Friday, April 4, 2014

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

Stop asking Jesus into your heart. Just stop it! Where in the Bible does it say you need to "accept Jesus" and "ask Him into your heart"? Chapter and verse, please. Oh... You cannot find it? Do you know why? Because it is not biblical!

Where in the Bible does it teach to pray "The Sinner's Prayer," or that, if you do, you are automatically a recipient of saving grace, whether you live properly or not? Chapter and verse, thank you. Interesting... Do you know why you cannot find it? Because it is not biblical!

We need to be accepted by Jesus—not the other way around. We do not make a decision for Christ, He must decide to save us. We need to stop throwing unbiblical and unChristian language around when sharing our testimonies and telling others what they must do to be saved. When telling others what they must do to be saved, we need to follow what the Bible actually teaches us—not to invent "roads" and "plans" and "spiritual laws" and whatever other nonsense we have incorporated in order to try and convey the Gospel beyond its simplicity.

What does the Bible teach in regard to salvation? Let us look into it, shall we? 

When John the Baptist started his ministry of turning the hearts of the people back to God, what was his message? "Repent..." (Matt. 3:2) and "...bear fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matt. 3:8). When Jesus began His ministry, what was His message? "Repent..." (Matt. 4:17) "...and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). When the jailer asked Paul and Silas, "what must I do to be saved" (Acts 16:30), their response was simply, "Believe in the Lord Jesus..." (Acts 16:31). Similarly, Paul wrote, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9), and he gives his reason: "for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation" (Rom. 10:10).

As if this is not enough to make it clear, let us look at what Jesus said to individual people. In Matthew 9, a woman who suffered a hemorrhage for 12 years came and merely touched Jesus' cloak in order to be healed. Why? Because she had faith in Who He was. He responded to her, "your faith has made you well" (v.22; cf. Mark 5:34; Luke 7:48). In Mark 10, Bartimaeus, a blind man, was asking Jesus to have mercy upon him while the crowds kept telling him to shut up. Why? Because he had faith in Who Jesus was. Jesus responded to him, "your faith has made you well" (v. 52). In Luke 7, a woman who was a sinner learned of Jesus dining at a Pharisee's house and so she went there, wet His feet with her tears, wiped them off with her hair, and applied perfume to His feet. Why? Because she believed Him to be Who He claimed. Jesus' response to her? "Your faith has saved you" (v.50).

Over and over again we see the exact same information. Faith is believing, and believing is trusting to the uttermost. Just as you would trust a parachute to open and save you when and if you had to jump from a plane, likewise you need to trust Jesus to save you when and if you should suddenly be ripped from this world in death. The only thing involving your heart in regard to salvation is your belief: "for with the heart a person believes..." (Rom. 10:10)—not "accepting Him" or "asking Him into your heart." The Bible nowhere says that Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, makes a home inside your heart. It simply says that the Holy Spirit indwells us. We need to stop preaching nonsense to people and start preaching what the Bible says. Do you want to evangelize the lost? Then follow the examples given in Scripture. Do you want to tell people how they can be saved? Then follow the examples given in Scripture. There is no need to invent ungodly methods for doing so.

What is it that we must believe? First and foremost, we must believe that Jesus is God Almighty in the flesh. Second, we must believe that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified on a cross to atone for our sins, that He died and was buried in a tomb, that He rose three days later, that He ascended into heaven and is presently reigning, and that He will return to receive His own unto Himself. Third, we must be obedient in our faith unto Jesus and His teachings. Obedience is the single most greatest expression of trust; it is an expression of love toward the only one Who is worthy of it, the only one Who died in our place to show us how much He loves us. We hope in Him because we believe that He is Who He said He was and that He will do what He said He will do. Continually believe these things each day and live life in a way that shows you truly believe them and your faith will save you.

Further, we need to realize that conversion does not mean salvation. See the parable of the sower where two of the soils are false converts. See also Matthew 7:21-23, something many Christians want to ignore. These people truly believed themselves to be saved. Not only that, but Scripture encourages all of us who profess Christ to "Test yourself to see if you are in the faith; examine yourself! Or do you not recognize this about yourselfs, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Cor. 13:5) and to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). "Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things [vv.2-8], you will never stumble" (2 Pet. 1:10).

You see, the evidence that helps support whether you truly are a Christian or not is that if you repented and trusted back when you had your conversion experience, you will be repenting and trusting today. But not only that, you will continue to repent and trust in the future. The Bible makes it clear that "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us" (1 John 2:19). This verse leads us to the fact that the Bible makes it abundantly clear that if you are genuinely saved you will persevere until the end:
"You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved." Matt. 10:22

"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." Matt. 24:13

"You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." Mark 13:13

"By your endurance you will gain your lives." Luke 21:19

"If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples." John 8:31

"If we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us." 2 Tim. 2:12

"And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end." Heb. 6:11

"For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." Heb. 10:36 ("done the will of God"—see Matt. 7:21-23)

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ..." Heb. 12:1-15

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12

"Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus." Rev. 14:12
Salvation, from beginning to end is: Election, Gospel Call, Regeneration, Conversion, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Perseverance, Death and Glorification. You cannot start with Conversion and end with Adoption and think you are okay with God. There is no such thing as a "carnal Christian." Again, see Hebrews 10:36 and Matthew 7:21-23, among various others.

Stop asking Jesus into your heart and simply do what Scripture commands you to do: "Repent..." (Matt. 4:17) "...and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15); "Believe in the Lord Jesus..." (Acts 16:31); "confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9). Read your Bible and obey what it says.