt turn from that sin. Because Paul says in verse 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

This man was obviously saved. If turning from sin is needed, why did Paul say this?

Keep in mind I'm just a babe in Christ and I want the truth as much as anyone. I am not here to cause strife. I just want answers. Trust me this issue that we are talking about here has troubled me for about 2 years now and I cannot seem to reconcile this within myself, and every time I seem to come to conclude it, the problem arises again, as I stumble upon this blog via google search.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Repentance isn't a work any more than faith isn't a work. Acts 11:18, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." Granted repentance.

This is a tension in the Bible. Isaiah 55:6-7 say, seek the Lord while He may be found. How can a dead man seek the Lord? Isn't that a work? Jesus said in Matthew 7 that few find the narrow gate that leads to life eternal. Few there be that find it. You have to find it. Is that a work? It's all by the grace of God and yet you have to do something. Philippians 2 gives the answer that it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. He enables it. He allows it.

However, it doesn't change the terms of salvation, which include deny self, follow Him, give up your life, confess Jesus as Lord. All of those are the same thing essentially, repentance and faith, descriptions of them.

Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist and West Coast takes those out of the explanation, and they change the gospel. There's a lot to explain here, but it isn't hard to understand. You've got to turn from you way to Jesus Christ. You don't keep going your way and to Jesus Christ too. Those are mutually exclusive. You can't believe in you and in Jesus. Believing in Jesus is believing in Him, and He is the Christ, the Messiah, the King, the Lord. If you don't believe in Him, the actual biblical Jesus, you are not saved. You can't believe in Jesus, and He is merely a jar of peanut butter, and be saved. John ended his gospel by saying that he wrote that you would believe that Jesus was the Christ. The Christ. You have to believe that. If He is the Christ, you are not going to go your way anymore, but His way.

These churches want a salvation that leaves Christ and Lord out. That isn't salvation.

Unknown said...

I still can't reconcile this. I will quote you.

However, it doesn't change the terms of salvation, which include deny self, follow Him, give up your life, confess Jesus as Lord. All of those are the same thing essentially, repentance and faith, descriptions of them.

I don't see this Giving up your life for salvation? Have you gave up your entire life pastor? When is it enough? Denying self? When is it enough? How do I know I denied myself enough. You comparing that to define repentance? That's all self effort your portraying. That's a condition of salvation. I can't reconcile your argument. So giving up my life is not a work ? Turning from sin is a work. I quoted to you from Jonah 3 when God himself called turning from wickedness works.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Every phrase I gave you was a salvation phrase in the Bible. You can't remain in rebellion against God and be saved. It sounds like that's what you think. You can keep your life for yourself, be sovereign of your own life, and still be saved. No. Jesus is King, that's the idea of Christ. You acquiesce to Him as Messiah, so He is on the throne and you are not.

Jesus said, follow me, the most. Second most, lose your life. If you keep your life for yourself, you will lose it, if you lose your life, you will save it. For God to cleanse your soul, you have to give it to Him. He will restore your soul. Yes, I gave up my entire life. Self is enough. That's what "life" means. It's not a matter of denying yourself enough to be saved. You can't keep going your way though. It's not self effort, because salvation is supernatural. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The Word of God is powerful. It is conversion. I explained to you that repentance was granted unto you, and you just ignore it, so it sounds like you don't receive what God said. Paul writes in 1 Cor 12 that you can't confess Jesus as Lord except by the Spirit. Or is that a work too? It isn't. Why? God says it isn't.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Brandon,

If you really want the truth, please read:


The Apostle John was not preaching salvation by works when, under inspiration, he recorded that Christ commanded that one “repent of her fornication” (Revelation 2:21) and warned that those who do not “repent of their deeds” would enter “into great tribulation” (Revelation 2:22). That is, those unsaved people who do not “repent of their deeds” will miss the Rapture and enter into the “great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14; Matthew 24:21) with the rest of the unsaved, those who “repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21), those who “blasphemed the name of God . . . and . . . repented not to give him glory. . . . blasphemed the God of heaven . . . and repented not of their deeds” (Revelation 16:9, 11).

While the specific phrase "repent of your sins" is not in the Bible, the idea is all over the place--such as, for example, in the texts above, where the lost are commanded to repent of their sinful deeds.


Bill Hardecker said...

I gave you some responses to your set of questions. I didn't see an acknowledgment nor feedback on any of them. I would like to know your answers, or the answers you were driving at in your questions.

1. Who is the audience of Mk. 1:15 - and why exactly is that important.

2. What does the gospel of the kingdom of God mean? - I surely would like to hear your explanation.

3. What are we to repent of?

4. What do you think of how the book of John deals with sin, and the conviction of sin, and its abandonment as an evidence concerning salvation?

I took some time to respond just to jump around and deal with more questions, which, I am afraid will lead to nowhere, that is with you.

And by the way, you tell a dead man to turn from sin and self the same way you tell a dead man to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes, repentance is evidenced by works (as you have cited in Jonah) as much as faith is evidenced by works (James 2:20f.).

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Brandenburg,

Again I want to thank you for your website and your thought provoking articles and the helpful discussions you allow in the comments. I always benefit from dropping by from time to time.

Two things I think I can take away from the discussion (and as always please correct me where needed):

1) You are right that the concept of repentance is found in John even though the word is not found, but therefore it is in fact possible to give a good presentation of the Gospel of Christ without a form of the word "repent" being present.

2) In one of your answers to Brandon you said, "You can't remain in rebellion against God and be saved." I think this is one of the practical areas of the discussion. Is the unbaptized "Christian" remaining in rebellion? Is the woman who wears pants her entire life remaining in rebellion? Is the Critical Text adherent remaining in rebellion? I think these are some of the practical questions people have when this subject comes up.

Anyway, I always enjoy stopping in from time to time. Hope you are well.


weecalvin1509 said...

Hi Kent (and KJB1611)

While the specific phrase "Repent of your sins indeed is not found in the Bible" yet the phrase "Repent of this thy wickedness" (Acts 8:22) is. The wicked is to forsake His wicked way and return unto the Lord (Isaiah 55:7) which is as good a definition of Biblical repentance as any.

Colin Maxwell

Brandon said...

First, I want to say thank you for your writing to me and expressing so great a concern. Second, I want to say that honestly I have nothing more to say.

KJB1611 thank you for the links, greatly appreciated.

When I got saved, I was never told repent, but it is obvious, I truly repented. I didn't want my life anymore the way it was. I like the quote by Lester Roloff, a dear man I used to listen to greatly when I got saved. "Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore." That's exactly what I did.

I guess the real problem arose when I joined a fundamental church (independent baptist is what they called themselves) and was taught the "hyles-way" by a hyles graduate. Although he didn't fully support hyles though. Every time I brought up any question about repentance and the way Lester Roloff presented it I just was always stumped and told he was wrong (although the very same Pastor listened to Roloff in his younger days and even shared a time when he rejected all music and listened to his sermons instead). So I was brought up in that way. I just thought my salvation experience was different and to hold someone to the way I came to Christ was wrong because it was adding to the gospel of simply believe. :/

The reason for my questions and the way I presented them is because truly they were for my own use. To establish myself in the faith. Like I said I am just a babe and have only been saved for 3 years now. I know very little.

Quite frankly all the comments and the two articles shut me down. I felt so grieved. Like all I did was want to give up and run. Yes I guess its sad. All I could think about was I just want to be locked up again with me, God and my Bible. But I have an obligation and am accountable for my wife and children now so its not possible.

Honestly I don't even know what to do right now. But I do know I am saved sealed and secured.

All the proof their that you have is almost undeniable, but it still provides one great problem for me. Maybe you won't understand, but I am still not, in my heart, fully persuaded by all that was said. Why? I don't know? Maybe I been grieving the Spirit of God? Chastisement? I don't know? Maybe I just don't fully understand everything? Maybe because I have none to disciple me and answer the hard questions?

Please pardon my emotions and personal response.

I hope it makes sense, but truly apart from God, my wife and children, I am alone out here.

Brandon said...

"You can't remain in rebellion against God and be saved." I think this is one of the practical areas of the discussion. Is the unbaptized "Christian" remaining in rebellion? Is the woman who wears pants her entire life remaining in rebellion? Is the Critical Text adherent remaining in rebellion? I think these are some of the practical questions people have when this subject comes up.

I don't think anyone can remain in rebellion against God and be saved. Bob I would almost have to agree with you concerning these points. Can I fully say that person is not saved? No I can't. Are they still in a stepping stone and is God still working on them in that view? Maybe. Do we truly know the heart of that individual? I don't think so. I do think its quite possible that the people who openly reject these truths could not be saved. God knows. But if the Spirit of God will lead us into all truth... why are their so many divisions of the so-called saved? If God will unite all true believers... why so many doctrinal and scripture differences? are those churches really believers? Questions I ask myself... who am I to judge their salvation though...

Unknown said...

Hi everyone,
I just wrote a long comment, but not sure if it went through. I'll send one more. I really like this blog. Kent has been doing this a long time and is a very good writer. Theres alot of Brandon's out there trying to work out there own salvation. Kent has seen all types, but gets a sense of people's problems. What drives me to read and comment? I have some ideas, but its probably the Lord wanting me to grow a little more. Technology and blogs have made a big difference in many people's life. I hope Im able to learn and grow more spiritually. Thanks Kent for showing me your faith!

Unknown said...

I probably shouldn't comment now, cause Im very tired. I won't be offended if this goes unpublished, but God stirred my soul yesterday and today about my salvation and salvation in general. I totally understand why somebody might believe that salvation is by faith alone and nothing else however, I strongly believe in repentance. I will explain this conflict. When I got saved in 96 I had been struggling with it for some time. You see I had made a profession of faith when I was 6 years old and it doesn't make any sense to me to get saved again if God didnt save you the first time. As an adult I walked away from the Lord and rebelled by not going to church and living for self. To get a sense of what was going on in my life I was living in a big rig driving coast to coast. I was alone alot, but I started listening to gospel preaching on the radio and visiting churches here and there. Sometimes I attended truck stop chapel services on Sunday . I was not married so I didn't really have anywhere to go and I really didnt care for the most part. Slowly over time I started being concerned about my eternal soul. This conviction went on for 2 years, but I still couldnt reconcile what I mentioned earlier about already being saved.
I prayed to God for days and days. I read the Bible over several times. Just as a side note I gave up reading when I got married ha-ha. Finally, not being able to reconcile this I prayed to God and told God to leave me alone Im tired of playing this game. Im tired of all the suspense. I told God that I will view my self as an unsaved person and if he wanted to save me he would have to do it because I couldnt figure it out. Mind you I felt guilty for walking away from the Lord especially growing up with a Godly mother who taught me right from wrong.
The very next day was Sunday and I was in Birmingham Alabama. I got up in the morning a new man. I even chuckled to myself that I felt better being lost than found.
Let me tell you what happened because to this day it still puzzles me. I walked into the truck stop and a goofy looking man with a Jesus saves t-shirt came up to me and invited me to a chapel service. I couldnt believe it, I thought to myself maybe I'll get saved today. I was mocking God in my heart but I told the man sure why not.
I do not know what denomination the preacher man was but probably a Baptist since I was in the Bible belt. He started preaching and he preached Gods love for about 15 minutes. Then he started preaching hellfire. I do remember him saying today was the day of salvation and that God draws you and you could only get saved when God draws you to himself. I could go on and on, but I became under acute conviction and asked him to pray with me for salvation. He asked several questions about my spiritual condition and I repeated to him everything that I stated earlier. He urged me that I was just doubting and that I was already saved. He asked me if I hated anyone, I told him no. For some reason he felt that I didn't need to recite the sinners prayer, I simply don't understand why after I done told him I was sure I wasn't saved. He finally gave in and said that he would pray with me for salvation. That is my salvation testimony plain and simple. I do not know what his name was and I dont know the date, but Im thankful for what happened that day when Jesus washed my sin away. A testimony of salvation is a hard to deny, and whether I was saved at 6 or at 26 I simply don't know from a theological standpoint, but i do know Im saved cause I was there when it happened. Thanku kind people for reading, I hope it makes sense . Craig

Unknown said...

So I'm still trying to gets better understanding of this. So it can be clear to me, so pardon my questions. I just want the truth.

The question of the Corinthian church which is the most carnal Church in the NT, ch 3:1-5, who were walking entirely in the the flesh (debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults, contentions, suing one another, etc, 1 Cor 1:11, 6:1-8, 2 Cor 12:20 and others), and yet, the Apostle Paul called them "brothers" and "brethren" over twenty-five times in his letters. They were so bad, that one of them was in an incestuous relationship with his fathers wife and the Church was tolerating it, until Paul rebuked them and ordered that sinning brother to be kicked out of the fellowship until he stopped what he was doing. We are also told that many of them even died because they were taking Communion in an unworthy manner, 1 Cor 11:30, yet they were saved. Hebrews 12:5-11 makes clear, that God will chastise those who are being disobedient, like the Corinthians.

So, if the Corinthians did not deny all, if they did not forsake all of them sins, etc, etc, etc, then why were they still saved? why did Paul consistently call them brethren, not doubting their salvation? Why?

What about Paul, a saved man, had issues with his flesh AFTER he came to faith in Christ, Romans 7:14-25, so he obviously had not denied all of his sins, forsaken all of his sins, etc (the same goes for Noah, Lot, Samson, David, Solomon, Peter, et al)?

That brings me to ask exactly
What is the gospel? Put another way --
how is a sinner justified in the eyes of a holy God?

What makes this view different from RCC, Mormons, JW's, Seventh Day Adventists?

I'm sorry but these are all questions that come back to me in regards to turning from sin. Like when is it enough to repent from all sin? All sin? Forsake all? What does all this truly imply. When have I turned from enough.

Please once again pardon my questions but like I said I want the truth and to share the truth and know in my heart what is right.

David said...


Your heart attitude towards this is to be commended. You are asking questions and thinking things through. I used to be devastated by theological questioning and doubts. It is still a temptation to me, but maybe what I will share will be of help to you. For one, have patience. Trust God that He can and will lead you into all truth. Pray believing that He will as He promised He will do. I often want the inner questions and doubts settled right away. Sometimes it takes time. Stay calm. 1 Peter speaks more of the the persecution believers were facing but 5:10 I believe is applicable here. False doctrine and teaching comes from Satan. Satan's attacks are not always physical persecution but also spiritual, theological. 1 Peter 5:10 tells us that God will "make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Be encouraged that God will do just this.

Regarding the statement, "You can't remain in rebellion against God and be saved," the keyword here is "remain." I don't believe Bro. Brandenburg is saying we never sin (1 John 1:8). I am teaching through 1 John right now and see time after time where John says that believers don't sin. This is not a contradiction with what he said in 1:8. He is saying that if one is saved, sinning will not be his desire or direction. It is not his habitual, comfortable lifestyle.

Let's take the same idea here and switch religions. If one says he has converted to Islam, how would you describe a true conversion? If he doesn't read the Koran, doesn't care what the Koran says, doesn't pray three times a day towards Mecca, etc., would you say he has converted? If he is rebelling against what Islam teaches, would you say he was truly a convert? There are Muslims in places like Turkey who are Muslim in name but do not follow the dietary and other laws/standards. They are "nominal Muslims." Are they really Muslims, then? If one says he has converted, read the Koran, prays 3 times a day, follows what the Koran teaches and allows it to affect every area of his life, no one would question his conversion. Anything in between the first "convert" and the second convert above leaves a big question mark about there being a true belief/conversion. I believe 1 John describes what a true conversion looks like. If one is in between, there should be a question of whether a true conversion has taken place.

Repentance and faith are like the bridge that takes one from his own, old ways and life to the new life in Christ. Christ does the saving, but repenting/turning from the old life and to Christ and life in Him is the culmination of one's mind and will to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. It is the decision that I am now a follower of Christ. A decision as such will result in Christ changing the life.

Hope this is of some help. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I believe turning from sin is an essential component of repentance. (Is this the same as ceasing from wrongdoing?) I am told I thus believe in works salvation. How does one answer this?

By the way I thought the Roloff quote unfortunate. Anyone agree?

Please help.

Paul Teague

Unknown said...

Thanks David, that helped a little bit. It makes sense what your saying. Still so many questions weigh my mind right now. It troubles me greatly. Things like forsaking all and denying myself and giving it all to Christ to be saved. When have I done enough. I just feel like a worm and totally unworthy. Forgive me. I know I have posted many questions. Will I get all I need from here? Maybe .. Maybe not. I'm not doubting at all. But in the position I am its tough. I know I have to be patient and God will eventually shed that light on me. Like I said before, I have nobody here. I recently moved, the church I went to was borderline apostate.. I can't seem to find a place to serve. I want to do it right. Issues like 501c3 still plague me :/ . I apologize for turning this blog into something its not. I just have too many questions and trying to figure it all out on my own is the challenge. I know I have the Holy Spirit of God to guide me, but sometimes I feel like I just grieve him and I'm doing things all wrong.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Brandon,

I think if you go through the Bible studies here:

with a member of a solid Baptist church helping you it will be very good for you.


Bill Hardecker said...

Bro. Thomas,
We are using the Bible studies in our Adult Sunday School class and also in our one on one evangelistic Bible studies. I really like it. We were able to see a Dad saved after lesson #3, although I personally love lesson #4, when the time is obviously right, I can't wait for another week - - but God is good, and we still go over the lessons even after a profession of faith. I do believe that Brandon would be helped by lesson #4 since it delineates false and true repentance extremely well. The Bible studies are Scriptural and substantive and gets to the heart of important matters. Thank you for putting it together and also making them available for free at

KJB1611 said...

Dear Bro Billy,

What a blessing! I'm glad that the Lord has been using those Bible studies for the conversion of the lost in your ministry. By the way, the section on what repentance is not and what it is was not something I just came up with--a lot of it was from one of the most widely used evangelistic works of a few centuries ago, Joseph Alleine's An Alarm to the Unconverted.

Pastor Tom said...

"Repentance and Faith are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other. The salvation of the soul depends upon both. Charles Spurgeon, the famous Baptist preacher, called them the "Siamese twins" of salvation. They have also been referred to as the "two hinges upon which the door of salvation swings." Repent and faith are simultaneous.

In the colonial army marching drills they had the word repent "Left, right, left, right, REPENT! At the sound of REPENT the soldier did a 180 degree turn. I have come to understand that our 180 turn is when we have faith in Christ' redemptive work and turn to God in faith.

If we have to repent of our sin, have sorrow for our sin or any other requirement prior to salvation we have added works to the gospel.

Repentance must be a Spirit wrought change that results with a person in faith turning toward God and away from sin.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I agreed with about everything, except for the third paragraph. The way you are going before faith in Christ is sin, and so that is what you are turning toward. It isn't a work, since scripture says it isn't. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:10, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." See "to salvation." What is this sorrow over? Sin. Paul describes that repentance in v. 11. Repentance to salvation carries "godly sorrow" among other aspects Paul describes in v. 11. If you read my latest post, I show that there are two places in the NT that say repentance is not a work.

Everything else sounded right from you.

Pastor Tom said...

Perhaps I have not made my thoughts clear on my previous post.

Repentance is not a matter of confessing a list of sins that we have to give up and how we plan to change our life. Repenting is not an emotional change of life on our part; that would be works salvation.

John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Apostles all preached that repenting and faith is a simultaneous Spirit wrought change of mind toward sin and God that results in a changed life. This dramatic change of mind redirects one's actions. (Mt. 4:17, 9:13, 11:20-21, Lk 13:2-5, 15:7,10, 24:46-48, Mark 6:12, Acts 2:38, 3;19, 5:31,8:22-23, 17:30, 20:21, 26:20, 2 Peter 3:9)

Judas repented (Mt.27:3) but it was not accompanied with faith.

It is my understanding that 2 Cor. 7 is advice for Christians to repent of their specific sins. Sanctification is a war between our flesh and Spirit (Gal 5:17), and we are to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of his good pleasure."

Tyler Robbins said...

Bro. Ross:

I took a look at the section from your Bible Study #5 on real repentance. I think it is excellent - very well done! I think it is a terrible shame people don't understand what real repentance is.

My shorthand text to explain repentance is Proverbs 28:13: "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy." I often use "confession" and "forsaking" as the two umbrella components about repentance, and explain from there. It is surely more than a simple intellectual change of mind.

Good Bible study. You are doing good things!

Pastor Tom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pastor Tom said...

Brother Ross:

Where would I find the study #5 on repentance. Could you please provide a link.

Kind Regards,

Thomas E. Kresal

Pastor Tom said...

I am sincerely interested in studying on repentance.

Could someone please reply and provide the link for the #5 study on repentance?

It would be very much appreciated.

Tyler Robbins said...

Thomas - behold the link:

The best way to study repentance is to get a pad of paper, get your Bible, and just start reading the Gospels and Acts. Make a note of how you see salvation presented by the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles, and the evangelists. Pay special attention to how they explain how to receive Christ. Think about how the Gospel is presented. Is it a mere change of mind? Or, is it an honest intellectual, emotional and volitional conviction which produces sincere action?

Read Bro. Ross' study, cited above.

Talk to your Pastor.

Read the epistles, and make the same notes.

Read some historic Christian confessions, to get some historical perspective. Article 14 from the 2nd Helvetic Confession is a handy place to start (

KJB1611 said...

Dear Thomas,

Thank you very much for that info. My more tech-saavy friend has gotten that bad link off from the website. I am planning to delete your comment here so that the link is not getting support from What is Truth (it was a very helpful comment, of course--thanks again.)

All 7 Bible studies are here:, including PDFs of #5.

The text of #5 is also here:

and a Word doc that can be downloaded and personalized for use in churches is here:

and I am happy for doctrinally sound Baptist churches to use them, although I do not want their fundamental content changed (e. g., I don't mind if a pastor tweaks something for his church, but if someone is going to take out the repentance section because he is an anti-Lordship person, please don't use the Bible studies I wrote.)

I would also commend to you the study here:

on repentance.

Thanks again.

GTLeonard said...

No one believes they are in rebellion against God(Every way of a man is right in his own eyes),
but there are multitudes that believe they must ________ to be saved.
So what are you repenting of?