Invitation or Commandment?

The question of whether repentance is, equal or subordinate to faith is open to interpretation. Is repentance issued as an invitation or a commandment? If repentance is an invitation, then our response is relative; if it is a commandment, then our response must be absolute. If repentance is a commandment of God, then it is ludicrous to think we can give it a subordinate status. No commandment of God is less important than another. We must keep them all. The following reasons show that repentance is a commandment and not an invitation.

  1. God specifically refers to repentance as a commandment. “God …now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” —(Acts 17:30)
  2. If repentance were an invitation, there would be no punishment for those who refused. Yet Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” —(Luke 13:3).
  3. There is no passage of scripture in the entire Bible that indicates repentance is optional.

If we really believed that repentance was a commandment rather than an optional invitation, this would drastically alter the complexion of today’s Church. We would recognize that those who refused to repent were just not “growing in the Lord,” but were actually guilty of disobedience.