I believe the rapture is very soon. And I really care about the lost and want to see them saved. The last thing I want to do is deceive people or instruct them to do something foreign to the scriptures. I just want them to hear the Gospel, believe it, be saved and know it.
But it never ceases to amaze me just how few other ministers there are out there that don't find this important. Instead of holding fast to the important Bible doctrine of salvation by faith in God's blood atonement provided us by Jesus Christ, they would rather follow the unitarian teaching of instructing a sinner to just "Ask God to save you." (This perverted Gospel which oftentimes leaves a Sinner trusting in their PRAYER rather than in Christ's PAYMENT for their sins has been dealt with at length and in detail on my blog. In case you haven't read it, please read my blog on Asking versus Trusting.)
The truth is you can beg God for forgiveness a million times over, but until you trust Christ's shed blood alone, you are not saved. This is sound Bible doctrine.
Why is it then that so many ministers today are teaching salvation is by "asking" rather than by the Scriptural way of "accepting" Jesus as your personal Saviour by FAITH in His Shed Blood?
I believe the answer is because they have heard others preach the "Beggar's Gospel" for so long they don't even question its validity.
And, little do they realize that they are twisting the scriptures to teach what they do not. Let's look now at the Seven most popular verses Preachers use to support their teaching that all a sinner must do to be saved is simply and sincerely "ask" God to forgive them, rather than TRUST God's atonement.
1. THE REPENTANT SINNER
In Luke 18:11-14 we read of the publican who utters the words, "God be merciful to me a Sinner." Now I've heard it preached, and I'm sure you have too, that all a man must do to be saved is simply repeat those very same words and they will saved just as that publican. But is that so? Do those words save us?
Where's the Gospel in this teaching? Where's the blood? Where is salvation by grace through faith in Christ's finished work? It's simply not there.
As we take a closer look at the passage, we find that Jesus Christ has not yet died on the cross. (Remember, salvation is by faith in the Gospel, and the Gospel is that Christ DIED, and was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures), so this verse is not dealing with New Testament salvation. It is still under the time of the law. To take this passage and preach it for New Testament Salvation today is to twist the scriptures!
We also see the publican was right in front of Jesus Christ, as Jesus was watching what he did. But the publican by passed Jesus Christ when he uttered his prayer, asking God to forgive him. Is this the plan of salvation today? Are we too saved by by-passing Jesus? Of course not.
How could anyone think that our salvation today could be by doing or saying what this Publican did, rather than by simply TRUSTING in what Jesus did for us at Calvary when he suffered, bled, and died?
My friend, to teach this passage for salvation, or to instruct a Sinner to simply repeat the words of this Publican for salvation is to twist the scriptures to teach what they do not, and is to make a person think they can be saved by uttering words rather than simply receiving Jesus Christ as their Saviour by faith.
2. PETER ASKING TO BE SAVED
In Matthew 14:28-31 we read of the apostle Peter and of his walking on water as he left the boat and walked to Jesus. As he began to sink, he cries out those famous words, "Lord, save me!"
Now I'm sure you've heard, as I have, those words preached by some Pastor, Missionary, or Evangelist, in which he stresses, "Now if you want to be saved, just call out to God the same way!" But is that salvation? Is a man saved by simply saying, "Lord, save me!"
If you'll look at the context, you'll see any man who tries to make this the plan of salvation is blatantly twisting the scriptures to teach what they do not. For Peter was not asking for the spiritual salvation of his soul. Instead, he was asking for physical salvation. He just didn't want to drown!
Again, the things described in the passage happened before the cross. How could a man preach this for salvation when it has nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection?
Finally, as we faithfully read the context, we find that Peter is strongly REBUKED for saying what he did as Jesus streched forth his hand and caught him saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
For a man to preach that salvation is by simply repeating Peter's words here is for a man to twist the scriptures. This passage is not speaking of salvation and all. But if it was, even the context shows us salvation is by FAITH, and not by begging for God to save you!
3. CALLING UPON THE LORD
Romans 10:13 seems to be the most quoted verse today that many so-called "soul winners" use in dealing with the lost. However, they often don't explain what it means to call upon the Lord Biblically. Usually their whole presentation is just a few verses from the Roman's Road and then they encourage a Sinner to simply repeat a prayer after them. Afterwards, they tell the Sinner they are saved (now watch this) BECAUSE THEY DID THAT.
But is this New Testament Salvation? Is a man saved by what he does or says? Does the actual prayer itself save a person? And where is faith in the the blood in all of this?
If you'll look at the context of Romans 10:13 you'll see that it's clear. Calling upon the Lord must be by FAITH from the heart and not just a vain religious prayer repeated from the lips. Calling is believing (Rom. 10:14).
Yet many a minister claims that to be saved, all a man has to do is just "repeat the Sinner's Prayer." If this is so, why did Jesus die at all on the cross? Why didn't he just stay in heaven and say, "Okay, now anyone who just repeats a prayer I'll save, so just do that and I'll give you eternal life." But that's just silly. No, Jesus had to come and die on the cross. He had to shed his blood, for that was the only way to forgive men of their sins. Now God asks sinners to come to him and receive him by faith in his precious blood. They are to rest in his FINISHED WORK. Sure they can pray, but they should never be deceived into thinking their prayer saves them!
To teach Romans 10:13 as some kind of "Mystical Sinner's Prayer" that grants a man forgiveness and saves him outside of trusting in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ is twist the scriptures to teach what they do not. Biblically, a sinner's calling on God must be by faith from the heart (2 Tim. 2:22) and it must be in truth (Ps. 145:18).
4. OPENING THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART
Probably the most blatant misapplication of scriptures taught today on the doctrine of salvation is the misapplying and twisting of Revelation 3:20. Many soul winners use this verse on lost people and then instruct them to simply "Open their hearts door and let Jesus in." (Others say, "Ask Jesus Into Your Heart).
But is this what the verse is speaking about?
If you'll study the context you'll see this verse is Jesus Christ talking to a CHURCH, not to a lost man. And he knocks on the door of that church, not on anyone's heart.
To teach this verse for salvation as Jesus knocking on someone's "heart's door" wanting to get in is to blatantly twist the scriptures to teach what they do not.
5. SIMPLY ASK GOD TO SAVE YOU
Another place modernist preachers like to preach out of context is Matthew 7:7-8. They take the words, "Ask, and it shall be given you," and they apply these words to salvation, stating things like, "So just ASK God to save you and he will."
But a second look at the passage and the context itself clearly shows this is a complete misapplication of the passage. First, Jesus is not talking about salvation at all! Second, Jesus is speaking to "sons" or those who are already saved in the context! Third, we find in verse eleven that Jesus is speaking about "gifts" and "good things" that God the Father gives to those who ask (saved people in the context).
The passage has NOTHING TO DO WHATSOEVER with salvation. And to try to make it apply to it is to twist the scriptures. We must also remember this is before Jesus even died on the cross! So how can this passage have anything to do with the Gospel and salvation? I can't. And, it doesn't.
6. GOD WILL ACCEPT ALL WHO COME TO HIM
Modern apostates justify their position of stressing Sinners to "ask God for salvation" by quoting John 6:37, specifically the words, "...And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
They say that anyone who comes to God in prayer, asking for salvation, will receive it based on this verse. But do they check the context? Of course not. For if they did, they would find verse 35 defines exactly how a man must come to God. There we read, "...he that BELIEVETH on me shall never thirst."
Coming to God must be by faith or believing and that faith must be in the sacrificial blood atonement of Jesus Christ!
To come to God begging for salvation apart from the blood is not salvation. And for a man to twist the scriptures to teach that anyone who sincerely comes to God and asks him to save them will be saved is very naive. God will only save you if you come to him by faith in his blood.
7. GOD HAVE MERCY ON ME
Another passage modern apostate Preachers love to use is Luke 18:35-39. They quote the words of the blind man in the passage and apply them to salvation, even encouraging sinners to repeat his same words, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me."
But little do they realize these words were not uttered from the lips of a man who was seeking spiritual salvation. Rather, he said these words desiring to be healed of his blindness.
Many Preachers who are faced with this simple Biblical truth say, "Oh, I know that! But I'm spiritually applying the passage to salvation."
That's interesting, for as you read farther down in the passage you find Jesus saying in verse 42, "...And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee."
Notice Jesus said the man was saved by FAITH not by ASKING. It wasn't the Sinner's calling out to God from the lips and begging him to heal him that gave him his healing. It was the FAITH that the man had. Salvation is by faith.
Another interesting point we glean from this passage is that the blind man cried out to God TWICE. This is an important point, because many modern preachers tell sinners that if they have asked God to save them already, and they don't feel saved or they doubt it, then they are to just ask God to save them all over again. This leads to many sinners praying the "Sinner's Prayer" over and over and they never really know if they are saved or not. The question then arises if they really saved at all. For if they were, why would they be begging God to save them over and over. I mean, if you had salvation, why would you be asking for it all over again?
There are many people out there who are wresting the scriptures to their own destruction. Instead of preaching salvation by grace through faith without works (Eph. 2:8-9), they are guilty of preaching another plan of salvation, a unitarian doctrine, which teaches a Sinner doesn't have to know anything about the Gospel or the Blood, rather he simply needs to ASK God to save him. But to preach this, they must twist the scriptures to teach what they do not.
The Bible is clear. Salvation is by faith alone in God's sacrifice for man's sins. For a Sinner to believe this, he must first hear it (for faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God according to Romans 10:14). But how can he hear it if instead he's told to just BEG God to save him apart from trusting God to do so. We then clearly see two very different gospels being preached in our world today. One saves and the other damns. One comes to God through the blood of Christ, the other tries to come to God by by-passing the blood of Jesus. One is the BLOODSTAINED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, and the other is a BLOODLESS, BEGGAR'S GOSPEL.
How sad that modern ministers don't stop to think about what they are preaching. Sadder still that in my own denomination (Independent Baptist) that I've seen men who are preaching the modern perverted gospel of Asking rather than Trusting. Hopefully after reading this article you will not be guilty of the same. For we need more ministers who will not twist or pervert the Gospel, but will simply and plainly teach and preach it to Sinners the way the Bible does, through faith in Christ's blood atonement.