Almost every Church service I attend these days is ended by an alter call and an invitation unbelievers to “Ask Jesus into your heart….” or “Invite Jesus into your life,” or words to that effect. Interesting, there are no such words to be found in Bible. The oft quoted line is simply not a biblical phrase, no matter how often repeated or how often or earnestly sung.
No one is saved, nor have ever been saved, by “inviting Jesus into their heart” or into their life or into anywhere else. It is just not biblical! The two thieves who were crucified with Jesus both called out to Him to save them (Luke 23:39-42), but only one was saved; the one who believed and recognised Jesus for whom He was and is, and spoke out saying “… Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). But in truth, when the thief asked Jesus, he was already a believer in Jesus Christ’s deity.
Now to be honest, there is one scripture which looks vaguely like it in Revelation 3:20, and it Jesus says reads:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.”
However, reading Revelation 3:20 in context, you soon find first of all that is was written to believing Christians, second, it is not talking about Salvation (being saved) but is talking about having supper or fellowship with Jesus. Thirdly, the “door” which it mentions is the door of the Church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) and not to the door of your heart, or your life, or anywhere else. In Revelation 3:20, it is clear that the context of the passage is that Christ was seeking to enter a church which bore His name, but the church lacked a single true believer. Jesus was standing there outside the church, knocking on the door saying that if any one person in the church would recognise their sin, He would respond in saving faith and enter their church.
Sadly, when Christians care more about what they think the Bible says, rather than what the Bible actually says, they are no longer walking in the will of God, but are walking in the will of Satan. Second Corinthians 4:3 confirms this, saying:
“But also if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those being lost, in whom the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the image of God) should not dawn on them.”
The Apostles were aware of their duty as they wrote the letters and books which eventually comprised the canon of the Holy Bible. They tried to make it as simple as possible to read, as Paul says in Second Corinthians 3:12“Then since we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech.” But it is still beholden on each Christian to read for themselves, making sure they put in effort to understand the Word, and interpret the Word with a reasonable inference. What happens if we are misled by our Bible teachers or we insist on forced interpretations of the true meaning? Paul had words for that too, saying in First Corinthians 3:12“For also if a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle? So also you, if you do not give a clear word through the language, how will it be known what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air.”
The words which Jesus spoke in John 3:16 are very clear:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
We are saved, we obtain salvation, through belief and belief only. Belief that Jesus paid for our sins on the Cross of Calvary through his death, that He was buried, and that He rose again. As Romans 10:9-10 clearly tells us:
“Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.”
The words of the New Testament are not a departure from the principles of the Old Testament. Thus in Isaiah 55:6-7 we find the equivalent scripture in a prophecy which foretells about Jesus:
“Seek Jehovah while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
If we read and study the whole of Isaiah 55, again a prophetic scripture looking to Jesus and applicable to us under the New Covenant, we find the means for coming to Christ, and the order also. First we are to Seek the Lord, then Repent, Call upon God, Confess, Pray, Humble ourselves, Hear the Lord, and finally Obey the Lord.
There are many scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments which tell us how to do this. The following tables gives single examples only, and from the New Testament only, so that all Christians may know without doubt, that it is for them:
|Seek||Hebrews 11:6||“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”|
|Repent||Acts 2:38||“Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”|
|Call upon God||Acts 2:21||“And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”|
|Confess||1 John 1:9||“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”|
|Pray||Acts 8:22||“Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.”|
|Humble ourselves||James 4:10||“Be humbled before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”|
|Hear||John 12:47||“And if any one hears My Words and does not believe, I do not judge him, for I do not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”|
|Obey||Hebrews 5:9||“And being perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him…”|
In Matthew 7:22-213 Jesus said:
“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?
And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!”
Tragically, many who attend Church diligently, conscientiously do works they honestly believe are for the Lord and believe themselves saved, are going to find out that they were not saved.
If you hold on to your claim for salvation and eternal life on the basis of the heretical Sinner’s Prayer, that you “asked Jesus into your heart”, please come now to Christ as He has ordained in the bible and:
Seek the Lord, then Repent, Call upon God, Confess, Pray, Humble yourselves, Hear the Lord, and Obey the Lord.
Start now, for it is by belief and belief only, that we are saved. The Bible says so again and again and again. Where does belief come from? From Faith, and “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of the Lord!” (Romans 10:17)