A Sinners Prayer
When I have an opportunity to lead someone to Christ, I want to make sure they understand the gospel. I want them to also understand that what we call the sinner’s prayer won’t save them. Just going through the motions of saying a prayer won’t save a person. The Bible is clear, “For by grace are you saved through faith”. I don’t read anywhere that the 3000 men saved on Pentecost said the sinner’s prayer. They did what Abraham did centuries before, they believed. And no, a simple head knowledge belief won’t save a person. Abraham believed in his heart and put feet to his faith.
If I lead someone in a sinner’s prayer, I want them to understand that is more for them. I personally believe most sincere people are saved before they utter any words. I know the Bible tells us to call upon the name of the lord but that is with the heart. And yes, I know the Bible says that with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. What if a person can’t speak?
I have had people come up to me over the years wondering if they said the right words and were questioning their salvation. I did say the sinner prayer at an old fashion altar in a Baptist church, but I believe I was saved when I left the pew. You must understand that you are a sinner and the consequences of sin is hell. You must understand the good news is, Jesus’s death burial and resurrection. You must understand that Jesus paid your sin debt and except it by faith. Then the proof is in the pudding when you confess (tell, show) it publicly in baptism. Faith, Repentance and Confession is a package deal.
The thief said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Jesus answered, “Today, you shalt be with me in paradise.” Was it his words or his faith that saved him? It was his faith and his words were proof of his faith. The Philippine Jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul’s answer was to be believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Then Paul preached the word to him and his household, so they COULD believe. In other words, Paul shared the good news of Christ death, burial and resurrection. The jailer and his family believed they were baptized.
Baptism doesn’t save a person just like circumcision didn’t save the Jews. Baptism is an outward act of an inward action! Take God at His word and stop worrying if you said the sinner’s prayer right. I believe heaven will have people in it that really didn’t get saved at the time they thought they did. Let’s say a person goes down to the altar in a church service and he is led in the sinner’s prayer by someone but really didn’t understand it and didn’t have a change in their life. Let’s say that person went to church for a while then got out and stayed out for several years. Then one day he returns and gets serious and starts to learn more and his faith gets real and his whole life is changed. He understands the gospel now and believes it whole heartedly. I don’t believe that person got saved at the altar but the day his faith became genuine!
I lead people in the sinner’s prayer but only if they understand why they need to be saved and how. We know from the Scriptures that demons believe but they are not saved. Abraham was in the Old Testament and Paul was in the New Testament but they both were saved by a FAITH, BELIEF in God. Abraham believed God and followed Him. Paul believed God and followed Him. Enjoy your salvation instead of worrying about it. God Bless!