1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Effectiveness of the 'sinners' prayer'.

Discussion in 'The Church Forum' started by Pearl, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Pearl

    Pearl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,038
    Likes Received:
    11,406
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It seems to me that the success of many outreach meetings is measured by the number of people who stand or come forward at the end to say the sinners' prayer but to me just saying the words of the 'sinners prayer' means nothing if you do not recognise that you really are a sinner who needs God's forgiveness. And pastors need to be sure that a person has really reached that place in their hearts and minds before they tell them that they are now saved.
     
    reformed1689, amadeus, Helen and 2 others like this.
  2. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,373
    Likes Received:
    12,308
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Canada

    To me this whole idea of declaring someone saved..or worse...declaring oneself saved... is deceptive. If we change the course of our lives then we are embarking on a new path...a new way. Surely this is the way of salvation IF we remain on it for the rest of our lives.
     
  3. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,655
    Likes Received:
    14,730
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    That's the thing that really bothers me in the approach I see so often in "arena evangelism". Music, speeches, all designed to incite emotional response to the preaching of the Gospel, with cards collected and counted so we can all say YAY! in church the next week over "5000 professions of faith".

    I've done field counseling, telephone follow-up, new believers classes, my wife also, and never once have we encounted someone who was interested in doing anything more than what they had already done, in praying that prayer.

    It's not the prayer, it's faith. And God sees that.

    "If you've prayed that prayer then you've been born again", is a very presumptuous thing to say!

    Much love!
     
    reformed1689, Helen, amadeus and 4 others like this.
  4. Pearl

    Pearl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,038
    Likes Received:
    11,406
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The same is true of events at my church; the cards are counted and the preacher gives himself a pat on the back but then we never see any of the card-fillers again.
     
    Willie T, Helen, amadeus and 2 others like this.
  5. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    28,193
    Likes Received:
    17,594
    We indeed need to focus on evangelism as per Acts 16, re. Lydia, 'whose heart the Lord opened', relying on the effect of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit, rather than extracting "decisions" at events by those who just repeat a formula.
     
    SovereignGrace and Episkopos like this.
  6. Pearl

    Pearl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,038
    Likes Received:
    11,406
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I think events like this where well known people give a personal testimony may touch the hearts of one or two who were genuinely moved to repent but more likely there will have been seeds sown and words spoken which people will remember and think seriously about at some time into the future. They are a good place to sow seed. Perhaps praying about such an event should include a prayer that the good seed not be snatched away but that it will flourish and grow at the right time for that person.
     
    Nancy and Helen like this.
  7. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,655
    Likes Received:
    14,730
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    I think that's a good perspective!

    :)
     
    Pearl likes this.
  8. Ezra

    Ezra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,123
    Likes Received:
    1,112
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    the greatest sinners prayer is Lord save me 3 words from the heart and its a done deal
     
    John Caldwell, Pearl and Helen like this.
  9. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,873
    Likes Received:
    3,160
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Coming to the Lord, surrendering your sins, and accepting Hm is the most important thing a person can do.

    But, that one moment not the only thing involved in being His disciple. And we shouldn't put so much focus on that moment as the never talk about rest of the Christian life.
     
    Pearl likes this.
  10. Pearl

    Pearl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,038
    Likes Received:
    11,406
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I watched a programme on TV the other day and this lady was saying that her life was in a complete mess so she prayed that God would help her find him. Later when she went out somebody she didn't know invited her to go to church but she ignored it. Later still on the bus a different lady gave her the same invitation to come to her church but it was only a few days later that she realised it had been God answering her prayer to help her to find him and then she did go to church and found God.
     
    Nancy and amadeus like this.
  11. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    28,193
    Likes Received:
    17,594
    Good to heed suggestions to seek out those who practise Acts 2.42... :)
     
    Pearl likes this.
  12. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

    Messages:
    4,862
    Likes Received:
    2,192
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Australia
    You will not find the sinner's prayer in scripture. Obtaining salvation means repenting and being baptised to seal the deal.
     
    Nancy and Pearl like this.
  13. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Certified Flunky

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,612
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Baptism does not seal the deal my friend. :)
     
    mjrhealth likes this.
  14. Invisibilis

    Invisibilis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    331
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Australia
    Same sort of thing happened to me.

    Many years ago, I moved into a big city, not knowing anybody and living alone. I never had or wanted visitors. I am a hermit of sorts.
    Anyway, I did not have much money at the time, no TV or radio to distract me. So I bought several second hand text books (dislike novels).

    One book was on nuclear physics. Every night I would read from it and do all the mathematics provided. Three weeks later I completed the text. After I closed the book, I just sat there for a few hours going over in my mind what I learnt. I came to the conclusion that there must be a God somewhere in the soup so-to-speak. I spoke load enough to hear my self say, "I want to get closer to you God". Suddenly there was a knock on my front door. I thought 'how rude'. So I got up to answer the door, thinking who would be knocking on my door? Nobody knows where I live!

    I opened the door to see a young lass asking me to joint a bible study group. I instantly knew that God answered my prayer immediately. How could I refuse such an offer. So I went to this church group and became closer to God in my heart.
     
    Nancy, amadeus and Pearl like this.
  15. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,826
    Likes Received:
    3,147
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    What you're saying is true. And I would say most orthodox and well grounded churches understand this.

    During an evangelistic or outreach meeting, when the invitation is given, there are always a mixed group that can be found. Some are coming to be saved genuinely. They have really believed and were saved when they prayed that prayer. So, I wouldn't take that away from them. It doesn't mean one has to say those exact words to be saved, but neither does it mean they can't be saved if they said those words.

    Usually the outreach meetings or evangelistic services will be given by one who has the gift of evangelism. And, it is a spiritual gift. And those with that gift literally have to be restrained. All they see is numbers for the Kingdom of God. They look at a map and see nothing but where they can attack the kingdom of satan and gain ground for the kingdom of God. And those who do not have that gift have a hard time with them at times. But, they are Christians trying to do what God has gifted them to do. And I praise God for them.

    This is one reason believers clash at times. They have different gifts of the Spirit. I remember years ago I was at a Bible study in someone's home. The teacher related how that recently he had seen many gifts in operation from the Body in a past Bible study event. A lady was late to the study because she hit a deer on the way. When she got there she was shook up and bothered by it. Immediately the gifts arose.

    One with the gift of mercy immediately said, 'that poor deer'.
    One with the gift of pastor consoled the woman.
    One with the gift of teaching started trying to instruct the woman on how she should drive on these roads to the Bible study.
    One with the gift of prophet started demanding why arn't there more signs on these roads to warn people.
    One with the gift of giving wanted to know the damage to her car and help her financially if she needed it.

    The evangelist needs to exercise his gift, but he also needs to be connected to a local church that he submits to. This way they can instruct him and oversee him and the converts that have come. This I believe would correct any problem one may have of just saying the words to be saved.

    Stranger
     
    Nancy and Pearl like this.
  16. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

    Messages:
    4,862
    Likes Received:
    2,192
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Australia
    You are welcome to your opinion.
     
  17. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Certified Flunky

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    1,612
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    It's not my opinion my friend, but biblical fact. :)
     
  18. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

    Messages:
    4,862
    Likes Received:
    2,192
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    Australia
    That is a matter of opinion one might say.
     
  19. Joseph77

    Joseph77 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,673
    Likes Received:
    1,324
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Good OP.
    Those who checked on the popular campaigns by a popular evangelist
    found that a year after he came to town, not one person who came forward, out of thousands, was still active in Christ at all.
    Details may vary some, but overall that was the gist of it.
    p.s. the evangelist was possibly the most popular false teacher in the usa/ maybe the world.
     
Loading...