Don't Expect a Perfect Repentance - Paul Washer

Question: One of the uh responses we get to a lot of people who have never heard

Question: One of the uh responses we get to a lot of people who have never heard

Uh biblical preaching before, Maybe you can say hard preaching,

That causes you to examine yourself. Uh they'll send us an E-Mail saying

I'm trying to be saved But I can't

I'm trying to repent But I can't

I'm trying to believe but I can't. How would you council them?

Paul Washer: Well, first of all There is also another fad out there

That I have seen You know in America basically the offering

of salvation It's very superficial

People superficially pray this little prayer I'm saved

Well there is a whole other group of people that are rising up

That are reacting Against that

And what they are Is is they're people

I've come in contact with them It's amazing

Their almost saying I'm seeking God I been seeking God for months

Or even a year There's just no genuine repentance

There's no faith They're almost

It's as though their seeking to brag and boast and point out that their not like all these

superficial people That they're completely different

And their testimony for some reason will be heightened because of all this

Listen I would tell them

That they've moved out of the context of evangelical Christianity

The Bible commands you to repent I would go through text after text

Saying this is what the Bible commands you to do

But then I would also help them with the scriptures To discern what is biblical repentance

I would tell them all the scriptures That talk of

That command us to believe But then I would help them to understand biblical

faith Now what do I mean by that

If I go through all the characteristics of repentance

In the scriptures And I give someone

This is a perfect Biblical definition

And these are the perfect expounded Biblical characteristics of repentance

And this is what you must have To truly repent unto salvation

No one's going to be saved You see repentance

When its portrayed in the Bible We have all of these characteristics of what

genuine biblical repentance really is When a person comes to Christ we can't expect

them to have a full blown mature repentance They will have the kernels of repenting

They'll be understanding something of their sin

They'll be broken over their sin to a certain degree

But even after they're saved They're going to grow in repentance

They're repentance is going to become deeper Those characteristics are going to manifest

themselves In a greater way

We shouldn't be telling converts They must have this exquisite perfect biblical

repentance in their life in order to have repented

In order to have repented unto salvation Because you don't even have that

You are growing in repentance It's the same way with faith

They're faith isn't going to match this pristine biblical picture

Of what faith is They won't have this exceedingly deep faith

Because I'm even growing in that After 26 years of following Christ

So you don't want to make it too hard for people to come into the kingdom

We go through repentance And we go through the characteristics

And we help them see Are there the seeds of genuine repentance?

Are there the buds? The characteristics

Of genuine repentance? Are you believing as a child in Christ?

Have you thrown yourself upon Him? And I think a lot of these people are struggling

Because they actually believe that they have to have this perfect manifestation of these

two things to be saved And it's not true

Now let's talk about this for a moment Because there's something that's been bothering

me In the last year or so

With the uprise of so much good theology And people taking true conversions seriously

I think there's also a problem I have so many people who come to me

And they doubt the assurance of their salvation Because in their scrutiny of their own repentance

They're expecting They're almost demanding

That the saving repentance Be the repentance of a mature believer of

thirty years They scrutinize every aspect of their life

And if they don't look like a puritan They say I can't be converted

What you need to understand Is repentance

In it's initial seed It's simply a changing of the mind

God is all I need him

You say that's it? It can be

I can't save myself I'm lost

I need a savior You say but the bible describes repentance

In so many ways Yes, it does

But are you expecting a full blown repentance The very second God begins to work in your

heart? As I study repentance in scripture

I look back at the moment I was converted And my repentance was a very singular thing

I need to be saved But now after twenty five years

As I grow in scripture The repentance matures

And deepens But you err young person

When scrutinize your life To wonder whether or not you're saved

And you're looking for repentance That can only be found in someone who's walked

with God for decades I hope I'm making myself clear

I believe in repentance But repentance can merely mean I'm falling

And I can't save myself It's turning from self worth

It is turning from ability And giving up

As brother Charles once told me It's just giving up

I can't I collapse

I'm gone I have a thing that I've work through

Several years ago On the doctrine of repentance

If you take Every thing the bible teaches

About repentance You will have a very big book

Amazing things are said They all should be learned

We should grow into them But to take the entire full or biblical course

of repentance And demand it

Before someone can have assurance of their salvation

Is absolutely proposterous We have a lot of young people

And a lot of other people Who are not assured of their salvation

Because their expecting to see In their wee years

As a babe in Christ A full blown sanctification of a man forty

years in the faith We need to be careful

Save me I'm lost

And even a great deal

Of that clamoring for salvation

Don't expect it or demand it to be absolutely pure

Some of it will just simply be self preservation

Remember God saves men who repent

Not men who repent perfectly

God saves broken hearted people

Over the ůeven the one's that are broken hearted

For the fact that their not broken hearted enough

And even those who think they're broken hearted enough

When God knows they're not hardly broken hearted at all

This will add fuel to the fire of my enemies

But ů in my conversion experience

To be honest with you

Sin was not the foremost thing in my mind

The day I was converted

The foremost thing in my mind was

He loves me

He's everywhere

He's everything

Now you say oůk

What are you saying?

Butůeven though I was a heinous sinner

I was a horrible man

At that moment

The only thing that was really real to me

For several weeks

Was the love of God

But then as I began to study

The scriptures

And the Holy Spirit began to work repentance that he continues on till this day

So see

Let's be careful here

You can define people out of the Kingdom of God

You can demand so much of a man

Of salvation

More than even what God demands at first

A simply I can't

I can't

And then faith


We are saved by faith

Of a mustard seed


Well how do I believe


You've already just said you can't


Go a step further

He can

And will

And desires to

Do you believe that?

You say is that it?

No, it's the beginning

But it is real

Well how will I know it's real?

Because it will keep going

And growing

In the same way repentance will grow and grow and grow

Your faith and the reality of it will grow and grow

But I'm not going to expect from my ten month old daughter what I expect from my six and

a half year old son

Also I want to talk about

the pride

you know I love the puritians

you know that I love that kind of stuff

talk to you about a root of pride

I see springing up among people

Who embrace this kind of lovely truth

It's almost like a badge of spirituality

When they will so called

Struggle of whether or not they're saved

And what they're just trying to prove to people

Is that my version of conversion

It's not as superficial as every one else's

I'm going to wrestle and going to fight

And I'm going to do all this stuff

And I don't even know if I'm saved after that

And you think you're bringing glory to God

There is a sense when some men

Are awakened to their sin

And they must break through

And they must struggle and so on

And so forth

I agree with all of that

But be very careful that we're not just reacting against the superficial Gospel of others

God is glorified when a heart is open

And they say I'm falling

But He can

And they stand on that

Oh, it's so glorious

You are saved by faith

But it is not ůit is not the quality of this faith

The greatness of this faith

The quality

The greatness

The character of one

To whom and in whom you believe

And this is so important

Look unto Jesus

Look, look

Just look

Unto Jesus

What terrifies me so much

You talk to people on the street

Are you going to heaven

Yes I'm going to heaven


Because I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart

Now look what they're doing

They are trusting in a transaction they made

They are trusting in the sincerity of a prayer

But then again

We must be careful

Doctor ůheal thy self

Because some are trusting in the magnitude of their repentance

And others are trusting in the magnitude of their faith

When what I love to hear is that I'm looking unto him

I'm looking unto him

And I'd be terrified to take my eyes off of him

I'm looking unto Jesus


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