There is a series called “Unhelpful Christian Phrases” from Operation513 being circulated in the blogosphere and social media with the intent of helping people to avoid saying certain things when evangelizing. There appears to be five of these to date. I am addressing 1-3 today not to make this post too long. And no, I don’t claim to know everything, but as I line it up to God’s Word, below is what I found.
#1: “Jesus loves you” – Imagine NOT being able to tell someone that Jesus loves you! The original post claims that saying this is confusing because it makes the sinner think that God must love them including their sinful lifestyle. Guess what? Saying “Jesus loves you” is far from being unbiblical. Saying it encompasses the very essence of John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 which states, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And yes, you can shout Jesus loves you from the rooftops. It’s the truth!
#2: “Ask Jesus into your heart” – The poster claims saying this is confusing and goes on to ask the questions, “What does that phrase even mean? Why does Jesus need to go into my heart anyway?” The article says we are also to avoid saying “Give your life to Jesus” and “Give your heart to Jesus.”
Deuteronomy 6:5 states, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
There is only one seat of lordship in a person’s heart. You can choose to make yourself the lord of your life and follow whatever your heart desires (let’s see how far this will get you without crashing), or you can choose to make Jesus as the Lord of your life. As you yield your heart to the Lord at the time of salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells and takes residence in your heart (Ephesians 3:17). The phrase they want you to avoid saying is ACTUALLY biblical contrary to what they claim.
#3: “Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and knocking” – Even unbelievers acknowledge the metaphor of the heart as a door and sing songs about having a key to one’s heart (I’m sure you could probably think of one song). God is the one who draws a person to Himself as stated in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…” What is God doing here? He is knocking at the door (the person’s heart). Once the person responds through faith and opens the door, this is what happens, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.“ (John 14:23).
The article goes on that saying #3 is unbiblical and erroneous for other Christians to attribute this to Revelation 3:20 since the verse “in context” refers to a church that has abandoned Christ. My question is, what makes up a church exactly? Individuals. These individuals in the church are going through the motion of churchianity- involved in a congregation but their hearts are far from God as seen in Matthew 15:8, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…” happens to still be unconverted.
Verse 17 of Revelation 3 gives a clear description of their true spiritual condition, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.“
Though Revelation 3:20 is addressing a church collectively, it is addressing every single individual within the church to make sure to hear God’s knock coming by way of rebuke and discipline. These people claim to be in the truth and are close to the knowledge of the truth but are not quite there yet (think Judas). Oftentimes, it takes trying times for one to think about God and truly seek God.
There are plenty of seemingly good advice going around, but take the time to think on what you read from Christians and LINE IT UP with God’s Word. If you pass things around without scrutinizing it, you will end up participating in promoting what is unbiblical.