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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved
B&H Books / 2013 / Hardcover
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Author and pastor J.D. Greear has thought a lot about his salvation. He prayed the sinner's prayer when he was four years old, and over the course of his young adulthood was baptized four times. However, he didn't feel sure of his salvation in Christ, and obsesssively sought for the peace that assurance would bring him. Along the way, he discovered many other Christians who felt the same insecurity about their faith, and realized that this doubt was a trend for many believers.
In Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, Greear takes a closer look at what the Bible says to bring clarity to believers and skeptics seeking answers to common questions about faith and salvation, such as How do we know we are saved? and Can we lose our faith and salvation in Christ? His answers will give assurance to the anxious and issue a challenge to those who may have become complacent. Discover how confessing Jesus as Savior and Lord is only the beginning of a challenging, yet remarkable and worthwhile life journey.
"If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for amount of times having prayed the sinners prayer, Im pretty sure Id be a top contender," says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and eventually learned he was not alone. "Lack of assurance" is epidemic among evangelical Christians.
In Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, J. D. shows that faulty ways of present- ing the gospel are a leading source of the confusion. Our presentations may not be heretical, but they are sometimes misleading. The idea of "asking Jesus into your heart" or "giving your life to Jesus" often gives false assurance to those who are not savedand keeps those who genuinely are saved from fully embracing that reality.
Greear unpacks the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point and is maintained for the rest of our lives. He also answers the tough questions about assurance: What exactly is faith? What is repentance? Why are there so many warnings that seem to imply we can lose our salvation?
Such issues are handled with respect to the theological rigors they require, but Greear never loses his pastoral sensitivity or a communication technique that makes this message teachable to a wide audience from teens to adults.
J. D. Greear is lead pastor of The Summit Church, a multi-site congregation in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He holds an M.Div. in International Church Planting and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Greear also lived and worked among Muslims in Southeast Asia for two years and wrote Breaking the Islam Code. He and his wife have four children.
"Warmly personal. Immensely helpful. Wonderfully practical. Thoroughly biblical. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every Christian who longs to know, experience, and spread assurance of salvation in Christ."
Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills
"Salvation is a serious issue. Scripture commands us, on the one hand, to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" and, on the other, paints beautiful pictures of believers walking in great assurance. J.D. helps us see what conversion really is and what it is not. This book will be a help for those who wrestle with their position before God and a wake-up call for those with false confidence. I recommend it highly."
Lead Pastor, The Village Church
President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
"Outstanding! This is a truly useful book. It's readable, engaging and packed with scriptural insight. It not only gives hope to Christians struggling with assurance of salvation, it will equip any Christian to better share the gospel and guide others toward genuine repentance and faith in Jesus."
Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church
"Every Christian struggles with doubt about salvation. The comforting passages of Scripture, assuring believers of their hope in salvation, were written to build up faith in the face of doubt. Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart guides readers through both assurance and perseverance in a life-altering way. Greears work is both an affront to easy-believism and a spotlight on the promises of Gods Word. A comforting wakeup call."
President of Lifeway Research
"So much emphasis today is on the power of personal persuasion in sharing the gospel. What to say, how to say it. Reasons to believe, proofs for the authority of scripture, methods for gaining credibility blah blah blah. Pick up a copy of my friend, J.D. Greears book and learn the marks of a person saved by Jesus Christ. I commend it to you."
Dr. James MacDonald
Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel and author of VerticalChurch
"A sensitive conscience can be a curse from Satan or a blessing from God. Does your conscience drive you from God, or to Him? In this book, J. D. Greear gets the Gospel right. And the Gospel is the way from conviction to salvation. This book should help you know how to place your conscience in the Lord's hands, where it can be a tool greatly used by God, as it was in Augustine's life, or Martin Luther's."
Pastor and author of 9 Marks of the Healthy Church
J.D. tackles an incredibly vital topic in our time, but from the front lines of ministry as one who stands unashamed to call people to follow Christ. Read this book and understand with fresh eyes and a hungry heart the wonder of biblical conversion.
Alvin Reid, Ph.D.
Professor of Evangelism & Student Ministry/Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"I wore out 2 Sharpies worth of ink writing "Amen & WOW" in the margins of this new book. Chapter after chapter I was encouraged, rebuked, discipled, and compelled to be a better minister of the Gospel. Thank you J.D. for this gift to the church."
"I have to admit the title of this book made me uncomfortable. It sounded to me like a tract against the so-called sinners prayer, and I find it biblical to cry out Lord have mercy on me, a sinner! But as I read this book I found that is not what it is about at all. In this volume, J. D. Greear, one of the most dynamic and brilliant pastors in evangelical life today, addresses a common problem among Christians: the sense that we can never get assured enough that Jesus hears our sinners prayer and receives us, just as we are. This book throws the spotlight on Jesus as a welcoming, merciful Savior who joyously receives all who come to him. This book could help free you, or someone you love, from the nagging fear that Jesus is trying to keep you out of his kingdom."
Russell D. Moore
Dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and Triumph of Christ
When I first read the title, I was caught off guardbecause I am an evangelist who continually urges hearers to repent and ask Jesus into their heart. Once I began to read, however, I began to understand the big ideapraying a prayer of repentance and salvation ought only to mark the beginning of a lifetime of repentance and faith. J.D. wrestles with a tough subject here and does a tremendous job of helping the church come to grips with a salvation not anchored in a one-time prayer but the finished work of Christ.
Teaching Pastor, NewSpring Church
Campus Pastor, Liberty University
This book is similar to John Stott's Basic Christianity in that it lays out with clarity and reasoned arguments the path to Christian belief. Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart is especially helpful in answering many follow-on questions, too. Faith seekers and faith sharers alike will benefit from J. D. Greear's clear thinking on what effectuates and evidences true salvation in Christ.
David A. Spence
An Executor of Dr. Stott's Literary Estate
"Improper methodology and sloppy theology have paralyzed at worst and confused at best many of our churches today when it comes to evangelism. J.D.s book is not only timely but crucial.
Executive Assistant to the President
Word of Life Fellowship Inc
Author of Where Was God When: Real Answers to Hard Questions
"This is a very helpful and needed book. Untold numbers of people are thinking of themselves as true Christians when really theirs is a false assurance; while others are true Christians but lack a solid assurance. The book spells out how to teach the Gospel in such a way as to help avoid these tragic results and how to help deliver those who are experiencing them. The emphasis on clear presentation of the meaning and evidence of repentance and faith is exactly what is needed. Also the difference a genuine assurance of salvation can make in ones life is brought out. I highly recommend this book!"
Briarwood Presbyterian Church
"Dont let the provocative first half of the title scare you away from reading this important book! Emanating from his own personal and pastoral experience, yet with feet firmly planted in the sufficiency of Scripture, Greear is far more interested in helping us have genuine biblical assurance of salvation than anything else. He rightly reminds us we must emphasize the absolute indispensability of repentance and faith as necessary for salvation. Though I might quibble over a few things I would express differently, the vast majority of J. D.s book I wholeheartedly endorse. Timely, engagingly written, and thoroughly practical, it deserves a place on every pastors shelf. Buy it! Apply it!"
David L. Allen, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Theology
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
"This is a book I wish was available when I turned 20 and had a terrible season of doubting my salvation. By Gods grace and the truth of the gospel I was able to settle the issue. I have lived in the full assurance of my salvation in Jesus ever since. God wants us to experience the joyful truth that we are eternally secure in Jesus. This book can help take you there. I will be recommending this book often!"
Daniel L. Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"As someone who works with young people, I often see the pitfall that my friend J.D. Greear explores in Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart; How To Know for Sure You are Saved. I have sat with many 18-24 year olds that say they had no clue what they were doing when they repeated a prayer with someone as a young person. As next generation leaders, we have to focus on true life-change, really direction change rather than just a spiritual transaction. I am thankful that J.D. was willing to take on the hard discussions related to salvation and discipleship in this new book."
J. Roger Davis, President, Student Life
"Stop Asking Jesus into your heart" by J.D. Greear is a biblical clarification for the assurance of salvation to the Christian based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. The invitation to eternal life is more than a prayer! It is a living, breathing, real, relevant, relationship with God through Jesus Christ while being sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel saves and Sustains! Read, Reflect and Rejoice in the ability to know of the assurance of your salvation!"
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