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I saw this posted on Facebook today and simply had to share.  Please share this with others too.  So many people think that because they prayed a little prayer as a child (or even as an adult) that they are “saved” and Heaven bound, regardless of how they live.  After all, we’re all saved by Grace, right?  It’s not about our “works”, right?  Jesus did it all, didn’t He?  Therefore, don’t JUDGE!  Cause, well… that’s wrong ya know.    We’ve all heard it.

Listen folks, the Bible is clear about this and everyone should take it very seriously.  1st John 3:7-10 states clearly : Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared  was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are; Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.  

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Quotes 089

WHY JESUS DOESN’T WANT YOU TO “ASK HIM INTO YOUR HEART”

I’ll never forget it. I was in middle school. All around me were other middle school kids crying. Hardly anyone was standing. It was a powerful moment—so much so that even now when I think about it a range of emotions come over me. Where was I? I was at a youth camp. It was the last night where everyone “asked Jesus into their heart.” Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine” was playing while the camp speaker asked all the kids to bow their heads and close their eyes. He would then say, “ok whoever wants to receive Jesus repeat after me….”

Sound familiar?

Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart?

Now first let me say this—I am not arguing in this blog that Jesus doesn’t save through this method (because He clearly does). Also, John 1:12 would suggest we do need to receive Jesus in some way or another. But my question is why has it become so mechanical? So forced? So calculated? Receiving the grace of Jesus is a beautiful thing. We tell people it is free (which it is), but we forget to tell them it will cost them their life (which it will). I’m humbly submitting that this might be the main thing contributing to our lethargic, apathetic, and consumer based Christianity that’s plaguing our nation right now.

Doesn’t it haunt you that this “prayer” is never uttered in the New Testament?

Have you ever asked yourself why?

Doesn’t it haunt you that people never made a “decision” but rather gave up all they had to follow Jesus?

Why is the life we are calling people to, so different from what the original disciples called them to?

When I first became a Christian about 4 years ago, the church I went to would give an “invitation” at the end of every sermon. It was very similar to the experience above. He would have people bow their heads and close their eyes, and “accept Jesus into their heart.” He would then usually say something like “I see your hand, God sees your heart.” I think about 15 people would get saved every service. At this time they were probably a 3,000+ person church with multiple campuses in a tiny town. I remember thinking after about a year, that if 15 people were getting “saved” a service in a town of around 20,000 this city should be upside down for Jesus. But Monday through Saturday nothing seemed much different. Why? Also why do they bow their heads and close their eyes? I struggled with the fact that if someone can’t proclaim Jesus is Lord and that their heart has been changed by His grace in the safest of all places—a church full of people who already love Jesus!—then do we really think they would proclaim Him boldly out in the world, where He’s hated?

Let me clarify though before my email inbox fills up with not so happy Christians defending this method. I don’t care how you preach the gospel, as long as its the gospel that’s actually being preached. Is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the focus? Is there blood? Is there cross? Is there persecution? 2nd Timothy 3:12 says all who seek to follow Jesus will face persecution. Too many times we proclaim “your best life now”, instead of a rugged cross. If they are being called to more than a stirred heart, but called to an abandoned life, then by all means do it. But, people aren’t being called to die for the sake of God’s glory and His mission, then I’d be careful to call it the true message of Jesus.

Jesus isn’t after people “accepting Him into their hearts” He is after people boldly giving up all they have and following Him by faith, death, and suffering.

Nothing makes me tremble more at night then knowing there are millions of people (most likely in churches) who don’t know Jesus at all, and are being led to hell under the pretense that they are “good to go” because they prayed a prayer. In fact the main reason they stay distant from Jesus is that they think they’ve already “taken care of that.” The truth is, if a boulder dropped on top of you, you’d look different after the fact. Why is it then that supposedly when the most glorious, holy, amazing, and beautiful infinite God of the universe “drops” on us we don’t look any different? You are saved by grace, but real grace changes you.
Is that you? Do you actually know Him?

I’m not asking do you struggle or wrestle (you should) but I’m asking do you know Him? Do you love Him? Do you want more of Him? Even if you are struggling, if you can answer yes to those questions, you are in a safe place. But, if you are simply clinging to something you did years ago, but you have zero intimacy with your Creator, I’d tread softly.

From now on what do you say we….

Stop asking Jesus into our heart, and start asking Jesus to change our heart.

Stop receiving Jesus, and start following Jesus

Stop raising our hand for Jesus, and start raising our obedience for Jesus.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”
Luke 9:24-25

Link to the original post below:

http://jeffbethke.com/why-jesus-doesnt-want-you-to-ask-him-into-your-heart/

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Make Way Partners.  I’ve written about them here before, and on Facebook many times.  But for those that have missed it, they’re a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all other forms of modern day slavery by educating and mobilizing The Body of Christ.  I learned about them from reading the book “Passport Through Darkness”, written by the Co Founder/ President of MWP, Kimberly Smith.

One of the things that impressed me so much about MWP is that they went where no one else would. Places like Darfur, Sudan, and  the Nuba Mountains. Places other people said would be too hard, too expensive, too this, and too that, to get to.  Apparently they weren’t introduced properly to the God that Kimberly Smith loves and serves! Nothing is ever too anything for Him.

It’s now been three months since I first read Kimberly’s book and I can’t rid myself of the imagine of children as young as 3 and 4 being on their own in that land.  A land where they have to hide from the animals, the people that want to sell them into slavery and force them into Islam, and even when they can manage to stay away from all of that… there’s always the lack of water and the starvation that finds them regardless of how good they become at hiding from all the rest.

In “Passport Through Darkness” I read where they passed a little 4 year old boy, that they named John, on a road they were traveling on, but were unable to take him with them (you’d have to read the book for the why and all other important details and you should) and I can’t get him out of my head. To make it even harder to forget this little boy, John, they were able to snap a picture of him and that image haunts me.

Little John

Four.
Years.
Old.

Scared.

Alone.

That just should not be. Not ever. I pray for him and my prayers often end up being that he’s now with the Lord and that his journey to Him was quick and easy somehow.  That his time of such extreme fear, loneliness, hunger, and probable hopelessness was short.   I just can’t stand the thought of him out there still – though he’d be many years older by now.

All of these thoughts bring me back to the fact that I can’t just do nothing.  God has shown me that there is a need for some of His people to get help in so many different ways.  They need to be prayed for, fed, given medical care, shown the love of Jesus Christ that we here in America are so good at talking about.  Now that I have been shown these needs, I can’t un-know it, nor do I want to.

Little John wouldn’t go to any of the camps for people displaced in the wars and the reason was that he was terrified of being snatched and forced to worship a god he didn’t believe in. He was a four year old Christian who loved God more than most of the people I’ve met in my whole life and that…. breaks my heart the most.

What does it say about us here in America, where we’re free to read Bibles and love Jesus openly with no fear of being tortured or killed, that in a place where food is a luxury so you know owning a Bible is rare, that a FOUR YEAR OLD CHILD is a better Christian than so many of us?  That he was willing to die at four years old all alone, and probably not a quick, never mind pain free, death, but instead a slow death by starvation, thirst, lion or hyena attack, or worse.  He chose that because to him it would be better to die in any one of those ways and die a Christian, than to be captured and possibly be forced into doing something that would go against what he believed the God he loved would have him do.

It’s become my belief that while they need us there to help them get food, clothes, and other basic needs, we also need them… We need them to show us true joy in the Lord and what  real sharing looks like.  We have much we can give to them, but I believe that they can give us even more.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28,  “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  It seems that many of them understand this verse in ways that many of us do not. 

He also tells us in Luke 9:23-25, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” 

I believe that Jesus is asking us to give up our lives for His way of life, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of reading in the New Testament to see that the way Jesus lived is nothing like the typical American life is lived now.  I truly want to pick up my cross and follow Him into a completely different life than I’ve ever known, a Kingdom Life where Jesus is truly my Lord.   I have no doubt that there’s a lot of joy waiting there, a different kind of joy than any I’ve ever known so far… a Kingdom type of joy.  A joy only truly following Jesus can give.

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