“Turn Or Burn” – Important Truth You Need To Know

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I had a very dear friend who was known for saying with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye..."Turn or burn." I'd love to tell you about it and why it's so important.

I had a very dear friend who loved Jesus and people with great big love. And despite her chronic health problems, she glowed with the joy of God’s love.

She was also known for saying with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye…

“Turn or burn.”


Because she loved BIG and wanted everyone to know how turning to Jesus had changed her life. She wanted everyone to experience the joy of Jesus now and eternally.

Psalm 80 is only 19 verses long but the following verse is proclaimed 3 times…

Turn us again to Yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.
    Make Your face shine down upon us.
    Only then will we be saved.

Psalm 80:3, 7, 19

Turn us to You, Lord. But turning to the Lord requires humble repentance.

The Life Application Notes say it like this…

Before God can turn us to Himself, we must turn away from sin. Repentance involves humbling ourselves and turning to God to receive His forgiveness.

Jesus said…

“I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”

“You will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.”

“Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of His name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’

Luke 5:32, Luke 13:3, and Luke 24:46–47

So what is repentance?

The dictionary defines it as:

  • a feeling of sorrow, regret, or contrition for past sin.
  • turning from sin and dedicating oneself to amending one’s life.

Got Questions – Your Questions Biblical Answers defines repentance like this:

Repentance involves recognizing that you have thought wrongly in the past and determining to think rightly in the future.

Repentance, properly defined, is necessary for salvation. Biblical repentance is changing your mind about your sin—no longer is sin something to toy with; it is something to be forsaken as you “flee from the coming wrath” (Matthew 3:7) It is also changing your mind about Jesus Christ—no longer is He to be mocked, discounted, or ignored; He is the Savior to be clung to; He is the Lord to be worshiped and adored.

So, what does all of this mean for you and me? Well, it means knowing that…

  • God wants everyone to be saved and understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
  • Hell is a real place. (Matthew 10:28 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9)
  • Heaven is also a real place. (Revelation 21)
  • We are saved by God’s grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8–9)
  • We need to Repent and Believe – Turn or Burn. (Romans 6:23)

The important thing to remember is “turn or burn” is not ours to say with anger or judgment. Our intention must always be compassion, love, and kindness.

Remember Jesus said…

“There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

Luke 15:7

We’ve all been there. Every one of us has been that one lost sinner who needs to repent and be saved. Someone who needed to hear, “turn or burn.”

I had a very dear friend who was known for saying with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye..."Turn or burn." I'd love to tell you about it and why it's so important.

Let’s pray…

A Prayer of Repentance

Abba Father, Once again, I am overwhelmed by Your love. You hate sin. Your Word says, “You are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil.” (Habakkuk 1:13) And that the “wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Yet, Your love is so great that You sent Your only Son to suffer the punishment of death we deserve. He suffered the punishment I deserve. I am so very thankful for Jesus’ sacrificial love. I believe He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I am so very sorry that I have not obeyed Your commands as You desire. I’m sorry that I have not followed Your will as You direct. I’m sorry that I have failed to love You and others well. I fall short of living the way You want me to live. Please forgive me. Please give me the desire and strength I need to trust and obey Your plans and purposes.

Jesus talked openly about Heaven and hell. (Matthew 6:19–21 — Matthew 25:41–46) And Your Word tells us that Jesus is the only way for us to be saved from the eternal punishment we deserve. (Acts 4:12)

Your love for us is so great that You gave us a way, through faith in Jesus, to be saved and to live in Your glorious presence forever. Thank you for Your undeserved and all-sufficient grace.

I know I need Your forgiveness. I’m sorry. I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I praise You. Please help me live every day of my life full of Your love for Your glory. Amen.

I had a very dear friend who was known for saying with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye..."Turn or burn." I'd love to tell you about it and why it's so important.

Paul wrote…

God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.

Romans 3:24

I am truly thankful to have been blessed to have a friend who loved so much that she wanted everyone to know the truth about the phrase “turn or burn.” Someone who could say it with love, not with judgment. Someone who wanted everyone she met to know and love the Savior, Jesus, who changed her life for all eternity.

One day I’ll hug her again in the glories of heaven by God’s grace. And like another dear friend once said, “Isn’t heaven going to be great? No more goodbyes.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you now and forever.

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  1. I find I need to repent in some way every day. I thank God for His unending love and His patience with me, His child!
    Blessings, Deb!

    1. Me too, Martha! I can’t imagine trying to do a moment without His grace, mercy, and love. Blessings to you, my friend!

  2. Kathy Francescon says:

    Turn or Burn!! Wow! Those three little words have impact for sure! I had never really thought about that way, but won’t forget it now! Your friend must have been one spunky and spirited lady! What a blessing she must have been! I can only pray to be spunky in my golden years! I think I was borne with an old soul, as they say! But if I am as spirited, I won’t be afraid to put it bluntly! Turn or burn! Sure God smiled every time she used it! Thank you for sharing, Deb! It put a much needed smile on my face today! Blessings for a sweet week, dear friend!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! My friend was spunky and spirited and filled with love for the Lord and His people. I’m so glad I good share my love for her and make you smile! Blessings and hugs!

  3. Pleasant Good Morning.
    I just want to say thank you so much Deb for allowing God to use you. His word declares that All Scripture is God breathed, used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Your devotions are truly a blessing and I’m grateful to God for directing me to receive them. May He continue to strengthen you as you continue to seek Him.

    1. Kathy Francescon says:

      Amen Vernetta! Ditto everything you said and in such a spiritual way! Beautiful words encouraging! Thank you!

    2. Thank you, Vernetta. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. We are so blessed to live at a time when we have His written Word to guide our lives. God be with you and bless you!

  4. Such good and beautiful truth. So glad God loves us so much that He wants us to turn so that we won’t have to burn. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

    1. I’m glad you were blessed and encouraged. Thank you, Erica. We are loved by such a wonderful and awesome God. May He bless you bunches!