“Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved” by J.D. Greear
How many times have you asked Jesus into your heart?
If you’re anything like Pastor J.D. Greear and countless others, it could be thousands of times. “Am I really saved?” is a question that haunts Christians, causing them to live plagued with fear and doubt, rather than joy and peace. While I don’t know that my own count reached into the thousands, I can distinctly remember praying the “sinner’s prayer” every single time I heard it in a worship service, youth camp, or revival meeting growing up. “Just in case,” I told myself.
It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I finally realized I didn’t have to constantly panic over the state of my soul. The assurance that I was truly and eternally saved came through the counsel of a godly man, who taught me things very much like what Greear has written in this little book.
There are two prevalent problems associated with the doctrine of assurance: true Christians who doubt their own salvation, and unregenerate people who have a false assurance that they are saved. Greear seeks to tackle both of these problems.
In the book, false assurance is primarily chalked up to the common teaching that if someone “prays a prayer” they are saved. When this false teaching is accompanied by the true teaching that salvation cannot be lost, it is a recipe for disaster! The solution is to hold fast to the doctrine of justification by faith alone (stressed to a greater extent in one of the book’s appendices), so that people realize that there is nothing magical about any particular set of words which grants us a new heart. The faith that saves is a faith that is accompanied by a changed heart, a renewed mind, and an obedient spirit.
These same truths are also the solution to the problem of doubt. If a Christian is worried about his “status” as a believer, he need only examine his life for the evidence of salvation. Greear urges believers to focus not on determining precisely when their walk with God began , but rather on whether they are walking with God now. The presence of this evidence, particularly love for other believers, ought to set a Christian’s mind at ease.
Greear also addresses some of the common arguments raised against the idea that Christians can know they are saved in a chapter titled, “If ‘once saved always saved,’ why does the Bible seem to warn us so often about losing our salvation?” These are questions that must be answered, and they are answered very well here. Hopefully every reader will come away more convinced than ever in the perseverance of the saints.
This is a book that I know I’ll be handing out to believers struggling with assurance. It would have greatly benefited me a decade ago! I pray that the Lord will use it to aid many Christians to rest assured in the power of the gospel. If you struggle with doubt about your salvation, or know someone who does, get Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart here.
A quick note about the audio book, which I received free for reviewing purposes from christianaudio.com: I think it’s the first book I’ve heard read by Tom Parks, but I really liked him! He’s a very engaging reader, and has the added benefit of sounding a lot like one of my favorite preachers. I hope to hear more from him!