Much of today’s evangelism offers Christ without repentance. Masses of today’s youth are reported to be turning on with Jesus. Little or no mention is ever made of any of them ever admitting that they have wronged God, Nothing is ever said of any expressing heartfelt sorrow for their sinful ways. Most of those who claim to be turned on with Jesus’ continue on in their dirty undisciplined rebellious way — carrying a Bible.
We should not be too surprised to see such taking place. Have not many of those who preach to the Lord’s churches, seeking to ignite the fires of evangelism, been careless in calling people to repentance? Many of our pastors and evangelists preach sermon after sermon about Jesus Christ. They extend invitation after invitation to people to accept Jesus as their Saviour. Seldom do they tell people that they must repent toward God before they can believe on Jesus Christ for salvation.
The Eighth Declaration of Faith, upon which most of our churches have been organized, states that repentance and faith are inseparable graces. It is impossible to have one without the other. Jesus established repentance as a condition that must be met before one can believe. He told the chief priests and elders, “The publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John unto you in the way of righteousness said ye believed him not: but the publican and harlots believed him: and ye, when ye bad seen it. REPENTED NOT afterward. THAT YE MIGHT BELIEVE HIM.” (Matthew 21:31-32).
People may “turn on with Jesus — people may walk the aisle and confess to believe on Jesus — people may join churches — be baptized, live a good life — even preach the gospel and call others to believe on Jesus. But no person has ever believed unto the saving of his soul without going the way of repentance.
Christ, without repentance? Impossible!! “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”Ray O. Brooks; The Baptist Monitor, October 20, 1971 (As reprinted in The Baptist Waymark)