Their new nature will lead them to do those things, and even more. I tried wearing the sacred relic that my aunt gave to me but haven’t seen anything change. As such, it was never passed on by the apostles. My personal experience has largely been in the context of Thai folk Buddhists who practice a combination of Theravada Buddhism and various local animistic beliefs. That definition sounds straightforward—and it is. Oh, that any of us were that perfect—but alas, all have sinned (Romans 3:23).

Although this type of calling for physical response became a hallmark of his ministry, Finney did not consistently use these so-called “new measures” until 1830. Consider: Why do we need grace? David Aikman, Billy Graham: His Life and Influence, Kindle ed. Why did they pray to receive Christ anyway? His doubts all vanished.” The following morning, he came to see McGilvary and declared “It’s true!”[29] And that’s how the first person in Northern Thailand came to Christ. September 2013 Pornography We all have sinned—and as we have already seen, sin is the transgression of the law.

Right? Drug Use Nearly twenty years ago, a young university student showed up at the door of our church in central Thailand asking to be discipled.

Both of these methods were developed in the United States, a religious and cultural context far removed from the animistic cultures found in many parts of the world today. However, when the preacher invites his listeners to go forward, the question of “Will I go forward?” becomes uppermost in their minds, arresting reflection upon the more important question of submission to God.

I can try out this foreign Jesus religion for a while and see if it really has the amazing power that the Christians are claiming. The Sabbath command reminds us of God as the Creator, and points to a future millennial Sabbath rest. Animism is not about conforming your life to some external moral standard which has come down from heaven. You can be assured of that. The answer can be found in the history of Israel and that of mainstream Christianity. But as he was walking down the street one day, he realized that all that he had learned about God was true. Studying the Bible was a hassle. So, when asked to say the sinner’s prayer, an animist may think that the words of the sinner’s prayer itself are powerful magical words that will bring about blessings.

But let’s say that you and the people in your church have seen the problems associated with giving altar calls and urging people to pray to receive Christ. It is honoring God by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in his time and his way in bringing people to faith as we share the Word, pray, and love those who do not yet know Christ. When He said not to bow down to idols, He made sure there were no loopholes. Choosing to not give altar calls or lead people in the sinner’s prayer is not barring the way to salvation for people. The word Lord is thrown about by those professing Christ as their Savior, but what does this word mean? Nettleton stressed the duty of immediate repentance but he was also afraid of emotionalism and self-deception, and would thus send his listeners home to wait upon the Spirit to change their hearts.
Accompanied by musician Ira Sankey, Moody gave repeated calls to come to Christ as indicated by a move to the front of the meeting hall. Just consider mankind’s tragic history and the wide range of behaviors that have been considered “acceptable” and you’ll see the problem with that. May 2014 There is much more to true Christianity than most people realize. These questions and more set me on a quest to discover why people who seemingly pray to receive Christ often quickly fall away.

The sinner’s prayer is not a single prayer with set words; many variations are used today.

Universalists oppose it due to their thinking it is totally unnecessary. .

Sometimes, you would find one of these tracts slipped between your front door and the door jamb. If we do not wait for the Holy Spirit to form faith in a person in his own time, the results can be disastrous. He often met with inquirers at home meetings the following day, urging them to direct themselves to Christ for salvation and not to concern themselves with how to answer the preacher. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. First, it must be an actual prayer addressed to God or Jesus Christ. She genuinely believed she had never lied, hated anyone, stolen anything that belonged to another, gossiped, or had an evil thought. Yet, it is acknowledged that some people go forward for rededication, some out of curiosity, and some for no discernible reason. The person will want to express their newfound faith and to grow as a follower of Christ. It may surprise some of you that the largest “Christian” denomination in the world lumps the next three verses in as part of that first commandment. But an odd thing happened. The use of the sinner’s prayer did not begin until very late in church history. This is very good, how do you suggest a situation where other evangelists want to labor with you in sharing the Gospel, but they use the sinners prayer to lead people to Christ? I don’t fault anyone’s motives or their love for Christ. Even so, there is a certain amount of knowledge about God, the world, and self that needs to be in place for someone to truly trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. In a somewhat large church building in the middle of town the local denomination was holding their yearly Judgment House. Within mainstream Christianity, there is little debate as to whether it is sin to murder, commit adultery, or steal; but there is much debate over the two commands God most clearly explained. Water September 2012 Pride God Endurance Personal Testimonies: Are We Drifting from the Word of God? Thai Buddhism, for example, is often a mix of “pure” Buddhism and local animistic beliefs in spirits, omens, relics, sacred objects, fortune telling, astrology, sorcery, and so on. However, I argued for several hours beforehand. Instead of being a witness for the gospel, she was now a witness against the gospel. Peace So, who decides what is sin—each individual’s conscience as guided by society around him, or the One he professes as Lord? Bible Study For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments (Exodus 20:4–6). And since the church grew and expanded for more than 1800 years before these methods became popular, there are a lot of precedents to draw from, both historical and contemporary. Not only do some people become nominal church goers, subsequently harming churches with unregenerate, ungodly behavior, but many more melt back into society thinking that they have tried Christianity and found it wanting. 3 HUGE Problems with the Sinner's Prayer - Lee Snow, Photo Credit: Without a concrete definition of sin, how can anyone profess that “I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior?” What exactly is the path that one is to follow? After all, not everyone’s conscience is the same. Sunday’s crusade revivals marked the introduction of entertainment and drama into evangelism, as well as the importance of “recruiting professional organizers and publicists to prepare the venue and the mood of his meetings,” an emphasis that influenced the ministry of Billy Graham.[18]. What exactly is this prayer? “A revival is not a miracle” wrote Finney, “nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. I have no issue with a repentant sinner calling out to God for forgiveness. 02.13.2020. [24] It is said that approximately 40% of the world’s population hold worldviews influenced by animism, but this may be a low estimate considering the fact that animism is often concealed underneath other religious identities. Lest some think that the idea of people being saved without the sinner’s prayer is merely theoretical, and the weight of all of church history prior to 1800 is not enough, I want to give two brief examples of conversion without the sinner’s prayer, one modern and one historical. Hallelujah! Were there cultural factors involved? How many of the ten can you personally name? Oddly enough, some years later I discovered Kempis was a Catholic. (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2000), 35–9. His blog and list of published works may be found at While I do believe that God can, and often does, work *in spite of* our means because He is sovereign and omnipotent, that should never be taken as a justification for using questionable means. 45. Or could we have done something differently? Remember, those that obey the Gospel will be those that are saved from wrath on the Day of Judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:8). According to a June 2016 Barna Research report, “Cohabitation is the new norm. Building a sufficient understanding of Christ and the gospel normally takes a lot more time than a twenty-minute gospel presentation or a couple of Sundays attending church. In the days of the apostles baptism answered this purpose. If we simply say the “Sinner’s Prayer,” is it okay to violate these commands? In using such methodology, Finney demonstrated that he considered the physical act to be a sign of spiritual conversion.

Singing Links This prayer is still popular, and even now you might see a one-minute ad from a television evangelist encouraging viewers to recite it. They produced an evangelistic TV program that aired several times on Thai national TV just before Christmas, and was distributed on VCD for private home viewing. Also available online at (accessed 30 January 2020). What had gone wrong? Book Review

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