Thursday, May 1, 2014

The False Gospel of Forgiveness & Repentance

The English idea of repentance, even for salvation, is anti-gospel &  anti-grace.

Religion says "repent," means "turn from your sin." But the Greek word we have translated as repent instead means, "change your mind." Religion says, "repent of your sins over & over until you die." The true gospel says, "Change your minds because you do not have to deal with your sin, Jesus has dealt with them for you. Receive His grace."

In reality it is harder for people to be willing to change their minds to the idea that God loves them too much to hold their actions against them than it is for them to dodge the true gospel & buy into the gospel of repentance. Repentance makes you go through disgrace in order to get to grace. Disgrace & shame are literally the same thing. The gospel is the gospel of grace! (Acts 20:24)

Re-penance, penance is defined as "voluntary self-punishment to atone for a sin." The false gospel of repentance says that you must atone (make amends with God) for your sin over & over by feeling bad about what you've done & turning from sin, meaning you promise God you'll stop or try to stop particular sins.

God has already "reconciled the world to Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). We only need to reconcile ourselves to God. But we don't have to do so through "repentance" because "God no longer counts men's sins against them" (also 2 Corinthians 5:19). The gospel isn't about you letting go of sin. It is about God making sin let go of you! Him freeing you & saving you from sin.

Matthew 1:21 says His name is Jesus, which means "Yahweh Saves," because He saves His people from their sins!  He doesn't force you to repent of sins or confess sins to continually "get right with God." That isn't saving. That is a joke. If He did that it would be like Him saving you from a burning building only to take you to a new building & douse you with gasoline on a floor full of lit matches.

His name is also Emmanuel because He is God WITH us. He doesn't break fellowship with us in between confessions. He doesn't put you in time out then walk away until you say, "I'm sorry I'll never do that

Repent has been mistranslated into the New Testament. The word it replaces means "change your mind."

Jesus said in Mark 1:15, "Change your minds & believe in the good news." BELIEVE IN THE GOOD NEWS. The good news is better news than anyone is prepared for so people have to change their minds to believe in it.

The word "forgive" is also a mistranslation. It doesn't mean "to stop holding things against someone" as it does in English. The original word means "to lift off & carry away." God is love & as love He "doesn't take into account wrongs suffered." Instead Jesus "took away sins by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). God never "forgave you" because He never held anything against you to begin with.

The false gospel of forgiveness & repentance makes no sense. It says "deal with your sins so God can deal with your sins." It makes you the one that takes the first step instead of Jesus. It is cross-less!!! If you have to "turn from your sins" for God to "forgive you" where is the cross in that? What did Jesus die for? To lighten up the Father's attitude so He would be willing to forgive? Anyone who needs to kill his own son to be willing to forgive is a MONSTER! You should have nothing to do with someone like that!

Jesus died to conquer sin & death & remove it's power over mankind. He didn't die to soften the Father's heart so He'd be willing to accept our apologies for offending Him.

Countless people have run away in shame & fear because of this false gospel. They aren't willing to give up some behavior (turn from their sin) so they walk away from Jesus the only one who can save them from sin!

What kind of unconditional love.. what kind of savior says, "You have to promise to stop doing the things that tick me off before I can save you"????!

When people were saved in the New Testament they rejoiced. But we teach that people must be broken over their sin to be saved so they end up walking the isle with tears of shame in their eyes because they suck so much & are grateful God is willing, in all His untouchable "holiness," to forgive them so they can get into heaven instead of burning forever.

Jesus desires to save everyone but these people don't know what they are saved from. They think they are only saved from the eternal consequence of their sins. They don't see a loving father to embrace, they see a fireman who rescued them who they'll only get glimpses of a few more times in their life.

This false gospel says "being saved" is:
1. A ticket to heaven
2. God being willing to treat you nicely as long as you act right & confess & apologize (repent) for everything you conceivably do wrong.
3. The Spirit cheerleading you from the sidelines (by burdening you with feelings of obligation, guilt, & shame, which we label as "conviction") to keep whichever commands you come across from the bible.

So instead of feeling like a beloved child of God you feel like an overwhelmed hopeless miserable slave of an abusive master.

This all leaves the responsibility to maintain the relationship on the child rather than the FATHER. Instead of the FATHER being filled with love & compassion & affection & desire for His child, the child has to walk on eggshells to stay "right with God." Thus you are left with no security, absolutely no rest, & no real desire to trust the Father. Why? Because the father this false gospel paints is a terrible untrustworthy father, easier to offend than anyone else in existence, willing to withhold affection & abandon you the moment you do ANYTHING, ANYTHING He doesn't like.

And ALL of these lies start on Day #1 because we've been told "turn from your sins so God will forgive you." That statement has never deserved a place anywhere near the gospel. It goes against the finished work of the cross, the character of God, & the bible's definition of love.

I thank God that His light can penetrate any darkness & can illuminate the abundant life He is always offering us.

"God raised up Jesus & sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your evil ways" (Acts 3:26).

"God is love. Love does not take into account wrongs suffered" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

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