Go and Sin No More
Recently, I received a rather blasphemous false teaching through a Facebook private message along with an invitation to 'accept Christ' entitled: "Did the Thief on the Cross Repent?" Now for most Christians the alarm bells will immediately go off when we see that title, and it is at point #3 where his doctrine really breaks down.
"3. Never once did this thief promise that he would sin no more."
What this person is trying to suggest is that turning from our sins is unnecessary using the thief who hung on the cross next to Christ as an example. For most people, even the unsaved, this is the height of self deception. This is why Christians are constantly condemned for being such hypocrites, the unsaved see that most of us do not 'walk the walk' we preach. Although the amount of cognitive dissonance required to believe this nonsense is through the roof, tragically this is not the first time I have witnessed it in action.
Now, I will show you scripturally why this doctrine is complete nonsense,
however it is very important for you to understand something. Believing that
turning from our sins is not required is not the result of an honest mistake
in reasoning, but of a conscience so utterly seared with a hot iron as to be
What becomes clear is that they only accept the dictionary definition as a 'transitive verb', and simply ignore the intransitive. What's the difference? A transitive verb needs another word to complete the thought. For example, in the sentence "I stole the bike" stole is the transitive verb, but in "The bike was stolen" stolen is intransitive. See the difference? So, "I repented" is different from "I repented for stealing the bike". When we say "I repent" in the biblical sense (without specifying of what), 'repent' is an intransitive verb. This means that both sorrow over and intention to turn from our sins are implied.
Now most important we will look at scripture. This person went on to quote Luke 23:32-43 as if it supports their preposterous claim. Now folks, beware of people who quote huge blocks of scripture without telling you which verse(s) they believe are relevant, and also those who list many verse references. Because more often than not they are depending on you to throw up your hands and leave the conversation rather than take the time to search the scriptures for yourself. We must always be as the Bereans. Apparently this person did not examine verses 39-42:
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed
on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other
answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in
the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward
of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus,
Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
In this passage the thief is expressing everything required for salvation. How do we know this? The simple answer is because Christ promised it to him in response (Luke 23:43 KJV). We must remember that unlike men Christ has the ability to peer right into a man's heart and determine whether he was sincere. Although the thief was only saved for a very short time he had done everything required for salvation and was thus saved.
By rebuking the other thief for denying Christ he is acknowledging Him as Christ. He plainly states not only his fear of God, but recognizes that his own punishment is just while Christ's isn't. And finally he asks Christ to remember him. Now he didn't have the time to do any good works, but good works do not earn salvation, do they? Does that mean they are not required? No it doesn't. Faith without works is dead.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but
the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no
man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither
do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
The thief did not have the opportunity to live his life for Christ, in order to demonstrate his own love for God, not to earn God's love. God showed me so simply the allegory of the bride and Bridegroom. We see the love sickness that the bride is supposed to have for her Bridegroom so aptly expressed in the 'Song of Solomon'. Yet today the so called 'body of Christ' is inundated with those who call themselves by His name, but never give a second thought to pleasing Him.
Like a whore obsessed with her own prosperity their cry is "What Have you Done for Me Lately?" the 80s hit by Janet Jackson. They want everything they can get out of God without making any real commitment. That is the very definition of a whore. I'm speaking to you Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Paula White et al.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received
the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Paul made it abundantly clear you hypocrites! Yes, we all stumble and sin from time to time, but the key word is in the verse above; 'Willfully'. As Christians the infilling of the Holy Spirit causes us grief over our sins which is relieved by repentance. They are washed immediately away when we ask Christ to forgive them, get up and continue our walk with Him. To say turning from our sins is not required is to call Christ a liar!
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter
times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience
seared with a hot iron;
If we do not repent of our sins our consciences will eventually become as seared as this fellow's. By exchanging the truth for a lie we will lose the ability to recognize our own wretchedness. Like a smelly bum who cannot sense his own funk. Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? If the last time you washed was the day you got 'saved' I've got some bad news for you...
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