31 July 2011

Jesus Doesn't Ask for a Moment

Jesus doesn't ask us for a moment, He requires of us a lifetime commitment:
"Modern evangelism would lead us to believe that becoming a Christian is a matter of a moment, not a lifetime. It's a matter of an accepting of Christ. It's a matter of emotional experience to which you were led by fiery preaching or heart rending stories or music. Whatever might be used to induce a person to a moment of emotional breakdown where they will pray a prayer, make a decision, accept Christ, that seems to be the direction of modern evangelical evangelism. All they have to do is grab that moment, say that prayer. And if they don't know what it should be, we'll give them a formula to pray. And that's all it takes to become a Christian. 
It's obvious that Jesus didn't do that. He never tried to quote, "Get people saved by moving them emotionally to a moment of crisis, or a moment of decision, or a moment of acceptance of Himself." He never brought anybody that I know of in the New Testament to a place where they were supposed to pray a prayer. Never did He do that and never did the Apostles do that. None of them ever moved toward some crisis event in which supposedly the sinner was redeemed from sin and death and hell. And yet the call to Christ, the call to salvation is typically viewed in our world as an event, as a response to an emotional moment. Not so in the words of Jesus. When Jesus invited someone to come into His Kingdom, when Jesus invited someone to receive His forgiveness and salvation, He asked that person for the rest of his life. He didn't want a moment. He didn't want the emotion of a moment. He wanted a carefully thought out understood commitment of a lifetime. Repentance from sin, confession of Jesus as Lord, obedience from the heart to the Word and the Spirit was for life. And there was always that emphasis in the ministry of Jesus. He disdained the short-term disciple. He made things so difficult for many would-be disciples that, for example, in the sixth chapter of John it says, "Many of His disciples walked no more with Him." The standard was just too high. What was required was too demanding." - John MacArthur
From a sermon entitled "Barriers to True Discipleship," available in its entirety at Grace to You. 

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