Is asking Jesus into our "hearts" scriptural?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Naomi, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. Naomi

    Naomi
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    Hello everyone!
    You all seem to be very nice here. I thank everyone for their kindness. I am new here, and I thought I would start a new discussion.I hope this is the right forum for this...if not just move it [​IMG]
    What are your thoughts on this question?
    Thanks for your replys
    Naomi :cool:
     
  2. JAMES2

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    Naomi:
    Well, in my opinion, it depends what you mean by "asking Jesus into my heart"? I don't know your theological background so I'm not sure how to approach this. Let me say this tho.

    God is the absolute Sovereign and salvation is from Him alone. First He has to regenerate you, then justify you by faith and then you might say the words above. But the important thing to realize is that unless God does a divine miracle in you by giving you the gift of faith, you would not be asking him ANYTHING.

    So as long as you don't think that you are born again, or regenerated, because YOU walked up an aisle and YOU asked Jesus into YOUR life, to say the words are fine.

    Remember, God picks you, you do not pick God. The only reason YOU would pick God, is because he put the desire in you in the first place. Pretty awesome, huh??

    Welcome, and have a great time, writing, reading and learning. This is a fun place to express your opinions, but be prepared to take some heat from time to time.
    James2
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    Asking Jesus into your heart seems like simplifying the Gospel down to a 2-year old level. But it also assumes a very mature understanding of the abstract "heart".

    Think that those who accept "easy believism" may have tried to make it too simplistic.

    Salvation is:<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>God the Spirit works a regenerating work in you to give you faith to believe and repentance<LI>You then pray in faith to God for salvation (open your heart isn't in the bible)<LI>You then repent of your sins and receive forgiveness[/list]Each culture has some word/phrase to represent the seat of emotions. In the Greco-Roman world it was "bowels", not a choice we use today.

    But it is not EMOTIONS that gets us saved. While we may be emotional about what is happening, it is HOPE/FAITH that is based upon unseen but believed FACT.

    "Open up your bowels and let the Lord come in" could be offensive in Western culture! :eek:
     
  4. Naomi

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    James,
    Amen! I think we can all agree that God chose us, we merely accepted the call of God in our lives. We chose Him. I am not sure where this idea of "asking Him into our hearts" doctrine came from. However; I cannot seem to find it in the scriptures! What I do find, is repent and be baptized in water and in the Spirit. All through the New Testament, this seems to be the mandate.
    responding to an altar call is only the first step. I have seen many people walk up to the altar, and repent of their sins, but it is only just the beginning.

    LOL, I know discussions about theology can get heated at times, but I also am convinced that Iron sharpens Iron. In the heat is where gold is refined!
    God Bless, Naomi
     
  5. Naomi

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  6. Dr. Bob

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    Good questions, Naomi. It is a "simple" plan that we make complex. But it is NOT an "easy" plan.

    We are to come to Christ with simple, child-like faith. But we are to come with faith believing in the blood of Christ that saves us and with repentance for sin.

    Those are two very difficult and complex "abstract" concepts. Simple, with child-like faith, but not easy to understand.

    When we try to "dumb-down" salvation, we use phrases like "make a decision", "commit yourself", or (to children) "open up your heart to the Lord". These are all good, but fall far short of faith/repentance.

    I found in 30+ years preaching that simply preaching on how great our salvation is and what faith and repentance are, that some even as young as 8-9 have been able to grasp the message.

    We ought not to change the message, but preach the old message and let IT do the changing!
     
  7. JAMES2

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    Naomi:
    I'm with you. I'm not sure where the phrase "I invite Jesus into my heart," or for that matter "I accept Jesus as my personal Savior," comes from. I'm afraid, in a lot of cases they are just terms people mumble.
    I'm glad that you truly do see that God chooses us, we do not choose God.
    Repent and be baptized. Yes!!! Praise God for giving me the grace to understand that I need to repent, that I have something to repent about. Just think!!! Here we are just bopping around doing our thing, and then, by a mighty act of a Sovereign God, he REGENERATES us. Now, kind of like the wind that blows and we know not where it comes from, we seem different. Wow, we ARE different. The things of God are now IMPORTANT to us. We start to understand. We may even walk down to the front of the church and take the preacher's hand. But, the important event has already taken place. God chose us, He gave us a free gift, He put the desire for the things of God into us, He justifies us by faith -- another free gift --and we are now children of God, chosen by Him before the foundation of the world to be conformed to HIS SON. Wow, what a awesome God we serve. Thank you God for creating me, thank you Jesus for redeeming me and thank you Holy Spirit for continuing to sanctify me.

    Sorry, didn't mean to get all carried away with this, but I never stop being amazed by the total, unmerited grace of God to HIS people.
    I hope you are having a great day
    James2
     
  8. Harald

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    Hello. As for the phrase "ask Jesus into your heart"; it is not in God's word. Compare that phrase with Isa. 8:20, 1Tim. 6:3. Paul urged somebody in some letter of his to speak such things which become sound doctrine (can't remember where right now). Only by speaking God's pure doctrine and words can one speak such things which become sound doctrine. "Ask Jesus into your heart" is not of God. Someone said it has not been around very long, maybe since the 40's. "Ask Jesus into your heart" possibly is faultily drawn from Rev. 3:20, which is not an evangelistic context but an assembly letter. "Ask Jesus into your heart" is common in my country also, and I believe it is common in most other countries also where arminianism and similar manmade theological systems thrive. It is another gospel, about another Jesus, cp. 2Cor.11:4. The gospel is not at all about asking some phantom Jesus into the heart, it is THE finished work of the God-man Jesus Christ on behalf of His people, Matt. 1:21 et.al. How many have been falsely converted through this decisionist phantom gospel only God knows. The Bible tells me to have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them. Beware of this deceiving Jesus who stands and knocks and "wants to get inside".

    Harald
     
  9. Naomi

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JAMES2:
    Naomi:

    I'm glad that you truly do see that God chooses us, we do not choose God.
    Repent and be baptized. Yes!!! Praise God for giving me the grace to understand that I need to repent, that I have something to repent about. Just think!!! Here we are just bopping around doing our thing, and then, by a mighty act of a Sovereign God, he REGENERATES us. Now, kind of like the wind that blows and we know not where it comes from, we seem different. Wow, we ARE different. The things of God are now IMPORTANT to us. We start to understand. We may even walk down to the front of the church and take the preacher's hand. But, the important event has already taken place. God chose us, He gave us a free gift, He put the desire for the things of God into us, He justifies us by faith -- another free gift --and we are now children of God, chosen by Him before the foundation of the world to be conformed to HIS SON. Wow, what a awesome God we serve. Thank you God for creating me, thank you Jesus for redeeming me and thank you Holy Spirit for continuing to sanctify me.


    James2
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    James,
    Thank you for your respose. Yes! I am so thankful He chose us, and redeemed us by His Grace and Mercy [​IMG] I am also thankful that He allowed me to make my choice to CHOOSE to follow Him....." Choose this day whom you shall follow......." I am not going to get into the A vs. C debate at all, as it is not important to me. I am a little bit of both. I am not into labels or denominational differences, because I have friends from all backgrounds. I love them all, and pass no Judgement upon them as to their stand on this issue. Absolute Truth is...God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, died on the cross for our sins, and left The Holy Spirit to dwell within us. If you hold to this truth, and trust Jesus alone for your salvation, you are my brother. Period. It makes no difference to me if you believe osas or free-will or if you attend church three times a week or once a week. I will make no expectations of you to uphold that would be my personal convictions. It is not my job to convict you of anything, it is the Holy Spirit that convicts us. He knows how to lead us into all truth. I know I sound pretty firm on this point, but, I felt you were making a strong point towards me about God Choosing us. I love to discuss the word, and get stirred on by others. However; I don't want to debate an issue like this. I agree with you that we need to understand that He chose us first, we just responded. [​IMG]
    Thank you for your input
    Naomi
     
  10. Gina B

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    James, just one thing about your post concerns me, and that's that anyone can be repentant of their sins and still not believe in Jesus.
    What's the answer to "What must I do to be saved" according to scripture?
    da Gina
     
  11. Larry

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    You can’t believe in Jesus and not be repentant of your sins.

    What’s the context to the question “what must I do to be saved?”

    Had the man heard the Gospel?

    The pattern for Evangelism, in the Bible, is always Law to the proud and Grace to the humble. That’s not to say that they didn’t need to go back and explain, they did in the next verse, its just saying as Jude puts it “And of some have compassion, making a difference And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted by the flesh”.
    The situation called for opening with the good news. Other situations call for opening with the bad news.
    If we are missing one thing in our evangelism, it’s that simple principle.
     
  12. Naomi

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Larry:
    [QB]You can’t believe in Jesus and not be repentant of your sins.

    QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Larry,
    Greetings [​IMG] I don't mean to be a pain, but scripture clearly states...even the demons believe, yet they tremble. They are obviously not repentant.
    I think most of America believes in God. The bible says to believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Does this mean most of America is saved? Yet, we know there is so much more to a disciple of Christ. We know that it is only by Faith we are saved. The book of James says, Faith without works is dead. So, we know that the first step is to believe. I think as we grow in our relationship and have fellowship with Him, our belief turns from a "child" point of view, to a "Mature in Christ" point of view. We will no longer need milk, we will be ready for meat. To me, a Mature Christian is one who keeps the Main thing the Main thing.
    Please pray for me to do this!! ;) He is still working on me! Praise God!!
    God Bless,
    Naomi
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    So we can't try to make the Gospel so simplistic that it is just reflected in one verse. It must combine all that Jesus said.

    Not just "call on the Lord"
    Not just "believe in His name"
    Not just "turn from your sin"

    To emphasize just one part is to do an injustice to the Bible. I'm always amazed in new convert class that we look at 10-12 different passages about baptism, to understand fully its significance and role in the Christian life.

    But many folks in that class were told they were saved after reading only 1 verse, about calling on the Lord. They prayed a little ditty and, hopefully, were genuinely saved. We work hard on making certain of THAT in the class.

    Strident "soul winners", focusing on a plan rather than on the person, often do us more harm than good.
     
  14. Naomi

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dr. Bob Griffin:


    Strident "soul winners", focusing on a plan rather than on the person, often do us more harm than good.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is a quote that sums it up beautiful!
    Thank you [​IMG]
    Naomi
    ( I am writing this down and posting in on my fridge....I need to be reminded of this daily )
     
  15. JonC

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    I think there are different levels of “beliefs”. I believe that it will rain today. I believe that when I step outside my front door the ground will support me. I believe in Jesus Christ. The last is my root, or basic belief that supports my life as a Christian. This is what I have been taught is accepting Christ into my heart. It may not rain, I wouldn’t be surprised. The ground could give in, I would be shocked. But it is impossible that Jesus would fail me.

    I have realized that your basic beliefs can not help but dictate the way you live your life. These beliefs go deeper than just believing with your mind.

    Accepting Christ into your heart is not simply believing with your mind, and that is why my church often uses this phrase. It is accepting the Word as your basic, root belief.

    I don’t believe it’s a quotation from scripture, but in the context used (in my church anyway), it is certainly scriptural.
     
  16. Scott_Bushey

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    Jon,
    You state, "it is certainly scriptural", in regards to asking Jesus into your heart. I welcome you to support this claim.
    One of my favorite quotes is from Martin Luther. It states:
    "If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God (that which solely is stated in Holy writ)except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be confessing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady(consistant)on all the battle front besides, is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches (uses terms and concepts that cannot be defended and supported by page and address in the scriptures)at that point."
    *My emphasis added.
    In other words............We must stand on that which we know has stood the test. We can always support and defend against the wiles of the enemy, those positions based upon that which God has left us in His bible. If scripture is silent about an issue, that alone should be a hint that we ourselves should resist assimilating an opinion and remain silent. This is an error of many present day churches. It has and will continue to do harm to the body of Christ.

    Have a great Lords day!
    Let us reform,
    Sola Scriptura,
    In HIS grip,
    Scott Bushey :cool:

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: Godluv777 ]
     
  17. Optional

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    Rev 3:20 [red] 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.[/red]

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: Optional ]

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: Optional ]
     
  18. Scott_Bushey

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    Optional,
    Thank you for your post...........Exegeted properly, this passage in Revelation is Christ speaking to the Church exhorting a level of repentance. This in no way is intended for unbelievers or a call to the unregenerate. For instance: v22 states, "what the spirit says to the churches.......". v17 says that God *chastens and rebukes those He loves*. See Heb ch 11:5-11 on the subject of Gods chastening.

    Have a great Lords day!
    In HIM,
    Scott Bushey
    Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in
    te...
    -- Augustine, Confessions 1:1
     
  19. Joy

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    I shy away from using cliches like "asking Jesus into your heart," because of what was already explained well by Dr. Bob. I especially avoided it with my own children. I simply taught them from infanthood what the Bible said about sin and sinners and death, and punishment, etc. When my daughter finally put it all together in her mind, she understood pretty clearly that she needed to believe it personally and then she repented of her sins.

    She herself was a little confused when well-intentioned folks asked her, "Did you ask Jesus into your heart?!" I knew they were excited for her, but at the same time, they confused her. She gave them a smart answer though, she said, "No, I asked Jesus to forgive my sins, and He did. Now I can go to Heaven!"

    Cliches may be ok for Christians to use to describe Bible doctrine, but I think when it comes to preaching the Word, we ought to do just that- use the Word.
     
  20. JonC

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    David asks God to examine him, and test his "kidneys" and his heart (mind and heart).

    Now, we can go on about kidneys being his inner self, but I'm sure that his peers understood that term. But would the average American today? I don't think they'd really understand "mind and heart".

    I agree with Joy that this phrase has become a Christian cliche. I think that this can confuse if used as "take-out quick-fix preaching".

    But it means, (again, my experiences, in my church), to accept the salvation that God has provided through His Son, Jesus Christ.

    If asking Jesus into my heart is unscriptural, then so is accepting God's salvation. It means the same.

    Now, should it be used to explain salvation? No,it doesn't explain anything. (Guess in sales it'd be a trial close :D ).

    I see salvation as a pardon. Jesus came to save the world, not just Christians. It's a blanket pardon. But a pardon must be accepted to be valid. Christians are former sinners who have accepted God's Gift of Salvation. (If you were on death row, and the President offered you a pardon, you don't have to take it.)

    It it a good phrase? I don't know. Obviously there are some here that don't understand what it means. And I guess it would be a real problem dealing with non-Christians too.

    But you run into the same problem with people using John 3:16 as a stand-alone plan of salvation. I don't think there are any words that can convince anyone to salvation. It's only through God.
     

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