At a second-hand store the other day, I picked up a number of small booklets pertaining to the subject of religion. I check this particular store on a regular basis; sometimes I come across some really good finds that are really of great value to me. Most often, however, I come across books that have little value, so I pick them up with the intention of reading and writing a word or two about it.

Today, I am writing about such a booklet. The book is “Living in Christ & Gospel of John.” It is published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (2014). The intent of the book is to encourage one to be a Christian, helping a person study through the Gospel of John.

On page 4 of the book there is an introductory section titled “How to receive Christ,” and it has some useful information, but some unfortunate information also. In answering the question “how to receive Christ?” there are steps one must follow; I have numbered them at five (though the booklet has them numbered at four). They are: 1) recognize God’s plan (John 3:16), 2) realize one’s separation because of sin (Romans 3:23; 6:23), 3) respond to God’s remedy (Romans 5:8), 4) receive Christ (John 1:12).

What is of particular note in these four steps would be the outlining of thoughts in accordance with Scripture; it may be that some would dispute the application of a particular Scripture, but that is not my point, as much as the effort and evidence they think supports their point. This does not happen on the fifth step, which is the following remark: “Through prayer, invite Jesus to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit (receive Christ as Lord and Savior),” followed by a “prayer of commitment.”

With this approach, a prayer is worded that the reader is invited to repeat. This is known as the “sinner’s prayer.” This sinner’s prayer is a prayer given to the Lord as an answer to question “how to receive Christ.” There is no Scripture to support the giving of it as a correct biblical answer! Don’t miss this. In the earlier remarks on the page there is scriptural support for the answers, but none for this one. Might there be a reason for that?

More to follow; this is the first of four articles.

#billy-graham, #sinners-prayer