Is Repentance A ‘Secondary Issue’?
I recently made a public request for Dan Phillips of the PyroManiacs blog (or what’s left of it) to respond to his position on repentance. I did so because Dan takes the position that many will be able to repent and be saved after our Lord Jesus Christ returns again.
God has declared clearly before all men that Christ Jesus will not return to this earth to deal with sin in any way other than in judgment, and that includes geo-political Israel.
Here’s what God says:
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. – Hebrews 9:27-28 (emphasis mine)
Dan Phillips disagrees. So does John MacArthur. Why? Is it not abundantly clear that when Christ returns, it’s too late for repentance and salvation for those who rejected Him prior in life? One thing is for certain, to oppose such clear teaching from God’s Word is nothing short of unorthodoxy. It affects the purity of the Gospel.
When I posted that request, here is Dan’s response on the import of the question:
I’d like to ask Dan just exactly how is God’s Word wrong? Because that is exactly what he is saying. God says Christ will not deal with repentance at the Second Advent, and Dan says – and teaches – that He will.
Dan’s refusal, or fear (more likely), to address this important issue reminds me of the whole dodge and dance of the Ergun Caner scandal. And Ergun hasn’t repented yet.
Of course, Dan is not the only one protecting this false teaching within the church. So is James White, I’m sad to say. Dr. White, it seems, although he is not a dispensationalist, and will quickly tell you so, and although he is a well-known apologists – won’t touch this issue. I think we know why.
Has repentance become a ‘secondary issue?’ It appears so in Dan and John MacArthur’s thinking…and teaching.
The real shame is that such clear teaching of God’s Word is either rejected by popular Christian teachers or, is ignored for selfish gain and preservation of career. Whatever that’s worth in eternity.
- God’s Word or John MacArthur’s? (5ptsalt.com)
- A Question On Repentance (5ptsalt.com)
- A Damnable Error & A Simple Question (5ptsalt.com)
It’s not secondary at all… FWIW, my experience has shown that most people write off eschatology as secondary and something that we shouldn’t argue or debate over. I used to be one of those persons until I understood what was truly at stake. Even a good friend of mine didn’t want to discuss it because he viewed all of eschatology as secondary.
Firstly , I’m not aware of the scriptures saying anywhere that this doctrine or that doctrine is a secondary issue, and yet , there are many folks who for some reason , keep insisting that there are secondary issues, and even if for some reason that there were “secondary ” issues, would repentance be counted among them. ? I would think not .
Secondly, how does someone like Mac , come to believe that dispensationalism with all its faults , is biblical. The big red flag on this is that if understanding of the word of God is by the Holy Spirit, why has Mac got this so wrong.
Ray, though the Bible does not describe “secondary issues” in so many words, the fact that the Lord Jesus mentions “weighter matters of the law” (Mat 23:23) suggests to me – at the very least- that there is not absolute parity between every “issue.”
That being said, it would seem to me that repentance is very much a PRIMARY issue.
He *did* interact with it. He just couldn’t help himself.
Disappointing, but I have been amazed lately at the way Christians, even those in leadership, can read a verse of scripture and immediately look you straight in the eye and flatly contradict it in favor of their favorite tradition of man. It is heart breaking.
Absolutely I agree , repentance is a primary issue, and the fact that Jesus prefaces the Olivet discourse with the words ” take heed that no man decieves you” should be of enough concern to us to treat eschatology with the same respect as we would repentance.
If the Lord Himself says repentance is necessary in salvation, that’s enough to make it a primary issue in my book.
Oh, and another thought on Heb. 9:27-28….The Lord is coming the second time to save “those who eagerly await Him”…..not those who have denied Him and rejected Him all the way up to the moment He appears!
Would you be so kind as to explain how James White is protecting the teaching that some will have the opportunity to repent after the Lord returns?
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