Can we as Christians do something with the right intentions but in the wrong way? Of course we can, and it probably happens far more often than we realize. This may be the case with the often-repeated question, “are you ready to receive Jesus into your heart?” David Platt, President of the International Mission Board, asserts that using this phrase can actually be harmful to healthy evangelism. In the following video Platt explains why.
Platt reminds us that making disciples is the supernatural overflow of being a disciple, but many people in our churches are simply missing the life of Christ. This has a lot to do with what we have sold as the gospel. It should concern us, Platt argues, that superstitious phrases like “pray this prayer to accept Jesus into your heart” or “invite Jesus into your life” are found nowhere in the New Testament.
The popularity of these phrases is an indication that our modern evangelism is built on sinking sand. It is a dangerous thing to lead people to think they are Christians when they have not biblically responded to the gospel. Practically, this can lead us into thinking that discipleship is primarily going around and getting people to pray a prayer.
The antidote to this easy believism is to display the greatness of God in being a Father who can save us but also a wrathful judge who can damn us.