Sunday, September 28, 2008

Abstract of Principles

Just a little reminder of what Southern Seminary was founded on and the document that must be signed even today by every professor at the seminary. This was also the official confession that Southern Baptists endorsed. Titled the Abstract of Principles it was requested by Southern's founder James Boyce to assure all teachers and students would adhere to the truth of scripture and the absolute sovereignty of God.

I. The Scriptures.The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.

II. God.There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.

III. The Trinity.God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.

IV. Providence.God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.

V. Election.Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life -- not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ -- in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.

VI. The Fall of Man.God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.

VII. The Mediator.Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.

VIII. Regeneration.Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.

IX. Repentance.Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.

X. Faith.Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.

XI. Justification.Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.

XII. Sanctification.Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God's word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands.

XIII. Perseverance of the Saints.Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XIV. The Church.The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, and Deacons.

XV. Baptism.Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord's Supper.

XVI. The Lord's Supper.The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship.

XVII. The Lord's Day.The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.

XVIII. Liberty of Conscience.God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful thing commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

XIX. The Resurrection.The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God -- the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.

XX. The Judgment.God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life.

Washer Plug

Brother Paul Washer will be preaching at Shelbyville Mills Baptist church starting this morning through Wednesday night during our Fall Outreach. So if your in the area of Shelbyville, Tennessee come out and be blessed by the preaching of the Word of God. I will make sure to post all the audio on the church website for free downloads.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Ordo Salutis

Dressed to Impress

In the Old Testament when the priest went behind the curtain to the Holy of Holies to make supplication for the sins of the people he wore bells and a rope tied around him. If he was struck dead by God the bells would ring and he could be pulled out by the rope. Read the descriptions of the robes and breastplates worn by the high priests in the Levitical lines, how detailed and awe-inspiring they were. The reason I bring this up is to show the honor and respect that was shown to God, and the fear of Him for that matter. Where have either of these things gone today?

Today we have "preachers" in the pulpit with holes in their jeans; their shirts untucked. Basically looking like they just got out of bed picked up whatever was laying on the floor threw it on and ran out the door. But quite the opposite is actually true as these 30 and 40 year old men are probably spending countless hours picking out just the right "cool" clothes and styling their hair just so everyone will think they are cool and relevant. The thing that is really at the heart of this is man wanting to be praised and found relevant.

It can be taken the other way as well; God never called His people to wear an Armani suit or some purple jacket that hangs down past their knees. The people that wear these outlandish and extremely extravagant suits in the pulpit are no different than the guys wearing the jeans and t-shirts. They both simply want you to look at them and praise them for how cool and relevant they are.

What's lost is that we are to be separate from the world. We aren't supposed to attract unbelievers because of what we are wearing. We are to simply be witnesses to a spiritually dead world. God is in control and he will do the drawing of the sinners to the truth. He does not need us to be dressed a certain way to draw people to Him. That is a prideful, arrogant and therefore sinful approach to evangelism. When we are in His house on Sunday mornings we are supposed to be there to worship Him and for nothing else. That being said we should be dressed nicely and respecfully because you are supposed to be there to worship the Almighty God.

They hated and spit on my Lord and Savior; and ultimately crucified Him. So why should I want them to all love me and shower me with praise. We should show love and compassion but we shouldn't strive to be loved by the world by dressing and acting like the world. If you get large crowds and high attendance by looking like everyone else, they aren't there because you are offering something different to them. They are there because you look like them and they feel comfortable singing some catchy tunes about Jesus with you. We are called to be separate from the world. In the world not of the world. Pride is a most heinous sin indeed

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sovereign Election!

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

Assailing the Sovereignty of God

C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)"I feel persuaded that false doctrine, inasmuch as it touches God's sovereignty, is always an object of divine jealousy. Let me indicate especially the doctrines of free-will. I know there are some good men who hold and preach them, but I am persuaded that the Lord must be grieved with their doctrine though he forgives them their sin of ignorance. Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God; it declares God's purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes God's will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace dependent upon human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice it holds God to be a debtor to sinners, so that if he gives grace to one he is bound to do so to all. It teaches that the blood of Christ was shed equally for all men and since some are lost, this doctrine ascribes the difference to man's own will, thus making the atonement itself a powerless thing until the will of man gives it efficacy. Those sentiments dilute the scriptural description of man's depravity, and by imputing strength to fallen humanity, rob the Spirit of the glory of his effectual grace: this theory says in effect that it is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, and not of God that showeth mercy. Any doctrine, my brethren, which stands in opposition to this truth—"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," provokes God's jealousy. I often tremble in this pulpit lest I should utter anything which should oppose the sovereignty of my God; and though you know I am not ashamed to preach the responsibility of man to God—if God be a sovereign, man must be bound to obey him—on the other hand, I am equally bold to preach that God has a right to do what he wills with his own, that he giveth no account of his matters and none may stay his hand, or say unto him, "What doest thou?" I believe that the free-will heresy assails the sovereignty of God, and mars the glory of his dominion. In all faithfulness, mingled with sorrow, I persuade you who have been deluded by it, to see well to your ways and receive the truth which sets God on high, and lays the creature in the dust." —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from a sermon preached March 29th, 1863 by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), titled "A Jealous God".

Who Wants Revival?

Much talk among professing Christians today is the need for revival. Although I can't argue against this at all. I would challenge us to think of what that truly means. Most would say we need to preach the Gospel from the street corners, to go to the ends of the earth spreading the good news of Jesus. That is very true and in accord with the Great Commission. First we must correct what's going on in our own homes lest we be hypocrites and false professors. We must purify, cleanse, and correct what is going on in our own churches and homes. This is not to say that God doesn't use us as we are but what glory do we bring to Him when we tell others to repent, yet we know not what that even means in our lives.

Look at the early church and the sermon that Peter preached "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles. Brethren, what shall we do? Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as may as the Lord our God will call to Himself. And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer"--Acts 2:36-42. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead at the feet of the apostles for lying to the Holy Spirit and yet the church grew.

The Church must have a revival or an awakening of the truth of God's Word. We must be accountable to one another as joint heirs with Christ. Discipline must be established as it is Biblically mandated. The country club approach simply isn't working and is disrespectful and self-righteous. The Church of the 1st century wasn't founded on what people wanted to hear, it was completely focused on Jesus Christ and His Sovereignty. The calling of sinners to true repentance through an act of the Holy Spirit.

There is a reason televangelist have gotten such a bad rap over the years. They preach a pie in the sky gospel where all your troubles are taken away and you can build something of your life. The apostles, the Puritans, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, Charles Spurgeon, and many others never taught this self-serving trash. These men were used by God to tell sinners what they really are and their need for a savior. They thundered the Gospel; that calls for repentance, humility, and a turning from sin. It was apparent that the Holy Spirit was working through these men that were used to spark the Reformation, the Great Awakening, and any revival that has ever taken place. They would not have stood for what is going on in most churches today.

I say that until the church return to the Doctrines of Grace, and stops trying to build itself up and pad its membership rolls there will be no Great Revival. The purpose of the church is to glorify God, not sinners; to worship Him with other believers, not to make everyone feel welcome in their sin. Sinners should be welcomed in for the purpose of confronting that sin and praying for a Holy Regeneration of their hearts so faith can flourish. I tend to agree with Bro. Paul Washer when he says "there will be no great revival in this country until there is great persecution." Only then will the church no longer be a country club and social gathering.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Do What You Want

God has a will for your life. We know that. If God has a will for your life, he wants you to know it. That's obvious. And if he wants you to know it, then be sure of this, he didn't hide it. It's not tucked obscurely under some convoluted interpretation of scripture. It's not left to some transcendental experience of intuition. It's not dependant upon some private, personal angelic delivery. It's not ever dependant upon some serendipitous coincidence. If God has a will, and he does, if he wants you to know it, and he does, and he holds you responsible for it, and he does, then you can be sure he didn't hide it. He would place it in the most obvious place. And the most obvious place would be his word. You can know the will of God for your life from scripture. And it's unmistakable, absolutely unmistakable.

God's Will

1. It is God's will that you be saved. "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." God's will is that you be saved.

2. It is God's will that you be Spirit filled. "understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit" Ephesians 5:17-18

3. It is God's will that you be sanctified. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;" 1 Thessalonians 4:3

4. It is God's will that you be submissive "For such is the will of God." 1 Peter 2:15

5. It is God's will that you suffer. "It is better if God should will it so that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong." 1 Peter 3:17

6. It is God's will that you be thankful. "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

7. Now there is one last principle in doing God's will, you ready? If you're saved, spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering and thankful - Then do whatever you want. Marry whoever you want. Go wherever you want. Work wherever you want. Choose whatever you want. You say, "Whoa. Are you sure?" Absolutely. Because if the first six principles are true of your life, guess who's controlling your wants? Do whatever you want.

Excerpts compiled from a sermon preached by John MacArthur titled "Taking the Mystery out of Knowing God's Will".

Quote of the Day

"Once a congregation or a person sees Scripture as less than the final, complete, infallible authority for faith and life, it is thrown open the doors to absolute chaos." —John MacArthur

Monday, September 15, 2008

Calvinism for Short

"We only use the term 'Calvinism' for shortness. That doctrine which is called 'Calvinism; did not spring from Calvin; we believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth. Perhaps Calvin himself derived it mainly from the writings of Augustine. Augustine obtained his views, without doubt, through the Holy Spirit of God, from diligent study of the writings of Paul, and Paul received them from the Holy Ghost and from Jesus Christ, the great founder of the Christian Church. We use the term then, not because we impute an extraordinary importance to Calvin's having taught these doctrines. We would be just as willing to call them by any other name, if we could find one which would be better understood, and which on the whole would be as consistent with the fact. The old truths that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, is the truth that I preach today, or else I would be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. And that gospel which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again." —Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Religious Selfishness

"Selfishness takes the form of covetousness, or love of money; or luxury, or love of meats and drinks, and the good things of this life; of religious dissipation, or love of excitement; of spiritual restlessness, or running from meeting to meeting, or book to book, or opinion to opinion, or minister to minister; of craving for religious stimulants and spices, with loathing of what is tame or common, however good and true. These are some of the forms of selfishness which destroy both growth and fruitfulness." —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sham (Shack)

Gal 1:6-9 "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed."

I recently finished reading "The Shack" or as I like to call it The Sham. I normally devour books of this size in about 2 days. This book took me closer to 3 weeks. It was tough to swallow when it got to the main character's weekend with his fictional triune God.

A young lady in my Sunday school class told me she had purchased the book and asked my opinion of it. I immediately told her I thought it wasn't a very good book based on what I had read about it. I have said this about several books in the past without having read them myself, only reviews by people whose opinions I trust. But, as if by Divine Providence, a friend of mine brought a copy of it for me to read the week after I had the discussion with the girl in my class. I begrudgingly submitted myself to the task of reading it, so I could completely defend or change my stance of it.

I attempted to read it with no preconceived notions. By the third page of the first chapter my thoughts of what this book was had surfaced. The main character Mackenzie or Mac for short received a letter from "Papa" telling him he missed him and would like to meet with him if Mac was willing. WHAT?! The Potter asking the clay to meet with Him, through a letter nonetheless.

For more information on the heresies in this book I would refer you to the earlier post with the link to the free download by Dr. Michael Youssef who expounds greatly on this book. I would like to spend a little of your time speaking of this growing trend in the so-called "Christian" book industry. Books such as The Secret, Your Best Life Now, and so on are all on the best-sellers lists and yet full of heresies and blasphemous statements. They attack the very nature of God and just about everything He has revealed about Himself in Scripture. Then again "papa" dismisses Scripture in The Sham anyway.

These authors have the audacity to play on readers emotions and tickle their ears to push their own agendas. The Shack even uses quotes from C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer and others. This book has even been compared to John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress". Although Lewis and Bunyan would never depict the Almighty in humanly form as William P. Young does.

Friends this is an extremely popular book; as well as all the new fad "Christian" books that come out every couple of months and downplay the legitimacy of Scripture. It's not that we should purpose to be hated, spit on, and unpopular as Christians; but that is the natural consequence of preaching and expounding on God's true Word. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a condemning and yet loving Gospel. It is about God's grace on undeserving sinners. Yet it is an unpopular, hated and rejected message when presented correctly in light of Scripture.

So with that said I will give this book 2 thumbs down. I fear it will lead many down the wide path that says Heaven, only to realize that wasn't the case. The Lord will not lose any of His sheep, but I fear many will be self-deceived and swept up into the emotion surrounding this book. Possibly doubting everything they have ever heard about God that was taught to them by Christian parents and laypeople. His sheep know His voice and cannot ultimately deny Him, but reading a book like this could lead to much pain and hurt in a young Christian's walk.

The Lord of all creation does not need me to defend Him. But we are called to make a defense of our faith. Jude1:3-4 "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

I could write so much more, but it would be easier for you to download the free message from Dr. Michael Youssef in the earlier post by my brother John and listen and share it with others. Beloved, I pray that you let not your ears by tickled or your emotions played upon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Root of the Fruit

"Let me say as clearly as possible right now that salvation is by God's sovereign grace and grace alone. Nothing a lost, degenerate, spiritually dead sinner can do will in any way contribute to salvation. Saving faith, repentance, commitment, and obedience are all divine works, wrought by the Holy Spirit in the heart of everyone who is saved. I have never taught that some presalvation works of righteousness are necessary to or part of salvation. But I do believe without apology that real salvation cannot, and will not, fail to produce works of righteousness in the life of a true believer. There are no human works in the saving act, but God's work of salvation includes a change of intent, will, desire, and attitude that inevitably produces the fruit of the Spirit. The very essence of God's saving work is the transformation of the will, resulting in a love for God. Salvation thus establishes the root that will surely produce the fruit." —John MacArthur

Eternal Punishment

There are those within Christendom who advocate total annihilation of the sinner who does not repent, and to be honest I believe for the most part they just flat out deny scripture as a whole. Just from these few text of scripture it is crystal clear to me (and most others) that the apostle John believed that the Devil, all false teachers, all unbelievers, death and hell will all be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and that their torment will be day and night forever and ever, which is clearly the second death!

Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"

Revelation 20:10 "And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

I also believe the doctrine of eternal punishment is an essential doctrine of the faith and here is why.

"Those who do not believe in the eternal punishment of the wicked do not believe in the utter sinfulness of sin. They do not believe that sin is that much of an offense to God. And the reason they do not believe that sin is such an offense to the eternal God that the wicked must be punished eternally is because they do not believe in the Holy and Just God of the Bible." —Marc D. Carpenter

Saturday, September 06, 2008

WARNING: Deep Ditch Ahead!

I know my brother in Christ and fellow blogger Greg, is working on a book review of "The Shack" so I hope this will not ruin his post. But, I just had to let everyone know about a sermon by Dr. Michael Youssef where he lays out thirteen heresies he discovered in this book by Paul Young. The sermon is titled "Uncovering The Shack", and is a must listen which can be downloaded for FREE HERE.

"The book is like a deep ditch covered with beautiful flowers — and sadly, many Christians are falling into this ditch."- Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Sole Worker

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)"In regeneration, man is neither worker nor coworker; he is merely wrought upon; and the only Worker in this matter is God. And, for this very reason, because God is the sole Worker in regeneration, it must be thoroughly understood that His work does not begin only with regeneration.

No; while the sinner is still dead in trespasses and sins, before the work of God has begun in him, he is already chosen and ordained, justified and sanctified, adopted as God's child and glorified. This is what filled St. Paul with such ecstasy of joy when he said: "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate; and whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Romans 8:29-30). And this is not the recital of what took place in the regenerate, but the glad summing up of the things which God accomplished for us before we existed. Hence our election, foreordination, justification, and glorification precede the new birth. It is true that, in the hour of love when regeneration was to be effected in us, the things accomplished outside of our consciousness were to be revealed to the consciousness of faith; but so far as God was concerned all things were ready and prepared. The dead sinner whom God regenerates is to the divine consciousness a beloved, elect, justified, and adopted child already. God quickens only His dear children." —Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920)

Excerpt taken from an article titled
Regeneration by Abraham Kuyper

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Your Need of Grace

"The more you behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the more you will see of your own vileness. The more you grow in holiness, the more aware you will be of your inward corruptions and the imperfection of your duties. More and more, you will feel your need of the gospel of grace and you will realize, even after many years of faithful Christian service, that you are a sinner who has no hope apart from Christ. Never forget that in yourself you are unworthy, and guilty and condemned; only in Jesus are you accepted." —Abraham Booth (1734-1806)

Excerpt taken from the The Reign of Grace, by Abraham Booth

Monday, September 01, 2008

Diluted Products

"Listen to the typical gospel presentation nowadays. You will hear sinners entreated with words like, "accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior"; "ask Jesus into your heart"; "invite Christ into your life"; or "make a decision for Christ." You may be so accustomed to hearing those phrases that it will surprise you to learn that none of them is based on Biblical terminology. They are the products of a diluted gospel." —John MacArthur