Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Today’s Show Notes: Wednesday, 10th April 2013.

“Where can I find the Sinner’s Prayer in the Bible? Is there a certain chapter and verse?”

There isn’t a scripted ‘sinner’s prayer’ in the Bible. The ‘sinner’s prayer’ is a recent man made invention. The early disciples simply preached the gospel and called everyone to faith filled repentance. If someone was willing to commit themselves to Christ they were baptized in water. Modern day ‘sinner’s prayers’ and altar calls for that matter are relatively new phenomena. It is estimated that the philosophy of the ‘sinner’s prayer’ originated about 500 years ago. However, it was not until the twentieth century that the formal ‘sinner’s prayer’ method was widely accepted by mainline Christian churches.
This will be a shock to some, but when a lost soul repeats a ‘sinner’s prayer’ that does not necessarily mean they’re saved. Any good charlatan can get a naïve soul to say anything, even a prayer. That’s the power of persuasion, but that doesn’t mean the person is the better for it. Time after time a concerned saint has manipulated a loved one into praying a ‘sinner’s prayer’ while compromising the Biblical commitment to Christ. Later on many notice no fruits of repentance in their loved one’s life. They often console themselves with the knowledge that their loved one prayed “the prayer” and therefore must certainly be saved. However heartbreaking this may be, if there is no reliance upon Christ (if they don’t become a follower of Jesus), regardless of any prayer spoken, there is no salvation. Salvation only comes when a person repents and believes in Christ, which can be at an altar call or while praying a ‘sinner’s prayer’ but it doesn’t have to be. The early Christians focused on preaching what they had been commanded to preach, that which alone can deliver salvation: repentance toward God and faith in Christ (Lk. 24:47). If we’ll be faithful to Christ’s commission that’s what we’ll preach: that people must obey the gospel. We’ll teach that God commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:30,31).
In conclusion, neither ‘sinner’s prayers’ nor altar calls are in the Bible and we are certainly not required by God to employ these techniques. However, I’d be slow to totally condemn the practices. God can and has used these methods. The point of the matter is we must be careful to never exchange any Biblical command for a new innovation; the technique can compliment the command, but never replace it. We mustn’t compromise the message in any way or at any cost.

The 24th International Day of Prayer For the Arab World and The United States

April 20, 2013 @ 2:30pm
First Baptist Church in Downey, California

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