Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Is It Still “OK” to Ask Jesus into Your Heart?

Is It Still “OK” to Ask Jesus into Your Heart?

I’m finishing up the manuscript for a new book I have coming out early next year called Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved. But because of the recent controversy stirred up by my friends David Platt and Steve Gaines, I thought I’d put my two cents in now. This is from a section at the beginning titled: A Couple of Things I’m NOT Saying.

I’m Not Saying, “Asking Jesus into Your Heart Is Heretical”

When I say, “Stop asking Jesus into your heart,” I do not mean to imply that “asking Jesus into your heart” is an entirely inappropriate way to express repentance and faith. When you get saved, Jesus “comes into your heart.” (Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27-28; Galatians 2:20) My concern is that quite often reducing salvation to this phrase obscures the primary instruments of salvation, repentance, and faith.

There are lots of things that happen at the moment of salvation: we are washed in Jesus’ blood, sealed by His Spirit, guaranteed a home in heaven, grafted into the vine, our names are written in the book of life, Satan’s claims against us are nullified, and Jesus comes into our hearts … just to name a few.

Don’t Miss

Asking Jesus to do any one of these for us is not inappropriate, but we run the risk of obscuring the fact that the only necessary instruments for laying hold of salvation are repentance and faith.

For example, if we were to go around telling people that if they want to be saved they should ask Jesus to “begin construction on their home in heaven,” that would not be wrong, per se (John 14:1-3), but it could be misleading.

People with no remorse for their sin might still be excited about Jesus providing them with an eternal vacation home. Focusing on what Jesus promised to do after we are saved might obscure the one thing He said we must do if we are to be saved: repent and believe the gospel.

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J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.