Do the lost need to ask Jesus into their hearts in order to be saved? Last Friday we saw five reasons why the answer is "no"! Here are reasons #6-10.
6.) Asking Jesus to come into your heart confuses the means of salvation with a result of salvation.
When a lost sinner, enabled by God’s grace, repents and trusts in the Savior, he is spiritually united to Christ, what Scripture calls being “in Christ” (Eph 1:3). He passess from death to life (Jn 5:24), from being unrighteous to being justified or declared righteous (1 Cor 6:9; Rom 3:24), from being without peace to having peace with God (Is 57:21; Rom 5:1), from having no access to God to having direct access to Him through Christ (Rom 5:2; 1 Tim 2:5), from having no hope to having a sure hope (Eph 2:12; Heb 6:19), from being a child of the devil to being a child of God (Jn 8:44; 1:12), from being without Christ to having Christ live in him (2 Cor 13:5; Gal 2:20), from being without the Holy Spirit to being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9), and so on. He now has “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). One of the blessings of being united to Christ is that He does indeed make the believer His dwelling place (Col 1:27; Rom 8:10), but that does not mean that a person is saved by asking Christ to come in, any more than one is saved by asking to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit or asking to have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. No, the lost must trust in Christ and His saving work on the cross alone, and when they entrust themselves to Him, they receive every good thing on account of their union with Him, whether justification, a sure hope, adoption into the family of God, the indwelling presence of Christ, direct access to the Father, or any of the other glorious blessings possesed by the people of God.
7.) Asking Jesus into your heart can bring false assurance to a lost person and prevent a saved person from having true assurance.
Since the Bible never promises salvation to a lost sinner if he asks Jesus into his heart, those who perform this human work and think that they are saved because they did it are almost surely just as lost as they were before. There are literally millions of people who have asked Jesus into their hearts instead of coming to the Lord Jesus in repentant faith. They were, perhaps, told that asking Christ to come in would guarantee them a happy life, peace, or perhaps financial success and a good marriage. If none of these things come to pass, they become bitter towards the Lord Jesus and His people, disillusioned with the Bible, and inoculated against the true gospel by the spiritual counterfeit they adopted. When someone comes to them and tries to show them that, Biblically speaking, they never were saved and they need to submit to Christ as Lord and rely on Him as Savior from sin, they say, “I tried Jesus already and it didn’t work.” Others ask Jesus into their hearts over and over again, hoping that the prayer will finally stick and they will finally have freedom from sin’s control. Others rely on the assurance given to them by the convert-maker who told them to ask Him to come in and conclude that they must be saved, although they are just as much in bondage to sin as they were before, because of the supposed Biblical promise that all who ask Christ to come in will go to heaven. These often remain deluded until the day they die and “in hell . . . lift up [their] eyes, being in torments,” hearing in horror from Christ, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Lu 16:23; Mt 7:23). Many such people never even come to church, although the book of Acts records that those truly born again not only attended church and submitted to baptism but even stood for Christ despite life-threatening persecution and showed incredible sacrificial love for their fellow believers (Ac 2:41-47). Others ask Jesus to come in, attend church for a while, and then drop out because they have no root of spiritual life within them from true conversion (Mr 4:6, 17). Others come to church out of habit, but their carnality, divisiveness, and lack of true spirituality causes their pastors and fellow church members untold heartache. Others ask Jesus into their hearts as little children and keep coming to church because their Christian parents enforce godly habits in their home. They outwardly imitate true Christians and perhaps even go to Bible college and end up in the ministry, where they teach others to ask Jesus into their hearts just like they did—but having never themselves personally trusted in the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross, they are just as lost as were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Such people may be very sincere, but God warns: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 14:12).
Finally, some people understand the gospel and truly repent and trust in Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross despite being told to ask Jesus into their heart. Many of these true Christians lack assurance of salvation because they wonder if they were sincere enough when they prayed or if they said the right words. They constantly think back to the time they asked Christ into their hearts and wonder if they did it the right way. They can get no assurance of salvation because neither salvation nor assurance of salvation can come from something that is foreign to Scripture. No one has ever been saved or received Biblical assurance of salvation by asking Christ into his heart.
8.) Telling children to ask Jesus into their hearts is confusing and hinders them from understand the gospel.
Children do not think the same way that adults do (1 Cor 13:11). They think very literally and concretely. If they are told to ask Jesus into their hearts, they are likely to think that the Lord Jesus in His human body somehow comes to be inside of the organ that pumps their blood. Many adults who are told to ask Jesus into their hearts have no idea what they are doing and what the ritual is supposed to mean; how much the more are children confused by this non-biblical terminology? How many children have been led to think about their circulatory system and the beating of a heart muscle, and hindered or prevented from looking away from themselves to rely on the completed work of Christ on the cross, by being told to ask Christ into their hearts? It is true that a skilful teacher can manipulate many children into doing almost anything, including asking Jesus to come into their hearts. However, the fact that children can repeat some words does not mean that they understand the redeeming cross of Christ and trusted in the Lord Jesus as their own Substitute, Savior and Master. There is not one gospel for adults—repentant faith in Christ for salvation—and a different one for children, asking Jesus to come into their hearts. A child who has not been convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit and enabled to understand and trust in the crucified Redeemer’s Person and work is not ready to be saved, although he may be ready and willing to ask Jesus into his heart so that he can please a convert-maker or so that he can, as he supposes, become ready for heaven by saying a prayer.
Furthermore, since a sinner must understand the gospel before he can believe or trust in Christ (Eph 1:13), a child who is led to ask Jesus into his heart, but does not understand the true gospel, does not become a Christian if some time later he intellectually assents to the truth that salvation is by repentant faith alone, not by prayer. One cannot first be born again and then, some months or years later, believe on Christ. A child who asks Jesus into his heart is fearfully likely to always think, “I’m saved because I did what my godly leaders or parents told me: I asked Jesus into my heart.” He may go on to later understand the necessity of trusting in Christ, but unless he rejects his false profession and realizes that he is yet a hell-bound sinner who must come to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness, he will be eternally damned (Lu 5:31-32). Neither children nor adults grow into salvation—they must repent and believe the gospel after first
understanding Christ’s substitutionary work on the cross.
9.) The Bible gives us many examples of people who were saved without asking Jesus into their hearts.
The Old Testament records the father of the faithful, Abraham, being saved when he “he believed in the LORD; and [the Lord] counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen 15:6; cf. Rom 4:1-5; Gal 3:6). King David wrote: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Ps 2:12). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed salvation for those who believed in the coming Messiah, the virgin-born Immanuel, and warned, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” (Is 7:9-14; 28:16). Nobody in the Old Testament ever asked the Messiah to come into his heart, promised blessing to those who performed this work, or warned of judgment on those who do not. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus repeatedly told people who had believed in Him, but who had never even thought of asking Him to come into their hearts, “Thy faith hath saved thee” (Lu 7:50; 18:42). While Christ was preaching “many believed on him” (Jn 8:30; 10:42) and were saved without asking Him into their hearts. In the book of Acts, the Apostles preached that “whosoever believeth in [Christ] shall receive remission of sins” (Ac 10:43; 16:31), and while they were preaching people would believe and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit without ever asking Jesus into their hearts (Ac 10:44-48). The Bible records the Apostle Paul’s conversion (Ac 9) and the Apostle’s giving his salvation testimony twice (Ac 22, 26), but never gives the slightest hint that Paul asked Jesus to come into his heart. There are no examples in Scripture of people who were born again when they asked Jesus into their heart, and many examples of people who were saved but never did any such thing.
10.) Revelation 3:20 is not about the lost asking Jesus to come into their hearts.
The only text in the Bible that is frequently used to persuade people to ask Jesus into their hearts is Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Supposedly this verse proves that Jesus Christ is knocking at the “heart’s door” of the unsaved, waiting to come in if He is asked. If a lost person asks Jesus to come into his heart, then Christ comes into him and he is saved. However, the fact is that the verse has nothing whatsoever to do with asking Jesus into one’s heart. The words “ask,” “Jesus,” and “heart” are not in the text at all. The verse actually portrays Christ standing outside the backslidden church being addressed in the passage (3:14) and calling on the members of the church to repent and return to being zealous for Him (3:19). The “door” in 3:20 is not the “heart’s door” of a lost person but the door of entry into the church. Furthermore, the Lord does not say that He will come “into” a heart or anything else in the text; “in” and “to” are different words in the English text. Christ is not promising to penetrate “into” the heart of a lost person in Revelation 3:20, but to “come in” to “sup with” or have fellowship with the members of a church that would deal with their sin. The verse employs the Greek verb “come in” followed by the preposition “to,” a different and following word; the word “into” is not found in the Greek text, just as it does not appear in the English. The Greek construction employed in the passage is always used in the New Testament of entering a building to stand before someone, not penetration into a person’s heart. Consequently, Revelation 3:20 is a promise that Christ will spiritually come in to stand before and have fellowship with church members who turn back to Him. It is by no means a promise that He will penetrate inside the heart of a lost person who asks Christ to come into him.
These 14 reasons are a portion of a larger study which will not be reproduced on this blog at this time. The larger study can be accessed here.
 See, for example, the testimony “The Other Jesus: Justification by Faith vs. Asking Jesus into one’s Heart,” by Ovid Need (http://faithsaves.net/soteriology/). The author is a Baptist pastor who was lost because he asked Jesus into his heart instead of trusting in the Redeemer’s blood. He finally understood the gospel and was born again after years as an unconverted preacher, during which time he lead hundreds and hundreds of others to ask Jesus into their hearts.
 For example, the pamphlet “The Four Spiritual Laws,” distributed by Campus Crusade, never mentions hell and promises people a “wonderful . . . life” on earth (contrary to Jn 16:33) if they say the “sinner’s prayer.” It concludes by quoting Revelation 3:20, contains a printed prayer for people to recite, and then declares: “Did you receive Christ into your life by sincerely praying the suggested prayer? According to His promise in Revelation 3:20, where is Christ right now in relation to you? Christ said that He would come into your life. Would He mislead you? . . . Christ is in your life . . . from the very moment you invite Him in.” This pamphlet had, by 2003, been distributed to over 2.5 billion people and translated into over 200 languages (Congressional Record, V. 149, Pt. 15, July 28, 2003-September 5, 2003, 20379). It has now been given to billions more people, likely making it the most widely distributed religious booklet in history. Similarly, Campus Crusade’s JESUS film has been watched by over six billion people. In its summary of what the organization views as the gospel at the end of the film, hell is likewise omitted, but Revelation 3:20 is quoted, followed by a “sinner’s prayer” to repeat for salvation.
 Eiserchomai + pros. Besides Revelation 3:20, the construction appears in Mr 6:25; 15:43; Lu 1:28; Ac 10:3; 11:3; 17:2; 28:8.