“Now if you were to ask the average man, the average preacher or the average person – the average Christian anywhere – “How do I come into saving relation to Jesus Christ?” the answer would be one of three. People would either tell you “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” — that’s Acts 16:31 or, they would say “Receive Christ as your Savior” — that’s John 1:12, or else they would give you this other answer. (And of course, those first two answers are true; they’re true!) Or else they would give you this third answer, “Accept Christ as your personal Savior.”
Now the word ‘accept Christ’ to the astonishment of a good many people does not occur in the Bible – it’s not there. What is it to ‘accept Christ’?”
The above is taken from an A.W. Tozer sermon. There are two parts to that sermon that can be found and read here. Just scroll down and you will see links to Parts 1 and 2. It is well worth the read!
That is a very interesting read. I have a book called “The Pursuit of God” by AW Tozer that stirs a hunger in me every time I pick it up!
My first reaction to his theory on “accept” not being acceptable (pardon the pun!) was to look it up in the dictionary. This is what it said:
1. To receive (something offered), especially with gladness or approval
So, if it means “to receive”, and his point is that “accept” is not a “bible word” but “receive” is…where does that leave this as far as building his case on the use of this word?
I do get the gist of what he is saying though. I have said many times that instead of “giving their life to Christ”, many people in this day that we live in simply want to “add Christ” to their life. Not laying anything down, turning away from anything, or inviting the death and resurrection of the cross to change them wholly. Sadly, “Christianity” has become popular in America, in the sense that people want to have “Jesus” in the same sense that they want a new shiny sports car, or a Hummer.
Perhaps my “beef” could be with the popular slogan that is a play off of the milk slogan….”Got Jesus?”. Sure, they’ve “got” Him, parked somewhere in the extra garage that’s used for storage!
Thanks for the thought provoking conversation!
Tozer is a favorite of min and I have several of his worlks. I think his point is how we define “accept” when we use it in terms of coming to Christ. Many times it just means assenting to several facts ‘about’ him instead of acknowledging our desparate state without him and really believing he is God’s answer to sin and trusting in that for our salvation.
I love the ‘pun’.