Title: Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart: How to Know For Sure You are Saved
Author: J.D. Greear
Publisher: B&H Books
Publishing Year: 2013
My Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)
This book grabbed my attention from the moment I first heard its title –Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart. Many Christians struggle with the issue of assurance and find themselves praying the sinner’s prayer over and over again, each time wondering if they really mean it this time or if they were sincere enough. As this book masterfully points out, the issue is not sincerity or even how sorrowful one is over their sin.
Assurance first begins with a true understanding of just what salvation really is. Jesus took our place – plain and simple. God’s wrath for sin was poured upon Christ at the cross. Thus, God’s forgiveness is not based on mercy, but justice. It is just and right for God to forgive us of our sins – not because of our sincerity in repentance – but because those sins have been atoned for. The wrath of God is absorbed in the propitiation of Christ. Jesus took our place. Our hope of salvation rests upon this finished work.
This idea is foundational not only for the rest of this book, but for how we view the issue of assurance itself. Greear suggests that some look at the moment of salvation as a certificate given by God looking back to something you have done. You have trusted enough… You have believed enough… If you have any further doubts, check the certificate looking back. However the Bible gives us a different picture, instead of looking at a certificate or a moment, you look to the Lordship of Christ and His completed work. You rest in Him, not a confession or prayer.
“Salvation is a posture of repentance and faith toward the finished work of Christ in which you transfer the weight of your hopes of heaven off of your own righteousness and onto the finished work of Jesus Christ.” (page 48)
This is probably the key passage in the book as a whole. The assurance of your salvation comes in your “posture of repentance and faith.” In other words, don’t focus on the past. It’s not a question of what you did but where you are. Are you currently trusting in Christ as your only hope of salvation? Are you currently seeking to obey Him and follow His will? If the answer is yes, then rejoice! Our eternal hope is indeed based on one moment in the past, but it’s not a moment in your life. It’s the moment Christ died upon the Cross.
There is much more to this book than I have covered in this brief review. I urge you to purchase a copy for yourself and dig your way through it mining its treasures. It’s short book that doesn’t bog you down with technical terms or theological jargon. It’s humorous and easy to understand. You can see a pastoral heart on every page. This would be a great discipling tool. In fact, that’s exactly how I am already using it.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.