Ask Jesus Into Your Heart?
What has happened to the Churches? Why are most of those church buildings we see standing half empty? Why are once strong denominations and strong congregations losing their memberships? Why are there so many people who float in and out of various churches like a leaf blown on the wind? I have watched in disbelief as some Churches, that were once the pillars in their communities, become empty shells. Has the Word lost its power? Has the Word become irrelevant for today’s world?
No. The Word has not lost its power. The Word is just as powerful as it has ever been. The Word is just as relevant for today. The Word of God has not lost its power; the problem is that the Word is not being preached from the pulpits of once faithful churches. Likewise, the true Word is not presented to an unbelieving world.
Don’t get me wrong. There are still faithful churches out there but for a lot of evangelicalism, and this includes most of the “mainline denomination” churches, including reformed churches, faithful expositional preaching of the pure Word of God has fallen by the wayside for what can only be described as fluff, feel good entertainment, “prosperity” or “self-help” “gospel.”
Today, I watched as a young man asked someone how to be saved and he was told (by a sincere and well-meaning Christian) to “Ask Jesus into your heart.” What? What does that mean? Repent! Man. And Believe! What is this business of asking Jesus into your heart? I am sorry if this makes me sound insensitive… but do not water down the gospel when another soul is asking you what he needs to believe! He NEEDS to know how full his sin and misery is in order to know the grace of God! Plant the seed and let the spirit of God work. This business of watering down the gospel seems to be at the forefront of many churches, especially those who have a membership “goal” or who praise people for the number of converts they win….
Nowhere does the Bible ever say that if you ask Jesus into your heart you will be saved. It also never says just believe in Jesus and you will be saved. Is salvation the result of simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God and Lord of all and declaring it to be so? Is that what Jesus taught? How does believing that Jesus is the son of God, or lord of all, save you?
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that —and shudder.”
John the Baptist and Jesus both proclaimed;
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17)
Jesus, throughout his earthly ministry demanded repentance,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
Read Romans 1:18 – 3:30 When presenting the gospel, where does Paul start? Does he start with telling people they have to ask Jesus into their hearts? Does he say that God has a wonderful plan for their life? No! No! No! He starts with sin, describing in gory, unbridled detail what sin is and making plain that we are totally depraved sinners and that we have no excuses before Holy God. Beginning in verse 1:18 and continuing for 63 verses Paul talks about sin. He does not mention God’s grace until verse 3:21 and then he uses just six verses to present the answer to sin, God’s grace. He spends almost ten times as much time talking about sin as he does presenting the cure. Why is this? Until we know sick we are (that we’re sinners), we are not very much interested in the cure (Jesus Christ). Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
I am sorry if this post comes across as insensitive, or gets me labeled as some not nice words 🙂 But I will not compromise the truth of the Gospel. I am here to glorify God and love my neighbour. It is not much love if I do not care about his soul…is it? Perhaps I am off base – i don’t think I am, but I invite your comments! As well, I am not going to say that my church is perfect – it is far from perfect. But I thank God that we have sound, expositional preaching. I pray for a return to the pure preaching of the Word in all Churches.
Q.What is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.
Q.What do you need to know in order to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
A. First, how great my sins and misery are; second, how I am delivered from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to be thankful to God for such deliverance.
Let us get back to the Word, the pure preaching of the Gospel.