Romans 10:13.14; Proverbs 23:26; Luke 18:13;
Many expressions we use in
witnessing must be explained lest they be misleading. Consider some
common instructions to non-Christians.. The exhortation is often
given: "Just call on the Lord to save you, for the Bible says,
'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved' (Rom.
10:13)." However, the next verse plainly states, "How then shall they
call on him in whom they have not believed?" From this it is clear and
consistent with the rest of the Bible that salvation comes by
believing on the Lord Jesus (Rom. 1:16; Acts 16:31). Calling on the
Lord is good if the gospel is understood and accepted as the basis for
A common expression used is, "Give your heart to Jesus."
Its origin is Proverbs 23:26: "My son, give
me thine heart." This verse is not an invitation to salvation at all.
The biblical message is not that we give anything but we are to
receive Someone. Christians mean well, and no doubt many have come to
Christ through the use of this expression; but we should be alert not
to take too much for granted and to be sure the gospel is explained
Often used is the so-called "sinner's prayer," "God be merciful to me
a sinner" (Luke 18:13). People are told to pray this prayer as though
it were a magic formula. The Greek word for merciful means "to be made
propitious'' or "satisfied." We are told in I John 2:2 that the Lord
Jesus "is the propitiation for our sins." You see, God has already
been made propitious or satisfied by the death of Christ. Man must now
believe that salvation has been accomplished and receive Christ by
"Ask Jesus to come into your heart" is another instruction sometimes
given. This is based on Revelation 3:20: "Behold I stand at the door
and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come
in." If we can apply this to the sinner, we must be sure he hears
Christ's voice through the Word. Be certain he understands the basic
truths of the gospel (see Part II, Lessons 8 and 11). Then he can
"open the door" by receiving Christ.