Refuting Dr. Kent Hovind On Repentance

by David J. Stewart | November 2016

Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

       I admire Dr. Kent Hovind. I believe he was wrongly prosecuted over ridiculous charges, for which he spent 9 years rotting in prison in Florida. 1st Peter 3:14, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” Albeit, I am loyal to truth and not to preachers, no matter how much I may admire them. The subject of repentance affects salvation, and there is nothing more important than the Gospel, by which we are saved! So I must speak up!!!

The Holy Bible defines “repentance” for salvation as metanoia, a Greek noun meaning, “a change of mind.” The verb form is metanoeo, which means, “to think differently.” Dr. Kent Hovind errantly teaches that repentance requires a heart's desire not to sin anymore. This is the exact same heresy as taught cartoon Evangelist Jack Chick (1924-2016) in all his 800,000,000 Chick tracts. Being “willing to turn from sins” is NOT a requirement to receive the gift of eternal life. You get saved by BELIEVING the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! The only requirement is to admit that you are a guilty sinner in God's eyes, that is, a needy sinner in God's sight. The crucified, buried and risen Savior meets that need.

I went to Dr. Hovind's official website, and clicked on “ARE YOU SAVED?,” which takes you to this page containing a YouTube video. Here's what Dr. Hovind says in that video:

“The Bible says you have to repent. The word 'repent' means 'to turn.' It actually means two things: to turn from your sin, and to turn to God. God's looking for a change in your attitude, where you say, 'Lord, I don't want to do wrong anymore. I'm sorry. I've offended you. I want to do right,' and you turn from sin and you turn to God, and you say, 'God will you please forgive me. Would you save me?'”

SOURCE: Dr. Kent Hovind - Salvation By Jesus Christ

Kindly, Dr. Kent Hovind is teaching heresy to embellish the meaning of repentance to include a willingness to turn away from sinful behavior. Kent says you need to say to God, “LORD, I WANT TO DO RIGHT!” It may seem like a little thing, but that one inclusion tells a sinner that in order to be saved, they must be willing to clean up their life, reform and cease from sinful bad habits. Such unbiblical teaching ostracizes many people, who would have been saved, but weren't ready to give up their sinful bad habits. This is “ANOTHER GOSPEL,” not “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4).

Dr. Kent Hovind's Contradictory Position On Repentance

In another video, Pastor Kent Hovind Exposes Evangelist Ray Comfort And His Heresy Of Lordship Salvation! Respectfully, Kent Hovind is as confusing as Ray Comfort! Both men flip flip on what it means to repent. Ray Comfort says we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; but then Ray says if you've never turned away from sinful behavior you're not saved. Huh? Have either of these men ever read Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” The fact that God (the Author) gave this Scripture by inspiration through Paul (the writer) evidences that many people have a problem of getting caught between GRACE and WORKS. Romans 11:6 is teaching us that IT CANNOT BE BOTH! Salvation is either by GRACE, or it is by WORKS, but it CANNOT BE BOTH.

Both of these men are caught between grace and works. Whereas Ray Comfort says you must turn from your sins to be saved, Kent Hovind says you must be willing to turn from them. Both men are false teachers on repentance, because to be saved you only have to admit you are a guilty sinner in God's sight. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” That is the function of repentance, to show men their sinnership and bring them to the Savior for redemption (Galatians 3:24-26; Romans 10:3-4). If that comes with a desire to forsake sinful living, great, but God does not REQUIRE a willingness to forsake sins to receive His free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life, nor is anyone permitted to add it to God's plan of salvation. To say that repentance of itself produces even the slightest change in a person's behavior is a false Gospel that robs Christ of the transforming power that only He can give (Galatians 2:20).

Remember, God only used the word metanoia, which means, “a change of mind.” God didn't use a different Greek word (and there are other words available) which means “to be sorry for your sins, and to have a willingness to forsake sins,” as Kent Hovind is teaching!!! I'm sick and tired of preachers embellishing (adding to) the meaning of repentance and thus changing God's plan of salvation. Kent Hovind cannot have it both ways. In one video he exposes Ray Comfort as a false teacher for requiring a changed life for salvation. And yet, Kent turns around and commits the same error of the wicked, by saying in another video that you cannot be saved unless you are willing to cease from sins. What's the difference? If I tell you that you can have your birthday gift for $5, it wouldn't be a gift, would it. And if I say instead, that you can have your birthday gift if you're willing to give me $5, I've implied the same exact thing, haven't I, and it cannot possibly be a gift. This backdoor approach to Lordship Salvation, this garbage theology, this qualification for salvation by a willingness to produce works of holiness, is of the Devil!!!

You cannot refute Ray Comfort and support Jack Chick's teachings on repentance, when they both commit “the error of the wicked” (2nd Peter 3:16-17) of embellishing what it means to “repent.” Repentance is a change of mind concerning whatever is hindering you from believing the Gospel to be saved. Repentance is not turning from sins. Nor is it a willingness to turn from sins. It is changing your mind concerning whatever is keeping you from getting saved. And that change of mind may indeed be concerning your sins, but it will be a change of mind toward you being a guilty sinner in God's sight, a hopeless sinner in desperate need of the dear Savior; and not a change of mind toward you living a better life, or willing to do better with God's help. I hope you see the drastic difference, because it means the difference between the new birth (John 1:12-13) or mere religious devotion (Matthew 7:21-23). Your doctrine determines your destiny.

Evangelist Alexander Marshall Has Repentance 100% Correct

One of my favorite quotes is from Evangelist Alexander Marshall (1846-1928), who correctly taught the Biblical meaning of repentance unto salvation as “a change of mind.” In his book he answers the questions of skeptics, such as:


What do you mean? “I am not sorry enough for my sins.”

And if you were very sorry, would God be more willing to save you than He is now? “I think so.”

Then you are completely mistaken.

“But does it not say, unless we repent we shall perish?”

Yes; but what do you think is the Scriptural significance of “repentance”? If you say “sorrow for sin” you are wrong. It does not mean sorrow for sin: it means a CHANGE OF MIND (Matt. 21:29). This change will doubtless produce sorrow; but sorrow and repentance are two very different things (Heb. 12:17. margin, and II Cor. 7:9). When God calls on you to “repent, and believe the Gospel,” He wishes you to lay aside your wrong thoughts, and believe the glad tidings that He proclaims to you. Formerly you may have imagined that you were required to feel very sorry before being saved. Change your mind. You may have supposed you must first “feel” some great change in order to know you were saved. Change your mind. First believe in God's great love to you, as revealed in His gospel, and you will KNOW that you have eternal life (John 5:24).

SOURCE: The Horrible Misrepresentation of Evangelist Alexander Marshall

Yes, that is excellent. Brother Marshall is 100% correct! Don't miss it! Biblical “repentance” is the Greek noun, metanoia, which means, “a change of mind.” Or in the beautiful words of Alexander Marshall, God wishes for us “TO LAY ASIDE YOUR WRONG THOUGHTS, AND BELIEVE THE GLAD TIDINGS THAT HE PROCLAIMS TO YOU.” Boy that's good stuff! This is true repentance unto salvation, which is a change of mind unto the Gospel itself. Again, for a wonderful explanation of Biblical repentance, please read “THE GREAT MEANING OF 'METANOIA.'” Amen!

Repentance means, “TO LAY ASIDE YOUR WRONG THOUGHTS, AND BELIEVE THE GLAD TIDINGS (GOSPEL) THAT HE PROCLAIMS TO YOU.” Dr. Hovind wrongly understands repentance to mean telling God, “'I don't want to do wrong anymore. I'm sorry. I've offended you. I want to do right,' and you turn from sin and you turn to God.” This is the modern definition found in an English dictionary, but it is NOT the Greek Biblical meaning. The English dictionary has been influenced by the apostate Roman Catholic church. Sadly, many Baptist churches are no better than Seventh-day Adventists, teaching a false repentance. Pastor John MacArthur teaches virtually the same false repentance as does SDA prophetess Ellen G. White. Have you believed a lie? Please read Dr. Curtis Hutson correctly explain repentance.

Repentance Means to Lay Aside Your Wrong Thoughts to Believe the Gospel

Pastor Bob Gray Sr. at the Longview Baptist Temple church in Texas correctly preaches . . .

“Repentance means to change your mind—change your mind—change your mind about how you want to get to Heaven to what God says you've got to do to get to Heaven. If you've got to repent of all your sins, you're still headed for Hell tonight.” —Pastor Bob Gray Sr., a quote from the awesome MP3 sermon, Why You Should Be A Part Of A Growing Church

In his excellent book, “I NEVER KNEW YOU,” Michael Patrick Bowen states . . .

You can live for Christ, you can love Christ, you can serve Him with all your might, time, talent and wealth. You can pray to Him, read your Bible, get water-baptized, join a church, witness to people, and do every wonderful work contained within the realm of Christianity, but if you fail to trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, He will 'dump' you.

SOURCE: I NEVER KNEW YOU (.pdf), by Michael P. Bowen; by Barbour Books, © 2009; page 77.

Beware of the false teaching in most churches today, even many Baptist churches, which says that you have to forsake sinful living to get saved, commit your life to Christ and surrender fully to Christ's Lordship. Satan loves to corrupt the Gospel by either adding good works, or by subtracting bad works, to be saved. Whether good or bad works, both are DEAD WORKS! (Hebrews 6:1).

Michael Patrick Bowen correctly explains Biblical repentance...

“Repent, as Christ meant it to be in terms of salvation, means to change your mind from trusting in what you can do for God to trusting only in what He can do for you.”

SOURCE: Michael Patrick Bowen, a quote from the awesome book, “I NEVER NEW YOU” (Page 114)

Also, Dr. Hal Lindsey has repentance Biblically correct, who states:

“Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He's done to provide forgiveness, and deliverance from our sins. When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we're automatically repenting, because we couldn't accept Him in this way without having to change or minds in some way concerning Him.” (From the Liberation of the Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey. (p. 133).

The Great Meaning Of The Word “METANOIA”!

Mark 1:15 — “Change Your Mind” And Believe The Gospel

In the Gospel of John we find the words “believe” and “believed” mentioned 85 times, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. Clearly, the person who believes on Christ has repented, and the person who repents has believed. Repentance is a change of mind that compels a person to place their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ to be saved, and these things happen at the same time. Let's replace the word “Repent” in Mark 1:15 with the Greek meaning of repentance, which is “a change of mind.” So instead of saying, “Repent, and believe the gospel,” we could literally say, “Change your mind and believe the gospel.” This is the Biblical interpretation of Mark 1:15.

It is a false understanding to teach Mark 1:15 as turning away from the act of sin (e.g., drunkenness, stealing, adultery, et cetera) as a prerequisite to placing one's faith in Christ. That is known as the heresy of “Lordship Salvation.” Christ is already the Savior and Lord of all mankind. You don't make Jesus Lord, He is Lord. Albeit, we each must receive Christ as our Savior to be saved; and then as our Lord as we follow Christ in fellowship and discipleship. Contrary to wrong teaching, you don't have to receive Christ as “Lord” to get saved. It is a false gospel to say that “Jesus is either Lord of all or He's not Lord at all.” That's a false statement.

In the Gospel of John we find the words “believe” and “believed” mentioned 85 times, but “repent” is not mentioned even once. That speaks volumes. It tells us plainly that we are saved by BELIEVING, not by repenting. Here is Scriptural proof in 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.” Notice that “these things” were not written so that we would “repent from our sins” or “turn from our worldliness” to be saved.

We must be very careful not to wrest (wrestle) the Scriptures as 2nd Peter 3:16-17 warns, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” Listen my friend. I am not giving you my opinion. I just showed you clear evidence that being saved is a matter of “BELIEVING that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” and not a matter of departing from sinful ways as a prerequisite to saving faith. I AM NOT saying that repentance is not necessary for salvation. Repentance is absolutely essential to salvation. Without repentance no man could ever be saved.

No One Has Ever Been Saved Who Didn't Admit Being a Sinner!

Please don't misunderstand, believing the Gospel is not enough to save a man if there is no admission of being a guilty sinner. You've got to know what you're being saved from! No one ever got saved who didn't admit that they are a sinner in God's eyes. Repentance is a change of mind, where a man judges himself a needy sinner in God's sight. It doesn't mean to turn away from sins, which leads to a changed life. Repentance means to acknowledge one's sins, and the guilt thereof (Romans 3:19), to believe the Gospel.

A changed life is the “fruit” (singular) of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not manmade repentance. May I say, if the changes in your life have been produced by your repenting from sins, you are NOT SAVED!!! It is the indwelling Holy Spirit, which every true believer has (1st John 3:24; Romans 8:9; 1st Corinthians 3:16-17) that produces a new creature in Christ Jesus. Lordship Salvation produces manmade changed lives; but Christianity produces Holy Spirit changed lives! I hope that you see the difference. I have tried, through prayer and God's grace, to make this topic simple for you.

Don't take my word for it, listen to the Word of God. John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Carefully notice that these wonderful Scriptures, promises from God to save them that BELIEVE, do not mention repentance. The reason is because repentance is a change of mind that always results in BELIEVING the Gospel. Lordship Salvation uses manmade repentance from sins to produce a changed life, which cannot produce the new birth by the Holy Spirit. It is a false Gospel.

Romans 12:1 says that it is a believer's “reasonable service” to serve God. The Lord never says, “I died on the cross for your sins, now you owe me!” No, rather, the Bible reminds us that we are bought with the price of Jesus' precious blood, and it is only reasonable that we should glorify God in our spirit and our body, which are the Lord's (1st Corinthians 6:20). For eternal life to truly remain a gift, it must be without debt, requirement or obligation. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

True Christianity means that you are saved by believing on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which you are born again, and then the indwelling Spirit of Christ produces a changed life. It is the Lord Jesus Christ Who bore the full weight of our sins on the cross. Beware of any Gospel that places the burden of change upon the sinner. The Bible teaches that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are free gifts, which need only by freely received by faith, without debt or obligation.

The Bible says that if the immoral Christian man in 1st Corinthians 5:1-5 refused to repent and live right in the Lord, Satan would destroy his flesh, but his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1st Corinthians 5:5, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” In 1st Corinthians 3:15 we read about a Christian man who lost all the rewards, because all his carnal works were all burned up. He lived a selfish life. He never did anything for the Lord, never witnessed the Gospel to anyone, never helped anyone in Jesus' name, never prayed for others, never helped the churches, never passed out a Gospel tract, never loved his enemies, never contended for the faith, never made a difference for Christ, et cetera. God saves a person to DO GOOD, not to BE GOOD! Please listen to the awesome sermon on this topic by Dr. Jack Hyles titled, “Our Mixed Up Fundamental Christianity!” Good stuff!

I Am Loyal to Truth and Not Preachers

I really admire Pastor Hovind and respect him tremendously for his wealth of knowledge and years of experience; yet, age doesn't always bring wisdom. I challenge anyone who has read this far into my article to consider the hundreds of Scriptures in the Word of God that tell us to simply BELIEVE to be saved. We know from Galatians 3:24-26 that God gave us the law as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ to be saved. Romans 10:3-4 rebukes those unsaved religious folks who are going about to establish their own righteousness, who have not submitted unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law, to them that believe! A willingness to turn away from sins is an unbiblical requirement to be saved!!!

Realizing one's guilty condition and admitting that you are a hell-deserving sinner is not a work. The repentance that God requires for salvation is not a work. It requires no human effort or sacrifice. To “repent” simply means that you are doing the opposite of John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” So whatever repentance is, we know that it will reverse John 3:20. A man who previously refused to come to the light because of his love for sin, has now changed his mind and he humbly acknowledges that he is a needy sinner, guilty for breaking God's commandments, and so he trusts the dear Savior to be cleansed of his sins and receive eternal life.

Again, Dr. Jack Hyles 100% correctly and Biblically explains what repentance is:

“Repentance is not some little silly, 'I'm sorry.' Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin's consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe... Repentance is not being sorry for what I've done wrong. It is not confessing one's sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say with Isaiah 'Woe is me, for I am unclean!' —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), a quote from the timeless MP3 sermon, THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH TO REPENTANCE! [emphasis added]

To be saved, you MUST believe the Gospel, trusting Christ alone. Christ DIED on the cross for our sins. He was BURIED. Three days later He RESURRECTED from the dead. This is the Good News (Gospel, or Glad Tidings) that brings forgiveness of sins and eternal life “TO THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21). The only requirement to believing the Gospel is to see yourself as a guilty sinner in the sight of a holy God. This is repentance. END

“Every word in this Bible is inspired by God almighty!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (a great quote from the classic sermon, “A Friend At Midnight.”)

Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

“The only inspired Words of God are in the King James Bible!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (an awesome quote —Dr. Jack Hyles (THE REAL BATTLE!”)

BATTLE OF THE AGES (MP3 by Dr. Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)

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