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Platt Speaks Out About Controversial "Sinner's Prayer" Clip

I believe without hesitation or equivocation that God loves all people in the world (John 3:16) and He desires all people’s salvation (2 Peter 3:9). As followers of Jesus saved by His matchless grace (Ephesians 2:1-10), we are compelled to go with urgency to all people to tell them compassionately of God’s love for them (2 Corinthians 4:5) and to call them clearly to repent and believe in Christ (Matthew 4:17; Acts 2:38). As we do this, I believe we simply need to be as biblical as possible (2 Timothy 2:15). Do I believe it is “wrong” for someone to pray a “prayer of salvation”? Certainly not. Calling out to God in prayer with repentant faith is fundamental to being saved (Romans 10:9-10). Yet as I pastor a local church and serve alongside pastors of other local churches, I sense reasonably serious concern about the relatively large number of baptisms in our churches that are “re-baptisms”—often representing people who thought they were saved because they prayed a certain prayer, but they lacked a biblical understanding of salvation and were in reality not saved. This, in addition to a rampant easy believism that marks cultural Christianity in our context (and in other parts of the world), leads me to urge us, as we go to all people among all nations with the good news of God’s love, to be both evangelistically zealous and biblically clear at the same time (Matthew 28:18-20).

In the end, I believe Southern Baptists—and evangelical Christians, for that matter—embrace this together, stand on this together, and preach this together. That’s part of why I preached the sermon below on Monday at the Pastor’s Conference. My hope in preaching this sermon and even in sharing it now is that it will serve to clarify an issue that is extremely important not just for Southern Baptists, but also for followers of Christ from different denominations, in various streams, and with varying perspectives. May God be glorified across the globe through the faithful preaching of His gospel.

Click here to get the PDF of the full manuscript of Pastor David’s sermon at the SBC Pastor’s Conference on June 18, 2012. The sermon is titled, “Spiritual Deception, Biblical Conversion, and Global Mission.”

Used with permission from Radical ©David Platt