This one’s for my friend Ed, who seems to have missed the point of the earlier post about ‘accepting’ Jesus. When presented with a gift, the recipient will either accept it or reject. The point made by the source of the Gotquestions.com article seems to be that using the language of ‘accepting’ Jesus is the best way to “communicate the truth more effectively to someone with limited biblical understanding”. I disagree. The message of the gospel has to do with the problem of sin and the need to ‘repent and believe the gospel’ that Jesus died for our sins. As the original article stated, the language of ‘accepting Jesus’ is not found in scripture.
We need not worry about the ‘biblical understanding’ level or those to whom we present the gospel. Before anyone can understand the message of the gospel, God must open the heart to hear and respond, just as he did with Lydia in Acts, Chapter 16. When God opens a human heart to hear the gospel, salvation follows. On the other hand, a person can have tremendous biblical knowledge, and know the contents of the Bible from end to end, but completely misunderstand the gospel message, if God has not opened his heart to hear!
I remember hearing once a conversation about salvation between two ladies that was about ‘knowing’ you are actually saved. One of the ladies wanted to be sure she knew she was saved. What followed was extremely that went something like this:
Lady #1: “How can I know I am saved?”
Lady #2: “You accepted Jesus into your heart, didn’t you?
Lady #1: “Yes.”
Lady #2: “Well then, you’re saved.”
Lady #1: “Wow, I didn’t know it was that easy to save yourself!”
I’ll never forgot that lady’s exclamation. ‘Accepting Jesus’ language had her believing she had literally ‘saved herself’ by ‘accepting Jesus’, which is a logical, but dangerous conclusion and one that insults God. When there is a chain of events and the final act in the change (accepting Jesus) causes the ultimate result, it’s natural to make the conclusion even though earlier acts in the chain of events (Christ’s death for sin) were necessary for the end result.
So that’s how I see it. There is absolutely no way that using non-biblical language when presenting Christ. Whether it’s ‘accept Jesus’, ‘give your life to Jesus’, or any variation thereof, we need not fear using the Bible’s language for the Bible’s topic of salvation.