“If there were a Guinness Book of World Records record for amount of times having asked Jesus into your
heart, I’m pretty sure I would hold it. By the time I reached the age of eighteen I had probably asked Jesus in my heart five thousand times.”
This is an excerpt from Pastor J.D. Greear’s new book, “Stop asking Jesus into your heart.” J.D. addresses one of the most difficult questions in the average believer’s mind: DOUBT! The average believer struggles with assurance of their Salvation. “Am I really saved” is a question that the average pastor has to deal with his people about consistently. “For years J.D. Greear thought He was alone in his struggle to find assurance of Salvation. But after countless conversations with Christians of all ages, he has concluded that a lack of assurance is epidemic.” In this book, J.D. practically addresses this question from God’s Word with two different angles. First, his goal is to help believers find their assurance in the promises of God and know that they are saved. Second, J.D. wants to speak to the unsaved to show them their need for Jesus so that they may turn to Him.
When I first received the book, I was very eager to read it. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical because of the “shock value” of the title. I was wondering what this meant considering I work in a church, and have heard the phrase, “ask Jesus into your heart.” I was wondering if he was going to suggest throwing that out the window. J.D. quickly addresses that his goal is not to throw that phrase out the window, but rather to challenge people to stand in the assurance that Salvation brings. We have taken the sinner’s prayer and the phrase, “ask Jesus into your heart” and used it as a ritual to get people into Heaven, but the Bible never specifically says this is to receive Salvation. The Bible says that faith, belief, and repentance are the necessities to receive Salvation through Jesus. When someone has these three ingredients in their hearts toward Jesus, they are saved as the Bible calls it forever. You see, eternal security is written throughout Scripture. I believe (as well as J.D.) that “once saved, always saved.” You cannot lose your Salvation, but J.D. suggests that if you are saved, you will maintain the posture of repentance and faith throughout your life. Now, this does not mean that you will be sinless after you get saved, but it means that you will maintain the posture of repentance and faith when you fall like you did when you received Jesus. J.D. suggests in his book that a truly saved person will get back up and follow Jesus when he falls. Someone who never received Jesus to begin with is someone who will easily and quickly jump back into their old lives to stay that way.
The devil wants Christians to live in doubt, because in doubt, it is impossible to be sold out for Jesus. So, if we are going to be as effective in this world as Jesus wants us to be, we must look at what the Scripture says determines Salvation. We also must claim His promises rather than our feelings. Our feelings are deceptive, but God’s Word is true regardless of how you feel today. If you have come to Jesus in faith, believing on Him, and repenting to Him you are saved. Now, you might not always feel saved, but the Bible gives you a promise that you are saved. It is time that Christians allow the promises of God to control them rather than the feelings of man.
Great job J.D. on the book. It is the best resource to have on assurance of Salvation so make sure that you pick up a copy. I look forward to teaching through some of the principles of this book with our student ministry addressing the difficult questions that students have, “how to know for sure that you are saved.”