Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How many times have you been saved?

The contemporary church continues to preach the "sinners prayer" as being biblical. They will say that it is in the Bible that if you say "the prayer" then you will be saved. And yet, we see, day in and day out, that people who have said "the prayer" are still just as lost today as they were before they said the prayer. If you are a pastor or a person who believes in the sinners prayer, please do me a favor. Show me the biblical basis for your belief in the prayer as being a means of salvation. You won't be able to do it. You can say that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord we will be saved. Fine! But that says nothing about saying a sinners prayer to be saved. No where in the Bible will you find an example of Jesus or any of the disciples talking to someone and telling them they must say a prayer to be saved. NO WHERE! And yet, people will stand up and "DEFEND" their right to tell people they MUST say the sinners prayer. There is no walking them through the Ten Commandments (God's Law) to show them their sinfulness, no showing them that they are headed for hell unless they repent of their sins. It is all about having "numbers" within the church. How many people can "we" get saved tonight??

The Bible in all of its fullness has been left out of the picture. We do not want to offend anyone. Some people worry so much about whether a person will come back to church if we tell them what God's Word really says, that they do not want His Word preached fully. They say you must give it to them a little at a time.

So a sinner who is already DEAD in his sins cannot be made fully alive in Christ until he has been in church for at least a year. And yet, we see in the newspapers that children die every day. A teenager who is involved in drugs, alcohol, sex and who knows what else, must come to church in order to be saved, but only after an appropriate amount of time so he does not get scared away by God's Word.

I have to tell you, that is not only UNBIBLICAL it is dangerously close to being the terrible works of the Devil. How dare someone think that we must slowly present the gospel message to people regardless of their age or situation. A dying person is a dying person and if a person is on their death bed, I can just see some people saying "don't mention God's Law to them, they might get offended!" So the person dies in his sins and goes to hell all because we do not want to offend people.

God have mercy on OUR souls!

If you are a pastor and you feel it is inappropriate to present the whole gospel message to the congregation then I have a suggestion for you...


Do you still want people to come to Christ by reciting the sinners prayer?
When we use "man-made" techniques instead of biblical concepts then we have decided that "we" know what is best for converting souls. Or do you not know Scripture?

The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. Psalm 19:7

When I see youth leaders, and even pastors promoting the unbiblical approach of the sinners prayer it makes me want to cringe. Unless a person cries out to God on their own accord, just reciting a prayer said by the pastor will do nothing to change them. They will have no fear of God. Sin will not be seen as being exceedingly wicked in the eyes of a Holy God. They will not have a true understanding of just how HOLY God is. They will have no understanding of what righteousness is. They will not have a true understanding of WHY they need to repent of their sins. They will only want to "get" God because it is a way of them getting something in return for their faith. They want God's blessings poured upon them. That is not biblical.

In fact, that is one of the worst things you can do for a person. Promise them they will receive blessings if they put their faith and trust in God. Uh, did you forget to tell them also about Scripture that says they WILL endure persecution?? Trials? Tribulation?? No, it is never said to the person who says the sinners prayer. Why not? Because the pastors all feel that they will run away from God if we tell them that. And that is precisely what will happen. If you give them nothing but promises of blessings without telling them the rest, the first time they face persecution they will run because they were not given what you promised them. They will have to be saved again sometime in the future. If they have to be saved again, they were never really saved in the first place! The parables of Jesus teach us that!! The wheat and the tares, the good soil and the bad, the good fish and the bad. And there will be people crying out to Jesus on the Day of Judgment, Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your Name? and Jesus will turn to them and say, Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you! People MUST learn about God but they must learn the WHOLE message. Not only is He a God of love and grace, He is also a God of Wrath and will judge those who are still living in their sins.

How many times have YOU been saved? Are you truly saved?
Do you still find ways to say it is acceptable to live a godless lifestyle and still claim to be a Christian? if so, then there is a good chance you are not truly saved.
I worry when I see people claiming to be Christians and they feel it is perfectly okay to blaspheme His Holy Name, they feel it is okay to lie, cheat, steal, lust and be disrespectful to others. And it is those very same people who came to Jesus by way of the sinners prayer who will DEFEND their right to live a godless lifestyle because they are convinced they are saved and are Christians. They believe in Jesus and because of that they KNOW they are saved.

Even the Devil believes and trembles. I see no trembling on the part of todays contemporary Christians. They take lightly the fact that God is HOLY and requires us to be Holy just as He is Holy. The damage that has been done by todays contemporary pastors is amazing. By the power of God's Word, I pray that all who "say" they believe in Jesus will start "living" like they believe in His Word!

You know Scripture well enough don't you?
Or do you?

Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them.

Is that a Scripture that speaks of God will be with us if we are with one or two more people?

Or do you not know that God is with us always? With those who are righteous and follow after Him and His Word.

The above Scripture is actually speaking about church discipline. Does your pastor misquote that verse to make it mean what it does not mean?

People it is so important that you use some discernment when it comes to listening to others preaching the gospel. Use discernment on what I am writing to you. I encourage you to see if what I am saying is true. Don's just blindly follow a pastor because not all pastors are truly saved!

If your pastor brought you to Jesus via the sinners prayer. I pray that you will read what Scripture says about following after man and not following after Jesus. Don't think you are following after man?? You recited man's word when you said "the prayer" didn't you? Pray to God from your own heart. Fall down on your knees and humble yourself to the point of tears that you have offended God by your words and your actions and cry out to the Holy God to save you. You are headed for HELL and that is the plain and simple truth. Hell awaits all who are not obedient to God's Holy Word. Obedience comes with faith. If your faith is not producing obedience to His Word, then there is a leak in your faith. You need to have it checked out.

How many times have you been saved? It is a question worth checking into!


Question of Identity said...

"Dear Father, I have sinned and marred your image in me. I repent of all my sin and desire to seek your righteous ways. Thank you Lord that Jesus was prepared to die for me on the cross. Through all that Jesus achieved on the cross, I pray that you change me and bring me into new life, a life that follows you and not the world and the Devil. By the cross of Christ, I receive and thank you for your forgiveness. I declare that you are my Lord and Saviour! Amen"

Brian: I agree with you that saying a prayer like the above cannot bring salvation. I listen very carefully to what you say on this matter.

I do wonder if someone says the above prayer and really means it, then could this be a sign of salvation, possibly in a similar
(but not the same) way that Baptism is in outward sign of the change that has happened inside?

You are right to say that the use of this prayer has been abused. Do you feel that there is anything wrong with the prayer itself? Does it have any redeeming features? Is there an alternative prayer that might express to God a desire to repent and be forgiven and thank God for what He has done in Jesus?

As usual you are absolutely right about the need for the full gospel. Those on their death bed (that's everyone outside Christ!)as well as those saved, need to know about the Law as well as God's grace.

Looking forward to your reply.

God bless



pastorbrianculver said...

how you doing neil neil???
nice double name!

As for a prayer that I would use. I would go straight to the Bible.

Psalm 51 comes to mind!

The real problem I see with the sinners prayer is the "word" repent and how it is used. It all stems from the problem of pastors (and others) do not do a good job of telling people "why" they need to repent. So they just repeat the word repent without any knowledge of the why to repent. The prayer in and of itself is neither good nor bad. We just need to be careful to assign the "saved" tag to anyone who "says" the "prayer." Show me their faith through their actions and I might be convinced. It is ultimately only God who knows who is saved or not. My thing is this...
too many people have taken the name of Christ and thrown mud on it with their unrighteous behavior, with their total disrespect for the Word and still want to claim they are saved because they repeated a prayer that someone told them they had to say. Does this make sense?

Question of Identity said...

Yes Brian

What you say fully makes sense. If there is no evidence of fruit in ones life then, having said the prayer or not, one is not saved - simple as!

I love Psalm 51 - great answer to my question!

"Create in me a pure heart O God!"

What a prayer!


micey said...

My church invites people to the alter to pray a sinners prayer. I went to the alter and prayed a sinners prayer. I meant what I prayed. I understood my sin and repented. I don't think everybody who goes to the alter is sincere, but I thank God I had a tangible way to confess to the world that Jesus is Lord. I am also pretty reformed in my thinking that no matter what way a person prays to the Lord for forgiveness and salvation, He is the One who saves, not you, not me, not the preacher in the church. I thank God I found a Bible believing, Bible teaching church because before then, I wandered around this earth as lost as the rest of them. God saved me because He granted me repentance and salvation. That prayer was just me professing it. Is it necessary? I don't think so. Is it nice? I think it is very nice and I also think it is encouraging for the person praying it, it was for me. Is it Biblical? Maybe not the prayer itself, but the Bible does say to confess Jesus is Lord and that's what I did in front of the whole church. I'm very glad to hear your son is going to be okay! God bless you!

Jessie said...

I heard these quotes a few days ago that I just cannot get out of my head, and it kind of goes along with what you are saying. The first one is from Paul Washer, and the second one might also be from him, or it might have been on WOTM radio (which very well might still be Paul Washer, or John Piper, or Todd Friel). I can't remember, but I can't get them out of my head.

"Sunday morning worship is the biggest hour of idolatry in the world." People worship a God they DO NOT KNOW. They don't know His nature, they do not know His Word.

And this goes right along with it:

"If we truly understood the holy nature of God and the complete depravity of man, we would never say, 'Why do bad things happen to good people?', we would simply say, 'Why does anything good happen at all?'"

It all ties in with people NOT KNOWING GOD yet are being told that they do because they once said a prayer but their lifestyle never changed. Where in the Bible did you read Jesus say, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand, so come to me and ask me to come into your heart, and as long as you are sincere about it, I will come in." NO! That is absurd! He says, "REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Oh, the heresy being preached!

Anonymous said...

Its pretty simple. The Biblical basis for the sinners prayer or confessions is

Romans 10:9-11

Thats the model that most churhes I know use.

If you want to add further works to it..Thats unbiblical

pastorbrianculver said...

that 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

The problem with using the sinners prayer based on this scripture is this:

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness...

just having a person speak the "same" words as someone else, does not create in them a desire for righteousness. the word "believe" is more than an intellectual belief and for an unrepentant sinner, they do not understand the "need" for a Savior. We must not be lazy in presenting the gospel to people. We need to do a better job of preaching the Whole Gospel Message! I understand the use of Romans 10 for the sinners prayer, my problem comes in that no one in the bible actually used this model in bringing people to Christ. Jesus didn't do it, Paul didn't do it, none of them did it. I would rather remain on the biblical side than on the side of man.