I’ve heard it said many times, by many different preachers, “If you’ve never asked Jesus into your heart…” That’s what Christians refer to as an “alter call”. It’s the time at the end of the service that is usually reserved to see if someone needs to be saved – to “ask Jesus into your heart and be the Lord of your life.” You might be thinking, “What’s wrong with that? Aren’t we supposed to see people saved?” Absolutely. Salvation is number one, yet the way that the vast majority of preachers go about it is
all wrong un-Biblical. That’s right: asking Jesus into your heart is un-Biblical.
Case in point: Romans 10:9-10
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
That is how someone is saved. I cannot find anywhere in the Bible that says to ask Jesus into your heart or any other concoction of words to give us warm fuzzies. Paul out of his own mouth to the Corinthians in 1:2 that he was determined to deal with one subject only: Jesus Christ and him crucified. In fact, Acts 3:5; 4:10; 13:30; 13:34; 17:31, Romans 4:24; 6:4;6:9; 7:4; 8:11; 10:9, Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thes 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8; 1 Peter 1:21 – just to name a few, all deal with Jesus being raised from the dead! I’d say that the resurrection was a pretty big deal. It has to be.
That’s the true Gospel. The true good news is that Jesus was crucified – in that he took on all of our sins while on the cross, was buried and three days later rose again and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. He is NOT residing in your heart. If, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:17, Jesus was never raised from the dead, then we are all still in our sins. If we are still in our sins then we are in an “un-saved” state, still separated from God.
If, in fact, the way to salvation is through believing that Jesus rose from the dead and confessing with your mouth that he is Lord, then what about the millions who have only “asked him into their heart?” I don’t know.
That’s right. I don’t know. And I’m not afraid to say that. I don’t know their hearts and I don’t know what was revealed to them at that moment. Maybe they did get the revelation of what Jesus did at that moment regardless of how the preacher called it. I don’t know, nevertheless, that doesn’t make the scriptures any less true. We were told the way of salvation and we shouldn’t make up our own way. An inconvenient truth doesn’t make it any less the truth.
So why do people do it the other way? Why is it presented as asking Jesus into your heart? Because it’s more warm and fuzzy that way. It sounds so cuddly, who wouldn’t want to respond to that? Slap some butter or frosting on it and who could resist? <–Sarcasm.
Well, I know my answer is going to cause a ruckus, but we can thank the devil for that.
Think about it. The devil has crept into the “church” and convinced people to do things a certain way because well, “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Ahhh…tradition. It’s a killer. Jesus told the most religious people of his day that tradition nullifies the word of God. The devil doesn’t want us to change what we are doing, and if he can’t get us to be stagnate, then he’ll convince us of small changes in the way we do things so they no longer line with the Word of God. If you think the devil doesn’t know scripture, you’re wrong. He was around when it was being written. If he could convince us to do something that would render the power of God of none effect, don’t you think he’d try it?
Am I splitting hairs? Being too picky? Or whatever else? Yes. Yes, I am. This involves THE most important thing a person will ever choose.
Look, even if it’s not the devil that’s caused this different way of salvation, it’s still a different way no matter what. It’s not the way it’s presented in the Bible. Shouldn’t that be enough …shouldn’t that be enough for us as Christians to re-examine how we do things?