Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ask Jesus Into Your Heart?

"Do you want to be a Christian?" "Do you want Him to come into your life?"

Just ask Jesus into your heart.

Simply raise your hand, say this short prayer and you're now a Christian.

With so many churches today neglecting the preaching of the Gospel, the closest they even get to it anymore is this simple invitation to "Ask Jesus Into Your Heart". If even mentioned at all, it's often squeezed in at the end of the sermon (oops, I mean 'experience'). Somewhere just before or just after the offering. Usually with the emotional music playing softly in the background.

"Just pray this prayer and He'll come into your heart and heal you."

Heal you from what? How can all of these so-called seekers possibly understand what grace, salvation and justification is if they don't even hear WHY they need to be saved and from what? The Gospel is much more than simply asking Jesus into your heart. It's more than asking God to forgive you of your mistakes (sin just seems too offensive). What about repentance? What about trust in Christ? Nope. Just ask Jesus into your heart and you're good to go.

Given this ignorance of the Gospel, we shouldn't be surprised by the shocking results of so many surveys today. So-called Christians who don't believe Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Who don't believe in hell. Who don't believe in the wrath of God. Who see nothing wrong with abortion or homosexuality. Why should this surprise us?

The problem is that so many churches have changed the Gospel into something that will appeal to the world instead of presenting it as Jesus Christ taught it. No one wants to hear about the wrath of God or repentance. They want to have their best life now. "What can Jesus do for me?"
Most contemporary churches today focus their Sunday 'experience' on entertaining the seeker and building everything around them instead of glorifying God by preaching the Gospel.

Paul Washer shares what's wrong with the typical church invitation...

Here are 10 reasons NOT to "Ask Jesus Into Your Heart"...
(from Soli Deo Gloria... click to read the full detailed list)

1. It is not in the Bible.
2. Asking Jesus into your heart is a saying that makes no sense.
3. In order to be saved, a man must repent. (Acts 2:38)
4. In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:31)
5. The person who wrongly believes they are saved will have a false sense of security.
6. Those who ask Jesus into his heart often end up an inoculated, bitter backslider.
7. It presents God as a beggar just hoping you will let Him into your busy life.
8. The cause of Christ is ridiculed.
9. The cause of evangelism is hindered.
10. Here is the scary one.People who have asked Jesus into their hearts, but never repented and put their trust in Christ, will perish on the Day of Judgment.

Salvation is not about us accepting Jesus; It's about Him accepting us. Nothing we can do will save us or make us good enough to be saved. It starts with a repentant heart and trusting fully in Jesus Christ. The transformation follows and it's the fruit of our life that demonstrates our salvation; not a simple prayer we say.



Gabrielle said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! I am totally on board with all that you have said in your blog. All glory to God for that! =) It's nice to find a true believer. I was just looking up the whole pray a prayer thing because I had forgotten the heretic who came up with that whole nonsense so I can prove to a "friend" of mine on facebook that it isn't just praying a prayer or excepting Christ. So I saw your blog and decided to click on it =) Wow, you would definitely like the church I attend. It is called Cornerstone Baptist Church in East Orlando/Chuluota,Florida. My Pastor, David Downs, preaches the Whole Council of God, Expositorally, He calls us to repentance every Sunday as well as holy living, we are an evangelistic church and so on. Sorry, I'm excited because this is really awesome that I just found another believer on-line. Praise God, it was His providence. Thank you also for writing that blog. Keep on preaching the True Gospel to every one as the Lord has commanded us. Continue to press on and endure to the end.


Gary said...

I was once a born again Christian. Then I found out the following:

1. The Bible is not inerrant. It contains many, many errors, contradictions, and deliberate alterations and additions by the scribes who copied it. The originals are lost, therefore we have no idea what "God" originally" said. Yes, its true---Christians can give "harmonizations" for every alleged error and contradiction, but so can the Muslims for errors in the Koran, and Mormons for errors in the Book of Mormon. One can harmonize anything if you allow for the supernatural.

2. How do we know that the New Testament is the Word of God? Did Jesus leave us a list of inspired books? Did the Apostles? Paul? The answer is, no. The books of the New Testament were added to the canon over several hundred years. Second Peter was not officially accepted into the canon until almost the FIFTH century! So why do all Christians accept every book of the New Testament as the word of God and reject every non-canonical "gospel"? Answer: the ancient (catholic) Church voted these books into your Bible. Period.

There is nowhere in the OT or the NT where God gives men the authority to determine what is and what is not his Word. If Second Peter was really God's Word, the entire Church should have known so in the first century.

3. Who wrote the Gospels? We have NO idea! The belief that they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is based on hearsay and assumptions---catholic tradition. Protestants denounce most of the traditions of the Catholic Church but have retained two of the most blatant, evidence-lacking traditions which have no basis in historical fact or in the Bible: the canon of the NT and the authorship of the Gospels.

The only shred of evidence that Christians use to support the traditional authorship of the Gospels is one brief statement by a guy named Papias in 130 AD that someone told him that John Mark had written a gospel. That's it! Papias did not even identify this "gospel". Yet in 180 AD, Irenaeus, a bishop in FRANCE, declares to the world that the apostles Matthew and John and the associates of Peter and Paul---Mark and Luke---wrote the Gospels. But Irenaeus gives ZERO evidence for his assignment of authorship to these four books. It is well known to historians that it was a common practice at that time for anonymously written books to be ascribed to famous people to give them more authority. For all we know, this is what Irenaeus did in the case of the Gospels.

The foundation of the Christian Faith is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If the story of the Resurrection comes from four anonymous books, three of which borrow heavily from the first, often word for word, how do we know that the unheard of, fantastically supernatural story of the re-animation of a first century dead man, actually happened??

Maybe the first book written, "Mark", was written for the same purpose that most books were written in that time period---for the benefit of one wealthy benefactor, and maybe it was written simply as an historical novel, like Homer's Iliad; not meant to be 100% factual in every detail, but a mix of true historical events as a background, with a real messiah pretender in Palestine, Jesus, but with myth and fiction added to embellish the story and help sell the book! We just do not know for what purpose these books were written!

I slowly came to realize that there is zero verifiable evidence for the Resurrection, and, the Bible is not a reliable document. After four months of desperate attempts to save my faith, I came to the sad conclusion that my faith was based on an ancient superstition; a superstition not based on lies, but based on the sincere but false beliefs of uneducated, superstitious, first century peasants.

You can pray to ask Jesus into your heart 10,000 times, but if there is no evidence for his Resurrection, then odds are that he is dead. And if he is dead, he can't hear your prayers. Sad, but the truth.