By Bryce Shockley
Some of the great heroes of our faith such as John Wesley, Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and many others spent much of their ministries combating a common philosophy that even though they lived like devils every day of their lives, they were completely saved and justified. They thought they were Christians and thoroughly so.
In those days, these people looked to their infant baptism and thought they were saved because a clergy member promised them they were. John Wesley declared that believers should repent and not look to their works, or even their baptisms. However, the idea of being born again or the idea of being regenerated is dead in America today. It’s not an infant baptism or a clerical indulgence, but it is a superficial, formulaic prayer.
I am talking about the sinner’s prayer, a prayer of repentance that pastors will often ask a person or a large crowd to repeat. I feel this style of prayer has become a detriment and deception to believers and non believers everywhere.
Let me state that I am an advocate of street evangelism and spreading the gospel. However, I have come across many people that have told me not to worry about their soul. They “already took care of that” because some evangelist somewhere, who should be spending less time preaching and more time reading the Bible, declared them to be saved if they would just repeat a prayer after him.
They got a flu shot, not Jesus.
It is tragic to see so many people being led into a decision without any bit of knowledge of the gospel. Their lives are without fruit or conviction, yet they are completely confident in their eternity, all the while becoming completely insulated from ever hearing a true Gospel. The process of being regenerated and made new through Christ has been replaced with a credo-style prayer of salvation. This has no evidence of the supernatural recreation we receive through Christ by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did not come into Israel and say, “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is come! Now, who would like to ask me into their heart? I see that hand!” He simply declared that they repent and give their lives to Him. Countless numbers of Christians in our churches here in America have absolutely no real fellowship with Christ or knowledge of His Word. The average Christian has been given a superstitious security that if they pray a prayer one time in their life to ask Jesus to come into their heart, they’re golden. If you have truly repented unto salvation, you will continue living and repenting unto salvation.