Why Jesus Doesn’t Want You To “Ask Him Into Your Heart”


I’ll never forget it. I was in middle school. All around me were other middle school kids crying. Hardly anyone was standing. It was a powerful moment—so much so that even now when I think about it a range of emotions come over me. Where was I? I was at a youth camp. It was the last night where everyone “asked Jesus into their heart.” Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine” was playing while the camp speaker asked all the kids to bow their heads and close their eyes. He would then say, “ok whoever wants to receive Jesus repeat after me….”


Sound familiar?


Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart?


Now first let me say this—I am not arguing in this blog that Jesus doesn’t save through this method (because He clearly does). Also, John 1:12 would suggest we do need to receive Jesus in some way or another. But my question is why has it become so mechanical? So forced? So calculated? Receiving the grace of Jesus is a beautiful thing. We tell people it is free (which it is), but we forget to tell them it will cost them their life (which it will). I’m humbly submitting that this might be the main thing contributing to our lethargic, apathetic, and consumer based Christianity that’s plaguing our nation right now.


Doesn’t it haunt you that this “prayer” is never uttered in the New Testament?


Have you ever asked yourself why?


Doesn’t it haunt you that people never made a “decision” but rather gave up all they had to follow Jesus?


Why is the life we are calling people to, so different from what the original disciples called them to?


When I first became a Christian about 4 years ago, the church I went to would give an “invitation” at the end of every sermon. It was very similar to the experience above. He would have people bow their heads and close their eyes, and “accept Jesus into their heart.” He would then usually say something like “I see your hand, God sees your heart.” I think about 15 people would get saved every service. At this time they were probably a 3,000+ person church with multiple campuses in a tiny town. I remember thinking after about a year, that if 15 people were getting “saved” a service in a town of around 20,000 this city should be upside down for Jesus. But Monday through Saturday nothing seemed much different. Why? Also why do they bow their heads and close their eyes? I struggled with the fact that if someone can’t proclaim Jesus is Lord and that their heart has been changed by His grace in the safest of all places—a church full of people who already love Jesus!—then do we really think they would proclaim Him boldly out in the world, where He’s hated?


Let me clarify though before my email inbox fills up with not so happy Christians defending this method. I don’t care how you preach the gospel, as long as its the gospel that’s actually being preached. Is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the focus? Is there blood? Is there cross? Is there persecution? 2nd Timothy 3:12 says all who seek to follow Jesus will face persecution. Too many times we proclaim “your best life now”, instead of a rugged cross. If they are being called to more than a stirred heart, but called to an abandoned life, then by all means do it. But, people aren’t being called to die for the sake of God’s glory and His mission, then I’d be careful to call it the true message of Jesus.


Jesus isn’t after people “accepting Him into their hearts” He is after people boldly giving up all they have and following Him by faith, death, and suffering.


Nothing makes me tremble more at night then knowing there are millions of people (most likely in churches) who don’t know Jesus at all, and are being led to hell under the pretense that they are “good to go” because they prayed a prayer. In fact the main reason they stay distant from Jesus is that they think they’ve already “taken care of that.” The truth is, if a boulder dropped on top of you, you’d look different after the fact. Why is it then that supposedly when the most glorious, holy, amazing, and beautiful infinite God of the universe “drops” on us we don’t look any different? You are saved by grace, but real grace changes you.

Is that you? Do you actually know Him?


I’m not asking do you struggle or wrestle (you should) but I’m asking do you know Him? Do you love Him? Do you want more of Him? Even if you are struggling, if you can answer yes to those questions, you are in a safe place. But, if you are simply clinging to something you did years ago, but you have zero intimacy with your Creator, I’d tread softly.


From now on what do you say we….


Stop asking Jesus into our heart, and start asking Jesus to change our heart.


Stop receiving Jesus,  and start following Jesus


Stop raising our hand for Jesus, and start raising our obedience for Jesus.


“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

Luke 9:24-25



 What do you think? Has it done more harm than good?


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  • david gayle

    Can’t observe it. Can’t measure it. Can’t physically feel it. Don’t bother.

  • Byron Pemberton

    more harm than good
    a modern – a substitution – that doesn’t work.
    if someone really wants to know for sure that they are a Christian – then they should become a disciple of Jesus the same way they did in the NT
    Pray, if you are truly seeking God – for the Creator to send some disciples into your path – they will not lead you in some man made prayer – but will ope the Scriptures with you and call you to obey.

  • Dana Whisler

    When people believed in Jesus and were pricked in their hearts they asked Peter what they should do? ” Peter said to them Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy spirit”(Acts 2:38). There were many other things he said that day which are not recorded. Repentance explained, would be part of what you are talking about but the baptism he talks about is one in which God is forgiving you. That baptism is in Water according to Acts 10:47-48. It is an act of faith, not a baptism after you are saved but a baptism you are commanded to do for the forgiveness of sins. We are not saved by our works but we will not be saved without them( James 2:24). Self righteousness only get us to Hell.

    • dkauffman

      “It is an act of faith” – faith in Jesus, and action (work) of the Holy Spirit – not water, or baptism that accomplishes this…”lest men should boast”. And, find himself in the same (works) boat as Jefferson highlighted – a “flimsy salvation” based on a long forgotten decision – or, an outward demonstration of faith such as a “baptism”.

      • Dana Whisler

        “And now why do you wait arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16

        • JesuslovesUandMe

          Please please read this!
          Rest in Him alone…

          Love you!


          • Dana Whisler

            We agree that faith and grace are necessary for salvation. The problem is your tradition that says it is salvation is by faith alone. James says, ” You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only( James 2:24).” The kind of faith you talk about is very popular today, but very unlike God has taught from one end of the Bible to the other; and so very dangerous.
            Why is Noah a man of faith? ” By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with Godly fear, prepared and ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Hebrews 11:7). Jesus said, ” And in vain do they worship me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men ( Mt 15:9). If it is the commandments( precepts) of men, it makes our worship of God vain. You cannot separate Jesus from the truth. We both understand salvation is impossible without Jesus. The problem is in your definition of faith. Would Noah have been saved by faith alone? I will pray for your salvation, you have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge(Romans 10).

          • Disciple 8489

            In response to your message of Paul’s receiving of the spirit prior to being baptized, you must understand the authority Christ has been given. As the son of our Heavenly Father he has authority to forgive sin and bless those with the spirit as he pleases. Just as Jesus allowed the thief beside him on the cross, who we can a suite was never baptized

      • JesuslovesUandMe

        Agreed…Please read the response I wrote to Dana from gotquestions.org

  • Terry Woebegone

    I’ve been born again 8 or 9 times and know what? I dont believe a GD thing. And im fine with that. Im gay, im happy and who cares.

    • bosco916

      First, I’ll ask you to clarify before I jump to conclusions…you said “I’m gay.” Did you say “I’m happy” afterward to reinforce the real meaning of the word “gay?” Or are you really homosexual? …IF the latter is what you meant, sorry to break it to you but you’ve been living in sin. SIN separates us from the Father and you have chosen not to let go of it. That is why you don’t believe — because you choose yourself over Christ. I’m not judging you…just stating the obvious, in love. Your post saddened me and I’m praying for you, Terry. Oh yeah, God is most certainly dissatisfied with your blasphemy (taking His name is vein) which is one of the Ten Commandments…

      • Leo

        You’ve already “jumped to conclusions” before writing your reply.

        GD is not His Name, so best not to get all righteous on a guy until you can give him some tangible meat to devour whilst inside his carnal flesh.

        Sin separates us from The Father. What does Yeshua do then? Casting the first stone are ye?

        You are calling a man out for sinning…. do you sin?

        Yes you do, so off the high horse, ye hypocrites.

        Pardon the course jesting, but I kid, I kid, I sin I sin, either way… you cannot escape (all) sin until you are removed from your flesh, and I guarantee you’re breaking at least ten of YHVH’s laws all day (yep, The Father Himself).

        Trust in Yeshua for real. (the LORD, whichever you prefer, hey you could even call Him Jesus or even Yahushua for that matter if you like it better.)

        Teach them about Yeshua and His Grace and to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. They will find Him faster when the scorning stops and the facts start.

        YHVH Bless!

    • JR

      No one cares….more than your Creator. I pray by faith in mercy & grace one day you’ll be enlightened with the great truth that God does care, even though most Christians will quickly condemn you to perish. 8 or 9 times? That confirms the point I believe Mr. Bethke was making! Tradtions & doctrines of religion have hindered the Truth & Power of God’s Word.
      I’m sure your nature finds more pleasure in the life you currently live. If you honestly humble yourself, fervently pray, diligently seek Him and turn from your ways His grace is sufficient to save, bless & keep you. Although He is just & righteous to give you the the desires of your heart. Perhaps you desire your own way rather than abandoning all (of your “self”) for divine love, peace, joy, faith, goodness & self control.

  • evangelical

    Christ’s Church doesn’t open only on Sundays too…reflect on the lamentable status of “Christian” churches in America that are closed 6 days a week.

  • tricia Cox

    how about whenthis:
    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
    8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
    9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
    10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
    11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
    12Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
    13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
    24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
    25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
    26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
    27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
    28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
    29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

  • http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/ Gary

    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.

    • Leo


      The haphazard “research” you’ve accomplished represents the exact reasons for your flippant and errant conclusions… and to what end??

      The very choice you’ve made to make yourself heard in this matter is fully a matter unto itself.

      To choose a public forum to denounce our Creator and His Fleshly Born Son was merely YHVH’s way of getting at least one of His humble servants to smack you back into reality.

      “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.”

      *Right there was the first true issue* You never really challenged yourself, and your beliefs were in the Bible as a specific document, primarily -though in truth- NOT the Creator, Nor The Savior Himself as the very basis of your seeking.

      How long ago was that “one day”, who was that “someone” and furthermore what did they believe/ what was their belief system of doctrine- and how much of that person’s personal doctrine did you buy into? Papias is obviously one of them.

      You were reading “a document” and probably preaching just as you did herein, yet you most obviously NEVER believed in HIM. Your lack of faith and belief in your Creator sent you into a spiral- a “dead end”. (Thank you for that, Yeshua) He will cut your knowledge short if you do not seek HIM truly with of your mind, body and soul. The answers regarding the validity/errancies of that “document” will be downloaded to you on a continual basis. At that time, you will “know that you know that you know” as you likely have heard others say in the past.

      Too many atheists have died and come back with enduring as well as modern truthful stories of Yeshua/Jesus saving them directly from the Pit, some in particular who have NEVER HEARD of the Messiah, having either lived in remote regions or having been raised purely under other religious vexations such as Buddhism. The NDE of an Orthodox Jew was particularly harsh as he was answering directly to God’s Angels and had no protection of the savior. God spared him for having cleaned the graves of strangers in life.

      Sometimes it really is as simple as this…


      At this luxurious point in our generation, the most significant supernatural occurrences that have happened in Moses’s Torah have been proven by “modern” man’s science and for good reason… a great awakening is happening by His Grace.

      And this:

      From your best easy chair, armed with a cheap laptop, and the newfangled “internets”, there is no more the need to hunt through microfiche at a (government controlled) library for answers and there are definitely no more excuses, what with Crusades, Inquisitions and book-burnings on hold for now- what’s a fella to do? The cat’s out of the bag…
      … and the mice are running for cover.

      YHVH Bless!

  • huwwuh

    On July 17th 1999 at 10:30am I was converted. I didn’t ask to be saved and I didn’t want to be saved, but I am saved.

    ”But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me”.

  • Carson Nogen


  • Doria Auger Boyle

    Thank you! I whole heartedly agree with every word. It felt as if I was writing it. My grief for the Church is so heavy on my Spirit. I have spoken it to fellow Christians but as Yahwey said would happen happens. The people are hard hearted and stiff necked. Those who have ears to hear don’t hear and those who have eyes to see don’t see. The only thing that comforts me is knowing that Yahwey is in control of all things. I speak the word and if they don’t listen their blood is not on my hands.

    The end is quickly approaching. I am rejoicing that I will soon be in the presence of my beloved Father. Yet my heart yearns for everyone to see him and to know him that none should perish.

    Yahwey bless you Brother!

  • jesuslovesme

    This is a great article you are very right asking god into yur heart means nothing if yu dont mean it and try to live for him everyday. I have a hard life were i see the devil strongly at work in many different ways and he was taking advantage of my weak hopeless state. Now i beg god everyday to help me change the things satan is influencing in my life and to fill my heart and my life with his beautiful presence so i can heal and live my life the way he meant for me to. Its not something yu get from asking once or twice in church i always do but like i said i beg him everyday for his amazing guidence. To live for him is to do everything through him for him and as much the way yu feel in yur heart he would want for yu this is the only way yu can truely let him b lord of yur life. We let satan dig our holes and it takes time patience and strength that yu must pray for to climb out of that hole it not something that can happen with one prayer. When yu let Jesus fill yur heart yu will rejoice greatly like many in the bible who were overcome with god that will b the only true fulfillment. I feel like that will happen to me wen i get my life were he meant for it to b. Living for him would b true happiness but yu hav to fight and perservere through satans tricks and truely want to do whats right i love jesus and i no matter how much i kno him my heart will learn something new about him everyday.

  • Disciple 8489

    Furthermore, the true believers of God’s gift comes from faith and true action. To understand the use of the word “believe” in the gospel is to understand the context it is being used and to whom the audience is. Baptism is the action needed to show faith and truly provides the gift of the Holy Spirit threw this reborn experience. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, repent of your old worldly ways, and rise with him in your new spiritual life. Read the word daily and share your faith and love with all. God bless you.

  • Julie Louis

    We are saved at the point of Baptism. Too many Spiritual leaders don’t teach this. Every who believes you do no need to be Baptized read Acts 38

  • Angela Taupale Williams

    I have a question/opinion…… My knowledge is not as some what at the level of your competence with the bible and maybe even with Christ alone but i know in my heart all i think about day in and day out is to fulfill His will. I struggle, i do but recently i have found maybe something that i have noticed that nobody else has really wrote on or acknowledged. I saw your blog and i am always blown away by how you think so confidently logic. Anyways so as i was saying, my new insight was that we are Humans right? created by God, initially in the beginning we were to have ever lasting life but as we all should know by now, was the fall man and what not. So with the fall of man it was because of disobedience technically speaking it was the decision Eve made and unconsciously knowing it was Adam’s too. My question was that after all of that came Jesus. We were saved through Him and gifted with the our own free will. So being said i do feel, in my own opinion, that we must declare Jesus as our Lord and savior at the altar and repeatedly make that choice everyday and not just a choice from yesterday defining the rest of your life but more of what you do for Christ today that God the Father will see as obedience on a daily basis and that is through the choices and decision making daily?? so again my point is that to be saved is to declare and to give your life but to be sanctify is a process and everyday we have a choice to lay our lives down and give God authority. I remind myself that i must choose God everyday and that all i have is today!! I would love to hear your opinion on this. You inspire me and praise God for you for.
    Thank you :)