Seven reasons not to ask Jesus into your heart! By Dennis Rokser. Duluth, MN: Duluth Bible Church, 1998, 40 pp. Paper.
A woman approached me after a recent church service and stated that she had heard that I teach that it is not right to ask Jesus into your heart. She wanted to learn more about it. She said she was in the process of reading the booklet Seven Reasons Not to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart. When I asked her if she understood what she had read thus far, she replied “Yes, but it is so hard to let go of something you have been taught your whole life.”
Therein lies the problem. What a shock for her to find out that something she had been taught her whole life is not found in the Bible! This is Rokser’s reason #1. She assumed that because she was taught this at the Bible church she attended that it must be in the Bible and that it must be true. She was confused. But unfortunately confusion is not the only thing at stake here. One’s eternal destiny is also at stake because asking Jesus into one’s heart is “not how one is saved” (Rokser’s reason #2).
This booklet is helpful for several reasons. First, it is based on Scripture, containing over 30 Bible verses written out for the reader and many more references.
Second, while only 40 pages in length, it clearly delineates why this popular cliché is not biblically accurate. It also repeatedly explains what the gospel of grace is and what the one true biblical response to the gospel is—trusting entirely in Jesus Christ and His substitutionary payment made on the cross for the sin of all men.
Third, the booklet is easy to read and very practical, as the issues involved are explained in plain terms without theological jargon. This makes it a very effective tool for evangelism.
However, this booklet offers much more. Rokser, Pastor of Duluth Bible Church, explains that asking Jesus into your heart requires no understanding of the gospel (reason #3), confuses the means of salvation with the results of salvation (reason #4), and results in either no assurance of salvation or a false assurance of salvation (reason #5). As these reasons are addressed, the reader will be shown why one must understand the gospel, what the results of salvation are, and how the believer in Christ can have true biblical assurance of his salvation.
Included are several diagrams, illustrations, and personal examples to make the points exceptionally clear. Rokser provides a thorough exegesis of Rev 3:20, a verse often used to support asking Jesus into one’s heart. He shows that this verse is not an offer of salvation to unbelievers but rather an appeal for fellowship to believers.
The seventh reason is perhaps the one that arouses the most reaction. Rokser states that asking Jesus into your heart does not clarify the condition of salvation, but confuses it, especially for children.
To complete his discussion, Rokser effectively addresses five objections people raise in support of asking Jesus into one’s heart.
In an age where widespread theological confusion abounds, a clear understanding and presentation of the gospel is crucial—and the proper response to the gospel is paramount. This booklet is suitable for the searching unbeliever and the confused or hungry believer. It should be in the library of every pastor-teacher. This booklet is a mighty tool in the hand of the one who truly desires to honor God and His Word through a clear and accurate presentation of the gospel of grace and the only means of receiving this good news—faith alone in Christ alone.
Itasca Bible Church
Grand Rapids MN
Editor’s note: This review has been adapted and revised from one that appeared originally in The Grace Family Journal (Mar-Apr 2000) and is used with permission.