Friday, November 28, 2014

Ask Jesus into your Heart? 14 Reasons not to, part 3 of 3

The last two Fridays we have looked at the question of whether the lost need to ask Jesus into their hearts, and have provided ten reasons why the answer is "no."  We will look now at four final reasons.

11.) Nobody asked Jesus to come into his heart to be saved for the overwhelming majority of church history.

            An examination of centuries of early Christian writings reveals no evidence that anyone thought that salvation came to those who asked Jesus into their hearts.  Furthermore, no Baptist or evangelical Protestant confession of faith, or any other significant confession of faith of Christendom whatever, has affirmed that salvation comes by asking Jesus into one’s heart.  Church history reveals that this idea is a modern innovation[1] that would have been foreign to the vast majority of believers since Christ started His church in the first century.  Someone who thinks that asking Jesus into his heart is proper because “everyone does it” ignores the position of vast numbers of modern Bible-believing churches who oppose this extrabiblical practice.  Such a person also ignores the fact that for century after century not only was it false to say that everyone did it, but in fact absolutely nobody did it.

12.) There are infernal spiritual powers that can make you feel happy when you ask Jesus into your heart.

            While nobody has ever become a Christian because he asked Jesus to come into his heart, there are many, many people who have experienced peaceful, pleasant, and joyous sensations after engaging in this man-made religious ritual.  However, such feelings do not in the least prove that one has become a Christian and a child of God.  Pagans worshipping demonic idols have had many genuine religious experiences (1 Cor 12:2).  Hell-bound false prophets have had fantastic and incredible encounters with the supernatural (Num 22:9-13, 20, 28-34) and even performed miracles themselves (Ex 7:10-11, 22; 8:7).  Judas, the betrayer of Christ who never was a true Christian (Jn 6:70; 12:6), experienced the personal presence of Christ Himself for years and was able to perform miracles because of his Apostolic office (Mt 10:5-8).  People can have the Holy Spirit powerfully working in their lives, but never truly repent and believe on Christ, and consequently be eternally damned (Heb 6:4-9).  The Bible warns about “another Jesus,” a false “Jesus” that cannot save because associated with “another gospel,” a false gospel (2 Cor 11:4).  A “Jesus” that gives salvation to those who pray, rather than to those who believe, is not the Redeemer of the Bible, for the real Christ never said He would save those who said the “sinner’s prayer,” but promised many times to give eternal life to those who trust in Him (Jn 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25-26).  Nevertheless this false “Jesus” is associated with “another spirit” that counterfeits the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 11:4) and is able to give the lost many powerful religious experiences.

You need to recognize that your own heart is “deceitful above all things” (Jer 17:9).  Furthermore, the “Devil . . . deceiveth the whole world” (Rev 12:9), “blind[ing] the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor 4:4).  Millions of Satan’s demons, working in conjunction with human indwelling sin, are easily capable of creating all sorts of marvelous but damningly deceptive feelings and emotions in the lost.  The frightening ease through which people can be follow lies explains why Scripture is full of warnings about spiritual deception.[2]  Vast multitudes of people who said Jesus was their Lord, enjoyed marvelous spiritual experiences, and performed great works in His name will hear, in horror, Christ say to them:  “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mt 7:21-23).  Some who read this pamphlet, but reject its warning and trust that they are saved because of their experiences when they asked Jesus into their heart, will be among them.  How you felt when you asked Jesus into your heart does not matter in the least.  The only thing that matters is the plain teaching of God’s Word about salvation:  “repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mr 1:15).

13.) If you tell people to ask Jesus into their hearts, and they never are saved because you confused them, you will be accountable for their damnation.

            Scripture is clear that you are only “pure from the blood of all men” if you “have not shunned to declare unto [them] all the counsel of God” (Ac 20:26-27; Jam 3:1; Eze 3:18-21; 33:6-9).  Clarity on the gospel is not some insignificant and non-essential matter.  If, instead of clearly setting forth Christ’s substitutionary death, and salvation through repentant faith in Him, you tell people to ask Jesus into their hearts to be saved, you should expect to be accountable to the infinitely holy God for their eternal damnation.  You will be guilty, not of physical murder, but of a sin infinitely worse—the spiritual murder of people you gave your distorted “gospel” to, whether people in the world, adults or youth in your church, members of your family, or even your own children.  You will face an incomprehensibly horrible and tragic surprise when you have to give an account to God.

14.) If you asked Jesus to come into your heart instead of repenting and believing in Christ, you will be eternally damned.

Friend, you need to recognize that there is only one way you can get into God’s kingdom and have everlasting life—faith alone in the Christ who died and rose again as your own personal Lord and Savior.  The means through which you can personally receive the salvation Christ purchased on the cross is not prayer, faith and prayer, faith that God will answer your prayer, or faith plus prayer that you mean with all your heart (Pr 16:25).  These is many “a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [is nonetheless] death” (Pr 16:25).  To personally receive any benefit from Christ’s redemptive work you must come directly to Him in a helpless and dependent trust (Jn 6:37).  There is no other true gospel—only many false gospels (Gal 1:8-9).  Heed God’s Word:  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn 3:18).  All those who do not trust in Christ alone through faith alone will burn in hell for all eternity, regardless of whether they asked Jesus into their heart or not.  There are vast numbers of people in hell this very moment who have asked Jesus into their hearts.  “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Cor 13:5), lest you join them in torment for all eternity.

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.

[1]           Dr. Paul Chitwood notes:

Although the Sinner’s Prayer is widely used and enormously popular today, no variation of it is found in the Bible. . . . In addition to the Sinner’s Prayer not occurring in the Bible, it is also absent from the pages of church history. . . .  [T]he concept of bringing or inviting “Jesus into your heart” is one that does not occur readily before the turn of the twentieth century. . . . The Sinner’s Prayer was not popularized until late [in] the twentieth century, possibly as late as the 1940s or even the early 1950s. . . . The Sinner’s Prayer must not be understood as the means by which a person is saved.  (pgs. 3-4, 43-44, 69, 125, The Sinner’s Prayer:  An Historical and Theological Analysis, Paul H. Chitwood.  Ph. D. Diss., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2001. Elec. acc.

[2]           For example, see Mt 13:22; 24:4, 5, 11, 24; Mr 4:19; 7:22; 13:5-6; Lu 21:8; Rom 1:29; 3:13; 7:11; 16:18; 1 Cor 3:18; 6:9; 15:33; 2 Cor 4:2; 6:8; 11:13; Gal 6:3, 7; Eph 4:14, 22; 5:6; Col 2:8; 1 Th 2:3; 2 Th 2:3, 10; 1 Ti 2:14; 2 Ti 3:13; Ti 1:10; 3:3; Heb 3:13 Ja 1:22, 26; 2 Pe 2:13; 1 Jn 1:8; 3:7; 2 Jn 7; Rev 12:9; 13:14; 18:23; 19:20; 20:3, 8, 10.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Delusional Disconnect and Legitimate Demonstration

The French supported the American revolution.  Then most Americans started supporting the French revolution, until they were revolted by what took awhile to hear across the Atlantic.  The American revolution proceeded from Great Awakening and its resultant natural rights.  The French Revolution was spawned by dead religion and consequential paganism.  We see the French model unfolding and usurping now in America.

After several months of waiting to hear the testimony and evidence in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO, officer Darren Wilson is not indicted of any charges.  You know what happens next. I don't need to describe it, except to add that my daughter was driving back from class and highway 580 here was blocked by protesters in Oakland, and everyone, including her, had to leave the interstate and drive through that city in order to get home.  Via phone, I led her an alternate route to make it back to us a couple of anxious hours later than normal.  Hundreds of people just stood out on a federal highway to make a statement about the Michael Brown verdict.  I do get it.  People aren't happy.

I would rather not repeat what you can read dozens of places elsewhere about government and politicians.  I know that Jesus did not come to change social structure.   From my perch as a premillennialist, we're living for a future kingdom, expecting the Lord to clean up this mess. Christians with a biblical worldview will know in the present what to do too.  They will understand how scripture applies to given situations today and influence others as salt and light.  In the meantime, it is about the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.

What I see from many government leaders and political pundits is a delusional disconnect, relating to apostasy and being turned over to a reprobate mind (Rom 1).  The only other options, as I see it, are psychosomatic illness or demon possession.  You might think I'm joking, but those are the only other possibilities.  The symptoms are very similar for all three.  Their vain imaginations exalt themselves against the knowledge of God and have for a long time.

No one in his right mind blames the police officer in Ferguson.  Much could be blamed in the "system," but it wasn't him.  Someone robbed a convenience store of some cigarillos with threat of imminent bodily injury (see here at 1:15 and following).  Someone walking down the middle of a street was asked by an officer to move to a sidewalk and answered with an expletive.  The officer saw him with cigarillos in his hand.  When the officer tried to open his car door, someone slammed it shut on him.  When the officer tried to open the door again, someone hit him in the face.  Someone hit him in the face several times.  When the officer pulled his gun, someone grabbed it and there was a fight that resulted in two shots discharging in the car.  Someone stopped and turned around to face the officer, and at two instances, when he told him to get on the ground, he just kept moving toward the officer.  Then he began charging the officer.  Someone wasn't a victim.

You are not a victim when you have done all the things someone in the previous paragraph did.   If Michael Brown were a victim, he was not a victim of the police officer, but a broken family, city, country, and culture.   He was a victim of the fall, of his own depraved sinful nature, the false teachers in his life, those who would not restrain him.  If anyone led him to his death, it was the people who claimed to have supported him and his family, who represent the entire conniving, charlatan entity that told him the lies that he believed.  If he was a victim, he was a victim of those who are now lying that he raised his hands in surrender and was gunned down like an animal in the street.  Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  Al Sharpton calls him a victim, but he was more a victim of Al Sharpton than he was Darren Wilson or the prosecutor in the case.

The Attorney General of the United States said today:

It is clear, I think, that acts of violence threaten to drown out those who have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators and those acts of violence cannot and will not be condoned.

That statement represents a deluded mindset.  The acts of violence are wrong.  They should not be tolerated.  Only the delusional condone them.  Someone vain in his imagination sees acts of violence as a threat to legitimate demonstration.  These legitimate demonstrators, these voices, are demonstrating what?  They demonstrate the moral bankruptcy that exists in the country.  They demonstrate the political pandering.  An entire culture has been legitimized by fawning leaders, who will not tell the truth, because they cannot tell the truth.  They are willing to sink a multitude of people for a small slice of support that will keep them in power.

Even more sad are the churches that have pandered in the name of racial reconciliation.  They legitimize the demonstrators by ignoring the real problem.  The continue to distract from a solution with their bread and circuses.  As a result, they have corrupted the gospel, a pure message of repentance and reconciliation, for a placebo.

Count on more Ferguson in the future, because we live in a country and a world that doesn't even know what the problem is, let alone the solution.


As in most articles by those other than separatist, independent Baptists, I put a disclaimer, even though there is nothing wrong that I can see, and a lot of good with this article by Voddie Baucham.

Here is another one worth reading.

If you go to the latest (that I know of) crime statistics with the FBI and their homicide records, you can see how it breaks down by race (here and here).  Does it matter?  You can see the true narrative in the official record.  For instance, in 2012, 193 black people were killed by white people, and 431 white people were killed by black people, more than double that black people are killed by whites.  2,412 black people were killed by black people.  13.2% of Americans are black and 77.7% are white, which also skews the percentages more.  There is a true narrative here that is unrelated to emotion. It's just the facts, and it tells a different story than what we are being told by the media.  I don't think it should affect our approach to another race.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Are the Qualifications for the Office of the Pastor Also Disqualifications?

The Apostle Paul in two of the pastoral epistles lists qualifications for the office of the pastor of a church.  In 1 Timothy 3:2-7, in the form of a list, they are

the husband of one wife
of good behaviour
given to hospitality
apt to teach
not given to wine
no striker
not greedy of filthy lucre
not a brawler
not covetous
one that ruleth well his own house
having his children in subjection with all gravity
not a novice
have a good report of them which are without

Then in Titus 1:
the husband of one wife
having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly
not selfwilled
not soon angry
not given to wine
no striker
not given to filthy lucre
lover of hospitality
lover of good men
holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught

These two lists have been called the qualifications of the pastor.  Pastors know about them.  The context of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 deals with a man entering or receiving the office.  It doesn't say anything about these being a basis for removal from office.  However, I believe that these lists imply disqualification in light of other passages, mainly 1 Corinthians 9:27 and 1 Timothy 5:19-20.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

The implication is that what qualifies a man to be a pastor can also disqualify him.  It makes sense. "Castaway" seems to mean "disqualified.'  What are the accusations against an elder?  They would again seem to be violations of the qualifications.  1 Timothy 5:22 later says, "Lay hands suddenly on no man."  It seems that once a pastor has been disqualified, he has to prove himself again.  He's not immediately allowed back into the office.  He's got to show he's qualified for a period of time. However, he can be qualified again.  In many instances, he is not permanently disqualified if he's willing to repent of the actions that disqualified him, show that he's qualified again.

Truth is antithetical.  For every right, there is a wrong, for every good, there is a bad, and for every truth, there is an error.  Every qualification is also a disqualification.

This is also the historic position.  You can see that men believed this in the past, so this has been the understanding in Christian history.  Joseph Lathrop writes in 1811 what I believe has been the common understanding of qualifications as disqualifications for those already in the office:

But against one already in office a bare report is not to be received; there must be an accusation supported by two or three witnesses, to eject him from office, or bring him under censure.

You read the following language in 1808:

But before a minister can be justly deposed from office, there must be deduced full and indubitable evidence of his disqualification.

Certain of the qualifications will be violated by everyone.  Keeping all of the qualifications perfectly would constitute a sinlessly perfect life, and that is not what they are requiring.  A pastor might not be in every instance sober.  He might become angry in a sinful way.  He might have his moments lacking love of hospitality.  For the most part, the qualifications are habits, characteristics, or a lifestyle. Someone might violate them (I know I have) and still be qualified.  It isn't that a man participates in one act of self-will, but that he is a self-willed man.  Self-willed men can't be or shouldn't be pastors.

Desiring the office (1 Timothy 3:1) means desiring to live out the qualifications.  Sometimes men desire the office, obtain it, and then along the way stop desiring it, as seen in the lack or loss of a qualified lifestyle.  They had it, but they didn't remain vigilant in it, perhaps just taking the office for granted, and losing the desire.  Some men really want it, and then swerve off the path toward some other desire, perhaps many other worldly desires.   The other desires are what often disqualify.  For every man, it's going to be a struggle.

All the qualifications should be taken seriously.  Every pastor should daily consider them. However, if someone were to regularly, as a lifestyle, and without repentance, break one or some or all of these, he might disqualify himself.  In this way, the judgment of these qualifications is far more subjective.  Men would have to discern a pattern in a man's life in seeing that he isn't qualified any longer.

On the other hand, certain of the qualifications are very objective, like a line drawn, such as "the husband of one wife."  There may be more to this qualification than just marital status, because the Greek words can literally mean, "one woman man."  However, he at least cannot be a polygamist or bigamist.  Others, I among them, would say that he cannot be divorced and then remarried, based on this qualification.  He is married to one woman as long as she lives, if he wants to stay a pastor.

As well, at least one of the sets of qualifications and, hence, disqualifications, brings characteristics of the children of a pastor:  "having his children in subjection with all gravity" and "having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly."  Do these apply only to children in the home?  I don't think so.  If your children are "faithful," that means they are saved.  Once someone is saved, he'll always be saved, so if one of his children depart from the faith, that means that child is not a faithful child.  "Riotous" would also apply to older children.  No matter how well a man obeys the other qualifications, if he has a child, who is one of these, he becomes disqualified, even though the characteristic is true not of him, but of his child.

I believe that the qualifications, as they apply to a man's children, are very fair.  I think the bar isn't high.  While his children are at home, they must submit to his authority and leadership characteristically.  As his children grow up, at some point, they must be converted.  They've got to believe in Jesus Christ like He does.  I recognize that this will bother a Calvinist, but it isn't my job to fit scripture into Calvinism.  If one of a pastor's children is not converted, he can't be a pastor.  Again, I think that is fair.  It's not saying the children are sinlessly perfect or that they might not struggle in their sanctification.  It isn't even saying that they must believe just like he does.  They've just got to be saved at some point. That means he's doing what it takes to evangelize his own family.

From my perspective, I rarely read anything about pastoral qualifications.  They are a sensitive subject. Disqualification means losing your job and maybe your livelihood.  If you haven't been trained or schooled to do anything else, that can be a very tough situation.  However, to protect the office of the pastor, we've got to protect the qualifications.  They must be disqualifications, because the office and the truth of scripture is bigger than any one man.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ask Jesus into your Heart? 14 Reasons not to, part 2 of 3

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.[1]  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[2] 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[3] 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.

[1]           See, for example, the testimony “The Other Jesus:  Justification by Faith vs. Asking Jesus into one’s Heart,” by Ovid Need (  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.
[2]           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.
[3]           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.