One of the greatest heresies infiltrating the contemporary church is that of “decisional regeneration”; that is, the false teaching that salvation is a mere human decision. The miracle of salvation has been reduced today to the mere nodding of one’s head to the propositional truths of a gospel presentation and the simple repeating of the “sinner’s prayer” after some well-meaning evangelical. All who are willing to nod their head and repeat the prayer are assured by us, not by God, that they are a shoo-in for heaven and should never doubt their salvation.
According to the Apostle Paul, “the gospel of Christ…is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). Furthermore, “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). This explains why Paul refused to use “excellency of speech” or “enticing words of man’s wisdom” in his preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Instead, he preached “in fear” and “trembling” a simple message of “Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” In the end, Paul wanted to be assured that all converts came to Christ under the power of God, not under the power of human persuasion. In other words, Paul wanted them to believe in Christ because they had been convicted by the Spirit, not convinced by his sermon.
Salvation is a miracle of God; indeed, it is the greatest of all God’s miracles. Until we fully realize this truth we will never fully appreciate our own salvation nor the urgent need of sinners for our prayers. Since only a miracle working God can perform the miracle of salvation on the sinner’s behalf, the sinner stands in desperate need of our prayers. While the sinner may pray the sinner’s prayer and we may share the gospel with sinners, only God can save a soul, for He alone is “the Lord; and apart from Him there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:11).
Thanks to the heresy of decisional regeneration, contemporary Christians appear more concerned with persuading the sinner to pray the “sinner’s prayer” than with praying for the sinner’s salvation. We are more concerned with making better sales-pitches to the sinner than with making better supplication to God on the sinner’s behalf. Perhaps, this goes a long way in explaining the impotence of modern-day evangelism and the scarcity of our spiritual harvest.
IT TOOK A MIRACLE (John W. Peterson)
My Father is omnipotent
And that you can’t deny;
A God of might and miracles;
‘Tis written in the sky.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!