Repentance And Salvation Part 5: New Testament Repentance: Repentance in the Epistles and Revelation -- By: Robert N. Wilkin

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 03:2 (Autumn 1990)
Article: Repentance And Salvation Part 5: New Testament Repentance: Repentance in the Epistles and Revelation
Author: Robert N. Wilkin


Repentance And Salvation
Part 5: New Testament Repentance:
Repentance in the Epistles and Revelation

Robert N. Wilkin

Executive Director
Grace Evangelical Society
Roanoke, Texas

I. Introduction

There is some disagreement among Bible scholars as to the intended readership of the NT books from Romans through Revelation. Two major schools of thought exist.

One school of thought suggests that the Epistles and Book of Revelation were addressed to professing Christians.1 This group, they argue, contained both true and false professors. Hence they find many passages in Romans through Revelation which they interpret as warning professing believers that they will go to hell if they fail to live consistent, godly lives.

A second school of thought is that the Epistles and Revelation are addressed to believers in Jesus Christ. According to this view all of the people to whom the books were specifically addressed were genuine believers.

Within this group some argue that there are passages which warn believers (i.e., genuine believers) that they will end up going to hell if they fail to live consistent, godly lives.2 This would be the Arminian

understanding.

Others in this group argue that there are no passages which warn believers, professing or otherwise, that they will go to hell if they fail to live consistent, godly lives.3 This would be the Free Grace understanding.

How a person views the readership of these books greatly affects his or her understanding of the doctrine of repentance expressed within them.

This article will proceed with the understanding that the Epistles and Revelation are addressed to believers in Jesus Christ—not to a mixture of believers and unbelievers. While unbelievers surely have read these letters, the letters were addressed to actual believers in Jesus Christ, as the authors plainly indicated in their letters.4

We begin this study with a consideration of the condition of eternal salvation as found in the Epistles and Revelation.

II. The Gospel in the Epistles and Revelation

The Epistles and Revelation, while not evangelistic in purpose, affirm the truth of John 3:16: whoever believes in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, has eternal life. The following references gi...

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