Should We Say, “Ask Jesus in Your Heart?”

One of the most important things I’ve learned when it comes to evangelism training is to be clear in the gospel presentation. Consider this example:MP900289528

Debbie is excited to share the gospel on her mission trip to Ecuador. She has raised $2,000, gained a lot of prayer support, spent 24 hours traveling, and is now in front of a large group of people who are eager to hear how they can have everlasting life. In sharing her testimony, she said, “I asked Jesus to come into my heart!” She said it with a big smile on her face as she was enthusiastic for the people to be saved from their sin! She continued, “You can ask Jesus into your heart, too!”

However, the eager people had no idea what she was talking about. What does this mean? They thought to themselves. How can this Jesus enter my heart?

I know many people who have used this phrase when sharing their testimony or leading someone to Christ. And certainly God has used these good people to make His gospel known. After all, He has used me and my flaws and slip-ups when sharing the gospel. In fact, used to use this phrase when sharing my testimony, also.

But is this what God is asking the nonbeliever to do?

The answer is No. The Apostle John wrote a scathing letter to a group of Christians at the church of Laodicea. Found in Revelation 3:20, John makes mention that Jesus is standing at the door of this church knocking, desiring to come in and fellowship with the people once again.

Many have used this verse as a salvation verse, saying that Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Yet it’s not what John meant when he wrote it. The context is not salvation from hell but fellowship with Jesus.

Furthermore, it’s confusing to a nonbeliever. John did write many verses on salvation from our sin. The gospel of John was written to tell the world how to have everlasting life (John 20:30-31). Throughout his gospel, John uses one word as the only condition for obtaining everlasting life: believe.

Ninety-eight times this word is used to tell the world how to be saved from sin and have everlasting life with God in heaven. Believing (trusting) in Jesus, His Person and Work, saves for eternity!

Many Christians are eager to share their faith! Lets be clear and use the words the New Testament uses when explaining the gospel: Christ died for our sin and rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15). Believing in Jesus alone saves us from our sin (John 3:16).

Is your church inspired and trained to share the gospel effectively? Dates are open for Spring 2014 for the IE Conference!

(4) Comments

  • Simon L Smith
    04 Sep 2013


    Don’t even get me started on the whole:

    “There is NOTHING you can do or need to do to earn your salvation. Now, just say this little prayer!”


    • J. Chad Barrett
      05 Sep 2013

      Yeah, I hear ya, Simon. I know many people who trusted in Christ before they told God in a prayer. It’s vital to keep it clear: salvation is through faith alone–it’s not the prayer that saves. Good point bro!

  • Bob
    25 Sep 2013

    I think I see the problem. It would have been a lot clearer if she had said, “Open the door of your heart.”

    Be Clear, Be Clear, Be Clear

    Enjoyed your conference this last weekend at OakCreek.

    • J. Chad Barrett
      01 Oct 2013

      You’re funny, Bob! I really enjoyed being with y’all!

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