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16 January, 2009 / theexpositor

Ask Jesus into my heart?

This comes from Todd Friel, before Wretched and before Way of the Master Radio. I present it as I had a conversation recently with a dear friend on this very subject. The conversation almost became argumentative, and for that I am sorry. I post this in hopes they read it and it can convey some things that perhaps I failed to do.

The music weeps, the preacher pleads, “Give your heart to Jesus. You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it.” Dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who want to get their spiritual life on track make their way to the altar. They ask Jesus into their heart.

Cut to three months later. Nobody has seen our new convert in church. The follow up committee calls him and encourages him to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. We label him a backslider and get ready for the next outreach event.

Our beloved child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and the answer reveals itself. She backslides. We spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.

Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding. the Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow and does not look back because he is fit for service. In other words, a true convert cannot backslide. If a person backslides, he never slid forward in the first place. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (II Cor.5) No backsliding there.

Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed.

If you have ever told someone to ask Jesus into their heart (like I have), you produced a false convert. Here is why.

1. It is not in the Bible. There is not a single verse that even hints we should say a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts. Some use Rev. 3:20. To tell us that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts begging to come in.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” There are two reasons that interpretation is wrong.

The context tells us that the door Jesus is knocking on is the door of the church, not the human heart. Jesus is not knocking to enter someone’s heart but to have fellowship with His church.
Even if the context didn’t tell us this, we would be forcing a meaning into the text (eisegesis). How do we know it is our heart he is knocking at? Why not our car door? How do we know he isn’t knocking on our foot? To suggest that he is knocking on the door of our heart is superimposing a meaning on the text that simply does not exist.

The Bible does not instruct us to ask Jesus into our heart. This alone should resolve the issue, nevertheless, here are nine more reasons.

2. Asking Jesus into your heart is a saying that makes no sense. What does it mean to ask Jesus into your heart? If I say the right incantation will He somehow enter my heart? Is it literal? Does He reside in the upper or lower ventricle? Is this a metaphysical experience? Is it figurative? If it is, what exactly does it mean? While I am certain that most adults cannot articulate its meaning, I am certain that no child can explain it. Pastor Dennis Rokser reminds
us that little children think literally and can easily be confused (or frightened) at the prospect of asking Jesus into their heart.

3. In order to be saved, a man must repent (Acts 2:38). Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of repentance.

4. In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).
Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith.

5. The person who wrongly believes they are saved will have a false sense of security. Millions of people who sincerely, but wrongly, asked Jesus into their hearts think they are saved but struggle to feel secure. They live in doubt and fear because they do not have the Holy Spirit giving them assurance of salvation.

6. The person who asks Jesus into his heart will likely end up inoculated, bitter and backslidden. Because he did not get saved by reciting a formulaic prayer, he will grow disillusioned with Jesus, the Bible, church and fellow believers. His latter end will be worse than the first.

7. It presents God as a beggar just hoping you will let Him into your busy life. This presentation of God robs Him of His sovereignty.

8. The cause of Christ is ridiculed. Visit an atheist web-site and read the pagans who scoff, “How dare those Christians tell us how to live when they get divorced more than we do? Who are they to say homosexuals shouldn’t adopt kids when tens of thousands of orphans don’t get adopted by Christians?” Born again believers adopt kids and don’t get divorced.

People who ask Jesus into their hearts do. Jesus gets mocked when false converts give Him a bad name.

9. The cause of evangelism is hindered. While it is certainly easier to get church members by telling them to ask Jesus into their hearts, try pleading with someone to make today the day of their salvation. Get ready for a painful response. “Why should I become a Christian when I have seen so called Christians act worse than a pagan?” People who ask Jesus into their hearts give pagans an excuse for not repenting.

10. Here is the scary one. People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. How tragic that millions of people think they are right with God when they are not. How many people who will cry out, “Lord, Lord” on judgment day will be “Christians” who asked Jesus into their hearts?

So, what must one do to be saved? Repent and trust. (Heb.6:1) The Bible makes it clear that all men must repent and place their trust in Jesus Christ. Every man does have a “God shaped hole in their hearts,” but that hole is not contentment, fulfillment and peace. Every man’s heart problem is righteousness. Instead of preaching that Jesus fulfills, we must preach that God judges and Jesus satisfies God’s judgment…if a man will repent and place his trust in Him.

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16 Comments

  1. Joshua Adam Shaw / Feb 20 2009 19 50

    The Term “Heart” refures to the human spirit.

    We are “Soul”, spirit, Body” intities.

    “Asking Jesus into our heart” is as follows:

    Mark 11:23

    “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his — > heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

    Luke 8:12

    Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their —> hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

    Luke 24:25
    He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of —> heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

    Romans 10:9
    That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your —> heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Romans 10:10
    For it is with your —> heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth (soul) that you confess and are saved.

    1 John 5:10
    Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his —> heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

    Luke 8:15
    But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good —> heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

    James 1:21
    [ Doers—Not Hearers Only ] Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word (in your heart), which is able to save your souls.

    – Joshua Adam Shaw

  2. Kristen / Jul 27 2009 15 57

    Not all those who are water baptised are saved.

    Not all those who ask Jesus into their hearts are saved.

    Only those who follow Jesus until the end are saved.

    I have asked Jesus into my heart and was given the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is because Jesus knew that my prayer and repentence was genuine. He knows our hearts.

    Those who repent and are baptised with the Holy Spirit are the ones who are saved.

    Please do not lump all Christians who are only doing what is right in their own eyes together as not saved.

    ALL humans, saved or not saved, are all going to be sinners still. They are all going to be able to “backslide.”

  3. Dave / Oct 2 2009 5 39

    In thinking about what heart means and in consideration of Mr. Shaw’s response (which is great), I think the following.

    The heart is mentioned many times in the Word and I think has application to our lives. The saying of asking God into your heart comes from a way of expressing the whole of what God demands from us. He demands that we believe, that we repent and that we live for Him. I would say that in order to do this it would have to be your ‘heart’s’ desire, or some language like that. Thus if Jesus/God/Holy Spirit is in your heart then you are placing your heart’s desires into the control of God.

    I don’t think it was ever meant as a literal thing – ask God into your heart muscle. For example, it is often said of an athlete or someone who survives a huge physical challenge that they “had a lot of heart”. Does that mean that they had a large heart muscle? I think it means something like ‘at the heart of the matter’, the central or main point of a thing. In the case of us and our relationship to God I think it means just that. Our relationship to God is the heart of the matter in our life. By asking Jesus into our ‘heart’ we are doing more than that (those that have a true understanding and are not just saying some little prayer), we are giving our heart over to God. To say it another way, the heart of our purpose in living becomes living for and in God by Him being in Us.

  4. don taylor / May 16 2010 22 36

    First Cor. 15 :1-4 Paul our apostle says we are saved by keeping in our minds and hearts or THE GOSPEL not A gospel of Jesus Christ Death and Burial and Resurrection and that is SALVATION ! If you believe Jesus will come back for you then you must read how we will go with him first thess. 4:14 believe Jesus died and rose again .Does that sound like salvation plus baptism,tithing ,or doing any thing to reach salvation? please study with out an agenda ,or purpose except for Gods purpose not the Denominations purpose.

    • theexpositor / May 18 2010 15 41

      Huh? Can you clarify your position please Don?

  5. Todd Parish / Jul 24 2010 15 55

    Guys thank you for the great discussion. I believe both of the main posters here are correct. We must consider the heart of the person who “asks” Jesus into his/her heart. God looks at the heart and discerns if the person is just saying a prayer, or appealing to God for mercy, renewal, and life because of the atoning work of Jesus Christ. God doesn’t get tripped up by human terms for the act of submission and judge whether we said ‘the prayer’ perfectly right. God sees in a much deeper language than the human tongue allows. God looks at what the person ‘heart’ is saying. Acknowledge, Believe, Confess.

    I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 5. It was all I could do in response to the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart. At the time the best analogy for me was Jesus knocking at the door of my heart and asking to come in. The awareness was that I was a sinner, I wanted spiritual life, and it could only be found in by and through Jesus Christ. I entered a walking relationship with him that day. He now guides me in the path of life and I wear the righteousness of Christ. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. and we get to grow and experience Christ daily.

    When a prayerful person asks Christ into his/her life, he/she is acknowledging, believing and confessing. I believe you both are correct. This person, through seeking, prayer, and faith enters into a life giving relationship with Jesus where the Spirit of God is returned to the once spiritually dead man. Where the Spirit is, there is life. It was the Spirit of God that first gave us spiritual life and it is the returning of this Spirit that brings it back anew. That is why we are a new creation in Christ. Read Gen 2:7. The Spirit was there in the first creation, and is a must be returned for the 2nd. Many Christians call this asking Christ into their heart. This is their terminology for the exchange. Again, God is not limited by our simple verbiage. He knows the heart.

    Titus 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    We are saved only by grace, through faith. This produces life. It is not found in a manmade formula. It is the returning of the Holy Spirit to man.

    I will not judge who is or who isn’t saved based on the way they acknowledge Christ or the prayer used to confess sin. I will preach Christ and Christ only…. over and over again and encourage my brothers to acknowledge , believe, and confess. This is the Gospel which brings life.

  6. Kent / Sep 1 2010 20 06

    Is there even one example of anyone in the Bible asking Jesus to come into their hearts? If there is, can someone tell me the passage or passages when someone did this.

    Because the part about Jesus standing at the door and knocking is directed to the lukewarm church at Laodicea who Jesus is chastening and Jesus doesn’t chasten anyone unless they are his children (believers) already as non believers are not his children yet.

    From Revelation 3:15-20

    “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
    “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

    That Jesus only chastens his children is shown by these passages from Hebrews.

    Hebrews 12:3:

    “ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
    Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
    For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
    And scourges every son whom He receives.”

    If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

  7. Kent / Sep 2 2010 16 54

    To show that people have to be believers in Christ to be considered children of
    God is shown in the following passages:

    John 1:12-13

    But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    So unless we receive Jesus and believe in him we don’t have the right to be called children of God so no the section in Revelation 3 is not directed at unbelievers for them to come to faith, it is directed at believers who are not taking a stand for Christ to repent.

    Again, can anyone show me one example of anyone in the Bible asking Jesus to come into their hearts?

    I think what bothers me the most about people insisting that you have to ask Jesus to come into our hearts is the fact that if you tell them no they act like you are rejecting the faith when in fact it seems that what they are asking you to do doesn’t have a biblical basis.

  8. Sandy / Sep 13 2010 20 38

    I cringe when I hear pastors/evangelists tell folks to “ask Jesus into their heart.” There may be people who are truly saved after doing so, but only if they acknowledged/understood that Christ died, buried, and rose for their sins and that it is through faith in His sacrifice that they receive the gift of eternal life.

    I went forward at a Billy Graham Crusade as a teenager and asked Jesus into my heart, but was not saved. It made me feel good and holy for a little while, but I had no peace with God. So when I witness, I use words like trust, believe, put your faith in, and I always include the complete gospel from I Cor. 15.

    Wow, have people been coming getting saved in the past few months! We live in exciting times!

  9. Bible Study / Oct 15 2010 19 42

    Gotta love the bible! And we must be careful how we hear and what we believe. We must judge everything by the word to know what truth really is.

  10. Mike / Oct 30 2010 22 39

    Mr. Shaw nailed it – nice job Sir. I would add Proverbs 4:23 ( Above ALL else guard your HEART, for it is the wellspring of life) and Proverbs 23:7 (As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he).

    I, like many, asked Jesus into my heart as a young child, but even then I knew it was figurative, not literal. Why? Because the person leading me to Christ gave me the whole salvation message … repetence of my sins, belief that Christ’s shed blood fully atoned for my sins, acceptance of God as Lord of my life, and trust in God that he will allow nothing to pluck me from his hand.

    Did I really understand the depth of all the scripture that Mr. Shaw so eloquently shared when I asked Jesus into my heart? No way. But that’s why Christ said we need to come with a child-like faith (Mark 10:15), uncluttered by all the complications of adulthood. But that’s not the end of the story. We have to worked out our salvation (Phil 2:12) – Paul’s not talking about earning our way to heaven through works, the context is that we need to continue to grow and develop spiritually.

    btw – there is no corrolation between asking Jesus into ones heart and backsliding. Asking Jesus into ones heart is simply an expression, maybe a proposal. It’s like a guy asking a gal if she’ll marry him. The proposal is not the full extent of the relationship, it’s just a way to sum it up into one little question – will you marry me. Likewise, after making someone aware of the full salvation message, asking if they want to “ask Jesus in their heart” is just akin to asking if they want to seal the deal.

    Backsliding is the result of sin that’s not dealt with. We all sin and we all have times when we let sin get a foothold. This is true whether you’re an athiest or one who walks closely with God, like Peter.

  11. Roy / Feb 3 2011 3 48

    God sets eternity in our hearts, says Solomon.
    The Kingdom of God is within you, says Jesus
    Your body is the Temple of God, says Paul

    Our heart is our innermost being, where our spirit is. Our spirit is eternal and in eternity.

    The innermost chamber in Solomons temple is called the Holy of Holies.
    Our body is a temple, so our heart is the Holy of Holies.

    The New Covenant, or New Testament, refers to God giving us a new heart. That is what being born again means.

    If we want to commune with God and dine with Jesus we must boldly enter our hearts says Paul in Hebrews 10.

    If we want to know God, really ginosko know Him, we must do it with our heart. The heart is everything. Seek first the Kingdom means get in your heart and seek Life Himself.

    Always pray. Pray to be one with the Father if that is what you really want.

  12. nathan / Apr 17 2011 12 04

    Matthew 5:28
    But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    Get Rid of the adultery sin in your heart and replace it with JESUS !!

    But each of you had better tremble and turn from your sins.
    Silently search your heart as you lie in bed.”
    Psalm 4:4

    “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
    but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
    1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV)

    We want God to find Christ in our heart.

    Psalm 119:11
    I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
    Remember, (John 1:1-18)
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
    According to John 1:1 Jesus is the WORD and we have the WORD in our heart so we do NOT sin against God.

  13. moadeabe / May 21 2011 12 40

    I understand where you are going in this but i didn’t notice that that the importance of the law in bringing the sinner to repentance to receive grace.

    Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    The 10 commandments must be used so as the sinner knows exactly what it is he has done so as to be prepared for grace.

    More to the point that’s why many don’t contend for the faith and may don’t go back to church.

    Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    Then now when we sin its the law being able to show us what and how every time we fail as a now believer we see how we fall short and know how to pray for God to make us stronger next time it happens again not to fall .

    So if the law was used and you found honestly you where broken over what you have done then the soul is ready for grace.

    Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

    Now God Christ is able to ……..

    Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

    You are …. born into sin from birth.

  14. moadeabe / May 21 2011 13 35

    sorry internet went down ………….

    So you are saved God / Christ just asks you to have faith i him that he done what he said he did and prayer reading study and church to all aid in your growth in your faith so you may go forth and spread the gospel.

    can one be never saved in the first place yes sure you can parable of the sower shows this but if you where presented the law and you where broken at that point and you are still convicted to sin every day and strive to walk right with him the you are saved or your conscience.

    Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    con means with science with knowledge so when sin is committed it is done so with knowledge that its wrong .

    Difference is when the believer does so he is all ready forgiven of it when Christ hung on that cross where you not and you sin not yet still future at that point ?

    But in the lords prayer as its commonly called Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

    Its not that he wont forgive you if you don’t forgive even if you don’t he still for give its the principle of the thing that if you have been forgiven that you do so to others . Though for not obeying to for give you will fall under Gods judgement for not doing so.

    Your best tries wont be even any Good its only through Christ can anything done through you be good at all.

    But when in doubt of the faith or even if you are biblically saved Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, if you are even trying i faith to have these and others will see you produce fruit its impossible not to when the spirit dwells in you then you know you are saved.

    or 1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
    1Jn 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
    1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
    1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
    1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
    1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    either way you look at it you will never in your own walk if a true believer ever be able to even think that you ever done anything right it could always have been done better.

    for your rejoicing is nothing in this world but because .1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
    1Jn 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
    1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
    1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
    1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
    1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
    1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    about all i can say really God tells you you are saved no one else no matter who can tell you God alone sees your heart and he alone has the power to saved on that day.

    I doubt myself at times but scripture prayer and reading confirm it its my own not able to forgive myself which cause the doubt for he is able to present me faultless and he alone is the power to save.

    Hope this helps abit though i find it hard to convey what i know for if it was just a mere feeling the heart will always let you down its the fear of God in me that confirms it to me.

    Prayer study growth in faith church witnessing all bring forth strength in Christ and he alone is in whom i trust for your best friend is the one which tells you the most truth . . .

    I wonder who that is ? I wonder is my best friend yours also or is your best friend the one whom can let you down only one is perfect and He alone is all you need faith alone though works show fruit but cannot ever add to a perfect work in anyway completed in Christ.

    Anything you do do in in prayer and only because you do it out of love for the one who has set you free.

    We all fail everyday but just pray read and seek God and He will present it again to you and see if the next time you deal with it better note not perfect for nothing you can do will be but trying to do a holy work in a body tainted by sin will have its failings but when that day comes you will go free for you went for it and strive to not put your hand back to the plough.

    learn to have a humble heart God will exult you in his time just be patient could be days weeks years from now or even the day before you meet him just make your calling election sure.

    He will do exactly as he says on that day just keep the faith and spend more time in Gods word and less time listening to what man says for his voice you will hear if you come before him humble.

    If you don’t believe me in experience of this God will humble you that you can be sure off and it will make you stronger. Just don’t give up just keep going to the end for his promise to you is the only thing you have got Jesus is either for us all or for know one he is the only hope we have there is no other to trust in.

    works of your own hand ? or paid in full . . . that’s

    the only 2 choices you have in this world and in what i have seen in my own life if i had anything to do with it a second later it would be gone again but thank God its nothing we can be boastful of in anyway for we could never cope with the wrath of God on us only a person of such perfection can and did do it.

    Even so Lord please please come for I long to be with my King Lord and Saviour but while I am here no time to just waste do his bidding use the law so to bring people soundly saved and so Glorify God by working with Him rather than against him for he is alone the power to save.

    In fact I could never do it justice to even in my own words describe what Christ has done for me.

  15. Jenny / Aug 25 2011 19 21

    MY HUMBLE OPINION…I agree. The person who wants to receive Christ, commit their life to Him, must UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL and be willing to COMMIT THEIR LIFE TO CHRIST..to love Him fully.
    We cannot invite people into the kingdom by scaring them with Hell. Yes, that is the eternal consequence, but the ONLY way to live for Christ, radically, the way we must live, is to LOVE Him as our Lord. To have a Lifelong Loving Relationship. We obey because we want to..not because we are:
    1. Afraid of punishment and consequences He may allow or subject us to
    2. Crave to be blessed by God, exceedingly, abundantly, more than we deserve ..ie. ask, hope or think.
    We obey because we love Him, even if we get nothing in return, even if our lives become worse and He takes everything away and calls us to be unfairly sentenced to jail, or killed! We obey in love, we do things in love and we give our donations in love, study in love, pray in love, witness in love, worship in love. We grow because we love Him. … Praise God…He first loved us!
    And, because we love Him, He helps us to grow..but may not help us to be blessed with a better life…however, we will be blessed because we are used and have greater joy in being used…that’s the blessing, JOY!
    Christians think they get joy by God increasing their wealth and peace and safety. There is more joy by being used that all the stuff that money can buy. If you are looking to be blessed by God, then give up everything for Him and watch how He used you. JOY is the blessing not position, power or wealth…although He can do that too!… Praise God…He first loved us!
    It comes down to RELY and DENY
    Rely on God for everything and deny ourselves everything that He requires in order to follow our individual call. Some have to deny themselves less than others, God requires less of them, some have to deny all as Paul did. That is the individuals job, to know what the will of God is for their life….not for others. Many never ask Him. Some are too scared to give up and trust Him. If you simply try He will take you where you are and take you where you need to go. He will sometimes demand more than you have in order to encourage you to use His strength through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a wonderful adventure, painful at times but worth every minute of walking with God radically.

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