You don’t accept Jesus

Did you know that there is a difference in receiveing something and accepting it? For example, you received a package from aunt Bertha, but you accepted the Nobel Prize for your work in lint removal.

Receiving is a passive act, like getting spam in your inbox. Acceptance is something different though. Acceptance is putting your seal of approval on something, in essence saying, “this is acceptable to me”. This is fine for our everyday living, but the problem comes in when we apply it to Christianity. We say that people need to accept Jesus, without understanding the implications.

We are tell people to put their stamp of approval on sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that is not faith. We don’t need to accept Jesus, the Father did that 2,000 years ago. What we do need is for Jesus to accept us.

I want to illustrate something for you to try and make this as clear as possible. Bob goes out and has an affair on his wife, Susan. Susan is upset and rightly so, but is willing for reconcilliation. Bob comes back and tells his wife, “Susan, I want you to know that I have thought about it, and I accept you as my wife.” The next thing you hear is a clank of a frying pan as it makes contact with his head.

How arrogant and prideful! Bob was in the driver seat, he wanted to be in control. But isn’t that exactly like us? Don’t we want to be in control of our own salvation? Don’t we want to say, “I want to be saved now!” But the Bible says something different. Scripture says that salvation is of the Lord (Ps 3:8). When we repent and put our faith in Jesus for our salvation, the Bible says that then, and only then, HE accepts you. That is the essence of true faith; putting your trust… putting your life in his hands.

I have to say that there is a big difference between receiving and accepting. We receive Christ after we repent and put our faith in him alone.


Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 8:03 am  Comments (2)  

John MacArthur on the Purpose Driven Life

Check out this commentary from John MacArthur on the gospel presentation presented in Rick Warren’s best seller: The Purpose Driven Life.

This is why I like John MacArthur. He has a solid theology and does not water down the gospel.


Published in: on October 11, 2008 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Does Rick Warren equal bad theology?

Rick Warren is one popular pastor. People absolutely gush over him.  I have seen people applaud and cheer when he walked into the room. But as nice as the guy is, we must examine what he says within the context of Scripture. My last post contained a link to a Christmas sermon that really disappointed me, and a recent interview confirms my reluctance to follow Rick Warren as a leader or even a theologian.

Pastor Warren was asked to comment on the Reveal survey that exposed the utter failure of the Willow Creek “Seeker Sensitive” movement.

The biggest mistake that churches make is that they think that sermons will produce spiritual maturity.
–I think someone should have informed Jesus, that was how he discipled his followers.

Bill Hybels is one of the greatest preachers in History.
–If you wanted to know how much Pastor Warren bought into the Seeker movement, here’s your answer.

Jesus had a process from which he took people from no faith in Christ to deep disciple. The first public words of Jesus, what he says to his disciples, is he says “come and see”.  Now that is the entry point for faith. Come and see. What is the commitment level of come and see? Nothing. Just show up.Sit in the back, dont sing anything, don’t say anything, sacrifice anything- Jesus never left them there. From come and see he took them through consistent steps and all through the 3 1/2 years of ministry, he is turning up the heat and as they begin to follow him, he starts saying, now you’re my disciple if… and he re-defines the commitment. You’re my disciple if… you love one another. Right before the cross, he turns around to them and he says if you want to follow me, you’ve got to take up your cross deny yourself, and follow me. Now would you agree that there is a huge difference in commitment between come and see and come and die.

–The text does say come and see, but not as an entry point to faith, but to the question, “where do you live?”  The problem is that the entry point to faith IS death to self. Crucify the old man. Come broken, humble, poor in spirit crying out to God in repentance and faith. Jesus wasn’t re-defining the commitment, he was telling people what true commitment looks like.

Pastor Warren is not being true to the text, yet millions flock to his feet and hang on his words.  If you are one of those people, all I ask is that you study your Bible. Pray for discernment and wisdom.  And above all, do not take what I say, or anyone else, at face value, judge everything through the words of Scripture.


Published in: on October 8, 2008 at 8:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bill Maher likes Rick Warren..say what??

Bill Maher hates Jesus. I mean he REALLY hates Jesus. But recently on the Larry King Show, Bill Maher said that he likes Rick Warren.  Uhoh…. Something is wrong if someone like Bill Maher thinks your OK. (Jn 15:19)  The Christian message is going to be offensive to a self righteous world and apparently Rick is not.

Jesus often offended people. The residents of his hometown went to throw him off a cliff (Luke 4:29).  If this is true, why does everyone love Rick Warren?  Is his message all love and no wrath?  Is Rick’s god angry at sin?

On my next post, I am going to discuss a sermon Rick did Christmas of 2006 on Fox News.  This sermon confirmed my reservations for his ministry and showed me we should always look at a person’s theology before we “drink the Kool-Aid”.  Stream that sermon here.


Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 8:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Where is our discernment? –NewSpring Church

Some friends of mine were so excited about an Anderson SC Church called NewSpring that was building a campus in the town I live in.  The kids  (im old enough to call them that now!) home from college raved about it and how biblical it was, so I decided to take a look for myself… all I can say is, it seems that there is very little discernment in the Christian community.

In an attempt to be relevant, secular songs regularly open what loosely looks like a worship service.  Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” opens the service. Is it me or does this look more like a concert than worship?

I guess Jesus dying for our sins just is not interesting enough.

So I got past the entertainment, and determined I was going to listen the message. I was going to focus on the preaching. Well I had come at the right time, a recent series they had boasted 800 people received Christ in ONE WEEK!  I could not wait to hear some good ol’ gospel coming from that stage.  Well I heard about the reality of Hell, but I never heard how someone would find themselves there.  I did hear about the importance of baptism and its true meaning… very good sermon, but no gospel.

Perry then said that his last message was going to a gospel presentation SO clear, that everyone would be able to understand it.  Well I started the message, and Perry said turn to Revelation 3:20- Uhhhh… The sermon was titled Knock, Knock….ARRGGGGG!! I posted about this earlier.

Ask Jesus into your heart??? THAT was his clear gospel message? Nothing about sin, except a passing phrase here or there.  There was one reference to leaving sin, but NOTHING about future judgment, NOTHING about dying to yourself, NO sorrow for sin.  He did say something about “what Jesus did on the cross” once, but it was a vague reference during his last anecdote.  His sermon was also filled with so much bad theology, that I could not keep up with it all.

800 people walking the isle does not mean that 800 got saved. If they went for the wrong reasons, then God will not save them.  I am amazed that there are people who think this kind of squishy gospel is ok.  Where has our discernment gone?


Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

knocking on your heart? –Rev 3:20

Is Jesus really knocking on the door of your heart?  Does Rev 3:20 really say that?  Lets take a look at the verse as well as verse 3:19 and see what it says …IN CONTEXT!!

Jesus is giving a warning to professing Christians… actually these are lukewarm sudo-Christians who Jesus said He will spew out of His mouth on the day of judgment.  So lets take a look at the verses and see what they actually say.

Rev 3:19- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT. (3:20) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Nothing about tap, tap, tapping on your heart, but all about calling people to true faith and repentance.  There is not one Scripture about asking Jesus into heart.

Here is John MacArthur has to say about verse 20, “…the context demands that Christ was seeking to enter this church that bore His name but lacked a single true believer. This poignant letter was His knocking.  If one member would recognize his spiritual bankruptcy and respond in saving faith, He would enter the church.”


Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

ask Jesus into your heart… NOT!!!

The modern day church is all about having people ask Jesus into their heart, or to say one of the other man-centered phrases I blogged on here.  The scripture that I find that most of these churches use (from churches like NewSpringCC) are from Rev 3:20 (behold, I stand at the door and knock…) which they mangle to try and pull some kind of salvation message out of it.

I have some other things that bother me about NewSpring, but I will address that in another post.  In my next post I will go after Rev 3:20 directly and let you know what John MacArthur has to say about that verse.

Asking Jesus into your heart does not save you.  Its not that easy.  In fact, did you know it is impossible for you to become a Christian?  Scripture says that you have to die to yourself, be totally broken and humble before God before He will save you, and you can’t do that by yourself.  The Bible says that there are none that seek after God.  But Jesus did say that what is impossible with man is possible with God.

The Biblical way to be saved is to look at your sins and let them crush you. Then, when you are broken and contrite, repent of your sins, forsake them and put your faith in the Jesus Christ; the one who took the suffering you deserve.  He rose from the grave and defeated death so that you could have everlasting life.


Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

True Biblical Salvation

I have talked with too many people who have “asked Jesus…” but have an incorrect understanding of who they are and what God’s standards are.  If you asked Jesus into your heart, you need to answer these questions.

What do you think of yourself?  Do you think you deserve Hell?  Alot of people think that just because Jesus died, they “deserve” Heaven, but the Bible says something completely different.  The Bible says you are a rebellious, wicked CRIMINAL who deserves punishment.  Your sins are not simple mistakes, but deliberate crimes against a perfect God.  The laws you have broken are His 10 commandments.

God’s standard is so high, that He sees lust to be adultery (matt 5:28) and unrighteous anger to be murder (1jn 3:15).  The reason you need to see yourself like this is that God hates self righteousness.  Only a drowning man will reach for help and only a broken man, humbled by the personal nature of his sin, will reach for a savior.  Scripture says that the sacrifices to God are a humble heart and a contrite spirit (Ps 51:17).

A broken, contrite heart leads to repentance.  The Bible says in 2 Cor 7:10 that “godly sorrow works repentance”.  This is not only a change of mind, but a change of heart and a change of direction.  Repentance means forsaking your sin.  This does not mean perfection, Christians do sin, but this does mean that you don’t dive into sin any more, you don’t seek it out.

But repentance alone wont save you.  If a murder says he is sorry, that doesn’t cut with the judge.  You need someone to pay your fine.  Well, Jesus Christ, God in human form, did just that.  He suffered and died on a cross and took the punishment you deserved.  Sin must be punished, so his wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ so that you could be reconciled to God.  You dont “accept” Jesus, the Father did that 2000 years ago.  What you must do is put your faith in him, not just believe with your mind, but put your life in his hands.  Like you would put your faith in a parachute to save you from a 20,000ft plunge.

If you will repent, and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, then God will save you.  Salavtion is a gift given by God, (Ps 3:8) not a decision you make.  I heard someone say that there are two wings that fly us to the savior, repentance and faith.  There is NO OTHER WAY TO FIND SALVATION!

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 7:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Clean up your language!!

  • “Ask Jesus into your heart”
  • “Make Him your Lord and Savior”
  • Make a “decision” to become a Christian
  • “Just say this simple prayer that will change your life”
  • “Just believe in God”
  • “Just ask for forgiveness”
  • “Accept” Jesus — This one is particularly bad

I hear these phrases over and over in the modern church, but the problem is that they are NOT in Scripture.  These are man-centered catch phrases that end up creating false Christians.  I know first hand… I was one for 22 years.  The modern message says that it is easy to become a Christian and gives people a false sense of salvation based upon a act or some magical phrase.  This gives them a wrong motive for their salvation and motive is the difference between Heaven… and Hell.  We need to clean up our language!!

If you participated in one of the activities above I am NOT saying you are not a Christian, but I do believe you need find out what the Bible says about the subject.  Check my next post for the Biblical method of salvation.


Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment