Dear friend, I would like for you to consider something today, and truly take time to investigate what the Bible says about this. Don’t accept somebody’s word about this (including mine). It is too important!
Let me ask you a question. “What does a person need to do to be saved?” There is no question more important than that question! There is no need of man today more important than salvation from sins! Therefore, this is not a matter that can be taken lightly or a matter about which we can afford to be wrong. Eternity is in the balance, and we must know precisely what God has said about securing His salvation.
Probably the most common answer to that question today involves a statement like, “Accept Jesus into your heart” or “Ask Jesus to come into your heart.” That is such a wonderful and exciting thought. Except, if you study what the Bible says, you’re going to run into a problem—there is not a single verse in the Bible that teaches a person to do this in order to be saved. Not a single verse. Since that is so commonly believed and taught today, wouldn’t you expect there to be at least one verse, if not several?
A careful Bible study will note that there are a few verses that teach about Jesus dwelling in hearts, but all of those verses (without one exception) are addressed to persons who are already Christians (ex: Rev. 3:20; Eph. 3:17; 2 Cor. 13:5; Col. 1:27). No statement is ever made to an alien sinner about inviting or accepting Jesus into his heart.
The closest passage, and one often used to promote this doctrine, is Romans 10:9-10. Note carefully in that passage that it never states to “accept” or “ask” or “invite” Jesus into your heart. Rather the condition is stated this way, “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Belief is a response of the heart (along with confession) that leads “unto” salvation (v. 10). Salvation in Christ is not yet attained with faith, but one is then on the right track and has “the right to become” a child of God (cf. John 1:12).
Salvation is a Bible topic; therefore, we must allow the Bible to explain how to attain it. Some answers might sound good, but we should be careful not to believe everything (or everyone) that we hear (1 John 4:1), but rather “test” them against the Scriptures. In Acts 2, the multitude heard the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness for the first time. Many were “cut to the heart” (v. 37), but they did not yet have a relationship with Jesus. They were told to repent and be baptized, in order that their sins might be forgiven. Then, and only then, would Christ dwell in their hearts. BY DAVID SPROULE
“GOD LOVES YOU AND I LOVE YOU AND THAT’S THE WAY IT’S GONNA BE!” – MIKE