Evangelist: Jesus died for your sins. He loves you so much he had to leave the splendors of heaven. Accept him as your savior today! Whoever wants to receive him as Savior please raise your hand. OK now repeat these words after me. “Lord Jesus. I accept you as my Savior. Forgive me of my sin. Enter now into my heart. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”
Steve: Pastor that was a good sermon.
Evangelist: Thank you. You know me. I am full of the Spirit. So we had 40 people giving their lives to the Lord today. The Lord has added 40 to his kingdom.
Steve: Oh, so if someone raises his hand and prays after you then he get’s saved?
Evangelist: Yes. How else can someone become a Christian? They raised their hands and prayed after me. They are all saved. They are new born babes in Christ. Last week at the crusade we had 200 giving their lives to the Lord.
Steve: Pastor, have you read the part which says “…salvation belongs to the LORD in Jonah 2:9 and the one in Psalm 3:8 which states that “Deliverance comes from the LORD?”
Evangelist: Yes. What about them?
Steve: What does that mean, Pastor?
Evangelist: Well, that is obvious, Steve. It means God is the one who saves.
Steve: If God is the one who saves then how come you believe all those people got saved?
Evangelist: Steve, you still don’t get it do you? Didn’t you see the faces of those people? It was clear that they were touched by the message. Some of them were almost crying. The most convincing part is that they raised their hands and prayed after me.
Steve: But shouldn’t we be biblical in our approach to salvation. If salvation is the Lords then we can’t be sure someone is saved just because he raised his hand. In John 6:44 Jesus says, “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” We are also told in Mathew 7: 20 that “you will know them by their fruit.” Do you also remember the parable of the sower, Pastor? How that there is seed that falls along the path, rocky places and thorny bushes? How sure are you that they are saved when you have not seen them bear fruit? How sure are you that some of the seed did not fall on good soil but on thorny bushes?
Evangelist: Steve men of God are blessed with power. Our word does not go out in vain. It comes back with results. We must do all things to get people into the Kingdom of God.
Steve: When you say, “our word,” I take it you mean God’s word right?”
Evangelist: Yes you can say that.
Steve: I know God’s word is powerful and yes we must do all that we can to win souls but don’t you think as a Church we are being pragmatic?
Evangelist: Pragmatic? What do you mean by that?
Steve: It is the idea of doing things just because they bring results. Pragmatism says, “If something works and bears results then do it.” Anyway, going on further, is there a verse in the Bible which says when you raise your hand and say a sinner’s prayer then you will be saved? I think we need to be very careful with our approach. This is why our Church is being filled with so many goats. Sorry to use that term but it’s the truth. And by the way Pastor you haven’t answered my question. I asked you whether you are really sure that your message didn’t fall on rocky ground or thorny bushes.
Evangelist: Yes I know salvation is the work of God. Only God can save. But how do we leave people just like that after preaching? We must get them into God’s kingdom. That is my struggle you see.
Steve: Pastor your duty is to preach and plead with people to call upon the Savior. You cannot assure them of salvation just because they raised their hands. If God is the one who saves and you are guaranteeing them of salvation before seeing fruit then what you are implying is that you are also God. Preach the word Pastor and let God germinate the seed which you have planted.
Evangelist: Yes, you are right. Thank you, Steve. You are very right. We must be biblical about our approach. Sometimes the pressure is too much. And you know there are others who don’t know about this fact. Why don’t you preach about it next Sunday? I’ll speak to my elders
Steve: You are welcome. I am more than willing. By the way the elders are not yours they are the Lord’s. Hahaha!