In this last article in this series on the sinner’s prayer we will address the question: What does the Bible say? It is not only important to know what the Bible says, but also to contrast the biblical answer with that which the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association gave.
It is interesting to note that on the following page (page 5, Living in Christ & Gospel of John) there are three questions, all related to how one knows. They are: How does one know he (she) is saved? How does one know he (she) is a child of God? How does one know he (she) has eternal life? The answer to these questions is settled with a simple reply. God said it in the Bible. This is not true, however, with the sinner’s prayer.
Since the sinner’s prayer is found nowhere New Testament, exactly what does the Bible say about “how to receive Christ”?
In the second article of this short series, mention was made of Peter’s words to those in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). It was there that Peter made plain to his hearers their guilt in that they killed the Lord’s anointed (Acts 2:23). Responding to the weight of their guilt, the crowd asked Peter what they needed to do to remove this guilt killing the Lord’s messiah. Peter replied: “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:37-38, ASV).
This is a biblical answer to the question “how to receive Christ?” It is not a made up answer, but one that is straight from the words of the apostle.
Here is another biblical answer to “how to receive Christ?” “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12, ESV).
In these two biblical passages we learn the following things the Holy Spirit said one needs to do to “receive Christ.” They are: 1) believe the good news, 2) repent, and 3) be baptized.
That is a biblical answer, and one that is easily supported by Scripture. Why didn’t the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association give this Bible answer? It appears they desire to teach entry into Jesus by some other means than that by which Jesus said one must enter (cf. John 3:3-5).
My friends don’t try to enter by some other way than Jesus’ way.