Key Scriptures – Matt 7:21-23, Matt 4:19, Luke 14:26-33
“All heads bowed, all eyes closed, if you are here and you will like to ask Jesus into your heart, repeat after me”. If you have ever been in Church or had the privilege of gathering in a place where salvation important, you are probably used to this sequence. This is the sequence of what we call the sinners prayer, a step taken after the person has chosen to make a commitment to following Christ. This is what salvation seems all about to many of us, ticking off the necessary prayer mindlessly. This is however a watered down version of what salvation is about, this model only allows us to get more people in, it doesn’t truly cause them to be saved.
Salvation is deeper than saying a few words mindlessly. Salvation is not coming back to Sunday to say it again and again. True salvation requires believing with the heart, confessing with the mouth, and bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance.
Just ask Jesus into your heart, simply invite Christ into your life, Repeat this prayer after me – not anywhere in the bible, and not true. The call to follow is deeper! Nowhere in scriptures is the Sinners prayer template provided. It was our invention to attract the crowds, what a poor invention. It’s a poor invention because what it creates is a crowd of people who claim the Christian faith, but the world does not recognize as disciples. It’s the method that birthed the unbiblical Christian. This salvation prayer creates many people in the category of those that Jesus told –“I never knew you” in Matt 7:21-23. Saying Lord, Lord does not cut the muster.
It’s more than acknowledging certain facts and saying certain words, it requires commitment. It’s a summon to lose your life, family, friends and future and only live after all that is lost. The call to salvation is a surrender of our lives on our terms, to Christ’s life on Christ’s terms. This is not the product of mere mental assent, no, believing here is more than skin deep, it’s a call to count the costs and only follow after it’s clear what the cost of following Jesus is.
It would be foolhardy to think we are following Jesus, when our lives do not reflect his fruit.
Jesus’ charge is quite clear, “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”, to think we are following Christ and have no evidence of men or women we have fished for, or for our character to remain unchanged is to believe we are saved, when we are not.
Salvation requires a commitment to follow Jesus against all odds at the cost of our very lives, and to obey his commandment to disciple nations. Salvation is by grace, obedience is easy because Christ in us does the work. The devil’s greatest ploy is watering down the message and giving people a sense of comfort about their salvation when they are not saved. It’s called deception.
The disciples of Jesus died for what they believed. Thank God for a time, when being a discipleship of Jesus is not so life threatening, at least in the side of the world we live in, but nevertheless, am I willing to die for what I believe? Is my faith in Jesus more than skin deep?
Many ardent followers of Jesus in many countries where being a disciple of Jesus is illegal, still die daily for their faith? Do we feel a sense of brotherhood with them? Do we handle our salvation like they are participating in suffering on behalf of the body we belong to?
Do I believe the Bible stance about the eternal consequence of a life that is not surrendered to Jesus? Am I unloving or why am I not passionate to share the truth with others and plug them into Christ’s friendship?
We need to ask ourselves real questions. How has my life changed since I met Jesus? How has my Character changed? Who is following me or who am I leading to Jesus? Do I have a dislike for sin?
What Would Jesus Do?
Jesus saw our salvation as important enough for him to humble himself to become human and humble himself to take on the penalty of sin on our behalf. Jesus Christ didn’t seat at a distance analyzing the plight of man, he stepped in, reached out to us and paid the price for our salvation. Jesus did all these for me and you, and all he asks, is that we submit our lives to him and continue in his grace to do the same for others, it’s not asking too much.