Baptism – Sinner’s Prayer

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The Sinner’s Prayer at a Southern Baptist Convention

I was a bit grieved by the response from an issue that I apparently helped spark regarding the “sinner’s prayer.” A three-minute video clip from an hour-long message I delivered at the Verge Conference in Austin earlier this year created conversation and eventually led to a resolution among Southern Baptists to defend the use of a “sinner’s prayer” in evangelism. Though I had some concerns with the resolution as it was originally proposed, I was…

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Sinner’s Prayer: How It Changed Through Time

The revivalists of “The Great Awakening” (in the 1700’s) frequently appealed to Revelation 3:20 which was written to lukewarm Christians, misapplying the words of Jesus in order to appeal to non-Christians for salvation: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and be with me.” Here is an example from one of the “Great Awakening” preachers,…

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The Problem with Asking Jesus into Your Heart

If there were a Guinness Book of World Records record for “amount of times having asked Jesus into your heart,” I’m pretty sure I would hold it. By the time I reached the age of 18, I had probably “asked Jesus into my heart” 5,000 times. I started somewhere around age 4 when I approached my parents one Saturday morning asking how someone could know that they were going to heaven. They carefully led me…

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The Beauty of a Manmade Sinner’s Prayer

(The author referred to the “Sinner’s Prayer” as a “work of genius”). It comes in many flavors, but it generally contains two elements: repentance for sin and trust in Christ’s redemptive work at the Cross for forgiveness. The prayer assumes absolute dependence on God’s grace (we do not “cooperate” with grace); trust in Christ’s lordship (“accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior”); and union with Christ (as in, “inviting Christ into my heart”). Some versions are…

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The Day He Realized It Was Not Biblical

It was the first Thursday night of October 1984, at the age of 42, when I realized that all that I had been teaching for 18 years as a “Pentecostal” had been “false doctrine” and that I was like the “blind leading the blind.” That Thursday night of October 1984 changed my life, my thinking, and my understanding of the “Word of God.” I was invited to a “Gospel Meeting” at the Sandstone Drive Church…

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  • Proverbs 15:23 October 22, 2021
    “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!”
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