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10 REASONS TO NOT ASK JESUS INTO YOUR HEART! By Todd Friel

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Todd Friel is the co-host of The Way of the Master radio.

The music weeps, the preacher pleads, “Give your heart to Jesus. You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it.” Dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who want to get their spiritual life on track make their way to the altar. They ask Jesus into their heart. Cut to three months later. Nobody has seen our new convert in church. The follow up committee calls him and encourages him to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. We label him a backslider and get ready for the next outreach event.

Our beloved 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 the answer reveals itself. She backslides. We spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.

Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding.
 The Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow and does not look back because he is fit for service. In other words, a true convert cannot backslide. If a person backslides, he never slid forward in the first place. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (II Cor.5) No backsliding there.

Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed.

If you have ever told someone to ask Jesus into their heart (like I have), you produced a false convert.
 Here is why:

1. It is not in the Bible. There is not a single verse that even hints we should say a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts.

Some use Rev. 3:20. To tell us that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts begging to come in.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” There are two reasons that interpretation is wrong.

The context tells us that the door Jesus is knocking on is the door of the church, not the human heart. Jesus is not knocking to enter someone’s heart but to have fellowship with His church.
Even if the context didn’t tell us this, we would be forcing a meaning into the text (eisegesis). How do we know it is our heart he is knocking at? Why not our car door? How do we know he isn’t knocking on our foot? To suggest that he is knocking on the door of our heart is superimposing a meaning on the text that simply does not exist.

The Bible does not instruct us to ask Jesus into our heart. This alone should resolve the issue, nevertheless, here are nine more reasons.

2. Asking Jesus into your heart is a saying that makes no sense. What does it mean to ask Jesus into your heart? If I say the right incantation will He somehow enter my heart? Is it literal? Does He reside in the upper or lower ventricle? Is this a metaphysical experience? Is it figurative? If it is, what exactly does it mean? While I am certain that most adults cannot articulate its meaning, I am certain that no child can explain it. Pastor Dennis Rokser reminds
us that little children think literally and can easily be confused (or frightened) at the prospect of asking Jesus into their heart.

3. In order to be saved, a man must repent (Acts 2:38). Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of repentance.

4. In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).
Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith.

5. The person who wrongly believes they are saved will have a false sense of security. Millions of people who sincerely, but wrongly, asked Jesus into their hearts think they are saved but struggle to feel secure. They live in doubt and fear because they do not have the Holy Spirit giving them assurance of salvation.

6. The person who asks Jesus into his heart will likely end up inoculated, bitter and backslidden. Because he did not get saved by reciting a formulaic prayer, he will grow disillusioned with Jesus, the Bible, church and fellow believers. His latter end will be worse than the first.

7. It presents God as a beggar just hoping you will let Him into your busy life. This presentation of God robs Him of His sovereignty.

8. The cause of Christ is ridiculed. Visit an atheist web-site and read the pagans who scoff, “How dare those Christians tell us how to live when they get divorced more than we do? Who are they to say homosexuals shouldn’t adopt kids when tens of thousands of orphans don’t get adopted by Christians?” Born again believers adopt kids and don’t get divorced.

People who ask Jesus into their hearts do. Jesus gets mocked when false converts give Him a bad name.

9. The cause of evangelism is hindered. While it is certainly easier to get church members by telling them to ask Jesus into their hearts, try pleading with someone to make today the day of their salvation. Get ready for a painful response. “Why should I become a Christian when I have seen so called Christians act worse than a pagan?” People who ask Jesus into their hearts give pagans an excuse for not repenting.

10. Here is the scary one. People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. How tragic that millions of people think they are right with God when they are not. How many people who will cry out, “Lord, Lord” on judgment day will be “Christians” who asked Jesus into their hearts?

So, what must one do to be saved? Repent and trust. (Heb.6:1) The Bible makes it clear that all men must repent and place their trust in Jesus Christ. Every man does have a “God shaped hole in their hearts,” but that hole is not contentment, fulfillment and peace. Every man’s heart problem is righteousness. Instead of preaching that Jesus fulfills, we must preach that God judges and Jesus satisfies God’s judgment…if a man will repent and place his trust in Him.

If you are reading this and you asked Jesus into your heart, chances are good you had a spiritual buzz for a while, but now you struggle to read your Bible, tithe, attend church and pray. Perhaps you were told you would have contentment, purpose and a better life if you just ask Jesus into your heart. I am sorry, that was a lie.

If you have been preaching that people should ask Jesus into their hearts, I beg you to stop immediately. You will give an account for all the souls you have led astray. Listen to the teaching “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”; it will help you present the Gospel correctly.

27 Comments

  1. How true. I asked Jesus into my heart many times, and still had no relief from the fear that characterized my pagan-dom. In desperation I asked Him to save me from my sins, and I had peace.

    Ironically, my security came while I was reading a history of the Methodist church, which doesn’t, by and large, believe in the security of the believer.

  2. Good article! I’ve been preaching against this for years! Glad to see someone else has taken up the cause!

    Surprised at two things though… one, Scripture does mention that “Christ… does dwell in our hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:17), but asking him in is not how he gets there. Obviously talking about Jesus living in our ‘Spiritual’ heart, not our physical one…

    Secondly, He didn’t mention Romans 10:9,10 which is THE Scripture that tells us what we must do to be saved!

    Believe and confess! (obviously includes repentance)

  3. Very thought provoking. Thanks for bringing this to light. It’s amazing how we “assume” that just by asking Jesus into our heart it is Biblical and that we are saved because we did. You are so right – I have seen many people do this and after they leave the church/auditorium the emotional high is over and you never see them again. You wrote: “Instead of preaching that Jesus fulfills, we must preach that God judges and Jesus satisfies God’s judgment…if a man will repent and place his trust in Him.” We have lost this type of preaching in the post-modern, ear-tickling churches. How sad. I am happy to say that our pastor preaches Christ and repentance.
    “Repent and trust”!! I needed this reminder – thanks again.

  4. Just wondering what brought on this flood of provocative information
    in the first place!!!!!! If I felt that God dwelt in my heart, what would
    be wrong with that?

  5. Dots: The bible does say that he dwells in our heart by faith and if you believe in your heart… as Pastor Doug said. The issue is that we don’t ask Jesus into our hearts to be saved, we need to repent from our sins and put our faith in the Savior.

    I hope that helps.

    Thanks!

  6. Very good and thought provoking article however I do believe a born again believer can backslide or become unsaved. Remember the church that had left their first love. Rev 2:4-5
    …Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
    lets not give people a false hope. many people are out there living in sin, believing their gonna make it to heaven under the pretense that they were a believer at one time, now their destiny is sealed, God forbid.
    Thanks for listening. I have received much encouragement from your site.

  7. I totally dug this article and I agree and disagree with Ralph on two items. I think it is possible for a believer to backslide; but I guess that depends on one’s defenition of “backsliding.”

    But as for becoming unsaved; impossible. The Bible says we are sealed with the Spirit untill the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit is a sort of “down payment” and once one receives Him, He will never leave. As for all those “believers” who “left their first love”, I would be hard-pressed to believe they were saved in the first place. Rev. also says that those who “persevere untill the end” will be saved. Thats the mark of a true believer.

  8. This all sounds a bit legalistic to me. “Ask Jesus into your heart” is a euphemism, not a biblical quote. (Similar to the word “trinity”) It represents in simple terms the fullness of the passages mentioned above. It contains but is not limited to the idea of surrendering the control of your innermost being to the one who died for you.
    Let us be clear about repentance. It is the fruit of salvation. It is not a work I DO that qualifies me for salvation. Repentance is a response to the love, grace and mercy of God. It doesn’t make me worthy of the blood of Jesus. It shows I truly recieved the Gospel. I repent because I AM saved… not TO BE saved.
    I believe my brother Todd is sincere, but I believe his biblical interpretation is a little off. The Epistles establish doctrine for the N.T. church. The book of Acts is a History book. It confirms doctrine, it does not establish it. If it establishes it, we had better sell all of our possessions and bring them to the church.
    I am saved when I recognize my need of the savior and surrender my life to him. Repentance is the proof… not the qualifier.

  9. Great article…I do believe a Christian can backslide though…once the foundation is laid we either build upon it gold, silver, precious stones; or wood, hay, stubble–to be revealed at the judgment seat of Christ. (that “just”) Lot is a type of this when he loses everything in the fire but he’s saved himself–it’s either in 1st or 2nd Peter. If everyone soundly saved puts their hands to the plow and never turns back nobody should be laying up wood, hay, or stubble.

  10. Someone wrote me about the fact that Ephesians 3:17 says that Christ dwells in our hearts. Here’s my response:

    Yes, it is true that he DWELLS in our hearts by faith. Let me quote John MacArthur in his commentary on this verse:

    “Katoikeo (dwell) is a compound word, formed from kata (down) and oikeo (to inhabit a house). In the context of the passage the connotation is not simply that of being inside the house of our hearts but of being at home there, to settle down as a family member. Christ cannot be “at home” in our hearts until our inner person submits to his strenthening of his Spirit. Until the Spirit controls our lives, Jesus Christ cannot be comfortable there, but only stays as a tolerated visitor. Paul’s teaching here does not relate to the fact of Jesus’ presence in the hearts of believers but to the quality of His presence.”

    In othere words, we don’t “ask him in to be saved” but he’s there when we have trusted in Him by repenting and giving our hearts over to Him.

  11. Ralph and Bill said that they believe that Christians can backslide.

    The problem is, from our perspective, we just don’t know where they stand with the Lord. They may be backslidden or they may be unsaved. I certainly don’t want to give false hope to a false convert. See my srticle on this here: “Witnessing to Phony Christians”

    http://www.evtales.com/index.php/2007/02/26/ev-tips-witnessing-to-phony-christians.html

  12. Bill said that it all sounds so legalistic that “asking Jesus into your heart is a euphemism.

    A lot of people are trusting in the euphemism and not the Savior. Most people aren’t even aware that it is a euphemism and believe that all they had to do is “ask Him into their hearts”.

    You are correct when you said: “I am saved when I recognize my need of the savior and surrender my life to him. Repentance is the proof… not the qualifier.”

    Thanks everyone!

  13. Wow! Talk about opening a can of worms! I remember when I first preached on this at my church… had a whole bunch of longterm Christians mad at me cause I touched one of their ‘sacred cows.’

    The problem is that we have not been Biblical in our approach to preaching the ‘gospel’ for so long in the church, that we have handed down a bunch of the ‘traditions of men’ for the last couple of decades.

    We’ve been taught that this is what you say and this is how you do it… and it has not even been examined to see whether or not it is Biblical…

    Keith Green touched on this (recorded in his biography, “No Compromise” a great read by the way!):

    There is not a ‘sinner’s prayer’ mentioned anywhere in the Bible, yet we do ‘altar calls’ and the list goes on…

    How bout the fact that we don’t baptize people when they ‘get saved.’ We can at least agree that this is a command in Scripture that we conveniently ignore when we ‘lead someone to the Lord’….

    Whew… time and space do not permit me….

  14. I still believe that asking Jesus in your heart as Lord of your life can save your soul, IF your heart is repentant of the sins against Gods law. What do you think Steve?

  15. I agree with the “idea” being put forth… but I am having a hard time with the application. Are we saying that because it is possible something can be misunderstood it should never be said?
    I agree that “asking Jesus in your heart” is not a complete expalnation of salvation… but what is? It must be part of a growing understanding. A “working out of my salvation.”
    Who ever completely understands salvation when they first experience it?
    Other than God… Who ever knows if someone else is saved?
    I am thankful that God judges the heart of a man. Thats why I agree with Pastor Doug… Altar calls and sinner’s prayers are not the answer… but they are tools that help express the answer. I guess that may be the best term…. They are just meant to be outward EXPRESSIONS of inner realities.

  16. Todd,

    I’m curious on your thoughts on the church in Corinth? They were all saved but were living in complete sin. This is no excuse to live carnally but how can you say you cannot backslide when these people were living carnally but were saved?

  17. Mike,

    I’m curious where in 1st Corinthians that it says that they were “all saved” and secondly that ALL of them were “living in complete sin.” ?

    I’m not saying your wrong (haven’t had a chance to puruse all of 1st Corinthians yet… I do know there were sin issues, but that is a far cry from saying they were all living in complete [read: habitual] sin…

    According to what I have read on the Corinthians, most of the sin issues had to do with immaturity [read: very young Christians] and still struggling with their conversion from Pagan practices…

    Please back up with Scripture… thank you

    By the way, the word “backslide” is only used once in the whole Bible.

    Also, let’s not forget 1st John that says if you continue to ‘practice’ sin, that you are a child of the devil (chapter 3)?

    Let’s interpret Scripture with Scripture (Psalm 119: 160)…

    I gotta say, I side with Pastor Steve on this one. If we are to know a tree by it’s fruit, then how do you judge someone who says they are a Christian, but their life does not bear fruit? (1st John 2:6)

    I know this will be a continuing dialogue… just thought I’d add my two cents…

  18. Repentence and Faith is the Gospel and there is no there. Christianity today in America is a circus, and I do not know where it is headed, but I certainly see MANY clowns leading. These clowns are leading many of these so called “carnal” Christians straight to hell with their easy believism Gospel. We have strayed from Biblical and Historical Christianity. This ask Jesus into your heart is never found in the Bible or Baptist History. It is a deceiver. God regenerates your heart, taking out your old heart/nature and giving you a new heart that seeks Him, loves Him and obeys Him. You dont need to ask Him into your heart because HE WILL NOT COME, you have a wicked fallen heart, so dont even try it. God regenerates that wicked heart, giving you a heart after Him, you respond in repentence and faith because you now love the God you once hated. So much silly evangelism today. Makes me sick.

  19. A brief overview and critique of Todd’s Ten reasons not to except Jesus into your heart!
    1. Not in the Bible? The actual prayer isn’t. The principle is implied! In the heart is where we know, understand and believe. Since Jesus is the source of all knowledge, truth, life and the way, the invitation is appropriate. We are asking for His truth to abide in us.
    2. Todd says,”where is he, does he reside in the upper or lower ventricle?”. How ignorant! He needs to do a word study.
    Paul said to the Phillipians, that he had them in his heart! Was that the main artery?
    The Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground. Gen. 8:21
    I guess Todd might ask, which ventricle is the Lord speaking from?
    3. Repentance is required but not ignored when we ask the Lord in our hearts. Some how he thinks there no process of sanctification that the Holy Spirit enacts.
    4. Trust and faith are not left out either. Having the knowledge and truth of Jesus in our hearts is a prerequisite of trust and faith.
    5. Many new and immature Christians have insecurity and struggle. They are slow to grow because they don’t feed themselves properly and therefore weak.
    6.True converts experience backsliding across the board and all the way to the top preachers . . . need I name names?
    7. It’s impossible to rob God of His sovereignty! He doesn’t force himself on us which is why we need to be drawn to the willingness to receive Him.
    8. The cause of Christ was ridiculed, distorted, denied and persecuted since He walked on earth and continues until His return. The initial welcome has little to do with continued growth leading to maturity. Some people may be false converts either way! They could agree with God’s Law, admit that they are a big sinners, but continue in sin or blackslide later on regardless of the method by which they came to Him — like a Priest who molested boys. Unless you don’t think Catholics are Christians, that’s another topic.
    9. As if Todd follows all these hypocrites and blacksliders about from start to finish . . . sounds like he’s assuming a lot!
    10. Not saved? How could he know who is or will be saved or how God is working in a person’s life and how God will chastise that person? He doesn’t. When God starts a work, he’ll finish it. If the person doesn’t get saved, they were His sheep to begin with – they’ve been written in the Book of Life long ago. I think Todd is deceiving himself and others!
    He doesn’t see the big picture.

  20. Sir, how dare you post this on the internet !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ONE THAT TERRIBLE DAY, YOU WILL STAND ALONE BEFORE A hOLY AND RIGHTEOUS gOD AND GIVE A PERSONAL ACCOUNT FOR THIS BLASPHEMY.

    I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Bt the power and authority of that name

  21. I love hearing Todd Friel deliver this message!!! This is the best and we need to hear it. Let us get rid of Christian “lingo” and stick to what the bible says. Then people can understand what God requires of us and hear the gospel of Truth!

    As you’ve said before, why not ask Jesus into your foot??

    And while we’re on the topic.. What about some alter calls. If pastors feel that we need to make a public profession, they why does everyone need to bow our heads and close our eyes? Doesn’t that defeat the public profession. I’d rather like to think that the scripture simply means that once you’ve repented and put your faith in Jesus, you will share your faith with others throughout the rest of your Christian walk. Not just the night of your conversion.

  22. I agree that the Bible nowhere prescribes that a sinner should “ask Jesus to come into his heart.” But Todd Friel’s little dissertation on salvation and damnation promotes a truncated, incomplete plan of salvation that will not in no wise save a lost sinner from that hell to which Friel consigns those who rely upon the “ask Jesus to come into your heart” formula.

    Many who heard Peter preach in Jerusalem on Pentecost, shortly after the death of Jesus, believed that the one they had crucified and slain was indeed the very Son of God. In their anguish, “they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Did Peter tell them what so many modern preachers tell folks to do to be saved? If he had done that, he would have said something like this: “Take Jesus as your personal Saviour and put your trust in Him and say this prayer…and then he would set out some kind of a little canned prayer that has come to be known as “the sinner’s prayer” and ask the “convert” to recite that.

    But Peter did not do that. Instead, preaching under the influence of the Holy Ghost, he told them to “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins….”

    The person receiving Christian baptism is passive and compliant; the WORK that comes into play in baptism is the WORK of GOD in sending Jesus Christ to die and to shed his blood, the purchase price of our salvation. In baptism, we are brought into union with Christ in his death (Romans 2, verses 3- 6. Here it is, plainly and simply:

    “3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

    4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

    6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

    Read that and consider all the things described there that happen in conjunction with baptism and then ask yourself whether a person can have confident assurance of salvation without these blessings that are so plainly and powerfully associated with baptism.

    For something like the first 1400 years following the death of Jesus, the church consistently held that baptism is for the remission of sins. Doesn’t it seem to you that there must have been a pretty good reason for that?

    Nowhere in the New Testament is there any instance of any lost person being told that he or she needs to recite a “sinner’s prayer” Don’t you wonder why so many who claim to be preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus tell folks to do something that neither Jesus nor his disciples nor any of the New Testament evangelists or writers told anyone to do?

    The notion that the apostle Paul was saved before he was baptized, as claimed by many evangelicals, is simply not supported by scripture. Paul, after asking, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” was instructed by the Lord, to “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 8:6) Paul himself recounts what he was told once he had gone into Damascus and found Ananias, a disciple the Lord had chosen to instruct Paul. He was told simply this, which ought to settle any question of whether he had already had his sins forgiven and been saved on the road to Damascus: “And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16) Had Paul’s sins been been somehow washed away on the road to Damascus? Obviously not, else Ananias would not have told him what to do in order to have his sins washed away.

    The often taught notion that baptism can not have anything to do with salvation is based on the incorrect characterization of baptism as a “work.” Since we are saved by “works”, it is argued that baptism, being a “work” has nothing to do with salvation. But the scriptures nowhere teach that baptism is a work of merit. Baptism is simply a part of the lost sinner’s acceptance of that salvation that is offered by the grace of God. No one is arguing that repentance is a “work,” but repentance is necessary for salvation. Repentance is something the lost sinner must DO in order to accept that salvation offered by the grace of God, but it is not a work of merit. Neither faith, repentance, nor baptism (all of which are necessary elements of the sinner’s obedience to the gospel) are “works”.

    The documented history of the church shows that baptism was considered necessary for forgiveness of sins for about the first 1400 years of Christian history. Early reformers like Calvin and Zwingli, in their over-reaction to the Catholic Church’s reliance on works of merit, erroneously characterized baptism as a “work” and thus concluded, erroneously, that baptism was not necessary for forgiveness of sin. Their error, unfortunately, has been widely propagated.

    • Thanks for your response but I disagree that baptism is necessary for salvation. It is a work. Christ did the work for us. Now, I believe one proves he is saved when he is baptized because one must be obedient.

      • Repenting is something we DO to accept and receive salvation. Believing is something we DO to accept and receive salvation. The scriptures, including those I cited above and others, show that baptism is something a lost sinner DOES in acceptance of and for the receiving of salvation. None of these acts of obedience is a work of merit that earns the salvation that is the gift of God. It seems that those who discount the role of baptism in salvation are moved to do so because baptism is a tangible, visible action. However, being a tangible, visible action that is part of accepting and receiving the salvation purchased by the blood of Christ and offered through the grace of God does not make baptism a work of merit. None of the responses in the suite of human actions that accept the gift of salvation is a work of merit.

        You have simply stated that you disagree with me–no more and no less. You have not attempted to address the case I have made for baptism. I am not impressed with that “response”.

      • Thanks Bighoss. I do agree with you that baptism is a demonstration of one’s faith and obedience to God.

  23. At the age of nine I prayed to ask Jesus to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. I loved being a Christian. I loved Jesus and I loved the Bible. I used to love witnessing to non-believers and loved defending my belief in (the Christian) God and orthodox/conservative Christianity. Then one day someone challenged me to take a good, hard look at the foundation of my beliefs: the Bible. I was stunned by what I discovered.

    1. The Bible is not inerrant. It contains many, many errors, contradictions, and deliberate alterations and additions by the scribes who copied it. The originals are lost, therefore we have no idea what “God” originally” said. Yes, its true—Christians can give “harmonizations” for every alleged error and contradiction, but so can the Muslims for errors in the Koran, and Mormons for errors in the Book of Mormon. One can harmonize anything if you allow for the supernatural.

    2. How do we know that the New Testament is the Word of God? Did Jesus leave us a list of inspired books? Did the Apostles? Paul? The answer is, no. The books of the New Testament were added to the canon over several hundred years. Second Peter was not officially accepted into the canon until almost the FIFTH century! So why do all Christians accept every book of the New Testament as the word of God and reject every non-canonical “gospel”? Answer: the ancient (catholic) Church voted these books into your Bible. Period.

    There is nowhere in the OT or the NT where God gives men the authority to determine what is and what is not his Word. If Second Peter was really God’s Word, the entire Church should have known so in the first century.

    3. Who wrote the Gospels? We have NO idea! The belief that they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is based on hearsay and assumptions—catholic tradition. Protestants denounce most of the traditions of the Catholic Church but have retained two of the most blatant, evidence-lacking traditions which have no basis in historical fact or in the Bible: the canon of the NT and the authorship of the Gospels.

    The only shred of evidence that Christians use to support the traditional authorship of the Gospels is one brief statement by a guy named Papias in 130 AD that someone told him that John Mark had written a gospel. That’s it! Papias did not even identify this “gospel”. Yet in 180 AD, Irenaeus, a bishop in FRANCE, declares to the world that the apostles Matthew and John and the associates of Peter and Paul—Mark and Luke—wrote the Gospels. But Irenaeus gives ZERO evidence for his assignment of authorship to these four books. It is well known to historians that it was a common practice at that time for anonymously written books to be ascribed to famous people to give them more authority. For all we know, this is what Irenaeus did in the case of the Gospels.

    The foundation of the Christian Faith is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If the story of the Resurrection comes from four anonymous books, three of which borrow heavily from the first, often word for word, how do we know that the unheard of, fantastically supernatural story of the re-animation of a first century dead man, actually happened??

    Maybe the first book written, “Mark”, was written for the same purpose that most books were written in that time period—for the benefit of one wealthy benefactor, and maybe it was written simply as an historical novel, like Homer’s Iliad; not meant to be 100% factual in every detail, but a mix of true historical events as a background, with a real messiah pretender in Palestine, Jesus, but with myth and fiction added to embellish the story and help sell the book! We just do not know for what purpose these books were written!

    I slowly came to realize that there is zero verifiable evidence for the Resurrection, and, the Bible is not a reliable document. After four months of desperate attempts to save my faith, I came to the sad conclusion that my faith was based on an ancient superstition; a superstition not based on lies, but based on the sincere but false beliefs of uneducated, superstitious, first century peasants.

    You can pray to ask Jesus into your heart 10,000 times, but if there is no evidence for his Resurrection, then odds are that he is dead. And if he is dead, he can’t hear your prayers. Sad, but the truth.

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