Becoming a follower of Jesus is so simple, but we in the church can make it so weird and difficult.
I’m about to step on some toes, it’s okay.
There are some sacred cows that need tipping.
We tell people that He is standing at our heart’s door knocking to come in.
We tell people that they have to invite Jesus to live in their hearts.
We tell them they need to pray a special prayer.
First, Revelation 3:20 is used to tell folks that Jesus is standing at the door of their lost hearts asking to come in. Except that Revelation 3:20 was written to the lukewarm believers of Laodicea, not to the lost. He is knocking on the hearts of those who no longer serve Him as they should, asking to be let in to renew and refresh them in their faithwalk. This isn’t for unbelievers.
Next, Paul covers the other two in this verse and its companion, verse nine, to the church at Rome. There’s no inviting Jesus to live in our hearts. How many have been confused by this concept, especially in places where English is not the first language? Believers learn that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer upon salvation, but to invite Him in? Umm, it’s not there.
And the special prayer? Not there, either.
Let’s look at how the Amplified Version opens up these words and include verse 9: “Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe—adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth—that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes—adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ—and so is justified—declared righteous, acceptable to God, and with the mouth he confesses—declares openly and speaks out freely his faith—and confirms his/her salvation.”
Agree in your heart and mind that Jesus is God, and that God raised Him from the dead. Then, say so.
Let’s stop putting up weird and difficult barriers that keep people from entering the Kingdom of God and share with them this simple truth. God loves them and wants them and this is all it takes to begin a walk of right standing with Him.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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