Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart - eBook  -     By: J.D. Greear
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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart - eBook

B&H Books / 2013 / ePub

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Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781433679186
ISBN-13: 9781433679186
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

 "If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for ’amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,’ I’m pretty sure I’d 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 saved—and 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.

Author Bio

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.

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  1. Upland, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good responsed to the problem caused by the Invitation System
    February 8, 2015
    lrgabriel
    Upland, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I first heard the title of this book it really intrigued me, and I immediately added it to my list of books to read. I grew up in a Christian home and was raised in a Baptist church. I was taught that a person became a Christian by praying the Sinners Prayer and asking Jesus to come into his heart. My mom lead me to do this when, at the age of six or seven, I had enough of an understanding about sin and hell to know that because of my disobedience to my parents (and to God) I deserved to go to hell and asked her what I should do. When I got older, I can recall a couple of other occasions in public meetings raising my hand or standing to express my desire to rededicate my life to the Lord (not to mention times when I did it silently). J. D. Greear admits that, By the time I reached the age of eighteen I had probably asked Jesus into my heart five thousand timesI walked a lot of aisles during those days. I think Ive been saved at least once in every denomination. Not to mention being baptized four times.

    "Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart" was written for those who:

    - Have repented of their sin and prayed a sinners prayer numerous times, yet still have doubts about their acceptance into heaven

    - Cannot recall a specific moment in time when they became saved

    - Want to know how someone can know for sure they are saved

    - Wonder if they have sinned too much or rejected God too often to be forgiven

    So the question is put forth: How can anyone know, beyond all doubt, that they are saved? Satan, the great Liar, seems to be in the business of deceiving in two ways: 1) he deceives many who are not saved into thinking that they are, and 2) he keeps those who truly are saved in doubt that they are. Greear suggests that one of the reasons these two conditions exist is because of the trite, clich terms that are used when evangelizing the lost. The author makes the observation that in some church circles, conversion has become nothing more than reciting a ritualistic formula prayer. He acknowledges that it is Biblical to extend an offer or invitation to unbelievers to come to Christ. Preachers like Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards regularly entreated the lost to repent and to pray to God to save them. Certainly it is the job of a gospel preacher, evangelist, missionary indeed, every Christian to put out a general call and offer the gospel to the lost. But Greear points out that praying a prayer to accept Jesus or ask Jesus into your heart without a genuine repentance of sin and desire to obey and follow Christ does not result in salvation. Yet many rest all of their confidence and assurance on that moment when they prayed the sinners prayer rather than resting in the work of Christ. On the other hand, just because you dont recall inviting Jesus into your heart, or cant pinpoint your spiritual birthday as the day you were saved, doesnt mean you arent.

    True spiritual regeneration produces both faith and repentance, which are outward signs of and responses to the internal work of God, for only a heart that has been changed by the Holy Spirit can believe or repent of sin. Greear spends a chapter on each of these elements, faith and repentance, which he explains are like two sides of a coin and go hand-in-hand. He explains what faith is not: mere intellectual understanding and mental assent about who Jesus is and what He did. Nor is faith a decision made at one point in time. Its a present posture (to use Greears term) that continues on throughout the believers life.

    Greear observes that assurance of salvation can never come from looking back at what I did (or didnt do) in the past; that will always result in doubts. In fact, the reason many struggle with doubts about their salvation may be because they are looking at what theyve done/are doing rather than trusting in what God has done according to the promises in His Word. The best way to deal with doubts when they arise is not to look back at what took place at your supposed time of conversion (or refer to the date written on the inside cover of your Bible), but rather to look at your present state are you trusting Christ NOW?

    He goes on to explain what repentance is not: it's not praying a prayer, feeling sorry about sin, or even confessing it. It isnt religious activity, partial surrender, or perfection. Repentance is not the absence of sin; in fact, Greear points out, Repentance ushers us into a life of greater struggle [with sin] not out of onethe struggle is proof of [our] new nature.

    After looking at the topics of faith and repentance, Greear spends one chapter discussing the idea of eternal security, or what is sometimes phrased, once saved, always saved. Finally, before summarizing, he looks briefly at chief evidences that a person is truly saved. This couldve been presented as a legalistic checklist, ie. if youre really a Christian you will do this, and this, and this. Instead he sums it up as Christ Himself summed up the law of God: love for God and love for others.

    J. D. Greear believes, as do I, that God desires for His children to have assurance of salvation. Greear states, Until you know that you are His and He is yours, your obedience will be limited. Your love will be stifled, your confidence will be shaky, and your courage will be minimal. God gave His Word to His children to reassure and remind us of His promises to us. God our Father desires for us to live abundant, victorious lives, filled with His joy and peace, and having bold confidence to approach Him. Does this mean we will always feel happy, will never become discouraged, and will no longer be tempted by or fall into sin? Does it mean we will never have times of weakness, fear or doubt? Of course not. But when those times come, we must look to Christ and trust in the truths of Gods Word, not to our own decisions, actions, or feelings.

    "Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart" is a quick and easy read of only about 120 pages. J. D. Greears book isnt what I would call meaty or theologically deep, but it is sound and accessible to the typical Christian. I would recommend it to anyone who has had ongoing struggles with doubts about their salvation.
  2. Toronto
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Stop asking Jesus into your heart:How to know for sure you are saved
    January 30, 2015
    Stella
    Toronto
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Excellent for people who do prayer room or participate in evangelism teams. We must give a full explanation of the meaning of Commitment, or we become part of the problem of the new believer's lack of assurance and growth.

    I have bought 6 to share with my Evangelism Explosion Level 2 students. These are the ones who will be doing most of the asking, "Would you like to receive the free gift of eternal life?"
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent
    January 4, 2015
    Zac
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Very theologically sound. An excellent volume and would make a great small group study.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    excellent
    October 3, 2014
    jean boulanger
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    the best small book i ever read!
  5. Yelm, WA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Very Easy to Understand
    December 29, 2013
    ruthhill74
    Yelm, WA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I am so glad I got the chance to read this book. It was a simple, straightforward book targeted at people just like me who grew up in the church and got the idea that maybe you needed to keep asking Jesus into your heart to be sure that you are saved. And I suppose that this would help anyone struggling with the issue of whether he/she is truly a Christian.

    I probably heard an "altar call" message practically every Sunday that I was growing up. I made the decision to "walk the aisle" and "ask Jesus into my heart" when i was about six or seven. I knew that I understood what I was doing, and there was a genuine change within me. However, as per normal, I heard that "altar call" message again, and I began to doubt my salvation. I don't remember how many times I "prayed the prayer" just to be sure that I was going to heaven.

    This book addresses these and other topics such as losing one's salvation, "once saved always saved," and more. The book is easy to understand, i.e., it is written in English rather than "church speak." Although these are things that I long ago understood, so it was more of a review for me. But it is nice to read a book like this with solid theology and well-organized thoughts. I would recommend this to anyone who may be struggling with his/her salvation. The author puts forth a Biblical solution to your worries and concerns.

    I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
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