To begin, the author cites the personal accounts of Erwin Lutzer and Hank Lindstrom. The solution to Lutzer’s frustration is simply by believing what Jesus promised at Revelation 3:20, and Linstrom’s prayer is odd, given that if you feel that Jesus has left you, then it wasn't God that has moved, but you.
Nevertheless, let’s address each of the 7 points.
1) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…it is never found in the Bible.”
Well why not at least cite the verse that people use to argue that it IS in the Bible, namely, Revelation 3:20? (He waits until point #6 to do this.)
2) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…it is not how someone is saved.”
But if Jesus dwells in your heart, so does the Father (John 14:23), and how is that not salvation?
The author states that one “doesn’t have to pray to be saved,” and yet Romans 10:13 states that “whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Additionally, the author states: “…sinners are not saved by their good/religious works, including asking Jesus into their heart…” Unfortunately, we are left with nothing more than simply to take his word for it.
3) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…it requires no understanding of the Gospel of Grace to do it.”
A sincere prayer to invite Jesus into one’s heart accompanies an understanding that Jesus is both needed and that He can meet that need.
The author states: “Frankly, any five year old can ask Jesus into her heart without any true understanding of the person, work, and accomplishment of the Lord Jesus Christ….” Actually, make that any “four” year old, and frankly, Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)
The author asks: “Are you trusting in a prayer that you prayed to be saved?” Why not instead ask, “Are you trusting in the One to whom you prayed?”
4) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…it confuses the means of salvation with the results of salvation.”
In other words, praying to ask Jesus to come into your heart “puts the cart before the horse” because you are in essence praying to receive the end result of salvation, that is, the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ, instead of praying for the start of salvation. The New Birth is also the end result of salvation, so should no one pray to be made Born Again either?
Calvinist, D. James Kennedy, states: “Our faith and our repentance are the work of God’s grace in our hearts. Our contribution is simply the sin for which Jesus Christ suffered and died. Would you be born anew? There has never been a person who sought for that who did not find it. Even the seeking is created by the Spirit of God. Would you know that new life? Are you tired of the emptiness and purposelessness of your life? Are you tired of the filthy rags of your own righteousness? Would you trust in someone else other than yourself? Then look to the cross of Christ. Place your trust in him. Ask him to come in and be born in you today. For Jesus came into the world from glory to give us second birth because we must--we MUST--be born again.” (Why I Believe, p.140)
5) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…it either results in no assurance of salvation or brings a false assurance to people.”
The question is this: Are you trusting in a prayer that you prayed, or are you trusting in the person to whom you prayed? If you are trusting in the person to whom you prayed, namely Jesus, then the focus is not on you, but on God.
In terms of “assurance,” rest assured that on the basis of the biblically settled fact that God is both omnipresent and omniscient, that He hears you, at least for no other reason than because you can’t hide from Him. You will have to answer to Him for everything single thing that you will ever say and do. David said: “You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.” (Psalm 139:3-8)
The author explains: “Now this is not to say that those who have asked Jesus into their heart are not saved. They may be genuine believers in Christ. But if they are saved, they have been reconciled to God through placing their faith in Christ, not by asking Jesus into their heart.”
However, asking Jesus into your heart is a matter of placing your faith in the One to whom you are praying, or else why are you praying to Him at all? If you do not believe that He exists, or that He answers, then why are you praying to Him?
The author explains: “While asking Jesus into your heart may be an expression of positive volition towards God, or may accompany faith in Christ, it certainly is not synonymous with faith in Christ alone.”
Why not? Doesn’t this sound like Special Pleading? After all, are you not trusting in the One to whom you are praying? Are you not positively answering the One who stands at the door of your heart, knocking? So how is that “not synonymous with faith in Christ alone” when it is entirely a matter of faith? Now if praying to Christ is nothing more than a ritual of repetitious prayer, then that’s one thing, but if praying to Christ is a matter of communication with God, then the author’s entire argument falls apart, as it has established a means of salvation, as per Romans 10:13.
6) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…Revelation 3:20 does not teach it.”
Concerning the Church of Laodicea, the author asks, “Is it the unsaved or the redeemed?” So does the author really want to say that those whom the Lord described as being “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” were actually taking up their cross daily and following Him? (I find it fascinating how some who profess a “Lordship Doctrine” simultaneously believe that Revelation 3:20 addresses believers???)
The author then states that the “door” of Revelation 3:20 means the door to a “meeting place,” and then has the audacity to say that those who believe that it is a door to a person’s “heart” is “totally foreign to this passage.” The fact is that Jesus used the symbol of a “door” before, and no, it wasn’t the door to a “meeting place.” Jesus states: “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9) Next.
7) “Don’t ask Jesus into your heart because…it does not clarify the condition of salvation, it confuses it--especially with children.”
The author explains that children are “prone to imagine Christ in bodily form somehow living in the organ that pumps our blood.” However, I find it odd that the author opted not to perform a research study in order to bolster his hypothesis.
Article posted on CARM.org: