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lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
Sweden

 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.”


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/8/6 11:05Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
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 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?


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/8/6 14:38Profile
disciplejosh
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Joined: 2003/6/13
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 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?

Lars!

Praise God for this post of yours! I have been dealing with this very issue for the last 6 weeks and have been seeking the Lord for clarity. And who does He use? Brother Ravenhill. Praise God, brother, for your post.

I was preaching on biblical repentance last week in the park and will again tomorrow morning from another angle the Lord has given me.

There are those that talk about 'believe' or 'belief', etc. is in the Gospel of John 98 times...and repentance isn't mentioned even once. And they turn right around and use that as a justification to downplay the need or place of repentance.

But as the Lord pointed out to me, "How many times do I need to say something for it to be important? 98 times? 1,000?"
If God says it once, I think it's important. Especially if it's the very first word recorded in Matthew's Gospel in Jesus' earthly ministry, and the last word to His own church in the Revelation. All we have to do is look at the consequence of unrepentance in Luke 13:3,5 to see the importance Jesus placed on it.

Maybe I'll sit down and post a scriptural outline that the Lord gave me for last week and mix in the one for tomorrow...

Please post the remainder of the article if there is more. Thanks, brother! This is going to bring alot of comfort to many that I know are struggling with this very thing.
Thank You, Lord.


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Josh

 2004/8/6 14:58Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
Posts: 3318
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 Re:


Hamlet: Sometimes it is necessary to injure make way for goodness.

Grace causes pain.

Holiness devastates to be able to rescue a remnant.

Love cannot let the loved one choose evil and acts to prevent it even unto judgment.

A solid, heavenly message brings a man to think, discern and to react according to conscience.

Repentance - and therefore, messages on repentance - is an absolute necessity to be able to get right with God.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/8/7 2:36Profile
lwpray
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 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?



3. John’s Gospel has no demoniacs, is silent about lepers, seems never to have heard about children, omits all mention of scribes, ignores the publicans, lists no “Twelve,” has not a parable in the whole Gospel, gives no hint of a sect called the Sadducees, and does not seem to have ever heard of the Sermon on the Mount. So I cannot preach on these either?
On John’s own confession, he is writing “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” He uses the words believe or believed seventy-eight times in his Gospel. But note: What we would think essential to convincing people of the deity of Jesus, John leaves out. He says, “The Word was made flesh,” but he does not even mention the virgin birth! Shall I stop preaching this too?


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/8/7 4:46Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
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 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?



4. John has no mention of the temptation of Christ, nor of His transfiguration, nor of His ascension. He makes nothing of the Lord’s baptism, and totally fails to mention the Gethsemane agony. The ministry of the Son of God lasted more than one thousand days. John records only about twenty of them. Am I out of order to preach on the unmentioned 980 days? Dr. Edersheim, writing the life of Christ without direct inspiration, takes up no less than 1,524 pages, but John under direct inspiration, in the Revised Version takes only thirty! Is John to be charged with error because of omissions? There are a dozen vital things mentioned by the other Gospels that John omits. I, for one, will not quit preaching them.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/8/7 14:26Profile
lwpray
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 Re: REPENTANCE OBSOLETE?



5. John, then, has his own ministry. Ninety-two per cent of his Gospel is his own. Look at his matchless fifteenth chapter. Take the shoes off your feet and enter the seventeenth chapter. John’s business is to make majestically clear that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he does it! Here is his very first verse: “In the beginning was the Word [eternity], and the Word was with God [equality], and the Word was God [deity].”
Let me finish with two things: praise for the revelation this Gospel gives (“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift”), and a prayer for my letter critic, “Lord, open the young man’s eyes.”
Amen.


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/8/8 2:47Profile





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