Repentance Heresy Taught By Pastor J. Vernon McGee

By David J. Stewart | February 2019

       I believe that Pastor J. Vernon McGee (1904-1988) was saved, since he doesn't include turning from sins as part of being saved. However, he goes astray (in my humble Christian opinion) by teaching that a person who hasn't turned from sins is not saved. This is the same philosophy of Evangelist Phil Kidd, whom I also believe is saved, but I believe these men are adding to the Scriptures what is not there...

You can't turn to Christ, without turning from something, and that from something is your repentance. If the drunkard that comes to Christ, if he turns to Christ and then goes on drinking, he hasn't turned to Christ; because when you turn to Christ you turn from whatever your gods are, whatever it is today, and there are a lot of gods being worshipped today—liquor and pleasure and immorality and violence; all of these things. My friend, when you turn to Christ, you're going to turn from those things, and if you don't turn from them, you have not turned to Him. But the important thing is to turn to Christ. We preach Christ, not repentance. John the Baptist preached repentance UNTO salvation, not FOR salvation.

SOURCE: Pastor J. Vernon McGee,  Is Repentance Part Of Salvation.

The simple truth is that you cannot show me anywhere in the Holy Bible, where it is taught that a person who continues in sin is not saved. What saith the Scripture? The Gospel of John is God's Gospel tract. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” The word “believe” in its various forms is mentioned 87 times in the King James Bible, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. This is because repentance is included with believing. We know that repentance is necessary for salvation, because of Scriptures like Mark 1:15 and Acts 20:21.

When I got saved at age 13, my life began to change because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I felt the voice of God in my soul for the first time in my life. That was the presence of the blessed Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 3:16-17), Who has been with me ever since. I will turn 52 on March 5th, 2019. But hear me out dear reader, I still lived in sin after I got saved! I still allowed sinful things in my life that I knew were wrong, and I was a born-again Christian. I was a baby Christian, immature, and I needed to grow in the milk of the Word. Although it is true that some men have immediately given up alcohol when they got right with God, it is also true that most drunks need a rehabilitation program to combat a serious chemical addiction. Alcoholism is NOT a disease, it is a sin, a sin that can lead to a chemical addiction, just like any other drug. So you cannot say that the man who is still a drunkard didn't come to Christ.

If you listen to the YouTube recording (same as above) of Pastor McGee on repentance, you'll notice that he is defending himself against an accusation from someone, that he left off repentance in salvation. I have noticed that a common reason why preachers get into doctrinal trouble, is trying to appease the angry critics, who will NEVER be happy no matter what we teach. I don't waste my time on most critics, because they aren't the authority, God's inspired Word is! I only listen to critics when they have valid Bible verses to support their claims. I once had a woman web visitor write to me and criticize me for saying that we should “receive” Jesus as our personal Savior. Well, she's ignorant of the Scriptures! John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” If you are unlearned of the Scriptures, critics and internet trolls will have you all confused and turned around in your thinking! So stay close to the Word of God in the inspired King James Bible!!!

Dr. McGee is 100% correct that we are saved by turning to Christ by faith, but he is wrong that repentance follows salvation. This is the same error as Dr. Bob Wilkin teaches. The truth is that repentance facilitates believing. Without repentance no one would ever come to Christ for salvation. Any change in character in a believer's life is a fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not manmade reformation, mistaken for repentance. God saves a man and then the Holy Spirit changes him. This is the entire message of the Epistle of 1st John. The key verse is 1st John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

The evidence that we are saved is the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, not a changed life. Judas experienced a desire to turn from his sins. Judas' life changed. Judas “repented” the Bible says in Matthew 27:3, but it wasn't true repentance unto salvation. Judas was merely sorry that he got caught betraying an innocent man. Judas felt remorse and guilt. Judas even tried to return the 30 pieces of silver to the scumbag chief priests. Yet, the Bible says that Judas went out and hung himself in overwhelming guilt, not understanding the truth that God was willing to forgive him by faith in Jesus Christ. Judas turned from his sins, but still went to Hell because of his unbelief. Judas trusted in the lie of Lordship Salvation. Judas followed Jesus as his master, but not his Savior.

The big problem with what Dr. McGee is teaching is that it compels people to turn from sins to prove that they are saved, which is not the Gospel. The true Gospel mandates a certain Biblical mindset. The only mindset that the Gospel of free grace allows is that I can be saved, and yet go out and sin all I want and still be saved!

Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold gets the Gospel and repentance 100% correct...

“'You can't tell me you can trust Christ as Savior, and then go out here and live like the Devil, and still go to Heaven!' Yes, I can tell you that! That's what the Bible says. If you don't come to the conclusion, that—Yes, you can trust Christ as your Savior and live like the Devil, and still go to Heaven when you die—you don't get grace, because that is the exact truth! That is the truth! I do not have to change my life! I don't have to stop one sin! You say, 'I've never heard a preacher say that.' You just heard one! And you listen to me—I want to live as holy and as godly as I possibly can. I am now 70 years old. I've been saved for 52 years. ... the only reason I'm going to Heaven is because, 52 years ago in a little living room, I accepted Christ as my Savior.” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold, a great quote from the awesome sermon, Calvinism And Grace Are NOT Compatible | MP3

Interestingly, Pastor McGee quotes Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951) quite often in his sermons, but disagrees with Pastor Ironside on repentance. Dr. Ironside gets it 100% correct...

“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …

Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: What Is The Gospel?

Granted, no man is the standard by which we base our Christian doctrines. The inspired Word of God is our only and final authority in all matters of life, doctrine and faith. I do not use men as a secondary authority for my beliefs, as does Evangelist Ray Comfort (who quotes Pastor Charles Spurgeon extensively in his popular work, The Evidence Bible). Pastor Spurgeon is not our doctrinal standard! John Calvin is not our authority on doctrine. Neither is Jacob Arminius our authority on Bible doctrine. Only the Holy Bible itself is our benchmark!

It matters not what you believe and teach regarding repentance, someone is going to criticize you! Everyone cannot be right. Either we have to cease from sinful ways to be saved, or we do not. Either we have to clean up our life after we are saved, to prove that we are saved, or we do not. Many believers have the Holy Spirit, but continue in a horrible life of sin, so that no one knows that they are saved. If it weren't for the New Testament calling Lot a “just man,” we'd never know that he was a child of God. Demas forsook the Apostle Paul in the ministry, having loved this present world. Ananias and Sapphira sinned a sin unto death and died. Samson chased unholy skirts his entire life, but he was still God's man for the job. The Bible is filled with sinful believers. All God has to work with are imperfect human beings, everyone of us being woeful sinners!

I love Dr. Vernon McGee and support his wonderful ministry. I still promote THRU THE BIBLE (a 5 year radio Bible study series by Dr. McGee). I would recommend Brother McGee to anyone, but I still have a duty as a Bible preacher and born-again Christian to contend for the faith. I am not to become a respecter of persons. If I look the other way because I like a particular preacher, then that is not good. I even refute Dr. Jack Hyles (which I feel awkward doing) when he teaches in his book on the Holy Spirit about the Shekinah Glory, which is a false doctrine not taught in the Holy Scriptures. I have been refuted online for some of my teachings, and on a few occasions had to edit some articles to be in compliance with the truth. Every preacher is sometimes in error. There is not a preacher in existence that I agree with 100%, and vise versa.

Repentance does not precede nor follow believing the Gospel, it happens simultaneously. Pastor Aiden Tozer errantly teaches that there can be no regeneration without reformation. He has it backwards! The reformation that occurs in a believer's life is the work (fruit) of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Who regenerates us in Christ), and not a prerequisite to, nor validation of, saving faith.

Caught Between Grace And Works! | MP3 | MORE
(AWESOME TRUTH! By Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold - Please share with OTHERS!!!)


“The secret to Jack Hyles is his willingness to be repetitious of the obvious.” —Singer Bill Harvey

“The mark of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)

“Sometimes you may leave here and say, 'I wonder what he's mad about?'
I'm not mad about anything, I just know one thing—whatever a
preacher quits preaching on, is what his church will fill up with!”

SOURCE: Pastor Phil Kidd, a quote from the needful sermon “I AM Ashamed.

“Only the Word of God can make you a man of God!”
—a quote by Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold from the awesome sermon, “The Sure Word of Prophecy.”

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