Tuesday, 28 September 2010 12:02
I am addicted to the Discovery Channel's show "Mythbusters". The show tests the validity of urban myths by trying to re-create them. Sometimes the myths are confirmed. Sometimes science and experimentation show that the myths are false.
When talking about spiritual matters you cannot conduct scientific tests and experiments. Nevertheless, there are "myths' in Christianity that need to be tested to see if they stand up or not. The definitive test for these myths, in my view, is: Do they stand up to Scripture? Something that contradicts God's Word is a "myth" in the worst possible sense of the word: it is a falsehood.
Over the next several Blotter installments, we will be looking at some of the more popular Christian "myths". It should be fun. But it should be instructional, too. Let's get started.
(Note: The Blotter is notoriously limited by space constraints. With each point listed below there are Scripture references for you to look up. Unfortunately, they cannot all be listed here)
Myth #1: Inviting Jesus Into Your Heart.
When an unbeliever is convicted by the Gospel message and wonders how he should respond he is sometimes told to "Invite Jesus into" his heart. The curious thing is that this instruction is found nowhere in the Scripture!
What does the Bible say? Fortunately, there are many examples of conversions in the New Testament. These various episodes tell us about the components present in a genuine response to the Gospel. They are;
1) BELIEF. (or, Faith). Not belief that God exists (the Bible tells us that even the devil does that!). Specifically, this is the belief that Jesus Christ is God's Son. That He came to earth in physical form, lived a sinless life, died on the Cross, and was buried and three days later rose from the grave. This belief also includes the understanding that Jesus’ death on the Cross paid the penalty for our sins. (Romans 10:9)
2) REPENTANCE. This is much more than saying, "I'm sorry." Some people say "I'm sorry" just because they were caught! To "repent" is actually an old Roman military term. It means to Stop! Turn 180 degrees and go in the other direction! Repentance involves leaving sinful activity and following God's way. (Acts 3:19)
3) CONFESSION. Perhaps this can better be called "profession". Here the convert admits publicly that Jesus is his Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:10)
4) BAPTISM. In the Scripture faith is always combined with obedience. Why? To put it simply, anyone can say "I follow Jesus". The act of obedience shows that you are accepting His lordship. (Acts 22:16)
5) THE LIVING OF A NEW LIFE. Becoming a Christian is not a casual thing. It is a total transformation of one’s life and character. We are made new by Christ, changed inwardly by His Holy Spirit, and daily demonstrate our new life by outwardly exhibiting the change. (Romans 6:1-4)
"Asking Jesus into your heart" might seem right, but it simply does not bear up to the scrutiny of the Word.
See you next time!
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 November 2010 18:28