True Repentance

Category: Questions & Answers

In this video response Bob Jennings gives a short testimonial about his daughter being saved when the Spirit of God moved at a HeartCry conference. Bob exhorts a lot on the issue of true repentance, which is an issue many people are struggling with.


As far as our youngest daughter, she's now 18 and a half, and two years ago, it seems like she was truly saved. Before that time, there were many times she would come asking for help; she was under conviction of sin, she was desparate, she was crying, and she wanted us to talk with her. And she would repent of her sins as thoroughly as you could expect. It seemed like there was some real genuineness there, some depth there. But she never could close with Christ. After we got done talking with her this one time, we said, well, Evangeline, you should tell this to the Lord, what you've told us. You pray. You confess these things to the Lord. And so, she would repent of her sins and she had the position, the attitude that she was all done with sin, but she could never believe on Jesus, that He died for her sins. So we would exhort her, and she would say, in prayer, God, I believe you died for my sins. And we said no, you've got to get this right, God sent His Son to die, to pay the sin debt for sinners. And so then she would say, Well, Jesus, I believe you died. And we'd say do you believe He died for your sins? And then she would say, well, God I believe You died for my sins. And we'd say, no, can you say that Jesus died to pay your sin debt? And she could not get that out. She couldn't break through. It was like there was a wall there. We wondered if it was a demonic obstruction. And so time went on, like I say, about two years until at the Heartcry Conference, God came in some measure of power, and people were being dealt with, and it was there that she broke through. And it was just like she was brought to the end of herself, she was desparate, And it was like opening up a floodgate, and she just poured it all out, she was able to close with Christ, and indeed believe that He did die to pay her sin debt. She really came to the end of herself there, and she really acknowledged that afterward. She told us, dad and mom, really I was stubborn all the way, that's what the problem was. She really was unwilling to go all the way through and give up herself, her life, and hand her life over to Christ. So she was just using that as a little opportunity for resistance. Sometimes things can seem so difficult, so complicated, in dealing with the soul. But really, it's just a facade. The Lord has made it so simple, it's very deep, but it's very simple. And you know, in her case, she was just not really willing to give up on self and follow the Lord. It's really amazing, this position of optional repentance is amazing, and how widespread it is. One time Terri and I went to visit a friend in another town, and we sat down on his couch, and he was telling me about what church he went to. And I said, does your pastor teach that repentance is necessary for salvation? Oh yes. And I just happened to look down beside the couch, and here was a basket full of newspapers, "The Sword of the Lord" and the main editor, Curtis Hudson, here he had a front page article, "Repentance is Not Necessary for Salvation." I thought, look at that, what's that? Repentance is not necessary for salvation? It's incredible what is being taught out there. And so it's no wonder that so-called churches are in such a mess. Charles Stanley for example, one time he came out with an article in his magazine, "In Touch" magazine, and he did say repentance is necessary for salvation, but he redefined repentance to merely mean a change from faith in self to faith in Christ. He said that it would be wrong to tell the drunkard that he must be willing to give up his drunkenness to become a Christian. He said, that's for after you become a Christian. That's some kind of a second stage or something. And I would agree, it's wrong to tell the drunkard that he's got to have victory over his drunkenness to become a Christian. That would be wrong. But, indeed, if that is a pet sin, an idol sin, it would be very right to tell him, are you willing to give up your drunkenness to follow Christ? A person must come to the place where he is saying, Lord, I'm all done... with self and sin and society's standards and smiles. And I'm turning my back on it. I want to follow You from here on out. And you know, sometimes on this matter of repentance, whether it's optional or not, we're not talking about having victory over fornication or drunkenness or something like that, but nevertheless, the question is, am I willing to turn from that? The classic example is the rich, young ruler. The Lord put His finger right on that sore spot, right on that nerve, and if you want to follow Me, turn your back on the covetousness, and you'll have treasure in heaven. And so the Lord gave us, really, a powerful precedent there as far as this matter of repentance. Repentance is such a big theme in the Bible, sometimes it's put as interchangeable with faith. For example, Acts 2:38, Repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins. It doesn't even mention faith. And a lot of times that comes up, like in the book of Acts. But that's a big part of our message. Paul sums up his preaching, and he says in Acts 20:21, "Repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." He sums up his preaching with those two elements. In the Great Commission, accounted in the book of Luke, He says, "Go into all the nations and preach repentance and remission of sins in My name." Repentance - that is a turning from sin, and putting your trust in Christ that He died for your sins. Well, he begins to hate it. He begins to fight against it. Eventually, if he's regenerate, it will fall off. It will weaken and weaken, sometimes, victory over a sin like that can happen immediately. And God just heals him of it right away. But sometimes there is a process of the soul is being strengthened, and it just kind of fades away and drops off eventually. If it doesn't drop off, then you know he was not truly regenerate.