Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Themes » Evangelistic » I’m Saved! In Church I Walked Down The Aisle and Said A Prayer…

I’m Saved! In Church I Walked Down The Aisle and Said A Prayer…

Follow Us And Keep Updated On All SIH Postings ...


As The Lord Wills...Upcoming Series On SIH Blog. Don't Miss Out!

No upcoming events

Blog Subscription Tools:


Blog Stats

  • 286,289 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,569 other followers

Follow SIH Ministries On:


SettledInHeaven.org

SIH STSTA ICONAs a Pastor of 15 years, I used to ask the question, “Have you ever been saved from your sins?”.  I have received many different responses to this question.  Here are a few of them…

“Of course, I was baptized as a baby in (church name)”;

“Yes, I am saved, I am a member of (church name)”;

“Yes, I have kept all the sacraments of my church”;

“Yes, I was born into a Christian family, we’ve been Christians for at least four generations”;

“Why yes, thank you for asking, I walked down the aisle of (church name) and said the sinners prayer back in September of 2001”;

and many, many more.

It has broken my heart to hear responses like this coming from those for whom I care.  If you notice, in every case, the above responses imply that our salvation is based on something we have done.  The Bible makes it plain that our salvation does not lie in what we have done, but what the Lord has done in us.  (John 6:44-45, 6:63-66, Eph 2:8-10, Php 2:12-13, Col 1:25-29, Titus 3:4-5)

So where did we get the idea that salvation is based on something that we have done?  Sad to say, in many cases, the churches of today must take responsibility for fostering this false belief.  Since I am a Baptist pastor, I will use Baptist churches for my example… my heart aches when I see other Baptist pastors, at the close of the service, beg and plead for people to “come down the aisle and be saved” or “repeat the sinners prayer after me and be saved”.

In many cases, this is done by well-meaning pastors who are trying to encourage those in attendance to make a commitment to Christ.   But, instead of bringing about commitment, they are encouraging others to trust in a work for their salvation.

Please remember, a person can be saved just as easily standing in the pew, or sitting in a chair, or lying in a bed etc etc.  The Lord can work in the heart at anytime and any place, not just at the altar in the front of the church.  Likewise, salvation comes through Christ creating faith into the heart of the faithless, not by us saying any prayer.

Whenever the gospel message is given out in the Bible, it is never accompanied with the instructions to walk an aisle, or say a “sinner’s prayer” (the same can be said for baptism, church membership, keeping the sacraments, or being born into a Christian family).   The gospel message, when given in the Bible, is accompanied with the instructions to trust in Christ and His work. (Acts 16:30-31, John 3:15-16 etc etc)

The only way we can be certain we are saved is by knowing the Lord has worked in our lives.  How can we know this for sure?  The Bible makes it plain….

THE SCRIPTURE:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. … For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:17-21)

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  (Jas 2:14-26)

THE STUDY:

In the Bible, a true salvation experience brings about change in the life of the believer.  When God intervenes in the life of a sinner and brings him to salvation, the newly saved person becomes a new creation in Christ. (2 Cor 5:17-21)  This “new creation” involves a new attitude about the Lord and sin.  (Eph  4:22-24)  The newly saved now sees Christ as their Lord and despises the sin in their life.  This new attitude then motivates the Christian to begin a life of service to their Lord and Savior.  This service is described as fruit bearing. (John 15:1-5, Gals 5:19-26)  This changed life is one of the reasons why God has saved us (Eph 2:8-10).

Also, this changed life is what gives us the ultimate assurance that the Lord has worked a work of saving grace in our lives. James clearly presented this principle in James chapter 2.  In verses 14-26, James refers to “dead” faith as opposed to a Godly saving faith.  How can we tell the difference?  James tells us the works that we perform will reveal the true nature of the faith we have within us.   The lack of a changed life shows us that the faith we possess is not of God but simply a work that we performed in and of ourselves (a dead faith).  A changed life brought about by our faith, shows us that our faith is a work of God in our heart. (Please read James 2:14-26 in it’s entirety to come to a full understanding of James’ teachings.)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

So let me rephrase my original question, “Have you ever exercised faith in Christ?  If so, has this faith produced a changed life within you?  Do you now love the Lord and seek to please Him with your life.  Do you now hate sin and strive to rid it from your life?”  These questions get to the heart of our spiritual condition.

If you can say, “yes” to all three, you can be assured that you have been forgiven of your sins and are a part of God’s family.  If you must say “no” to any, or all, of these then you must come to the realization you are yet in your sins.  If you are yet in your sins, please follow the dictates of God’s Word….

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”(1Jn 5:11-13)

If you would like more information about salvation, please refer to my blog page entitled “forgiveness”.

Also, if you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”  “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


5 Comments

  1. groveonline says:

    Great post! (I’m new on WordPress).
    This is a huge problem and it contributing to the continuing religiosity within Christian churches in America. I appreciate how you bring attention to how many people emphasize that their salvation is centered around their action or work. Because we need to realize that Jesus did the work.
    And you’re right, one will never find an example of “repeating the prayer”, or “walking the isle” being and act of accepting salvation.
    A recent thought of mine was that – our works do no trigger salvation for us because we can’t earn it but faith as an act and decision does. Since faith is not like the “works” that we do to earn salvation, they are physical but faith is supernatural.
    What do you think about that? Faith as an action that flips the switch of acceptance and receiving.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I think you are making a great point. As you say, our trusting God is a supernatural act of God, keep in mind…
      “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (Joh 6:28-29).
      Here, we are clearly told that placing our faith in Christ is a “work of God”, just as you say. I believe, as you, that this is why trusting in God is not considered a meritorious work of salvation. It is simply the hearts response to God’s intervention in our heart. God is doing the work and we are simply responding to that work.
      His work causes our simultaneous response of faith; much like a bullet causes a hole in the wall even though the bullet striking the wall and the hole being produced are simultaneous actions. The bullet (God’s workings) causes the hole (our faith) not vice versa.
      Thanks for the posting, if I am not clear about my thoughts let me know… I can try to explain it in a different way. This whole faith vs works issue is not an easy one to understand nor explain.

  2. Eva Barkman says:

    Wonderful blog! Your doing a great job, sweetie.

  3. Your opening statement got me in. As an organiser and counsellor at Christian camps and holiday clubs for many years, I have come to deplore the “easy believism” as evidenced by so many children. So often we get the reply “My mum said I am” or worse still “My pastor told me I am because I said a prayer when I was 7 years old” – yet they have NO personal experience of fellowship with the Lord. There has been NO change in the life and there is no idea of sin, repentance, or salvation. I despair at the number of children (and most likely adults) who THINK they are going to heaven because of the wrong teaching of easy believism.

    I would not detract from the truth of “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” but there needs to be much more teaching on “believe” and the Lordship of Christ and much less concern about chalking up numbers.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I know it is heart breaking to see little ones so confused about what salvation really is all about. Over the past few years the Lord has really burdened my heart about this type of situation. To me, it is the responsibility of Pastors, Teachers and others in authority to make sure that the way, and basis, of our salvation is made plain and understood by all. Thanks for a great comment. May the Lord bless you.

Comments are closed.

Translate This Blog Into Other Languages...


Search Our Site For All Your Favorite Postings...


Guide To Our Current Postings…

Currently Being Updated For 2012-2013

%d bloggers like this: