Spirit

Does God Really Care?

The other day I was having a conversation with someone about a comic strip. We were discussing the possibility of God impressing on someones heart to extend the invitation because God was working on someones heart in the audience and that person needed just a little bit longer to make a decision.

They asked me if I believed that God would do that. I think my answer was somewhat unexpected. I said that I do not think that God really cares about traditional-type invitations or extending them to allow people to make a “decision”. I readily admit that I could be wrong, but here are some reasons why I think I am right. By the way, I am not saying that we should not invite people to follow Jesus – I am merely questioning the end of sermon, spend 5 minutes begging people to come to the stage (and that was the point of the strip).

First, Jesus did not give people extra time to make decisions.

Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” – Matthew 8:21-22

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go {and} sell your possessions and give to {the} poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. – Matthew 19:20-22

Second, it does not take a walk down an aisle and a prayer at a stage to accept the free gift of God.

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus {as} Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved – Romans 10:9

He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. – Mark 16:16

Third, there is no encouragement in the New Testament to “pray a prayer”, “walk and aisle”, or “make a decision”. However, there is an emphasis for all believer to make disciples, teach, and share the gospel.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit – Matthew 28:19

The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. – Acts 6:7

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds – Hebrews 10:24

What do you think?

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3 Comments

  1. Very good post. I totally agree that our current method of conversion at chruch seems to be unbiblical (though not necessarily wrong or sinful) and unwise.

    I would add too that sometimes it feels like we go out of our way to make conversion an easy process. We talk about all the benefits without the costs and true commitment that it requires. I wonder at what point do we become so seeker friendly and water down the difficult commands that we cease to be presenting the Gospel of the Bible.

  2. Nomodiphas,

    That is one point that is very important. Some things are “unbiblical” but not necessarily wrong. I have very little tact, I know this, but sometimes people get upset at me when I say something is not biblical. As if I am saying that they are sinners and going to hell. Words are very important.

    Also, you are right, now I don’t think Jesus wants everyone to sell all their possessions and give it all to the poor then follow him. But we never really hear anyone giving anything up (except bad things, like drugs, etc.).

    Great comment.

    God’s Glory,
    Lew

  3. Salvation is NOT making a decision to get out of the line going to hell in order to get into the line that is going to heaven. In Revelation, Jesus was knocking on the door of His church! This whole idea of a puny little human decision is not biblical.

    As far as “giving things up”, that would be human effort. When God does a work of regeneration in the life of a sinner, that sinner now loves the God he/she used to hate and hates the sin he/she used to love.

    The problem we have today with all this “church growth” methodology, is the fact that so many preacher’s are building their little kingdoms on the bones of the unregenerate. And if they would start preaching the true Gospel, they would have a mass exit and and all their hopes and dreams would be gone! Joel Olsteen and Rick Warren are two examples of this very thing.

    So, I said all that to agree with you!

    Blessings

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