The highlight of my weekend relaxation most times, is slipping into our backyard, grabbing a coffee/soda and spending a good portion of the day with my nose in a book. A few weeks ago I grabbed a small sized book from J.D. Greear and a Peach Nehi and went out into the backyard.
On the surface, I thought that Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart would be a quick read with a number of valid points. I was very pleasantly surprised with the depth and magnitude of the issues dealt with in the book. Much like David Platt’s book Follow Me, Greear takes aim at the “easy beliefism” that is sweeping through the church. Much like the title implies, there are so many people who have recited a prayer to ask Jesus into their hearts for the salvation of their souls but, they have no desire to surrender their very hearts and lives to the One they just prayed to. Greear puts it perfectly when he says:
“Salvation is not a prayer you pray in a one-time ceremony and then move on from; salvation is a posture of repentance and faith that you begin in a moment and maintain for the rest of your life.” [p. 6]
As a student pastor, I found this book to be incredibly helpful for students and something that a teenager could read easily and grasp vital Christian truths. The book addresses questions like “Can I Lose my Salvation?”, “What is Repentance?”, “What is Belief?” Greear speaks out of the overflow of his own teenage years and the fear he had of not being saved. He constantly asked Christ into his heart and was even baptized four times for fear of not being saved. For me personally, I lied awake many nights as a teen in fear that I was not saved. I feared I had not gotten it right. My problem was, like so many others, I was trusting in being a good kid instead of trusting in a Good & Gracious Savior. My assurance was hanging on the wrong things. As Greear states,
“If you base your assurance on what you do or how well you’ll do it, you’ll never find assurance. You’ll always be wondering if you’re doing enough. If your assurance is based on what Christ has done, however, you can rest on His performance. Your salvation is as secure as His finished work.” [p. 38]
The book spends so much time on the beauty of the work of the Cross in the life of the believer. The powerful work of Christ on the Cross crushed sin and death. The work has called us to a life that is to be lived in repentance of sin and pursuit of a relationship with God. The promise of the the Cross is one that is rich in assurance, power and hope. More people need to understand the amazing grace we have in Christ and Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart shines a bright light on the beautiful message of the gospel.