"Never did Jesus call for a short, easy prayer to receive eternal life. Never did He call on people to make an emotional decision induced by some pleadings by someone or some music or some environment. Never did Jesus offer an easy forgiveness and an easy way to Heaven. The door was always narrow, hard to find and there were always distractions to lead people away. [...] In fact, if you look at the evangelism of Jesus it's amazingly contrary to what we are used to. The Lord did everything He could, said everything He could to stop would-be, shallow, superficial followers...to literally stop them dead in their tracks. He put up barrier after barrier after barrier. He kept articulating these extreme standards for coming to Him to receive salvation. And this is just completely contrary to what we are used to in our environment and getting even more used to because it's more and more common. Evangelists today and pastors and people in church ministry seek mass responses. I mean, the idea is to reach as many people as you possibly can and so you've got to figure out what is the attraction for the masses and then you've got to decide what are the barriers that prevent people from confessing Christ, praying a prayer, seeking salvation. And you get all those barriers clarified and eliminate them all. You want to make this decision as easy as possible for the most people possible. So you remove anything you think would stand in the way, anything that would prevent people from praying this prayer or acknowledging this simple faith and responding to the message. Jesus did absolutely the opposite of that. He did everything He could to put up barriers constantly by making statements that were absolute and exclusive and extreme. He sought no superficial followers whatsoever. [..] Never would He give anyone an easy way to secure a false sense of salvation. If only we would go back to understanding how Jesus did evangelism...extreme demands that were not ambiguous, that were crystal clear and would deter the superficial and would thwart the fickle."
-John MacArthur, excerpted from The Extreme Nature of True Discipleship, Part 1