Common in christianity is the false notion that, as soon as one declares his belief in Messiah Yahoshua (most don’t even know His name), he is saved. Some think that it is repenting from all sins that makes someone saved. The problem is—neither of those is salvation.
To understand which repentance is necessary to be saved, one must know two things—the meaning of the word “repent,” and the only sin that condemns. To repent means “to change one’s mind.” Now, I know christians often like to add all sorts of flowery christianese to the meaning of the word, but it means one thing: to change one’s mind.
But, repent of what? Again, christianity typically gets this wrong as well, and that is because of a false translation in most English versions of scripture. In many passages, what should be translated as “sin” is stated as “sins.” There is but one sin that condemns anyone to hell, and it is unbelief (John 3:18, Hebrews 3:19).
That sin of unbelief is not an action, but a singular condition—a dead spirit, which belongs to those who do not have the Holy Spirit. It is the condition into which all men are born because of Adam, who introduced sin into the human race.
So, how does one repent of unbelief, which is the prerequisite to being saved—the thing that makes a person ABLE to be born again? Well, to repent is to change one’s mind, so to repent of unbelief is to believe. And, that human belief is the first step toward receiving salvation.
BUT, man’s belief alone is not salvation, for man does not have the power or authority to declare himself to be an adopted child of the Almighty. No, only Yah can do that. Christianity often teaches (falsely) that, at the moment a person makes a decision, he is saved. That is nonsense that borders on lunacy. Since when does the child legally decree himself to be adopted by the parent?
Neither man’s repentance from unbelief to belief, nor the belief itself, is actually salvation. Salvation comes when the Holy Spirit completes that belief, making the believer perfect and whole, lacking nothing (James 1:4). That is not an act of man, or a decision that man makes, but is determined solely by the Father, and in His time.
Those who take a stand for their belief in Messiah Yahoshua, regardless of what that stand might cost them personally or relationally, and who stay true to that belief, not shrinking from it, will receive the covenant, which is the seal of the Holy Spirit upon Messiah’s bride. It is they who do not draw back and fall away, but who believe all the way to the saving of their souls (Hebrews 10:39).
When scripture states that those who believe in Messiah Yahoshua SHALL BE saved (future condition), those believers are who that is speaking of in Hebrews 10:39. The scriptures never tell us that those who repent of unbelief ARE saved, but that they SHALL BE saved—those who believe (an ongoing act of the will) SHALL BE saved. In the Greek, it is σωθήσεται (sōthēsetai), which is a future indicative passive verb.
One’s initial repentance from unbelief, which is to believe, starts the adoption process—the adoption papers are being drawn up. But, one is adopted only when the Father declares, through His Holy Spirit, that the adoption has been finalized—that one has received the eternal judicial decree of adoption by the Almighty, and is now a child of Yah.
To reject these truths, and consider oneself to be saved simply because of a human decision that was made, is actually to “fall away,” for it disregards the transaction of adoption as even being necessary, and that places man’s will above the Father’s will.
We see folks who did that in Matthew 7:21-23. They, like most christians, were completely sure they were saved. They would say, “I know that I know that I know.” Problem is, they didn’t know. They only thought they did. What a tragic reality so many people like them will face!
For more information: Is Salvation Hard to Receive?