“Just say this sinner’s prayer, and you will go to Heaven” is not the Gospel, by Alan Ballou.
Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to go out and have a million people say a sinner’s prayer, and then promise them eternal life. Nope, that’s deception, and we have accepted that as truth for over one hundred years now.
A sinner’s prayer might get you saved, if human wisdom doesn’t suck the life out of the message beforehand (1 Corinthians 1:17), but the promised inheritance depends on the “righteousness of faith,” and not a sinner’s prayer. That requires preaching the Gospel.
Romans 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. NKJV
Very few preachers are actually preaching the Gospel today, and I do mean so few that I can’t find one around here. Don’t think so? Think again, because “in” the Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed or “made known,” according to the Word of the Lord written in Romans 1:16-17.
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” NKJV
The Gospel “itself” is the power of God to salvation for those who believe it (verse 16 above). “In it,” which means “in the Gospel,” the righteousness of God is revealed, or made known (verse 17 above).
If you have not heard God’s explanation of receiving His righteousness, then you haven’t heard a complete Gospel, and so how can you possibly believe it unto salvation? If you have not heard what you need to believe in order to have salvation, then you only got saved when you called on the Lord.
With the heart we believe “unto” righteousness (Romans 10:10). That’s why those, who know the truth, are waiting (verse 5 below). We are imputed righteousness because we believe as Abraham believed (Romans 4:20-25), but we are waiting on our faith to be made perfect, and the scripture to be fulfilled (James 2:20-24). That’s why the word “might” is in 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. NKJV
If God’s righteousness is revealed (made known) in the Gospel, then how can the Gospel be “Say this prayer, and receive eternal life,” without ever mentioning the righteousness of faith? It can’t. We have been deceived.
As I have mentioned before, at best, we’re just getting people saved, if that (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). We’re not teaching people to live by faith (Romans 1:17, Galatians 2:20, 3:11), much less to continue in their faith, or face being cut off (Romans 11:22, Colossians 1:21-23).
If you take a closer look at Roman’s chapter ten, you will notice and explanation of the righteousness by faith, which happens to be just before the verse we use to get people saved.
Romans 10:6-8 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): NKJV
If the righteousness of faith includes saying certain things that are in line with the faith, and not saying certain things, even in our heart, according to the verses above, why do we skip it if we, ourselves have believed unto righteousness? Why the rush to get to verse 9 if we have the slightest clue as to what we are talking about?
Verse 9 says that if we confess with our mouth, the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved, but the inheritance depends on the righteousness of faith, which we never mention, as if it has nothing to do with salvation.
We need both the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance. Therefore we need to call on the Lord Jesus to save us, and we need to know how to live by faith in Him in order to receive an inheritance (Romans 3:21-22).
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ NKJV
The difference between a sinner who said a sinner’s prayer ten years ago, but did not continue in his faith, and one who did continue in his faith unto righteousness, is that the former has no inheritance. Listen to what the following verses are telling you.
Ephesians 5:5-7 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. NKJV
Here is a sinner who has no inheritance, but how can that be true when he was told in Ephesians chapter one that Christ has made him accepted, through grace, and that he is sealed in the Holy Spirit; promised an inheritance? Did God really say that?
Who is guaranteed an inheritance according to Ephesians 1:13-14 below? All of us, or just the ones who “hear the Gospel,” and “believe it?”
Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. NKJV
My friend, if you have a problem with the verses I am mentioning, or any of the verses I have mentioned on this site, you are not sealed, because you do not believe. If you speak against the verses, even in your heart, you have not received the righteousness of faith, but you could even fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 6:20-21, Romans 10:6-8). Don’t be tricked!
You may have been saved, but there are millions of Christians who have been saved today, that still live in sin with addictions, and the like, all because the preacher doesn’t preach the Gospel. To top that off, we have welcomed man-made methods to help control sin, right inside the church. What? Did we bump our heads?
They are quick to proclaim 1 Peter 1:1-5, but tell me this. Does 1 Peter 1:5 require us to live by faith in order to receive God’s protection unto salvation?
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. NKJV
Some churches actually teach people “what to say,” if someone questions their inheritance, rather than preaching the Gospel, but as you can see, even God’s power of protection is “through faith” (verse 5 above). We must have faith. In fact, access to more grace is even through faith (Romans 5:2). Check the verse.
No faith, no protection (verse 5 above). The goal of our faith, or the outcome of our faith, or the end of the faith, that we have received, is the salvation of our souls.
1 Peter 1:9 receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. NKJV
We didn’t receive salvation when we said Jesus is Lord, but the faith needed to save our souls as a gift (Ephesians 2:8). We were delivered from the power of darkness, redeemed, and seated with Christ (Colossians 1:12-14 ), but that only qualified us to share in the inheritance.
Colossians 1:12-13 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. NKJV
Yes we have redemption through His blood, and the forgiveness of sins (verse 14 above), but saved people are only qualified to share in the inheritance (verse 12 above). It takes hearing the Gospel and believing it, in order to be guaranteed an inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14 above).
So, yes we received what we needed, but what if we were tricked into thinking that everything is based on a one time statement, rather than believing in our heart “unto” righteousness (Romans 10:10)? What if we were tricked into thinking that everything is based on a one time statement, rather than confessing “unto” salvation?
That’s why we don’t mention Romans 10:6-8, because then it would be obvious that our confession of faith doesn’t stop with one statement, but we have to live by faith. We have been deceived!
We have to continue in the faith that we received as a gift, as a result of calling on the name of the Lord (Colossians 1:21-23). Check the verse! We are holy, blameless, and above reproach in God’s sight, “if we continue in our faith.”
The goal of our faith is the salvation of our souls! What happens if we shrink back from the faith we were given?
Hebrews 11:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. NKJV
Who will receive what is promised according to verse 36 above? Just as Jesus said, only those who do the will of the Father in Heaven get to go into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21).
What happens to the people who shrink back from living by faith, according to verse 39 above? Perdition is the destruction of the soul. Remember Judas, the son of perdition (John 17:12). Someone is coming in his likeness, very soon (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
We have to believe unto the saving of the soul. If that is the case, then there could be millions, and millions of unsuspecting saved people who have no inheritance right now. You’re getting it! Many who seek to enter, will not be able (Luke 13:22-28).
That’s why the words “eternal life” are not written in Romans chapter ten, or Ephesians 2. No, we have to believe in our heart “unto” righteousness, and confession is made “unto” salvation (Romans 10:10), and that is why the righteousness of faith needs to be explained, but hey, I’m just a high school dropout.
So, who should care about what I think, unless of course I speak according to what is written (Jeremiah 23:22)? If God can use a dumb donkey, can He use a dumb person (2 Peter 2:16)?
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant.