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Eternal Security and Assurance of Salvation Are Two Different Things
Posted by Clare
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I rarely blog on strictly theological issues, but on Monday I posted a blog on why I’m so hesitant to ask people to pray “the prayer” of salvation, anymore, until I’m confident they understand what and who they’re about to commit their lives to. And, one of the reason why I don’t, is due to the misunderstanding between the doctrine of eternal security (once saved-always saved) and the promise we make people that if they do pray the prayer, they can know without a doubt that they are saved (assurance of salvation).

All of us would like to have assurance of our salvation. But the question all Christians ask of themselves, if they’re honest, “How can I know, or can anyone know, if they’re really saved for sure?”

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Why I’m Hesitant to Ask People to Pray “The Prayer” Anymore
Posted by Clare


When I came to real faith almost 35 years ago, Billy Graham was in his prime and Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, was leading people to Christ in elevators. Evangelicals used little booklets like The Four Spiritual Laws and Steps to Peace to introduce people to Christ. The last step of course was to pray out loud a short prayer acknowledging your sin, receiving Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and thanking him for your salvation – “The Prayer”.

So why is it I’m so cautious about asking people to pray the prayer?

Because, even 30 years ago, most people knew the basic storyline of the Bible, including Adam and Eve’s decision to sin. The majority of Americans had gone to Sunday School or church, or their parents had, so there was a general awareness of sin and God’s displeasure with it. And they also knew that Christians believed Jesus died to save us from our sins.

Nobody is exactly sure what happened, but today I find very few non-Christians, especially those under 40, who believe they are sinners and therefore that they have a problem with God. Either they’re indifferent to God, or if they believe in God at all, don’t think they have a problem with him. Guys can be living with their girlfriends and aren’t the least bit ashamed to tell me. The purpose of this blog isn’t to whine about how that happened, but it did!

So, here’s the problem for them and the dilemma for the church: If you don’t know you’re a sinner, you have no need for a Savior!

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