You: “Pastor, I noticed on your church website you state a person must ‘repent from their sins’ to be saved. What does ‘repenting of your sins’ mean?”

Pastor: “It means you must turn from your sins and confess them.”

You: “Have you turned from all your sins?”

Pastor: “I have turned from the major ones in my life but no one is perfect.”

You: “Actually God is perfect and His standard for salvation & entrance into Heaven is perfection. We must be perfectly sinless to be in His presence. So if you are saying that a person must turn from all of their sins to be saved but you admittedly haven’t then aren’t you saying you aren’t saved?”

Pastor: “The Bible says to ‘repent of your sins’ to be saved.”

You: “Where does it say that?”

Pastor: “Mark 1:15.”

You: “What Bible version are you citing?”

Pastor: “The New Living Translation.”

You: “Are you aware that the words “of your sins” pertaining to salvation don’t appear appear in The King James and in virtually every other translation one single solitary time not only in Mark 1:15 but in every other verse where the word “repent” is used in the context of salvation?”

Pastor: “So are you saying a person doesn’t have to turn from their sins to be saved and they can just continue to sin with no remorse and be saved?”

You: “I’m saying that God’s Word makes salvation very clear and very simple. The only requirement for anyone to receive forgiveness for all their sins & eternal life according to the Bible is to BELIEVE The Gospel (that Christ died for all their sins, was buried and rose again on the 3rd Day according to the Scriptures for their justification) The Bible teaches that a person is saved simply by trusting in Christ alone as savior. Saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone! (1st Corinthians 15:1-4, John 3:16, John 6:47, Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9-10) Neither Jesus nor any of His disciples or apostles ever tell anyone they needed to “confess their sins,” “turn from their sins,” “stop sinning” or “feel deep sorrow for their sins” to BE saved. So why are you saying that? Especially when you just admitted you haven’t turned from all your sins yourself?”

Pastor: “Now you are twisting my words.”

You: “How am I twisting your words? You just admitted that a person must repent for their sins to be saved which essentially means to turn from their sins (and stop sinning to be saved) which you also admitted you yourself haven’t done. I pointed out that neither Jesus nor any of His disciples or apostles ever made confessing sins, ceasing from sins or feeling sorrow over sins a condition or requirement to BE saved and what the Bible teaches is that a person is saved the moment they trust in Christ ALONE as savior and when you tell a person they must ‘repent of sins’ you are essentially telling them to follow the law since sin is transgression of the law and ‘repenting of sins’ is FOLLOWING THE LAW and that a person is justified by faith PLUS law keeping.”

Pastor: “So a person doesn’t need to repent to be saved?”

You: “Now you’re twisting my words Pastor:-) The word ‘repent’ when used in the context of salvation in The Bible comes from the Greek word “Metanoia” which means to “change your mind.” When a person goes from not trusting in Christ alone as savior to TRUSTING in Christ alone as savior they have repented (changed their mind). Repenence and faith are 2 sides of the same salvific coin and occur simultaneously! Repentence is a change of mind not confession of individual sins, making an oath to never sin again, feeling sorrowful about sins or even ceasing from all sins (all of which are impossibilities by the way). So when Jesus enters Galilee in Mark 1 and says “repent and believe in The Gospel” he doesn’t say “repent of your sins and believe the Gospel.” He says “repent and believe the Gospel.” Jesus is telling the Gallileans to CHANGE THEIR MIND and to go from trusting in their own works to be saved to trusting in Him ALONE as savior!”

Pastor: “So aren’t you essentially giving people a license to sin by not telling them they need to turn from their sins to be saved?”

You: 🙄