Bible Studies/repent or perish

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Question
In Luke 13 our Lord replies to a notion that "worse" sinners die tragically. His response "...unless you repent you will all likewise perish." He seems to imply that if anyone repents they won't die tragically. They can look forward to dying peacefully in their sleep. What is He really teaching?

Answer
In order to understand the concepts of repentance and conversion, one needs to search the entire New Testament.  Also one looks especially at the concepts in each of the writers, here Luke, who wrote a gospel and Acts, and was a follower of Paul.
One needs to look at the complete context to grasp the intent of a verse that is repeated (13, verses 3 and 5; however, the Greek has slightly different words for "likewise" in each verse).
It seems to me that Luke is emphasizing that:
"perishing" should not be connected with some extraordinary happening that signals lack of repentance or sinfulness but that "perishing" comes from not proceeding to "conversion";
"likewise" as for all mankind before the judgment of God, which is the subject of the unique [only in Luke] section about the repentance needed for all and not that once a person repents that is all that is needed for the rest of life.  In short, I see the "likewise" (or similarity)emphasizing perishing in itself rather emphasizing the manner in which perishing happens.
Sinning is possible throughout life and so would call for a renewed conversion.  In Philippians 2:12 Paul comments that we need to workout our salvation "with fear and trembling" so as not to rely on salvation because we repented one time.
If you should wish more about my reply or the ideas of repentance, conversion and salvation, please feel welcome to write again.
Best wishes, Al, for spiritual growth in Lent as a preparation for Easter joy.  

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Edward Bode

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A scholar of Jewish and Christian scripture (biblical studies), I hold graduate degrees from three universities in Rome [Italy]: Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the University of St. Thomas. I also have a master's degree in English. My special interests are the gospels of the New Testament and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Experience

I have taught at three universities and two colleges. My published works include one book, several articles in scholarly journals, and numerous book reviews.

I hold a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy; a license in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; a license in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.Additionally, I earned a master's degree in English from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and a bachelor of journalism from the same university.

I have been a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America for 40 years. I am a former member of Society of Biblical Literature.I have spoken on academic topics to local, national, and international groups.

Education/Credentials
I hold graduate degrees from three universities in Rome [Italy]: Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the University of St. Thomas. I also have a master's degree in English.

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