Over the years I had attended Calvinistic churches with my family. I do not think Calvinism is Biblical. I do not remember exactly what I googled, but I ended up at your website.
Does it matter what Bible version you use? I have heard some say only the KJV is reliable. Isn’t repentance part of the gospel? What about sin? I have heard it said that you are supposed to turn away from sin and towards the cross, but how do you do that? I mean everybody sins, even people who call themselves Christians.
If Calvinism is wrong, then who is right? What denominations or churches can a person trust?
How do these verses fit with the gospel: Matt 9:13; Mark 1:15 (Isn’t Jesus commanding repentance?); Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32; Acts 20:21 & 26:20; Heb 6:1, Rev 2:5.
Also, what about the born again verses: John 3:3, 3:7, and 1 Peter 1:23?
I am really trying to understand this.
Some Bible translations read their theology into the way they translate some passages. But all are clear enough on texts like John 3:16 or John 5:24. I would recommend the New King James Version.
We have many articles on our website (faithalone.org) about Calvinism. We also carry several books on Calvinism, including one by me. Many Calvinists are on a lifelong quest for assurance because they teach that faith in Christ can only be discerned by seeing evidence of it in our works. But many Calvinists teach that only those who persevere till death in faith and good works will ultimately be saved. And since we cannot be sure we will persevere (1 Cor 9:27; 2 Tim 2:12), most Calvinists say we cannot be sure until we die where we will spend eternity.
It is important to find a local church that teaches the Bible clearly. There are many, but sometimes hard to find. Check out our website (faithalone.org) under Connect/Free Grace Churches. There may be a church near you.
You might also check out the Plymouth Brethren handbook of churches.
In Matt 9:13 Jesus is speaking of His ministry preparing the nation for the coming kingdom (compare Matt 3:2; 4:17). Individuals are born again by faith alone. The kingdom only comes for Israel if all the adults are both repentant and believing.
Three of the other texts you mention (Mark 1:15; 2:17; Luke 5:32) also deal with calling the nation to repentance in preparation for the kingdom that the Lord Jesus was offering that generation of Jews.
Acts 20:21 is Paul’s summary of his ministry of evangelism (faith in Christ) and discipleship (repentance toward God).
Hebrews 6:1 speaks of the need of believers who have strayed to repent from dead works and to exercise faith toward God. (The Christian life is a walk of faith.)
Revelation 2:5 is a call to believers who are out of fellowship to repent. If they do not repent, then their lampstand will be removed, which is a reference to the fact that the church of Ephesus could cease to exist.
In John 3:3 the Lord tells Nicodemus of the necessity of the new birth. See John 3:14-18. One is born again by faith in Christ, apart from works.
Peter says in 1 Pet 1:23 that one is born again via believing God’s Word. His believing readers knew that the new birth came to them by believing God’s Word concerning Christ.
Several of our free e-books (see here) deal with repentance, James, saving faith, Hebrews, and assurance. Also, we have thousands of free articles on our website.
God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Matt 7:7-11; Acts 17:11, 27; Heb 11:6). Keep searching, Pamela, and the Lord will grant you assurance of your eternal destiny simply by faith in Christ.