Thursday, January 26, 2017
The Sinner's Prayer Defended
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-13
The Bible over and over emphasizes calling upon the name of the Lord for salvation. In fact, the doctrine of calling upon the name of the Lord has its origins back in Genesis with the first generation of people on the earth. Adam and Eve were still alive when the Bible says men began to call upon the name of the Lord:
“And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” Genesis 4:26
People will come along and try to say that the sinner’s prayer is unbiblical. They’ll say that praying a prayer and asking for eternal life is works. These vain janglers are actually saying that if you ask for something, it is no longer a gift.
What if I went down to the welfare office and asked for a welfare check or food stamps? Would anyone say that I earned that money? Asking for something is not earning it. There is no other area in life where we would believe that.
Look at Matthew 7:11:
“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him"
Jesus is talking about how our children ask for things like bread or fish, and he refers to those things they ask us for as gifts.
In John Chapter 4, Jesus told the woman at the well that she would ask for living water if she knew who he was, and he called it the gift of God. If you know the gift of God, and you know Jesus, you will ask him for the gift:
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:11
Everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is saved. Nothing could be clearer in scripture, and I’ve never said otherwise. That said, calling upon the name of the Lord is part of salvation. It’s the faith in our heart that saves us, and it is expressed out of our mouth. The prayer is a reflection of what is in our heart.
I personally believe that the attack on the sinner’s prayer is of the Devil. Giving people the Gospel using the Roman’s road and assisting them in a prayer is an effective soul winning method, so the Devil wants us to use less effective methods or perhaps become disillusioned with soul-winning altogether.
I use the tried and true Roman’s Road with a few additional verses, a strong emphasis on eternal security, and some review questions to make sure the person understands. If they say they believe, I lead them in a prayer.
Here is the sermon on The Sinner’s Prayer where I go into this subject in more detail.
Here is my soul-winning demonstration video.