“He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; ‘not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing,’ or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching” (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0136.htm).
JUSTIN MARTYR (100-165)
“if you repent of the sins you have committed, acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, and keep his commands, you will obtain forgiveness of sins” (http://bit.ly/1L8O6ek).
“For what shall I say, too, of the countless multitude of those who have reformed intemperate habits, and learned these things? For Christ called not the just nor the chaste to repentance, but the ungodly, and the licentious, and the unjust; His words being, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ Matthew 9:13 For the heavenly Father desires rather the repentance than the punishment of the sinner” (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm) [The First Apology, Chp 15].
‘SAINT’ AUGUSTINE (354-386)
“… whosoever should believe and should repent, and turn from his sins, should be saved by the same faith and repentance on the ground of which he is received into the bosom of the Church” (http://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/augustine/ddc1.html) [Church Doctrine I, 17].
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546)
“… as the works do not follow, it is a sure sign that there is no faith there …” (http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2009/01/luther-on-book-of-jamesrevisted.html).
JOHN BUNYON (1628-1688)
“… he that kills another, can but commit murder upon his body; but for one to kill himself, is to kill body and soul at once. And moreover, my brother, thou talkest of ease in the grave; but hast thou forgotten the hell whither for certain the murderers go? for ‘no murderer hath eternal life,’ …” (http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/christn/chfijba5f.html) [From Pilgrim’s Progress].
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791)
“true faith … cannot subsist without works.”
“… the Lord Jesus Christ can be received, your sins forgiven, your burdens lifted, your problems solved, by turning your life over to him, repenting of your sin, and turning to Jesus Christ as Savior.” -Billy Graham, 1949 (from video below)
“You cannot have genuine repentance without saving faith, and you cannot have saving faith without genuine repentance … When the Bible calls upon us to repent of sin, it means that we should turn away from sin, that we should do an about-face and walk in the opposite direction from sin and all that it implies … True repentance means “to change, to turn away from, to go in a new direction.” To be sorry is not enough in repentance … repentance involves the will. It is only when we come to the will that we find the very heart of repentance. There must be that determination to forsake sin — to change one’s attitudes toward self, toward sin, and toward God; to change one’s feeling; to change one’s will, disposition, and purpose … There is not one verse of Scripture that indicates you can be a Christian and live any kind of a life you want to. When Christ enters into the human heart, He expects to be Lord and Master. He commands complete surrender … Jesus demands Lordship over all such things. He wants you to yield everything concerning your social life, your family life, your business life to Him. He must have first place in everything you do or think or say, for when you truly repent you turn toward God in everything.We have the warning of Christ that He will not receive us into His kingdom until we are ready to give up all, until we are ready to turn from all sin in our lives. Don’t try to do it part way. Don’t say, “I’ll give up some of my sins and hang on to some others. I’ll live part of my life for Jesus and part for my own desires.” Jesus expects one hundred percent surrender, and when that is accomplished He rewards a thousandfold. But don’t expect Jesus to hand out any five hundred percent awards for fifty percent surrenders! God doesn’t work that way. He demands all. When you have determined that you are renouncing sin, forsaking sin, and yielding all to Christ, you have taken another step toward peace with God. The repentant thief on the cross said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me . . .” (Luke 23:42). His use of the word, “Lord,” implied his total submission to Jesus Christ. It implied his total surrender and true conversion. This is the result of true repentance.” -Billy Graham, Peace With God, pgs 117-123, published 1953 (http://www.gotothebible.com/HTML/peacewithGod10.html)
“He died on the cross so that all the sins you’ve ever committed, all the things you’ve ever done wrong are forgiven. What do you have to do? You have to repent of your sins; that means to be willing to change your way of living. You may have no power to do it. You may not have power to give up some of those habbits you know is wrong.You may not have power to fall in love with your wife again. You may not have power to change your whole life that you know needs to be changed … Every person that ever lived has had to make the same choice. It’s either the world and it’s pleasures and it’s God’s, or it’s Christ. Who are you choosing? …” -Billy Graham, 1986 (http://cnsnews.com/video/cnsnews/rev-billy-graham-what-do-you-have-do-you-have-repent-your-sins)
“Third, repentance carries with it the idea of changing–changing your mind, changing your attitude, changing your ways. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV). If we are truly repentant, our will is brought into action and we will make a reversal of direction. And God, seeing that we are in earnest, gives us the gift of eternal life.” -Billy Graham, 2007 (http://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/january-2007/true-repentance-real-change/)
“If someone says to me: Pastor, I really believe in Jesus and want to be baptized. However, I am having an extra-marital affair and I refuse to repent of it. I would have to answer: If you refuse to repent, then you don’t trust in Christ. If you did trust Christ, you would follow Him. Your faith is like the Devil’s faith. He too believes in Jesus, but His faith isn’t a saving faith (James 2:19). A saving faith is one that turns to Jesus, entrusting our lives into His hands. If I baptized you, extending to you the right hand of fellowship, I would then have to withdraw it to bring church disciplinary charges against you and eventually to expel you, if you still aren’t repentant. Don’t you see that a refusal to repent and faith are in contradiction to one another?” -Billy Graham, 2011 (http://mannsword.blogspot.com/2013/11/billy-graham-and-easy-believism.html)
“When you come to Christ, you come by the way of repentance. Repent means to change, to change your way of living, and turn from your sins, and turn to Jesus Christ. And say, I’m a sinner, I need forgiveness. And I know you’re the only one that can change me … I’m going to ask you to pray this prayer, sentence by sentence, after me: Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I’m a sinner. And I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins, and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins. I repent of my sins. I invite you to come into my heart and my life.” -Billy Graham, 2014, his 95th birthday video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L-uv2AM6qc)
“If you haven’t turned from your sin and accepted God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, I urge you to do it today …” From Facebook post, August 9, 2015 (https://www.facebook.com/FranklinGraham/posts/981459578576890)
DR. JAMES DOBSON
“… the first obligation for anyone is to accept what Christ did as being for him, personally … But as I understand the Scripture, and from my own theological perspective, there’s a second responsibility which is often underemphasized. James expressed it like this … When will you ever learn that ‘believing’ is useless without doing what God wants you to do? Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith” (2:19, TLB). So something else is required. While it’s true that you can’t “work” your way into salvation–you cannot do enough good deeds to earn it–repentance is still an important part of the process … So you must want this relationship with God. He must be so important that you will allow Him to turn your life around and change your behavior. In summary, then, repentance includes conviction, knowing right from wrong; then contrition, being aware of your guilt and sin; and finally, a resulting change of mind and heart and behavior” (http://drjamesdobson.org/articles/defending-righteousness/a-man-and-his-god).
“Nevertheless, in a response of gratitude we are called to obey. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Martin Luther taught that justification is by faith alone. But he expanded the concept by saying that justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. A person who is truly trusting Christ and resting on Christ for redemption receives the benefits of Christ’s merit by faith. But if that person has true faith, that true faith will manifest itself in a life of obedience” (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/what-do-our-good-deeds-have-do-our-salvation/).
“In and of myself I am capable of sinning even unto the loss of my salvation, but I’m persuaded that God in his grace will keep me from that” (http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/it-possible-christian-lose-his-salvation-because-s/).
“What are believers saved from? From their former position under the wrath of God, the dominion of sin, and the power of death (Rom. 1:18; 3:9; 5:21); from their natural condition of being mastered by the world, the flesh, and the devil (John 8:23-24; Rom. 8:7-8; 1 John 5:19); from the fears that a sinful life engenders (Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 2:14-15), and from the many vicious habits that were part of it (Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Titus 2:11-3:6)” (http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer/salvation.html).
“The New Testament word for repentance means changing one’s mind so that one’s views, values, goals, and ways are changed and one’s whole life is lived differently. The change is radical, both inwardly and outwardly; mind and judgment, will and affections, behavior and life-style, motives and purposes, are all involved. Repenting means starting to live a new life … Repentance is a fruit of faith, which is itself a fruit of regeneration. But in actual life, repentance is inseparable from faith, being the negative aspect (faith is the positive aspect) of turning to Christ as Lord and Savior. The idea that there can be saving faith without repentance, and that one can be justified by embracing Christ as Savior while refusing him as Lord, is a destructive delusion. True faith acknowledges Christ as what he truly is, our God-appointed king as well as our God-given priest, and true trust in him as Savior will express itself in submission to him as Lord also. To refuse this is to seek justification through an impenitent faith, which is no faith” (http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/packer/repentance.html).
“[Jakes’ version of the Sinner’s Prayer:] I ask you to come into my life, to be my Lord and Savior. I believe You died for my sins and rose victorious over death. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins. I turn from my sin today, only to follow Jesus Christ all the days of my life …” (http://www.tdjakes.org/salvation/salvation-packet.pdf)
“… there are millions and millions of people gathering in what we call these ‘church buildings’, those aren’t all followers of Jesus Christ, Jesus said if you look at their lifestyle, you can tell that. 1 John says that there will be who say that they know him, but because they don’t obey his commands, they’re liars. He doesn’t say maybe they’re believers that haven’t changed; he just says, You can look at their lifestyles, and know that they’re liars. There’s this wide road that leads to destruction, and many will go through it, but there’s this narrow road that leads to life, and few will find it. And we want to tell the world – just like the world wants to hear – that everyone’s going to heaven, there is no hell; and the church almost follows suit with that, and says, We’re all believers in this room, because we all prayed a prayer at some point in our life; I just don’t see that in the Scriptures” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UGt42UbVqg).
“To know Jesus Christ personally and have your sins forgive, you must believe that you are a sinner separated from God and that your only hope is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came and died for your sins. To stop here, however, would be to stop short of salvation. There are two things you must now do to enter into a relationship with the God whom you have been separated. 1. Turn From Your Sins. . As Jesus began his public ministry, his first message was “repent of your sins”, (Mark 1:15). In essence Jesus was telling people to repent-to acknowledge their sinning, change their minds and change direction in their lives.Look at it this way, in the past we have been blinded by sins, causing us to run from God. As we repent we do a ‘U-tur’ and start running toward him. It is not enough just to be sorry for our sins. We must change our lifestyle …” (http://bit.ly/1ibuHz3)
“Merely being sorry for your sins or confessing them to God won’t help you; you must turn from sin, repent, and your faith must be in Jesus Christ alone … The Bible says just asking God for forgiveness won’t help you, you’ve got to repent, turn from your sins.. you’ve got to trust in him, and stop sinning” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Ts0PcA7So).
CHUCK SMITH (1927-2013, founder of the Calvary Chapel churches)
“In the Bible we read, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thoou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteounsness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’ (Romans 10:9-10). The first part of that pasage would be better translated, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord.’ Our obligation is more than confesing belief in Jesus Christ. You can believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but not be saved. You can believe that He died on the cross for your sins, yet not be born again. It’s necesary to submit your life to Him as Lord of your life in order to have salvation” (http://www.ccyuma.com/chucksmithbooks/pdfbooks/thegospelaccordingtograce.pdf from chapter 1).
“Jesus said, Not all who say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ are going to enter the kingdom of heaven but he who Does, he who is Doing the will of my Father which is in heaven … And in obedience to Jesus Christ, we are actually proving his Lordship. But if I’m not obeying him, if I’m not following his commandments, then I can say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ all day long and it’s just taking the Lord’s name in vain, in a sense, because I’m not really submitted to his Lordship … Now what Jesus is sayin is that we never had a real, true relationship. As Lord and servant. You’re saying, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but you weren’t obedient to me, you aren’t following my commandments. You were, in a sense, doing your own thing” [58:10 to 101:35; there may be more that follows, didn’t listen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWyhyZk8K64)].
JASON COOLEY (Local Baptist preacher out of MN)
“… What is repentance? I mean a simple definition, and we may not all agree on exactly what that is. But, suffice it to say, it is not merely a change of mind. I always got a kick out of somebody saying that repentance is limited to a change of mind. And here’s why: because if your mind changes, but your action doesn’t change, then how did your mind change? It didn’t. It didn’t. That doesn’t even make sense … You don’t get forgiveness from God unless you’re sorry for what you’ve done … You don’t think a change of mind that leads to a change of action, that there’s some action that’s involved in that. What did you get saved from then? Nothing, apparently … [Repentance is] a change of heart that leads to a radical change of action … ” [from sermon entitled, Biblical Repentance, July 2015 (https://www.facebook.com/pastor.cooley/posts/915086378561789)]
ABOLISH HUMAN ABORTION (Protestant Pro-Life Group)
“To all those who repent of the wickedness of their heart, thoughts, and actions, and who put their trust solely in Jesus, the Gospel offers forgiveness, eternal life …” (http://abolishhumanabortion.com/abolitionism/abolitionism-and-the-gospel/)
LOCAL CHURCHES IN SPOKANE, WA
Calvary Spokane: “We believe that salvation comes through the repentance of our sins and by believing upon the person and work of Jesus Christ” (http://www.calvaryspokane.com/about/webelieve/).
Westgate Christian Church: “Christians who have adhered to God’s Word and have been obedient to God in Christ are saved unto the resurrection of life” (http://westgatechristianchurch.com/about/).
Crossover Church: “Be willing to turn from your sins (repent) …” (http://crossoverchurch.info/want-to-know-god)
Suncity Church: “Salvation is a free gift which cannot be earned but received only by faith and the repentance of sins” (http://suncitychurch.com/people-profiles/what-we-believe/).
Foothills Christian Church: “He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness (Acts 17:30, John 1:12). If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again …” (http://foothillscc.net/the-gospel/)