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 REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?



REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?
By Leonard Ravenhill

Language is strained when one attempts to describe the Gospel as recorded by John the Apostle. Let me borrow some crutches here and use other men’s opinions. Herder, the crusading theologian of the eighteenth century, said, “It seems that John’s Gospel was written by the hand of an angel.”
Old Master Culness gets at it this way: “I believe that the writings of John have been blotted out by more penitents’ tears and have won more hearts for the Redeemer than all the rest put together.”
Let Dr. A. T. Pierson complete this triad: “Matthew corresponds to the court of Israel, Mark to the court of the priests, Luke to the court of the Gentiles. John leads us past the veil into the holy of holies. Here is the inmost temple filled with the glory of God.”

New interest in this Gospel of John was aroused in me in this way: I had preached at a certain conference, and the opinion was that there had been a real blessing. (This was gathered from the many expressions of the people.) Then came a letter. It read like this, “Dear Mr. Ravenhill, I heard you preach two nights and was very disappointed because you stressed repentance.” The writer added, “You should know that John’s Gospel was the last one written and that John never uses the word repentance once. This proves that there is no need of repentance.”


 2006/6/6 3:30
enid
Member



Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2662
Nottingham, England

 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?

I think that anyone who is a regular visitor to this website will laugh at the idea that repentance is obsolete. The gospel of John is the last gospel, but not the last book of the Bible. And even if it were, repentance is still necessary. God bless.

 2006/6/6 5:11Profile
TerryLee
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Joined: 2003/8/12
Posts: 61
Sweden

 Re:

Enid,

On the contrary. . .

The obsessive need to discuss and to find ways to avoid direct obedience to the Word of the Lord displayed in the many threads continuously running before our noses at this site, and so many others of the same kind, reveals the desperate necessity among us to return to this obsolete art of thorough repentance.

We are our own lords. The unwillingness to take on the Cross daily is the true measure of the lack of spirituality among Christians – which means that we are on the brink of severest judgment.

Terry


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Terry Lee

 2006/6/6 5:45Profile
lastblast
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Joined: 2004/10/16
Posts: 528
Michigan

 Re:

Quote:
We are our own lords. The unwillingness to take on the Cross daily is the true measure of the lack of spirituality among Christians – which means that we are on the brink of severest judgment.



Amen, Terry. I think the thing with the modern church is that many are willing to carry a cross, but only one they have designed for themselves, not the one specifically designed by the Maker for them..........Blessings in Him, Cindy


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Cindy

 2006/6/6 8:07Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?

Quote:
It read like this, “Dear Mr. Ravenhill, I heard you preach two nights and was very disappointed because you stressed repentance.” The writer added, “You should know that John’s Gospel was the last one written and that John never uses the word repentance once. This proves that there is no need of repentance.”



I was recently at a gathering in which some 'repentance minded' folk had gathered to do some outreach. I observed something that continues to disturb me about 'repentance preachers' (and I am one ;-)) and it is that of the most sour Christian spirit I see among people. Uptight, aggravated, ready to snap-off on somebody. Saying things to people that hurt their feelings or make them feel like your ministry to them is begrudged. I have kids that listen to repentance preachers and think the way to do it is to "punk people out". I constantly have to check this arrogant spirit in my house. Truth is, these type repentance preachers need to repent for their foul attitude.

There's nothing worse than a preacher preaching repentance and getting cocky about it. Reminds me of the time Ravenhill said he was going to "tell Lot off" when he sees him for staying in Sodom. I love Ravenhill, but there is no place for that kind of attitude [u]anywhere[/u] in Christendom. I don't care who you are. Who do you think you are, anyhow? etc. etc. What makes you thin you are worthy to preach repentance? Because you look at your brother or sister and thank God that you not like them?

Repentance begins with the person preaching it. C.S. Lewis said that one of the things the devil has mastered is that he can cause a person to look in the mirror for hours and not see something about themselves that is totally obvious to anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with them.

Sunday PM I was in a service in which a man brought a true word of repentance and I have NEVER seen brokenness like that message brought. This man began by telling the congregation that he asked God why He would have him bring such a strong message. This man (who did not speak English and preached to us through an interpreter) WEPT through the entire message. People were on their face weeping for hours repenting before God. When we get more repentance preachers concerned about [i]their own[/i] infirmity than those they are preaching to we may get somewhere. Obviously we are doing something wrong? Right? We havn't seen a revival yet? Have we? Jesus told the people to weep for themselves and for their children.

Frankly, I'm not so much worried about someone elses sin as I am my own. And my greatest sin? All the time ignoring my own shortcomings and focusing on everyone elses. Why? They have to give an account to God for their own life. God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?

If you are going to save you family save yourself first. If you are going to save your neighborhood, save yourself first. If you are going to save your church, save yourself first. If you are going to save your city, save yourself first. if you are going to save this nation, save yourself first. If you are going to save the world, save yourself [u]first[/u].

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, [u]Save yourselves[/u] from this untoward generation. (Acts 2)




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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/6/6 8:44Profile
habakkuk3
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Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
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 Re:

Thank you Pastor Robert,

I totally agree and I pray we may walk out our repentance. Any message of repentance that has the hint of pride in it will not bear any fruit.

I reminded of what Paul told King Agrippa in Acts 26 "First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and [b]prove their repentance by their deeds[/b]."

Thank you brother for your kind rebuke. It truly convicted my heart and I pray that this is what we will see in America is this brokenness that comes from going to the cross and repenting of our sins. Blessings to you Pastor for sharing what the Lord God has laid on your heart.


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Ed Pugh

 2006/6/6 10:31Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2736
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
If you are going to save you family save yourself first. If you are going to save your neighborhood, save yourself first. If you are going to save your church, save yourself first. If you are going to save your city, save yourself first. if you are going to save this nation, save yourself first. If you are going to save the world, save yourself first.



Thanks for this Robert, I am reminded of...
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
(1Ti 4:16)

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/6/6 11:40Profile
Tears_of_joy
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Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re:

Brother Robert you are right.
I think we don't have right to preach repentance without brokenness.
God break us.

 2006/6/6 11:56Profile









 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?



2. That argument is as useless as a swimming suit for a duck. If this letter writer knew that John wrote the last Gospel, he should have been well enough informed to know that John was also the human penman of The Revelation. That was John’s last message, and in it he uses the word repent seven times. Repentance surely must have come back into fashion again!
Let us suppose that the writer of this letter is right. Using what is called the argument of silence, he says, “Because repentance is not in the Gospel of John, it is not legitimate to use it.” Let us follow his argument for a few moments.

The word faith is used some 340 times in the New Testament, but never once is it used in John’s Gospel. So faith goes out of the window? I can’t preach on faith any more?
I am sure in my own mind that the brother who pilloried me for preaching repentance believes in hell. But does he know that not one of the terms used for hell (Gehenna, Tartarus, Hades) is ever used by John in his Gospel? So hell-fire preaching is out?

 2006/6/6 12:00
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Walkington,

Quote:
The word faith is used some 340 times in the New Testament, but never once is it used in John’s Gospel. So faith goes out of the window? I can’t preach on faith any more?



We have to be careful here as [i]pistis[/i] is not used, but [i]pisteuo[/i] is used some 86 times in John. Pisteuo is translated 'to believe' or 'to commit ones trust'.

The repentance-less salvation message is indeed quite a problem. To say it is out because it is not in John's writings is to ignore I,II,III John which are as cut and dry as one can expect in identifying what a true believer is.

The problem we run into is when [u]we[/u] try to be the Holy Ghost. It is not my job to sanctify folk, it is the Holy Ghost's job. We want folk to clean up to our expectation of what a Christian ought to look like, and those 'expectations' are a dime a dozen. What is worse is the belief that a person needs to be broken down again a few times a week and then convictions start getting preached as if they were doctrine. This is how repentance revivals jump the rails.

Beating and beating and beating a repentance message trying to bring folk to ongoing brokeness for their sins is not a method I find in scripture. We are to lay the foundation from dead works and not keep re-laying it. This does not mean we dont need to respond when God puts HIS finger on something; but this is not the same thing as what I referred to. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when we minister. There are no cookie cutter methods. It's a bitter pill, but we need to be close enough to God to be able to rightly communicate the heart of God.

God Bless,

-Robert




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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/6/6 12:21Profile





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