Seven Reasons Not to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart

January 15, 2006

This is something you have to read. A blog I often read linked to an booklet written a few years ago by Pastor Dennis Rosker of Duluth Bible Church in Minnesota titled “Seven Reasons Not to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart.”

The seven reasons listed were:

  • It is never found in the Bible.
  • It is not how one is saved.
  • It requires no understanding of the gospel of grace to do it.
  • It confuses the means of salvation with the results of salvation.
  • It either results in no assurance of salvation or brings a false assurance to people.
  • Revelation 3:20 does not teach it.
  • It does not clarify the condition of salvation, it confuses it – especially with children.

    I’d recommend you read Heath Casey’s summary of the article first, he did a great job summarizing it. You can also view the original PDF booklet (22 pages).

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    1. That was really good. He very clearly summarized some thing Ben and I have had on our hearts lately, too. In fact, praying “the prayer” is a relatively new thing in church history, and something that started with the Great Awakening as an emotional rush to get people to commit. From what I see in scripture, Jesus doesn’t tell us to do things like that. He says, “believe in me,” “abide in me,” and “follow me.” He never said, “ask me into your heart.”
      I can also testify that, as a child, I was very confused by whether or not I was really a Christian. It didn’t seem like enough to pray the prayer and be done with it. I’m glad God placed that restlessness in my heart, and I am glad we grew up in a family that encouraged living out a belief in Christ, but I can definitely see, looking back, how salvation was confusing to me. I hope we can make it clearer to our children.

    2. I don’t know whether Rosker addressed this or not, but if I could add to why this misdirection has swept the modern western church, I would add this.
      A part of it is an extreme reaction to leagalism and salvation by works. The Bible calls for repentance time and time again for salvation. It was the “gospel” preached by John the Baptist and Jesus. It was the answer Peter gave in Acts to the crowd who asked, “what are we to do?” He said? “Repent.”
      To repent is to make a commitment to be a different person than you were before. To think, speak, and act differently. Romans says the old is dead so the new can live. But that requires a different life. That requires a changed life. That looks too much like salvation by works for some theologians and leaders. However we feel about it, it is the Truth, and it is the gospel. We are not saved by works but for them.