Most of us remembered what we’ve prayed to get saved?
It’s called the sinner’s prayer.
Something wonderful happened. Some of us knew immediately that a change took place. The Holy Spirit came on the inside, destroyed the man of sin we once were, and made us new creatures in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
But others may have said “the sinner’s prayer,” but returned to a life of sin after a brief stay.
Is there Biblical EVIDENCE OF THE “SINNERS’ PRAYER?”
Acts chapter 2, the men that heard Peter preached, 3000 were saved. But Peter never gave them a “sinner’s prayer” to pray to get saved.
Hummm. are they saved? The Book of Acts as Luke wrote it declares that they’re saved.
Acts chapter 3, Peter and John were used by the Holy Spirit to minister to the man at the gate of the Temple. He was healed. He leaped and praised God. Then they ministered to the Sanhedrin and incarcerated.
Peter and John didn’t minister “your best life now.” They ministers repentance from dead works and faith in Jesus, to turn from their iniquities.
Acts chapter 5, repentance and forgiveness of sins. No sinner’s prayer for them to repeat.
Acts chapter 8 The sorcerer believed and was baptized but he never truly repented and Peter said “Your money perish with you.” Perish? John 3:16. Remember “perish.” The sorcerer wasn’t saved. He was a false convert.
Acts 8…the Ethiopian Eunuck..Acts 8:36-38 (NKJV)
“What hinders me from being baptized?”37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.”
No sinner’s prayer there. Hummmm.
We could go on and on, but you get the point.
Remember the thief on the cross that recognized that he was about to die and asked Jesus “When You enter Your kingdom, remember me?”
What was Jesus’ response?
You must say the sinner’s prayer?”
No. “This day, you shall be with Me in paradise.”
Now don’t get me wrong. People are guided on what to say but the real evidence of them being born again is when the Holy Spirit makes them a new creature in Christ and they have a desire for righteousness.
They continue in the faith to be discipled to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives.
The mistake that I and many have made is we have them recite a prayer, they pray that prayer, and then the parable of the sower happens.
And some of us, including myself, are shocked that many of them walk away so quickly, have conflicting Biblical views, have a mixture of worldly living, false narratives that’s against the Bible, and other activities that questions whether they were saved or not.
1 John 3.
Are you born of God?
Then we make the excuse that they’re baby Christians, carnal Christians, when they may not have been born again. Look back at the sorcerer and what Peter said to him.
We believe that people are instantly born again, but fruit is produced over time. But it doesn’t take much time to see if fruit will produce.
Our job is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and follow the directive to make disciples, teaching them to observe all things whatever He commanded us.
And keep away from adding to the Scriptures of how a person is to repent and have faith in Jesus for salvation.
Many have had an experience, were brought to tears, or something emotional took place. Then our flesh and mind went back to old habits. We looked at a man or woman lustfully. We’ve cussed or used the name of the Lord in vain to express disgust, we’ve lied on a credit report, downloaded porn, music that we didn’t pay for or pictures that we didn’t pay for unless they’re free.
If we were truly born of God, 1 John 3 tells us that we cannot sin. There’s a difference between practicing sin and practicing righteousness.
The sinners’ prayer, may very well be a Biblically substantiated prayer, but it’s no guarantee that one has been born again. The proof of being born again is when we truly repent of sin and trust in Jesus for salvation.
Repent means to turn away from sin. 180, not 360.
It’s not perfection. It’s obedience.
Many have prayed that prayer but have they turned from sin never to return to it again? That’s what it truly means to be born again. Not make excuses to violate God’s command.
A person must be willing to depart from iniquity.
Now the balance of this is that we don’t do works to get saved.
“For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. That He prepared before hand that we should walk in them.“
That’s Ephesians 2:8-10.
We don’t do works to get saved, we do works because we’re saved. It’s also called the “fruit of the Spirit.”
In John 15, Jesus talks about abiding in the Vine. He said “I am the vine, you are the branches.” He also said, “Without Me you can do nothing.”
If you are truly born again, there’s nothing in the Scriptures, especially in the gospels, where you come to Christ and then you’re given permission to pause your following Christ to participate in sin. The design of being born again is to live as Jesus lived for the rest of your life.
And it’s possible to live holy from the moment you’re born again to the moment you die.
We all the time say “With God all things are possible.”
So why do we say that it’s impossible to live holy?
The sinners’ prayer and a head count is no proof that a person is born again provided that the head count is true in the sense that people were actually born again. Now remember that 3000 believed. Also in Acts, the Lord added daily such as should be saved.
But what’s happened today is that a person isn’t aware as to why they must be saved.
Every man is sitting on the trap door of death. Underneath the trap door is hell. The trap door is there just in case we turn away from the Lord, or were never sincere in our repentance. Now Paul speaks of God giving us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of His promise to save us (see Ephesians 1:3-14).
The proof that you’ve trusted in the Lord after repentance is when you begin to produce fruit. And then what happens is that the devil lay deceptive traps to infiltrate your mind to challenge the Scriptures. (see Luke 8:11-15). Proof of the infiltration is when you begin to make excuses to sin against God. It contaminated your mind and brought confusion.
You begin to mix truth with lies and justify it with religious thinking. as Paul said “Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”
You boldly challenge the absolute teachings of Jesus.
Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” See John 14:15.
IF we fail to keep His commandments, it’s because of the entrance of sin in our lives. That’s why Mark 8:34-35 is very important.
So in conclusion, if you’ve prayed the sinner’s prayer, and you’re living in sin, it’s a good indication that you were never born again. If you were born again, and you sin, remember Romans chapter 6, 7, and 8, 1 John chapter 1, 1 John chapter 3.
If after all these things, if you still have a love for sin, continue in sin, never breaking free, and never have a desire to be free, you’re a slave to sin. The only way to break free of sin is to repent. Do a 180, and place your full trust in Jesus as recorded in Ephesians chapter 1.
Otherwise, the sinner’s prayer is just empty words. And John 3:18-19 is well within you.