Why We Don’t Observe Lent

Bible Text: Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7

Why We Don’t Observe Lent

Lent is a well-known tradition among various denominations, but is this 40-day period of fasting and purification Biblical?

Let’s examine its history, purpose, and the Scriptures to find out.


In 360 A.D. the Roman Church at the Council of Laodicea officially commanded the observance of Lent.

So, 300 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection its practice was established.


The purpose of Lent is to provide spiritual purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first in their hearts.

Their claim is that through self-denial we can become pure.

The Scriptures say that we are made pure by the shed blood of the Jesus
(Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7).

No amount of fasting, abstinence, or self-denial can purify us from sin.

Lent promotes a works-based salvation that diminishes the saving work of Jesus!

Paul had some important things to say about this form of self-denial used to try to produce our own godliness: Colossians 2:20-23

Lent is a doctrine of men that commands denial of certain things for the purpose of purifying ourselves.

And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:7

Today, it’s popular to have a big wild party right before Lent begins.

This party is referred to as “Mardi Gras” in French or “Fat Tuesday” in English, and in Latin countries, it is referred to as “Carnival”, which comes from the Latin “Carne Vale” which means “Goodbye to meat”.

This day of celebration has come to include wild parties, fatty foods, fornication, drunkenness, dancing, and various forms of lewdness.

It is one last chance to get your sinning done before the fast begins.

Jesus says concerning fasting we should… in Matthew 6:16-18.

Concerning self-denial, we should… in Matthew 16:24