The Repentance Interview
By far, the most misunderstood and misrepresented position of our ministry is that of Biblical repentance. We believe that literally MILLIONS of people remain lost and will perish in the fires of hell after being led to believe that they were saved as a result of repeating an empty prayer with no Holy Ghost conviction. We call this EMPTY BELIEVISM. This unfortunate reality is due to the fact that thousands of self-professed "soul winners" have very little spiritual discerment and are not following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. They are robotic religious salesmen who produce far more fake converts that genuine converts. The following is a straight-forward approach to making our beliefs clear for anyone who has been misinformed or anyone who just simply needs honest answers. This was first published as a Facebook post in April, 2019 . . .
If I (JLM) were to incorporate into one interview many of the questions that I've received from empty believists, the dialog would go something like this . . .
QUESTION: Do you believe that repentance is only a change of mind?
ANSWER: No, because “only a change of mind” is impossible. If a mind truly changes, then results will follow. If a man really makes up his mind to get out of bed and go to work, then he gets up and goes to work. If he doesn’t, then it’s because he made up his mind to NOT go to work. A "change of mind" isn’t a change of mind unless it’s real with real results. Empty believists like the “change of mind” definition for repentance only because one cannot read another’s mind; therefore, they can get away with calling fake converts “professions of faith,” something that the word of God does NOT call them.
QUESTION: But doesn’t your wording “results will follow” amount to adding works as a requirement for salvation?
ANSWER: No, because the works are not done in order TO BE saved, but rather as a RESULT of one being saved. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26), and by their fruit ye shall know them (Mat. 7:20).
QUESTION: But how much fruit should we see before we can rest assured that a man is really saved?
ANSWER: You probably need to ask the Lord about that, since He’s the one who said it, not me. Personally, at first, I am content with seeing some sign of spiritual life that I have not seen before: a Bible question once in a while, a visit to church services, a desire to be baptized, or maybe a concern about sin and holy living. Any of these would indicate the possible presence of a new creature living inside that is beginning to grow. As that growth continues, we should expect to see the fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
QUESTION: And if none of those things ever happen, nor anything else of a spiritual nature, then you believe the person is still lost?
ANSWER: That’s correct.
QUESTION: But how can you know their heart?
ANSWER: How can YOU reject Matthew 7:20, II Corinthians 5:17, Titus 1:16, Matthew 3:8, Acts 26:20 and James 2:26? The Bible TOLD you how to know their heart (by their fruits, or works), yet you reject this holy standard so you can keep tallying-up false professions and bragging about them to your IFB brethren.
QUESTION: But aren't you confusing standing with state?
ANSWER: No, I've understood standing and state longer than some of you have been alive. I'm taking both into account, as do the verses that I just referenced. If a man is truly standing in Christ, then there will be some evidence of it in his state. Pretty simple.
QUESTION: But doesn't that deal more with sanctification than salvation?
ANSWER: I never said it dealt with salvation. I said that fruit will FOLLOW salvation as an EVIDENCE OF salvation. Call it sanctification, or anything you like, but it will follow salvation, if the salvation is real. When "all things" become new (II Cor. 5:17), something will surely be noticed!
QUESTION: Do you question the motives of those that you term "empty believists"?
ANSWER: I question the motives of some of them, and I question the character and intelligence of most all of them.
QUESTION: Why would you question their character and intelligence?
ANSWER: The soul of every human being is precious, and each one deserves to be handled with the utmost care and compassion. Empty believists are little more than high-pressure religious salesmen who view souls as mere numbers. I find this despicable, and I question the character of anyone who doesn't find it despicable, regardless of their church size or their social standing with the brethren. As for their intelligence, I have found that a great many of them lack basic reading, comprehension and reasoning skills, at least on any adult level. Whether they were born that way or they became that way, I do not know. I suspect that maybe God took the sound minds of some of them after they rejected His words and chose IFB tradition instead, but I do not know.
QUESTION: Do you believe they are lost?
ANSWER: Some of them are probably lost, yes, perhaps many of them, but not all, and probably not most.
QUESTION: If you could have one prayer answered in regards to your "empty believe" opponents, what would it be?
ANSWER: I would ask that everyone GET ALONE by pulling away from their favorite preachers, colleges and camps for a few months and do a lot of personal soul searching, praying and Bible studying at the throne of grace. That's where wisdom is found and genuine Christian men of character are built. I fear that most empty believists know very little about this on a PERSONAL level, and they never will until they overcome their religious peer pressure and become MEN of rock-solid Biblical conviction who know how to stand and fight alone.
QUESTION: Do you believe that will ever happen?
ANSWER: Sadly, no.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves" - The Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:15