Re: What Must I Do to be Saved?
I've gone through the thread looking for an appropriate place to add a thought....and this one raised a second related point so I gotta jump in here.
Originally posted by CP
1. "Ask Jesus into your heart" is a bit of an extrapolation of scripture, but for a child (at least) I would say it conveys something briefly and clearly enough so that they know what you mean without having to interpret a complex theological statement. It basically tells them that they need Jesus personally to help them with everything - and actually change them from the inside. While not complete, if one has faith as a child, I surmise that that's all they need. BUT....having said THAT...the reality is, I think, a little different. There are two scriptures I can think of that hint at Jesus being in one's heart, but never actually say it. In fact, one speaks of the Holy Spirit being IN us, not Jesus :
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
However, a breath or two later, He says this :
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
And then another breath or two later :
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
And what did John say about Jesus in his prologue :
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
So even John, here, utters the simple gospel about believing on Jesus. He even equates it to "receiving Him". While it doesn't say "accept Jesus into your heart" exactly, the concept seems, to me, to be similar.
2. Which leads me to the original thought I had about believing on Christ. That word "believe" has to be applied in the full sense. We can distill the gospel down to an (over?)simplified "Believe in Jesus" and "Ask Him into your heart" but we need to be certain that the full implications of "believe" are understood. Otherwise, it isn't the gospel we are delivering. I can claim to believe that Jesus existed and even that He was a prophet (as Muslims do) and EVEN that He was the Son of God. But what good is that without true faith? If I'm falling through the air with the ground coming up on me very quickly and I have a backpack and an umbrella in my hand and I only have the dexterity and time to either open and hold the umbrella or pull the cord on the pack, what do I do? If I say I believe that the parachute will work but instead cling to the umbrella, what good is my "faith"? What does that say about my belief? I can certainly claim to believe it, but my trust has been placed, instead, in an umbrella that I can see more immediately. So unless I realize my only hope is in the parachute, that belief is rather shallow (if it exists at all). So when we hear the injunction to "believe", it must be clear what is meant.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
EDIT : Having said all that, I don't like using the term "Ask Jesus into your heart" since I think it doesn't do the gospel justice. It may have some truth to it, but I see it as incomplete.
Last edited by nikolai_42; January 6th 2010 at 12:47 PM.
Reason: Added statement
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale