9 Reasons Not To “Ask Jesus Into Your Heart”by Jared Kennedy on November 20, 2008
Your child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and you only have more questions. She turns away from faith. You spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses. What went wrong?Of course, there is no way to guarantee that an early acceptance of the gospel will stick, and parents should not feel defeated when their adolescents question or even rebel against what they have been taught from a young age. However, we can be careful to avoid language that would give our children a false understanding of the gospel or a false impression about their own condition. If you’ve grown up in church setting, you have probably heard the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” a thousand times—at evangelistic meetings or at the end of impassioned sermons. Perhaps you have seen it modeled as part of a gospel presentation. I have come to believe that the phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” can be dangerous way of calling someone to faith. Here are a few reasons why:
1. This kind of figurative language is not appropriate for most children.
2. Salvation does not result from our asking but from what Jesus has done.
3. The gospel is NOT primarily about Jesus’ work in our heart but about Jesus’ work in history.
4. The gospel appeals to more than our emotions.
5. Over-emphasizing a change of heart can actually discourage a child.
6. The phrase “ask Jesus into your heart” is neither commanded in the Scriptures nor found as a description of conversion.
7. God only saves those who turn away from sin and delight in his Son.
8. Leading a child in a “sinner’s prayer” may give the child false assurance.
9. Finally, this presentation robs God of his sovereignty.
I read this and I thought this was a very well written and made a strong argument for not asking your child to accept “Jesus in their heart.” If you click on the link you can read their thoughts as they expand on each