For the most part the denominational world teaches that in order to be saved from the consequences of our sins all we have to do is say some form of the "Sinner's Prayer."
The Sinner's Prayer goes something along these lines...
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”
The denominational world says simply express that thought from your heart and you're saved from your sins and you're good with God. That's all there is to it, they say.
Time and time again I have asked the "Sinner's Prayer" form of salvation teachers to show me just one example of anyone in New Testament scripture being saved by any form of such a prayer.
So far, no response.
Could it be because there isn't one?
Help me out here. If your preacher or religious leader teaches a form of the "Sinner's Prayer," ask him, or her, for me, "Where is one example of anyone being saved by any form of the "Sinner's Prayer" in the New Testament?"
I'd really like to find it.
The Bible actually teaches a different way of being saved than the "Sinner's Prayer."
(1.) Before anything else, you must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) In Romans 1:18-32 we are told what we have done that separates us from God. Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
(2.) After hearing the gospel you must have faith, an active belief, in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
(3.) The third thing you must do is to repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) You must have a change of mind about your sins. Before you paid little attention to them, now you strive not to do them. But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. In fact there are examples in the New Testament showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). Prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, it will not save you either.
(4.) You must confess, acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) You do not need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. (Acts 2:36) Not one time in scripture is anyone ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
(5.) Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) This is the point that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is the blood of Christ that removes sin. (Revelation 1:5) Christ's blood was shed at his death. And we are baptized into both him and his death. (Romans 6:3-4) Baptism is where we are "born again" and walk in "newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4, John 3:3) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Mark 16:16, Acts 8:35-36; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who answers the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that is different than the one found in Acts 2:38 is not proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
(6.) Once you are saved, obedient, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) You must continue to serve God faithfully until death to continue in God’s grace. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)
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