Posts Tagged ‘Paul’




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The Early Church And The Rapture


Q. We are studying Revelation in the home study
at my house, and I know I am going to butt heads with the leader over the Rapture. He is convinced of a “mid trib” Rapture, because he doesn’t believe we would be taken out of the world to escape persecution, which
is all he sees in the first half, not the wrath of God.

He has also cited that tired “fact” that no church father ever taught or believed in a rapture. I know there is not a huge amount written about it, but I do know there are some who believed it. Would you givean example please?534352_125603257575371_100003770935740_117468_1946230387_n

A.  The mid- trib view is impossible to defend from
Scripture, which is probably why your friend relies on opinion.  It’s very name is misleading because the mid trib position actually placesthe rapture in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, just before the Great
Tribulation begins. So it’s technically a pre-tribulation rapture.

Since the Great Tribulation begins in Rev.13,mid-tribbers have the Church going through the seals and 6 of the 7trumpet judgments, leaving earth at about the time of the 7th Trumpet in
Rev. 11.  By then over 1/3 of the world’s population will have died and a group of tribulation martyrs too big to number will
have arrived in Heaven (Rev. 7:9-17). That’s a bit more intense than “mere” persecution.

Paul was the best known proponent of the pre-trib rapture, having personally introduced it to the Church.  If you read the text carefully, you’ll find that 2 Thessalonians 2 doesn’t make sense unless Paul had taught them the pre-trib position when he was there.

The Book of Revelation clearly states that God’s wrath begins in Rev. 6 with the Seal Judgments.   Paul taught that since we have now been justified by the Lord’s blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him (Romans 5:9).  In 1 Thes. 1:10 he said that the church would be rescued from the time, place, or any relation to the coming wrath, because we weren’t appointed to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes 5:9).  And the Lord Himself said that He would keep us out of the hour of trial coming upon the whole world (Rev. 3:10).



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on Sunday, July 28th, 2013 at 5:00 pm and is filed under Ask a Bible Teacher.


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The Power of Love

Love never fails. —1 Corinthians 13:8

The power of love is what it achieves. Stephen demonstrated the immense power of love when he prayed for the people stoning him: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). This is what God wanted—this display of love.

Stephen, who almost certainly was Paul’s role model, is one of the most outstanding people in the Bible. I cannot express how much I admire him. And then I examine his mastery of the Old Testament (Acts 7) and observe how he put his opponents in the succession of the disobedient in ancient history: You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” (v. 51). Although no one was immediately converted, never had one spoken with such power.

The whole time he spoke, the pure love of God flowed through him and from him. The proof of this was his concern for them, not himself, when they were stoning him. He, therefore, fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” It was a virtual reenactment of Jesus’ prayer on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

The love of Christ that resided in Stephen got to Paul. Paul wasn’t able to shake off the power of love that Stephen showed, which led to the conversion of the greatest of the apostles.

Again, when Paul and Silas were in prison, they sang praises to God, and love took over in extraordinary power. God affirmed them with such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Even the jailer was suddenly converted!

The one who is filled with love allows the omnipotent God to move in. It becomes vulnerable, that is, the one governed by love is losing the battle to win the war. That’s power.

Excerpted from Just Love (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1997




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Christian Life is a Journey



“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Do you sometimes feel as though you are not making any progress in your spiritual life?  The life of a Christian is a journey.  We have a supernatural, proficient guide and map in the Spirit-inspired Scriptures, but we face distinct temptations and trials.  We know we have been saved by faith in Christ and have heaven as our sure destination, but the intervening pilgrimage is unique.  We need God’s help.


I do not know where you are on your personal journey.  Perhaps you are exhausted and spent.  Maybe you have recently experienced significant growth, or you may have settled on a comfortable plateau because of an uncertain future.  But I do know this: God wants you and me to enjoy and complete the journey.  He has pledged Himself to finish the good work He began in us at salvation and will keep us strong until the end.

As with the Philippians, God will help us grow in grace until He has completed His work in our lives.  The God who began a good work in us continues it throughout our lifetime and will finish it when we meet Him face to face.  God’s work for us began when Christ died on the cross in our place.  His work in us began when we first believed.  Now the Holy Spirit lives in us, enabling us to be more like Christ every day.

Great confidence gripped the apostle as he thought and prayed for the body of Christ.  Paul guaranteed the believers that God would consider them “blameless” when Christ returns (1 Corinthians 1:8-9).  This guarantee was not because of their great gifts or shining performance, but because of what Jesus Christ accomplished in them through His death and resurrection.  It was God’s work, not theirs, so Paul had no question about the outcome.  All who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be considered blameless when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 9:28).  If you have faith in Christ, even if it is weak, you are and will be saved.  All believers are justified by God’s grace and stand before Him “blameless” (“free from accusation”).

If you are feeling discouraged, remember God won’t give up on you.  If you are feeling incomplete, unfinished, or distressed by your shortcomings, remember God’s promise and provision.  Don’t let your present condition rob you of the joy of knowing Christ or keep you from growing closer to Him.  God will most certainly continue on to completion the good work He began in us!

Posted on January 4, 2013 by


Reposted from http://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/christian-life-is-a-journey/#comment-4340


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5:27 Joel Osteen, it’s just the Truth – Paul Washerby illbehonest310,939 views

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Question: “Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?

Answer: This is perhaps the most important question in all of Christian theology. This question is the cause of the Reformation, the split between the Protestant churches and Catholic Church. This question is a key difference between biblical Christianity and most of the “Christian” cults. Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works? Am I saved just by believing in Jesus, or do I have to believe in Jesus and do certain things?

The question of faith alone or faith plus works is made difficult by some hard-to-reconcile Bible passages. Compare Romans 3:28, 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 with James 2:24. Some see a difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works). Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), while James appears to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. This apparent problem is answered by examining what exactly James is talking about. James is refuting the belief that a person can have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17-18). James is emphasizing the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his/her life. If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in his/her life, then he/she likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).

Paul says the same thing in his writings. The good fruit believers should have in their lives is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Immediately after telling us that we are saved by faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9), Paul informs us that we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Paul expects just as much of a changed life as James does: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). James and Paul do not disagree in their teaching regarding salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that genuine faith in Christ produces good works.

Recommended Resource: Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification by R.C. Sproul.

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Born again believers exist in one of two states:  they are either “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), or they are, as Paul described it, “carnal,” or “walking in the flesh” (1 Cor. 3:1; Gal. 5:16).  He said you can tell which of the two states you are in at any given time, by the “fruit” you are producing.  He wrote:  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other. . . .  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:  adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. . . .  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:16-23).

Paul described his personal struggle with his two natures in Romans 7:1-25.  He concluded by saying, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (v. 24-25).  John described the state of the believer as being one of righteousness, or being one of sin (unrighteousness – 1 Jn. 1:8-10).  Notice his epistle was written to those who are said to be in a state of fellowship with other believers, and with God, Himself (1 Jn. 1:3).

James explained how a believer can guard himself against living according to his fleshly desires, and living according to the will of God.  He wrote, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (Jam. 1:22-25).

Believes are controlled by someone:  the Holy Spirit, or themselves! 


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“Unlike many modern preachers, Paul refused to edit out the difficult parts of the message. He insisted on preaching the whole gospel.”

It is increasingly common today to hear parts of the gospel proclaimed. The same was happening in the early church. In Acts 20, Paul says to the Ephesian church elders, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the WHOLE WILL OF GOD (Acts 20:26, 27).

Unlike many modern preachers, Paul refused to edit out the difficult parts of the message. He insisted on preaching the whole gospel.

In 604, Pope Gregory wrote about the “Seven Deadly Sins” which included pride, gluttony, envy, lust, anger, greed, and laziness. In the spirit of the Pope’s top seven, here’s my list of “Seven Deadly Sins of the Pulpit.” 

1. Preaching Christ Without the Cross.

No-cost Christianity. Paul was determined to know and preach nothing except Christ and Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). Today it seems we preach everything but Christ and the cross, causing many to live as enemies of the cross (Philippians 3:18).

2. Preaching Salvation Without Sanctification.

No-change Christianity. So many claim Christ today with no evidence or change in their lives, and the pulpit is at least partially to blame.

3. Preaching Decisions Without Discipleship.

No-commitment Christianity. I know we are getting crowds and decisions, but are we making disciples?

4. Preaching Love Without Lordship.

No-compliance Christianity. Jesus is Lord, and because He is Lord, He heals, delivers, provides, and saves.  

5. Preaching Prosperity Without Purpose.

No-cause Christianity. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing.

6. Preaching Blessing Without Birthright.

No-covenant Christianity. Esau threw away his birthright and still expected a blessing. It does not work that way. If we want the blessing, we must accept the covenantal responsibilities that go with the birthright. 

7. Preaching Revival Without Reformation.

No-transformation Christianity. We are called to be salt and light, to impact individuals and cultures, families and nations. The gospel is supposed to be transformational.

I have certainly been guilty of all of above at different times in my life as a preacher. As I have matured, hopefully, I’m being more and more faithful to preaching the WHOLE WILL OF GOD. How about you? 

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The Lord Jesus Christ

August 5, 2012

 “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:1)

 It is significant that in this first verse of what may have been Paul’s first inspired epistle, he twice identified the Son of God as “the Lord Jesus Christ,” thus giving Him the honor and recognition to which He is entitled.

 Paul used this “full name” of Christ at least 19 times in the two brief Thessalonian epistles, as he often did also in his other epistles. Likewise James, in his first verse, called himself “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). Jude warned against any who would deny “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Peter began his first epistle with “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3). The apostle John closed the last book of the Bible with the benediction: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).

 In the New Testament epistles, He was also frequently called “Jesus Christ,” “Christ Jesus,” “the Lord Jesus,” “the Lord,” or simply “Christ.” Once He was called “the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24). It is significant, however, that He was never called merely by His human name “Jesus” except when the writer was referring strictly to His human incarnation. In the gospels, the name “Jesus” was used very often in relating His words and deeds, but never did His followers address Him as “Jesus.” Always when speaking to Him they addressed Him as “Lord” or “Master” (note John 13:13).

 Perhaps modern Christians are too careless when they speak or sing of Him or pray to Him using only His human name. As Peter said, “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

He is now our risen and glorified Lord Jesus  Christ!

HMM by Henry Morris, Ph.D. |

 Institute for Creation Research| 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229



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The True Marks of the Spiritual Man or Woman


Going back over my archives, I was reminded of an article from Milk & Honey: the Marks of a Spiritual Man by Bob Gesner. I remembered posting it (with permission) while planning t to interact with it.

Essentially the article highlights seven marks of a spiritual man: (1) hunger for God’s word; (2) dependency through prayer; (3) humility and obedience; (4) compassion for the lost; (5) longsuffering and forgiveness; (6) love towards the unlovely; (7) endurance and faithfulness. These seven marks are supported by various passages and are predicated on looking a certain way.

A hunger for God’s word is evidenced by daily devotions on God’s word. Putting away desires of the natural man evidences a spirit of humility and obedience. An overwhelming concern for the lost (like being moved in the spirit or weeping like Christ) is evidence.

Now, it’s great to encourage someone to read the Word and meditate on it—the Bible itself illustrates this in say Psalm 119, for instance. Unfortunately, I think the list winds up giving us a bunch of requirements that we all fall short of and, ultimately, can cause lost hope if we don’t cheat our way to attaining it. I find myself in agreement with the article where it says “most of us must conclude that there is much to be done in our spiritual life” but then don’t feel like I should be aiming to do anything. After all, I can’t.

 Gesner agrees when he states that the spiritual man is quietly growing and maturing in Christ with no attempts to self-improvement.

And there’s now dissonance within me.

I look at myself and find that I don’t see this whole quiet growing in maturity. I find myself struggling. Sweating. Fighting. Gritting my teeth. Not because Christ’s bond isn’t easy (it is) but rather because I know myself. I totally identify with Romans 7 (Article one and two).

And then, when I see a list of rules like this, I find myself knowing (wrongly) that I can be spiritual just by doing these things. I’ll read my Bible every day and think about it, and I’m finally a better Christian than you. I neglect everything around me to give out tracts or something and I find myself a better Christian than you.

I am then “Spiritual”.

An all too common abuse of the Spiritual. I can almost hear the most obnoxious group in Corinth, the ones who thought themselves as The Most Spiritual, puffing up their chests and saying “We’re not of Paul or Peter: we are of Christ!” and Paul immediately snapping when they speak up. Martin Luther is so right: The Law is for the proud and the Gospel for the brokenhearted.

Which is why I love 1 Corinthians 12-14.

English Bibles open the section saying something like “concerning spiritual gifts”. But that’s not what Paul says.

Obviously the question they were asking in Corinth was about the spiritual gifts, lest Paul wouldn’t spend the rest of the three chapters talking about them. But Corinth didn’t have a problem with having Spiritual Gifts. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that they do not lack any of them.

But that couldn’t have been the extent of the question in light of the sharp divisions in the assembly and Paul’s constant complaint about those who thought themselves spiritual and even not being able to speak to them as spiritual at all (1 Cor 3:1).

Don Carson points out that it would seem to be a double-edged question: one group, say the Spiritual Group, asking “Are spiritual gifts the mark of the Spiritual?” and another group asking a similar question as a complaint.  So when Paul answers “regarding The Spiritual” it happily covers a nice range: from the gifts to those who are The Spiritual.

Which has direct bearing on these sorts of lists.

I see my confession of “Christ is Lord” in the first few verses and happily note that I didn’t do that alone: God’s Spirit made it possible. No struggling in the A.M to read the Bible. No rejection of everything natural with unwavering focus on the invisible: God worked.

I see that my abilities (be they weak or not) are on a spectrum which is all God given. And by here I don’t mean a gradating spectrum where some people’s gifts are more and more useless; rather I mean that God himself is giving gifts for specific purposes to individuals for the sake of the body. Sure there should be an aiming at doing better and more effective things, but that’s not the best.

The best, says Paul, is love. God’s grace lavished in us in love now reflected in us loving. He paints what it looks like and then quickly bolsters us by pointing out that we’re not there yet and won’t be there until when that is Perfect finally comes.

Love always remains.

That tells me something. This whole hunting for actions that The Spiritual Do is of a secondary importance. Paul spoke in tongues, which in Corinth was surely a Mark of the Spiritual, but he didn’t give two figs about it. He would rather speak five intelligible words for the edification of all than speak 10,000 words as a mark of a Spiritual.

So mess up. Grit your teeth. Struggle with the jealousies in you. If you’re anything like me, you’re a screwed up and messy person. But look to the freeing hope found in God’s Gospel that interrupted our lives with extravagant grace and love. Reflect that love to others, even when you feel unlovely, and you’ll find that you are walking in the very steps of the Most Spiritual, Christ Jesus.

Because the Marks of the Spiritual Man aren’t Bible Reading or weeping when Christ or Paul might have. The Marks of the Spiritual Man look like the God-Man, who was once pinned to a tree, coming back in a physical and marked up body to encourage his brothers saying “We’re family. I’ve conquered. You are conquerors with me. I’ll come back for you.”

It’s love revealed in action, no matter how ugly our marks.

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The Dangers Of The Sinners Prayer

 What I am referring to as the “sinners prayer” is the “repeat after me” method given at the end of a gospel presentation which is supposed to lead someone to accept Christ. I have no issue with a repentant sinner calling out to God for forgiveness.


I have two problems with the “sinners prayer.”

My first problem is that it is not found in scripture. Christians should be leery of using anything that’s not found in the Bible, especially when it’s dealing with the gospel. People are saved through faith in Christ. Some may say the sinners prayer when they put their confidence in the Savior, but it is in spite of the sinners prayer, not because of it.

Reason number two: It has led many into false professions of salvation. Many people, myself included, have been led in a prayer which resulted in a false profession. I believe that the number one cause of false professions today is the sinners prayer. Part of the problem is that it gives people an action to perform. They can easily end up trusting in something they did, instead of what Christ did for them. They look back to the prayer instead of looking to the cross for assurance. In calling people to perform an action we are jeopardizing one of the main points of the gospel, which is that there is nothing that we can do to be saved. We don’t think we are giving an action to perform, but repeating a prayer can mislead them into thinking they had a part in saving their souls. 
 Leading someone in a prayer often ends up with the person only mentally acknowledging their sinful state and mentally assenting to a formula. While it’s good to acknowledge those things, that won’t save you, it’s believing in your heart, not in your head. It’s like leading someone half way down a trail to your house in the woods, then declaring that they have arrived, when they are obviously lost.
In all of the salvation accounts found in scripture none of them involve saying a prayer, saving faith is what is shown again and again. John 3:15-16 make it clear that it is belief in the Son and nothing else.
In Acts 10:44 it says “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.” Peter was preaching and all who were listening that believed what he said were saved. They didn’t say a prayer. They just recognized that they were sinners and that Jesus had died for their sin and risen again, and if they didn’t believe on Him they would be under judgment.

Real Christian have a desire to see people saved. Unfortunately many try to rush the work of the Holy Spirit by leading unbelievers in a prayer. This can interfere with the work of the Holy Spirit. If we interfere with that work and it ends up leading someone into a false profession then we have a lot to account for, and personally, I don’t want to run that risk. All we need to do is give people the gospel and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Rushing someone into a prayer could be a lack of faith that the Holy Spirit will do His part. Our job is not to open hearts, our job is to shut mouths, and let the Holy Spirit open the heart.

In all of the salvation accounts in scripture no one was ever led in a prayer, not even once. Seriously, go look it up. I would suggest that leading someone in a prayer could be considered adding to the gospel, which is very dangerous. If you only based your evangelistic method on the bible you would not come to the conclusion that saying a prayer is the way to receive salvation. Rather you would see repentance and faith (Acts 20:21).

The Ethiopian Eunuch

 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:35-37).

The Philippian Jailer

And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house (Acts 16:27-32).

 Often people say that they will lead someone in a prayer if they feel that they have arrived at a point where they are ready to accept Christ. In both situations above, the evangelists (in this case Paul, Silas, and Philip) were presented with opportunities that many modern day evangelists would use to lead someone in a sinners prayer. The Philippian jailer was ready to be saved, but Paul did not lead him in a prayer, instead he tells him to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”. From what we see in scripture this is what we should be telling people, not “Would you like to ask Jesus into your heart? Okay, say this prayer with me…”

Children and the sinners prayer

Children are extremely susceptible to false professions due to the sinners prayer. The gospel needs to be presented in simpler terms with children, but it does not need to be dumbed down to “Ask Jesus into your heart” or “Talk to God about your sin.” Talking to God about your sin is not what saves people, neither is asking Jesus into your heart (whatever that means). What child wouldn’t “ask Jesus into their heart” when they’re told that God will come live inside of them and they will go to heaven? Far too often the child has no grasp of what they are doing or why they are doing it. It is often a mental “salvation” instead of an honest realization that they are sinners and that only Jesus, and what He did for them on the cross, can save them. I was led in a prayer when I was a child and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. It’s far too easy to manipulate a child into saying a prayer and professing salvation.

 A new breed of the sinners prayer

Recently I’ve seen a new trend in the way people are led in the prayer, it goes something like “Saying this prayer is not what saves you, praying is simply how you tell God what you are doing”. This disclaimer doesn’t dismiss the fact that the people still did something that they are liable to trust in, instead of only trusting in the all sufficient work of Christ on the cross. The logic behind using this disclaimer doesn’t even make sense. Why do we need to tell God what we are doing? He already knows. If you offer me a gift would it be normal for me to give you a commentary on what I am doing? For example, as I take the gift from your hand it wouldn’t make sense for me to say “I am taking the gift from you”, you would already know what I was doing. Even with this disclaimer the prayer falls short of being a solid part of the gospel.

 You said the prayer, are you saved?

 The purpose of this paper is not to cast doubt on anyone’s salvation, but instead to (unless you’re not saved), it is to show the dangers of the sinners prayer. Being saved has nothing to do with a prayer. If you said a prayer you could very well be saved, but don’t base your salvation on your prayer. I know a lot of people who I believe they are saved, and they repeated a prayer after someone. God sees your heart, and if your heart was truly repentant and believing then you are saved. Psalm 51 well describes the condition that a heart should be in, in order to be saved.

 Examine it for yourself

 I would encourage all of you to examine this matter for yourself, especially if you are involved in any type of gospel or childrens work.  Don’t just take my word for it, seek out the matter with an open heart and God will show you what is right. Keep this question in mind: should we use an extra-biblical, or possibly an anti-biblical, practice in our gospel outreach? Study it out…someones eternity just might depend on it.


  1. Excellent work, glad you brought it to public light. As one who said a prayer at a young age, and then realized 19 years later that I was never truly saved, I caution others to examine themselves. If the testimony of the Holy Spirit is evident in your heart, it will only serve as a confirmation. If, however, you were still dead in your sins, this self examination followed by true repentance toward God and new birth in Christ will change your eternal destination, and you will be given the gift of eternal life.


  2. Thank you for posting this Caleb. A difficult issue for I am sure many who read this, hold to or know someone who holds to encouraging people in praying a prayer.
    I have heard of those who, when they recognized their sinfulness, their need for the Savior and believed, prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. They had prayed without any encouragement from others with the desire to simply thank the Lord for His abundant grace and love.
    I myself, for years assumed that praying to God for salvation was the means that I had been saved. Of course, I believed in Jesus Christ and that He died on the cross, but my faith was in what I did- I PRAYED. Someone asked me, “Are you SAVED?” and my reply was yes. But when I was challenged (Thank the LORD for that dear brother to challenge me!) on what my faith was in and how I knew I was saved, it was because I prayed. Because of my prayer, I had a sense of security. It is interesting the terms that we find in the Scriptures are RECEIVE, TRUST, BELIEVE even to OBEY in that God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). I had never believed in my heart. I had placed all my stock in my knowledge of God and the Scriptures that I had assumed I MUST be saved. Concerning the line above- “Often people say that they will lead someone in a prayer if they feel that they have arrived at a point where they are ready to accept Christ.” I may step on toes here, but if I were to lead someone in a prayer for salvation because I feel they have arrived at a certain point, isn’t that too many ‘I’s? I don’t know the condition of ‘this’ soul or that soul. Even in speaking the Truth to someone, we don’t know their hearts. We should be perceptive in knowing if the soul we are speaking but the LORD does not expect us nor would He take pleasure in us discerning another person’s heart. This is the Holy Spirit’s. The Holy Spirit can apply the conviction to the soul through the Word of God. We need to preach the Word of God, and allow the God’s Spirit to convict. This was my problem- I said to myself I KNOW MY OWN HEART, I KNOW GOD. Yet, Jeremiah 17:9 states it so plainly. My heart is just like everyone’s heart- DESPERATELY WICKED. It was when my heart was challenged that I realized my dire need, and I believed God. I trusted Him and that it was on Christ that all my sin was laid. Praise God for His long-suffering towards me.

    thanks Caleb!


  3. JoshMay 10, 2011 3:32 AM

    Good Morning Caleb,

    I stumbled across your blog through Mark’s blog. I really enjoyed reading this post. I believe the biggest problem with the “sinner’s prayer” (and I think you mentioned it too) is that there is no real repentance involved. I’ve been to churches before where the people just seem to “live” the sinner’s prayer every Sunday. The mindset it that the sinner’s prayer is sort of like a “get out of jail free card.”

    Verbal acknowledgement of who Christ is means nothing without faith and true, genuine repentance. Even the demons know who Christ is (Luke 4:41). Those who are saved will not only acknowledge that Christ is Lord but will also live in obedience to Him, like a wise man who built his house upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-25)

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    God Bless,

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