J.D. Greear of Christianity Today has written an interesting post which asks pertinent questions on cliches that Evangelicals use and how these cliches have muddied the waters (caused many to doubt their salvation and led countless to have false assurances) …
If there were a Guinness Book of World Records record for “amount of times having asked Jesus into your heart,” I’m pretty sure I would hold it.
By the time I reached the age of 18 I had probably “asked Jesus into my heart” 5,000 times. I started somewhere around age 4 when I approached my parents one Saturday morning asking how someone could know that they were going to heaven. They carefully led me down the “Romans Road to Salvation,” and I gave Jesus his first invitation into my heart…
So I prayed the sinner’s prayer again. And again. And again. Each time trying to get it right, each time really trying to mean it. I would have a moment when I felt like I got it right and experienced a temporary euphoria. But it would fade quickly and I’d question it all again. And so I’d pray again.
I walked a lot of aisles during those days. I think I’ve been saved at least once in every denomination…
A 2011 Barna study shows that nearly half of all adults in America have prayed such a prayer, and subsequently believe they are going to heaven, though many of them rarely, if ever, attend a church, read the Bible personally, or have lifestyles that differ in any significant way from those outside the church.
In some Christian circles soul winning ends up becoming ‘belt-notching’. This misguided thinking brings to mind comparisons of the ‘kill’ talley painted on the cockpits of fighter aircraft. Here’s the account of a former soul winning ace, who one day started to question the shallowness of manipulating people into praying that simple prayer; the one that is said to trigger salvation. In one of the accounts that he gives, a drunk man is coached into praying the sinner’s prayer. Incredibly, it was later said of the drunk man:
“I wonder if he’ll even remember getting saved? Boy will he be surprised when he gets to heaven!”.
Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may Read More
There is such a “falling away” in the number of genuine conversions — we say “genuine” conversions because there are multitudes of those who come forward to shake some popular preacher by the hand, multitudes of card-signers, [hand-raisers] etc., etc. Hence it is that there has been such a sad and such a wide-spread “falling away” from the old time family worship. Hence it is that we now witness such a lamentable “falling away” from the mid-week prayer-meeting. Hence it is that there is such an awful “falling away” …. Hence it is that there is such a fearful “falling away” from the moral standards of former days. Hence it is that there is now such an ever-growing “falling away” from Sunday School attendance all over the land. Yes, the “falling away” has commenced and is already far advanced. There’s More