The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Grace — Forgiveness — Faith — Repentance

That’s just bs, sorry.

John the baptiser sure did… BUT to whom was he imploring? Answer… John was speaking to God’s OWN people, people ALREADY IN covenant!

Israel was in disobedience and thus consequently disarray… the sinners being called to repentance were God’s own people!

Quite the position! Believe what you want, and although the words of Jesus, John the Baptizer, and the apostles of Jesus teach differently, simply dismiss their words as inapplicable by affirming that they don’t apply to people any more. They apply only to those to whom they were speaking in their day!

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No, that is your opinion and you probably can’t back it up because to do so will put you in contradiction of God. :confused: You will never learn.

It certainly seems less likely, for to do so would be to contradict one’s position, the defence of which seems more important. It’s WHY when I point out, for example, that repentance in the NT is primarily pointed at and pertinent to people in covenant, i.e., God’s people, the typical myopic and juvenile reaction is to miss the woods for the trees and misconstrue that fact as apparently meaning I think repentance is of no value beyond those of the text in view.

IOW Chad… it’s just another convenient way of NOT dealing with a conundrum, or for example, not wanting to answer a really basic and clear question with something lame like… “I don’t understand the question” — because to do so is perceived as giving too much ground. :roll_eyes:

You appear to suggest that only Jews were God’s people, and thus alone needed to repent?
But aren’t pagans also called to repent?

“I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance
even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life…
for now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 20:21; 11:18; 17:30).

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10).

“The hope (is) that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 2:25).

“God is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9).

Aren’t Jews and Gentiles alike equally called to ‘pertinent’ NT “repentance”?

Repentance and belief are declared by some to be ‘works’ intended to earn salvation, because Christ ‘has done it all’. In fact I listened to Mike Williams say that even faith is not necessary - because Jesus even believes FOR us. (“I live by the faith OF the son of God” . My faith not a necessity etc)
Now personally I don’t mind a person saying those things - none of my business. It’s only when that person or group starts saying everyone has always been wrong, and we’re missing out on the new thing that I take notice. Mr. Williams maintained, in the video I watched, that noone else in the history of the Church had ever seen the truth as revealed to him. Noone.
And that’s the impression I get from some here. Only them; it’s been hidden until now; Christianity is a crock and in fact, we’re proud of NOT being Christians. We’ve gone beyond that! Into something NEW!
Well, ok, it’s still a free country, go for it. But I don’t see what you’re offering that would make mere Christians fear that they are missing out. As I s ee it, traditional Christian belief is all any human could ask for.

Chad - sorry I touched a nerve. To think that I’m in a contradiction is pretty funny.

It may “appear” that way to you but that’s due to your inalienable inability to properly read my posts, even when you poorly quote it… go back and read my post again and note the adverb primarily!

In fact, I challenge you to do a word-study on “repent/ance/ed/s” and IF you are judicious you will see such as I have stated IS pertinent primarily to the people of God… that’s all I’ve said Bob.

Matt 12:39-41

39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

The Assyrian city Nineveh was a sinful gentile city in desperate need of repentance.God saved Nineveh because they believed Gods given message through the prophet Jonah, and then fasted to be able to hear from God. They repented of their evil ways and asked God to forgive them. God withheld his judgment upon their repentance.The whole point Christ was making, was after his rejection by his own people, crucifixion and resurrection, he would then turn his message about the coming kingdom and the need to repent for the forgiveness of sins towards the gentiles for a time. As in the case of Nineveh, we Gentiles who are not Gods covenant people, need to repent for the forgiveness of sins as to be saved from Gods coming judgment. And in turn this will be a sign to Israel, which will move them to jealousy because salvation has come to the Gentiles. It’s all in the greater plan of things.

Much thanks, Bob, for that excellent selection of passages from Acts and from Paul’s and Peter’s writings. As you know, they clearly teach the need for ALL to repent in order to enter the process of salvation from sin, and gain the gift of lasting life.

Thank you again, Bob

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Davo, I hear you to clarify that “primarily” (to Jews) does not deny that pagan unbelievers are equally required to come to a very pertinent repentance. So it appears we agree. Thanks.


In the main we seem closer… maybe just less so on some assumed specifics. I certainly have not just now clarified my meaning as I used “primarily” from the first to indicate exactly what I meant.

The important fact to remember, however, being the point of the OP which is… forgiveness isn’t always reliant on prior repentance for forgiveness to be true and present — and yet where it is the bulk of textual evidence shows such repentance to be relative to or within the believing community, as per the arguments given.

For sure, certain non-Jewish folk were indeed implored to change their minds on a certain matter, BUT such repentance wasn’t ALWAYS (in terms of the Gentiles) referring to sin/s — whereas again, ‘repentance’ WHEN often used in the NT is in relation to the people of God, i.e., either people of the old covenant or people of the new covenant, it DOES more the case refer to sin/s.

Again, consider the text you raised…

Acts 11:17-18 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

No mention relative to “sin” — repentance AND belief are directly linked (duh) — the Gentiles in the grace of God, came to believe, i.e., came into a new understanding, had a change of mind… to realise the God of Israel was, in reality, their God too cf. Acts 17:27-30 — thus the call to believe the gospel! Thus the gentiles change of mind to life came to them via Jesus, as it had at first to Israel, as per Mk 1:15 — thus, to the Jew first (primarily) and then to the… etc, etc.

Thank you. I’m unclear about your apparent distinction that unlike Jews, Gentiles’ need for ‘repentance’ is usually notreferring to (or “pertinent”?) to sin/s

I cited most (non-Gospels’ narrative) NT uses of “repentance.” Though I agree there may be some exceptional uses, I perceive that the change of mind and direction that they preach must take place for Gentile unbelievers can pertain to both their beliefs and attitude toward God and toward their sin/s.

So e.g., in the texts quoted above, do you see the needed repentance as not pertinent to sin/s? Do you see the call for unbelievers to repent as irrelevant to sin, but then when they believe and become God’s people, now the repentance essential is pertinent to their sins? If “yes” on either question, why?

I think this wiki is accurate?
" Realized Eschatology

Presence International, a non-profit organization based in the metro Atlanta area, holds annual conferences that teach that all prophecy was fulfilled, including the Second Coming of Christ, the Resurrection of the Dead and the Last Judgement, by the year A.D. 70 at the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. With the New Covenant fully established, all of humanity has been reconciled with God. This view of Universal reconciliation is referred to as comprehensive grace.[7]"

The second coming, the resurrection of the dead, and the Last Judgment, as well as every human being reconciled to God - accomplished in AD70.
Does this mean: Christ will NOT return again (Earth will abide until the heat death of the universe), there is no further judgment of men since AD70, and no physical resurrection to look forward to?

I’m not criticizing that position here, but some people wanted to know what I was referring to above in this thread
@Invernessian @mcarans @qaz

Well there is a good case for his coming a second time, in our future.
We are to be physically resurrected.
Thank God there will be a judgment - we’re saved by grace, judged for our works. Let’s do good patiently.


Well let’s just look at those six… excellent selection of passages from Acts and from Paul’s and Peter’s writings to see what they ACTUALLY DO say and NOT just what is automatically ASSUMED.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Sticking just with the text, this is repentance UNTO LIFE… no mention of repentance away from sin.

Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,…

The repentance in view is away from the futile trust in their gods that had gone before… THAT’S the context, but NOW the revelation of God in the gospel has come, therefore BELIEVE IT, aka change your mind on this, aka repent. Sin per sé is NOT the essential issue at hand.

Acts 20:21 …testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, this is repentance toward Israel’s God, who was in reality the true God they were simply ignorant of… the gospel about this was to be believed — THAT meant, a change of mind, aka repentance. NOT from sin per sé, BUT toward God by putting their faith aka their mind belief in Jesus = repentance.

2Cor 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

You will notice from the context Paul is NOT speaking to unbelieving pagans about turning from sin, no… he is writing to BELIEVERS about how repentance can lead one along the way of salvation; no more and no less.

2Tim 2:25 …in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,…

Paul’s prayer concerned certain contentious juvenile believers that he hoped in the grace of God would receive knowledge of the truth — IOW, having their minds changed, aka finding repentance in order to grasp such truth and become vessels of honour not dishonour — it’s all there in the context. Could such repentance for these BELIEVERS be in regards to certain sin… to my mind, unquestionably — but is that Paul’s main thrust here? No.

2Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

WHO is Peter writing TO and ABOUT… unbelieving gentiles? NO. Peter is addressing BELIEVERS! Some were in danger of falling from the faith (vs. 17) likely at the pressure of fellow Jewish scoffers (vs. 3).

I agree… BUT, that’s a long-shot from just putting OUR WORDS in or tagging OUR MEANINGS to the mouths of the NT writers; can you see the difference? Can you see what can happen the more you learn to read with a less biased eye? IOW… NOT ONE of those texts you used to back up your assumption that repentance from sin is the primary intended let alone implied meaning.

Again, I’m NOT poo-hooing repentance from sin as being irrelevant at all… I’m challenging certain assumptions that get automatically and uncritically attached for argument’s sake, but that upon investigation in fact don’t so much back up that assumption.

Doesn’t the definition of “repent” include the concept of sin/wrongdoing? At least according to bing’s dictionary.

One thing that may be lost on this discussion is that “forgiveness” is a complex concept. A person can satisfy portions of the concept of complete forgiveness without giving in to all aspects that some would include in a definition of forgiveness.

Here’s a poor attempt at breaking down the complete concept of “forgiveness”:

Forgiveness A: simply letting go of worrying/caring about an offense that occurred to you
Forgiveness B: Passive forgiveness - I’m not going to sue him / I’m not going out of my way to be rude or mean to him.
Forgiveness C: Active forgiveness - I’m going to actively seek to restore relationship with him as if the offense never occurred.

Can it be said that:
Forgiveness A should be granted to all.
Forgiveness B and C should be granted to all who repent.

Davo, if you mostly agree with that simple analysis, then I’d like to hear exactly what your main point was of your OP.

First off, Drew, I don’t think that any attempt to explain God’s dealings with us is “poor”. As Elihu said to Job (Job 36:26 TLB): “God is so great that we cannot begin to know him”.

We do know ourselves, however, - more so as we get older. We become more conscious of our propensity to sin, more aware of how our sin can hurt others; but, happily, less proud, more willing to forgive and forget. And, strangely, we find that life is much better as a result.

It is not clear to me, Drew, if your three statements, A, B and C, relate to forgiveness by God or forgiveness by us. In any case, C applies with the exception that we need not require repentance by those who wrong us.

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Well all deference to bing’s dictionary aside repentance is of course applied to the matter of sin/wrongdoing but that’s not its actual sole meaning. Its core meaning is simply… change your mind/thinking — from μετανοέω metanoeō = ‘to change one’s mind’

Mk 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus was simply saying… “Change your minds and believe the gospel” as being revealed in him. Israel had been going one way, the wrong way and Jesus came saying… no it’s this way, my way, I am the way etc. Israel needed a change of mind, i.e., repentance, and so believe in their Messiah.

The closet I might come to in your simple analysis might be C. But the main point of the OP was to show how forgiveness can be truly given even when or if the offending party is oblivious to or not even interested in said forgiveness — forgiveness in the heart is always a matter for one giving it and is NOT provisionary upon a recipient’s nod of approval. Repentance is without question the most desirable response from an offending party, but real forgiveness is certainly NOT limited by its lack.

Thus forgiveness, contrary to what some might suggest, is not reliant solely on repentance. Some have tried to tie forgiveness to relationship and thus claim that such restoration can only come via repentance. Well that of course can be the case BUT it is an overstatement to claim it is the only or sole case, it is not… as I showed by way of the example in the OP, AND subsequent discussion.

I also showed that for the most part repentance figures greatly within the redeemed community where indeed “relationships” feature… BUT again, to assume God’s whole scale unilateral restoration of humanity to Himself NEEDS man’s repentant response to make His forgiveness real or true is simply, IMO, overreach.

I don’t disagree that there’s plenty of good thought in what you’ve written.

Maybe I’m stuck on your use of “forgiveness” as if it is a one-dimensional concept. But:

I can agree that God extends a form of my “Forgiveness A” to people quite readily. And that “Forgiveness A” fits readily into your statement.

But considering the total concept of complete forgiveness:

How about King Saul? Did God readily extend anything to him but “Forgiveness A” and arguably “Forgiveness B”?

I would posit that God will be working out “Forgiveness C” with king Saul for ages and ages of the afterlife.

In case you disagree, consider:

King Saul and God were each deeply offended by each other. Will King Saul still be #1 in his realm at the beginning of eternity? Or perhaps might he wait tens of thousands of years to get the chance to personally sit at the feet of Jesus?

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