Accept Jesus?

17 July 2011

We have heard it said, "If you will accept Jesus as your personal savior you will be saved." By this action, it is said, a person will suddenly be ‘born again’, obtain eternal life, and go to heaven. Though this offer sounds very pious, and God-honoring, it actually stands in stark contrast to what the Bible teaches concerning how sinners are saved-by the finished works of Jesus Christ.

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Accept Jesus?

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There is a certain nuance to this expression that almost forbids criticism. After all, who would argue against anyone accepting Jesus? If one did, they might be labeled as a cynic that stood in the way of truth, and the salvation of sinners. After all, doesn’t everyone want people to accept Jesus?

While we all want people to accept the person of Jesus, who He is, what He has done, and what the Bible says about Him, we would not want people to believe something that is untrue. I believe something must be said about this recent fad among professing Christians. Here are some of the problems.

The first problem with this offer is that it does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Just like the age of accountability…it is nowhere to be found. Read the Bible as many times as you will, but nowhere does any person say this or offer this. Jesus never asked people to accept Him as a personal Savior to be saved. None of the apostles ever made this statement. No evangelist or any other preacher recorded in sacred writ ever uttered this sentence. It is not found in any of the epistles to the churches. The gospel is preached over twenty times in the book of Acts (the most logical place that this offer would be found) and it is nowhere to be found. It is simply just not there.

Now, if the eternal destiny of God’s people hung in the balance of them ‘accepting Jesus as their personal Savior", don’t you think that God would be sure to put it somewhere in His Bible… in no uncertain terms? Surely He would! This is the first and foremost problem: it is not in the Bible.

The second problem is simply this: " how did the Old Testament saints get to heaven? None of them accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. Jesus was not revealed in a gospel sense in that day. He was veiled in types and shadows. So they could not accept Him.

The third problem with this offer is obvious: a person must be alive spiritually to accept anything spiritual. What can a dead man do? Nothing! A person who is dead in trespasses and in sin (not born again) can not accept anything. He can’t hear the gospel, he can’t see, and he can’t respond. A person must be alive spiritually to receive spiritual things, things like the gospel (See 1 Cor 2:14). Those who truly accept Jesus, and walk accordingly, are already born again.

Which bring up another problem. Why are there so many people who claim to have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior, who have not changed? They are still walking in a way contrary to Christ? Did it not take or something? Every time a person is born naturally they have vital signs: they breath, their heart beats, their brain waves function. It seems that some who are accepting Jesus are not being born again as promised.

I find another problem, possibly more important than the rest which is this: how can a person say they have accepted Jesus when they have not accepted his doctrines, the Holy scriptures. Yea, I believe that this accepting Jesus is the result of just that: a crass ignorance as to what the Bible really says about salvation. Salvation is not by a person accepting, but rather by the sovereign grace of God who chose His people in Christ before the foundation of the world, and regenerated them in time by His sovereign will. If a person has really accepted Jesus, they love His word and rejoice in His truths.

When it boils right down to the central issue, accepting Jesus is a work, pure and simple. It is something that one person can do, that others can not do. That is the best way to identify a works system. Salvation by this accepting method would leave out multitudes: the mentally challenged, those living in less fortunate countries where there are no Bibles, and infants who die in the womb. When it boils right down to what accepting Jesus really is, it is decisional salvation which means that a person is suddenly born again, and the blood of Jesus is actually and really applied, when a person makes a decision. That makes man his own personal savior. I guess, when it gets right down to it, the offer is really thus: accept Jesus as your personal savior and you become your own personal savior.

Finally, we see that nothing has changed. Religion wants to make themselves the savior of sinners with their own particular set of works … and they are different behind every denominational sign. If one is right, all the others are wrong. Consider the eternal consequences for those who are wrong. Thank the Lord that salvation is by grace because religion and preachers can never agree on how sinners are saved. It must be by grace!