DISCOVER THE BIBLE
But this is not the first time things have gotten so bad. 4,000 years ago. . . .
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." GENESIS 6:5
The human race had become a continual source of sin. The men and women responsible for it enjoyed their sin, and reveled in it! But...looking down upon it all was the Almighty Holy Creator of the universe - and He hates sin!
"Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity..." HEBREWS 1:9
God had seen enough: His holiness was about to collide with man's sinfulness:
I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;
both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air;
for it repenteth me that I have made them." GENESIS 6:7
The countdown started. Mankind had 120 years (Gen. 6:3) to repent and get right with God before the whole sinful mess would be wiped clean. The human race was marked for total destruction...
The BIBLE says "Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:9) so God graciously told Him HOW TO BE SAVED from the coming destruction:
and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark....
And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,
to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven;
and every thing that is in the earth shall die. ... Thus did Noah;" GENESIS 6:13-14,17,22
No doubt Noah warned those around him of the coming wrath as he preached, "REPENT!" But after 120 years no one else had REPENTED and TRUSTED the ark to save them. The flood waters came and...
When it was all over, Noah and his family had been saved, and given a promise by God:
and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh." GENESIS 9:15
IF GOD HAD TO DESTROY THE WORLD AGAIN, IT WOULD BE BY FIRE!
reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." II PETER 3:7
When will this judgment of fire come upon the Earth? Jesus told us what to look for:
days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." MATTHEW 24:36-39
As we look around us today we see "the days of Noah" all over again (Lesson 3). Sin runs rampant throughout the world: lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, sexual perversion, selfishness, drunkenness, back-stabbing, dirty jokes, mail fraud, bitterness, lust, gossiping, greed, extortion, murder, drug addiction, rejection of God, rebellion, terrorism, swearing, torture, injustice, hatred, mail bombings, wife-beating, sodomy, political corruption, pride, legal corruption, immorality, bad mouthing, euthanasia (mercy killings), abortions, witchcraft, fornication, rioting, gangs, disobedience to parents, truce breaking, tax fraud, computer viruses, child molestation, prostitution, wars, gambling, pornography, envy, jealousy, laziness, lawlessness, rape, incest, gluttony, welfare fraud, divorce, hypocrisy, and every other perversion that flows out of the heart of sinful man.
Mankind has not changed since the days of Noah and neither has God - HE STILL HATES SIN!
It's only a matter of time when once again the cup of God's wrath will fill to its brim, and destruction will come upon mankind (Revelation 16:1). But there is hope! God is still as merciful and gracious as ever, once again giving man time to REPENT and TRUST the "Ark of Salvation" - Jesus Christ.
but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance." II PETER 3:9
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." JOHN 3:16
but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," I THESSALONIANS 5:9
Q WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
Repentance is a change of mind or attitude concerning sin and
one's obligation to the will of God.
FORSAKES IT, AND TURNS TOWARD GOD.
(We can't change our attitude about sin if we never admit we are guilty sinners.)
Against thee [God], thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..." PSALM 51:3-4
and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the
light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man," JOB 33:27-29
even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:" DANIEL 9:5
(We can't be joyful when we see ourselves as God does: as lost sinners who have offended Him.)
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head:
as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me." PSALM 38:3-4
my strength faileth because of mine iniquity..." PSALM 31:10
made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of:
but the sorrow of the world worketh death." II CORINTHIANS 7:9-10
repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." ACTS 20:21
ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;" I THESSALONIANS 1:9
enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say
unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee," LUKE 15:17-18
from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations." EZEKIEL 14:6
but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls [God]." I PETER 2:25
Q DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT WE MUST REPENT?
The answer is YES! However there are those who do not preach the need for repentance. They claim that to teach repentance is to teach salvation by works. Repentance is not a work; it is simply a change of mind and attitude resulting in a change of direction. A person does not repent in order to earn his salvation, but rather he repents because HE WANTS THE SALVATION THAT GOD IS OFFERING FOR FREE. Repentance is BIBLICAL: we find it taught throughout the whole BIBLE.
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." MATTHEW 4:17
"...I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." MATTHEW 9:13
"Then began he [Jesus] to upbraid [rebuke] the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done,
because they repented not:" MATTHEW 11:20
"For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not:
but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it,
repented not afterward, that ye might believe him." MATTHEW 21:32
but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent." LUKE 16:30
"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," LUKE 15:7
"He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went." MATTHEW 21:29
in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." LUKE 24:47
"And they went out, and preached that men should repent." MARK 6:12
JOHN THE BAPTIST - "...Repent ye: for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand." MATTHEW 3:1-2
Q WHY IS REPENTANCE NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
To answer this question we must go back to the beginning of man's existence and consider why he was created. Man was created to fellowship with God and walk with Him in complete agreement. The BIBLE clearly reveals that this harmonious relationship has always been the expressed desire of God:
and they shall be my people." II CORINTHIANS 6:16
"And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people." LEVITICUS 26:12
However, man chose not to fellowship with his Creator and rebelled against Him instead:
and the LORD hath laid on him [Christ] the iniquity of us all." ISAIAH 53:6
Ever since his initial rebellion, man's attitude toward God has been:
that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?" JOB 21:14-15
This rebellious attitude caused man to spiritually die (Lesson 4) making him a sinner in God's eyes:
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" ROMANS 5:12
"...there is none that doeth good, no, not one." ROMANS 3:12
Consequently man found himself lost, condemned and heading in the wrong direction-away from God and toward an eternity in Hell. Jesus Christ described this result of man's sinful rebellion:
offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." MATTHEW 13:41-42
and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts [laws]
and from thy judgments:" DANIEL 9:5
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid.
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD;
and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah." PSALM 32:5
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out [forgiven]..." ACTS 3:19
FORGIVENESS OF SINS!
Many people are under the wrong impression that they can be forgiven of their sins without having to repent. Yet it is unreasonable to assume that a sinner can partake of the forgiveness of God, if he has no intention of changing his sinful rebellious attitude toward God. Throughout the BIBLE we find a repentant attitude preceding forgiveness:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon [forgive]." ISAIAH 55:7
forgive thy people which have sinned against thee." II CHRONICLES 6:38-39
Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel..." I KINGS 8:33-34
that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin." JEREMIAH 36:3
for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." ACTS 5:31
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." II CHRONICLES 7:14
if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee." ACTS 8:22
Some may even argue that God is merciful and gracious enough to forgive us our sins whether we repent or not; but again, we find a repentant attitude required to partake of God's mercy and grace:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." PROVERBS 28:13
Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously..." HOSEA 14:2
"...turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful..." JOEL 2:13
but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." LUKE 18:13
After all, to seek God's forgiveness without repenting is like saying to Him:
but I still want to partake of the forgiveness of sins that Christ has bought for me on the cross."
Any reasonable person would have to admit that the above statement is absurd! Yet this is exactly what many are saying to God when they try to accept God's gift of salvation without being willing to surrender their self-will to God. Jesus said:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." MATTHEW 16:24-25
Next we are going to study a subject as equally important as
repentance. While salvation is not possible without repentance,
it is just as impossible without faith. When it comes to getting
saved, repentance and faith are inseparable. They are two sides of the
same coin. In fact, it can be said that SAVING FAITH INCLUDES
REPENTANCE, JUST AS GENUINE REPENTANCE INCLUDES SAVING FAITH.
Q WHAT IS FAITH?
One of the best ways to answer this is by studying the life of
someone who was known for his faith.
To learn the secret of Abraham's faith, let's refer to a famous incident in his life that began with the following promise from God:
and I will establish my covenant with him...and with his seed after him." GENESIS 17:19
The day arrived when Isaac was born, just as God promised. When the boy grew to about the age of twelve, God commanded Abraham to do something very interesting...
and offer him there for a burnt offering..." GENESIS 22:2
Abraham, known for his love toward Isaac, was known even more for His obedience toward God, so he did what He was told (Genesis 22:3-4). Three days later, Abraham, Isaac and two hired servants arrived at the base of the mountain where the sacrifice was to take place. It was here that Abraham said something very interesting...
and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." GENESIS 22:5
But how could this be? Was he planning on disobeying God at the last minute? Apparently not, because the BIBLE says that Abraham:
his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of
heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand
upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing
thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." GENESIS 22:9-12
How did Abraham know that Isaac would return home with him? The answer is simple:
Now, before we learn the secret of Abraham's faith, let us consider some erroneous views of his faith.
Many today feel that if you have enough faith and believe hard
enough, your wishes will come true.
Some today think faith is positive thinking. On the contrary, the final say in any matter is God's, no matter how positive a person may be or think:
and among the inhabitants of the earth:
and none can stay [stop] his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" DANIEL 4:35
Many people go through life operating on "hunches". Their morality is guided by what feels right and so is their faith. Therefore they reason "if it feels right, it will turn out all right". If this was true, Abraham would not have sacrificed his son, because his feelings against sacrificing his own son would have surely outweighed anything else. Besides, feelings can change and produce uncertainty. Abraham displayed no uncertainty in GENESIS 22:5 when he said "...I and the lad will...come again to you." His faith was not based on a feeling.
There are other ways that people define faith which also carry an element of uncertainty. This is contrary to the BIBLE'S definition of faith. God does not deal in uncertainties, He doesn't have to - He's God! Instead, He deals in promises! After all, God knows it all, can do it all, and therefore can promise and deliver anything, even salvation. This brings us to the secret of Abraham's faith:
and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant,
and with his seed after him." GENESIS 17:19
The phrase "his seed after him" refers to Isaac's descendants. God had promised that Isaac would live long enough to have children. God promised it, and nothing could change that: not Abraham's knife nor even God Himself. Since Isaac had not yet had any children (He was approximately 12 years old), Abraham reasoned that his son would either come back from the dead or not die at all. Abraham realized that God had to keep His promise, because He cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18).
offered up his only begotten son...That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead..." HEBREWS 11:17-19
HE WAS SIMPLY TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD.
what he [God] had promised, he was able also to perform." ROMANS 4:20-21
Faith is TRUSTING IN GOD'S WORD. When you consider how trustworthy God's Word is, faith becomes a very sure thing. Throughout the New Testament we find various examples demonstrating that faith means trusting in God's Word.
q Our first example involves the centurion (military captain) at Capernaum:
home sick of the palsy.... And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him." MATTHEW 8:5-7
Jesus offered to follow him home where the healing would take place. But the centurion, recognizing that God is trustworthy and all- powerful, said:
but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." MATTHEW 8:8
Jesus, seeing the centurion's willingness to simply trust His Word, then responded:
q Our second example takes place on a ship:
them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth." LUKE 8:22
Jesus had said they would go to the other side. Obviously this implied that they were not going to die on the way there. (Remember, this was God talking.) The rest of the passage speaks for itself:
filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master,
master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased,
and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid
wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds
and water, and they obey him." LUKE 8:23-25
q The next example involves a fig tree. When Jesus came upon it He found no fruit:
No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it." MARK 11:14
And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst
is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God." MARK 11:20-22
q Next we find another example taking place on a ship:
the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples
saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit.... But straightway Jesus spake
unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it
be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come." MATTHEW 14:24-29
Ordinarily there was no way that Peter could have walked on water. But Jesus (God in the flesh) had told him that he could. It was then up to Peter to trust what God had said:
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord,
save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,
O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" MATTHEW 14:29-31
Q HOW DOES A PERSON OBTAIN FAITH?
The answer is by trusting in God's Word. This of course requires that one hears what God has to say first. After all, you can't trust in what you haven't heard nor can you claim a promise that you don't know has been given. That's why the BIBLE says:
whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" ROMANS 10:13-14
True BIBLE faith is impossible without first hearing about the promises of God from His Word:
"And many more believed because of his own word;" JOHN 4:41
"...I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." ACTS 27:25
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said..." JOHN 7:38
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ..." JOHN 20:31
"...He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life..." JOHN 5:24
This truth cannot be emphasized enough! Unfortunately a large number of people, not familiar with God's promises, are trusting in some religious work that God never promised would save them. The result is tragic, as the following poem illustrates:
Q HOW IS A PERSON SAVED BY FAITH?
Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world and paid for them at Calvary (Lesson 5), thus settling the sin debt that each one of us owes to God. In Lesson 6 we looked at some of the things that people are trusting to pay for their own sins. We concluded from the BIBLE that none of those things will reduce our debt by even one sin: not good works, not baptism, nor any of the many rituals performed through religion. Only the death of Christ can satisfy God's justice; therefore it only makes sense that we should put 100% trust in His death and shed blood as payment for our sins. The following verses tell us to do just that:
not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:" II CORINTHIANS 1:9
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is
the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe." I TIMOTHY 4:10
"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." EPHESIANS 1:12
And they said, Believe [TRUST] on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." ACTS 16:30- 31
though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and
believeth [TRUST] in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" JOHN 11:25-26
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption [PAYMENT] that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [SETTLEMENT] through faith [TRUST] in his
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission [FORGIVENESS] of sins that are past,
through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:
that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth [TRUST] in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works?
Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [MADE RIGHT]
by faith [TRUST] without the deeds of the law." ROMANS 3:23- 28
for if ye believe [TRUST] not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." JOHN 8:24
[TRUST] in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ... He that believeth [TRUST] on
him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He that believeth [TRUST] on the Son hath everlasting life..." JOHN 3:16,18,36
shall receive remission [FORGIVENESS] of sins." ACTS 10:43
thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. ... For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." ROMANS 10:9,13
Now that we have defined repentance and faith, we are going to
show how the two work together.
That is like saying:
"FORSAKE YOUR SIN, TURN TOWARD JESUS CHRIST AND PUT YOUR TRUST IN HIM TO SAVE YOU!"
We see here a picture of BOTH repentance and faith
working together to save us.
and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done." ACTS 8:13
His belief alone did not save him. We find Peter, later on, telling him:
God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:
for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness,
and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." ACTS 8:20-23
His belief didn't save him because it was not accompanied with repentance. (* see note on page 17)
Now let's say you let go of the gold bar, but you never swim toward the life preserver and grab on to it - again, you will end up drowning. Likewise, if you try to repent without trusting Christ as your Saviour - you won't get saved either. Just ask the traitor, Judas Iscariot:
again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have
betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that." MATTHEW 27:3-4
His repentance alone did not save him. While he regretted what he had done, he didn't turn toward Christ and trust Him as Saviour. Instead. . .
and departed, and went and hanged himself." MATTHEW 27:5
Repentance, by itself, didn't save Judas because his repentance was not linked together with faith in Christ as Saviour. Repentance and faith must work together to bring about salvation. Jesus Christ started His ministry by teaching this very fact:
The Apostle Paul, addressing some who were still trusting in their works to save them, also stated that both repentance and faith were necessary:
but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,
repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." ACTS 20:20-21
We hope that you have found these seven lessons interesting and informative. While only "scratching the surface" of what the BIBLE has to offer, we have nevertheless tried to provide as good an overview of the BIBLE as possible. In doing so we have rightfully dedicated over two whole lessons to salvation. After all, if a person misses salvation, he has missed it all. Jesus said it best when He said:
Since salvation is so important, we would first like to address those of you who cannot point to a time and place when you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour. As you have already learned, Christ died for your sins so you won't have to. This means that you can know for sure (through repentance and faith) that you are going to Heaven when you die and you can possess a salvation that you will never lose. Therefore the question is what would keep you from getting saved? Is it worth going to Hell over? We strongly encourage you to consider God's free gift of salvation. If you would like more information about it, please feel free to let us know through the comment and question section of the worksheet. We have more information available.
Next, we want to address those of you that may have already made a profession of faith. Perhaps you feel that you are already a Christian. But whatever your personal testimony might be, the BIBLE says it is always a good idea to:
selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" II CORINTHIANS 13:5
And one of the best means of self examination is by considering the following verse:
behold, all things are become new." II CORINTHIANS 5:17
As mentioned in Lesson 6, true BIBLE salvation results in a supernatural transformation which causes all things to become new. So please take the time to read the following section and examine yourself in light of what a new creature in Christ is like. It could make the difference between Heaven and Hell!
Whether or not you have any doubts concerning your salvation, we recommend
that you attend regular
n One that uses the BIBLE as its
only source of doctrine for both preaching and teaching (Lesson 6).
BOX ON THE WORKSHEET AND WE WILL NOTIFY YOU OF A CHURCH IN YOUR AREA.
Move to Lesson #7's worksheet