In the two previous short articles on the “sinner’s prayer,” it was mentioned that the sinner’s prayer is not a teaching of the Bible wherein one becomes a Christian. It is the teaching of a great many people, but it is not the Lord’s teaching at all.
Now, what does one do if they feel they became a “Christian” by the sinner’s prayer? To begin, since the sinner’s prayer is not a teaching of the Bible it is biblically impossible for one to become a Christian in that sort of way. Whatever purity of motive might exist on the part of the one who prayed for Christ to “come into the heart” is not a sufficient biblical answer to being a Christian. Second, it is important to understand there are two equally important components to serving God; Paul identifies these as “sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8). With regard to the sinner’s prayer, only one was satisfied. Now the other needs to be satisfied – that is, truth.
This is a hard matter for a great many people. It is hard because for a period of time they have lived with the strong conviction that Christ has been on their side, that their prayers have been heard, and they have come to believe that all of the good blessings they experienced are directly from God. As you can well imagine, it is a hard thing to be told you are wrong when you have lived with a conviction so long.
It is, moreover, a potentially fruitless matter to speak to their strong convictions as to whether or not their prayers were heard, and to the blessings they are convinced came from God. These things can be set aside for another day. It is not a fruitless matter, however, to speak to what the Scripture says. With the former it is an entirely subjective matter, but with the latter it is a matter of what God said, it is a matter of biblical evidence. How does one then begin to convince?
What does the Bible say? The Bible is rather clear, and this will be addressed in the next, and last, article.
More to follow; this is the third of four articles