Is leading someone to Jesus different than them receiving Jesus Christ?
Absolutely! Does that mean that if we lead a person to Christ and the do not become a born again Christian that we have failed or it was worthless? Absolutely not!
Let’s explore the first question. Many people say, “I just lead someone to the Lord”, or “We have led many people to Jesus”. When they say this, they usually mean someone received Jesus Christ into their heart. Praise God for every person that has truly been born again. However, not every person that has been ‘led to the Lord’ is born again. Let me explain.
There are many ways to share the gospel. There are many ways to help individuals to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It would be safe to assume that almost every person who shares Jesus with others and ‘leads them to Christ’ is sincere. However, being sincere does not mean we do not make mistakes, or that we do not get overly zealous at times. Because of our strong desire to see people saved, we may make an assumption they have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or put them in a situation where they feel they must repeat a prayer after us.
Some seem to think because someone has repeated some words (we call it a prayer) that this makes them saved. I believe there are multitudes that have repeated some words but they do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Some have repeated a ‘prayer’ because they just wanted the person to leave them alone. Some repeated a ‘prayer’ because the friend next to them did. Others do it hoping it will fix their problems. Hope does not save a person. Faith in Jesus Christ gives us eternal life. A person cannot receive salvation by a friend’s faith in Jesus Christ. Repeating a ‘prayer’ that is just saying words to make somebody happy will not bring salvation. Asking Jesus to be your Savior, but not wanting Him to be your Lord will not lead to eternal life.
I have been involved in street witnessing where sincere Christians are coercing people to receive Christ. A person led to Christ through coercion is not going to willfully submit their life to Christ and be a committed believer.
Another problem is that some Christians are presenting a false gospel. In order to get individuals to receive Jesus, they give false promises and describe heaven in an unbiblical manner. We will cover this topic in our next nugget.
Before we close this nugget we want to emphasize that salvation is through the power of the Holy Spirit. That means that a person can come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ in spite of all the wrong things we may do when we share Christ. Praise God!
Copyright © 2003 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).