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What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?  


By: A.W. Tozer 

 

NOTE: This has been edited for brevity.

It's taken for granted that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners: I take that for granted; I assume that, I know that's true, I don't in any wise question it. And then it's further taken for granted - and properly -- that we are saved by Christ alone without works. That, I also take for granted because it's declared there, I don't question it; I don't ask that somebody come and explain it: it's so! He did die for our sins according to the Scriptures, He did rise again. The Scripture does say that we are saved by Christ alone without works.

But now the big question is -- and right here is a hole in the bridge where millions fall through -- how do I come into saving relation to Christ? He alone saves without human merit or works - but he doesn't save everybody! Therefore there must be some connection made or some relation sustained; somehow or another I come into a relationship to Christ that saves me. Now, what is that? And that is a matter of life or death. You dare not assume anything. You must know. Not to be sure isn't to gamble with your soul. Not to be sure is to be dead! Just as you dare not cross the mighty ocean without a compass; to do so would be to die. So you dare not assume that you have the relationship unless you have; it's got to be there before you dare accept it as being there: to be wrong on this is to be lost!

Now if you were to ask the average man, the average preacher or the average person - the average Christian anywhere - "How do I come into saving relation to Jesus Christ?" the answer would be one of three. People would either tell you "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" -- that's Acts 16:31 or, they would say "Receive Christ as your Savior" -- that's John 1:12, or else they would give you this other answer. (And of course, those first two answers are true; they're true!) Or else they would give you this third answer, "Accept Christ as your personal Savior."

Now the word 'accept Christ' to the astonishment of a good many people does not occur in the Bible - it's not there. It's this 'accept Christ' doctrine that I want to talk a little bit about tonight. What is it to 'accept Christ'?

Now, I do not reflect on the words 'accept Christ' even though they're not in the Bible. It's possible to teach truth and yet not use words that are in the Bible always, because if what you say is the sum of what the Bible teaches on a subject then you're teaching truth provided the people know that that's the sum of the Bible teaching. So when you were told to accept Christ to bring us into saving relation to Him what the teacher was attempting to do is to say 'believe and receive' and 'believe' and 'receive' are Bible words though 'accept' is not a Bible word.

But accepting Christ has become the panacea all over the evangelical world and it has become fatal to millions! A whole attitude of accepting; the passive acceptance of Christ. This easy acceptance! A man will preach a tremendous sermon and then say "Now, what should you do? Accept Christ. Have you accepted Christ?" Or we go to the bedside of a dying man: "Have you accepted Christ?" And if he says he has, why, we pat his head and the next day or two we preach that he's in heaven twanging a harp. Well, now I'm awfully afraid that there are millions of people who are perishing because they are being told to accept Christ and they don't know what's meant by it.

For the Christ of God is not begging business men; neither is He camping at the dirty door of some half-converted sex-dancer and begging her to come and putting up with anything and making any kind of an excuse for her if she'll only come! He simply says, "Come, if you want to. Come, if you will. Anybody that will, let him come. Come, come to me!" But He doesn't beg and He doesn't coax and He doesn't compromise and He doesn't in anywise change His terms. He makes the terms and you accept them.

Now what is to accept Christ? Well, let me define it for you a little more closely. Acceptance of Christ is to form an attachment to the person of Christ; to the person of Jesus Christ. It's not to fall in love with a tender-faced Jesus. It is to realize that this tender-faced Jesus is also Lord and God! That God has made Him Lord over all things and Head of the Church and that He has the keys of death and hell and that He will sit upon the throne judging all mankind and that God has given all power into His hand - this mighty Lord Jesus! It's to form an attachment to Him that is revolutionary, reversing and transforming the life. If your Christian conversion did not reverse the direction of your life; if it did not transform it then you're not converted at all, you are simply a victim of the 'accept Jesus' heresy!

And then, what is it to accept Jesus? It is to form an attachment to the person of Christ that is not only revolutionary but it is complete. That is, you can't compartmentalize your life. A lot of us try to compartmentalize our life and we say, "Jesus, you can have the front room and the living room and the den and the upstairs bedroom but the bedrooms at the back and the bedrooms at the front and the den you can't have. You can't go to the basement; you only can stay in certain parts of my life." Well, now, that kind of horrible, base dealing with the Lord Jesus Christ cannot but cause us to be lost at last! For me to accept Christ means that I am to accept Him in every part of my being and that I am to form an attachment to Him, an emotional, an intellectual, a volitional attachment which is complete, leaving no part of the life unaffected. If He cannot control you, He cannot save you. And if He cannot control all of you, He cannot control any of you!

The Christian who truly is born anew and has accepted Christ rightly has accepted Him exclusively so that He is to you what the sun is to the earth: he is that which you revolve around. He is the central sun and you are an orbit moving round Him held by the bonds of His love and lightened by the light of His face. And while you do have other interests, they are minor and they're secondary and they take their place down the scale: Christ is first! The Lord Jesus Christ is first! And for Him, I surrender everything; to Him I give all to Jesus Christ my Lord and my Savior. He can command me! He's the head of my wife, He's the head of my children, He's the head of my ambitions, He is first and everything else is last! Anything else is not New Testament Christianity, brother and sister; anything else is a compromise and it leaves people half-saved, confused, frustrated, bewildered and in the dark!

 


 


       


Questions

The Big Question

Does God Exist?

What Is The Bible?

Is The Bible True?

Who Is Jesus?

Is Jesus In Every Book Of The Bible?

Is Jesus God?

Did Jesus Fulfill Any Prophecies?

Did God Create You?

What About Reincarnation?

Are You Going To Heaven?

What Is The Truth About Hell?

Who Will You Believe?

Want To Find A Good Church?

Looking For A Church In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

Which Bible Translation Is Right For Me?

 

Objections

"All Religions Lead To God"

"Never Talk About Religion Or Politics"

"Judge Not..."

"The Bible Is Full Of Contradictions"

"A Powerful God Wouldn't Allow So Much Evil..."

"The Church Is Full Of Hypocrites"

"What About Those Who Never Hear About Jesus?"

"A God of Love vs. A God of Wrath"

"A Loving God Wouldn't Send People To Hell"

"You're Only A Christian Because You..."

"As Long As You're Sincere In What You Believe"

"How Do You Know Which Religion Is Right?"

"God Would Never Forgive Someone Like Me"

"I Can't Believe In Miracles"

"Unanswered Prayer Shows God Doesn't Exist"

"What's With All The Different Denominations?"

"Jesus Was Just a Copycat of Pagan Myths"

"What About The Crusades?"

"What About Slavery In The Bible?"

"What About Evolution?"

"What About Homosexuality?"

"Jesus Didn't Say Anything About Homosexuality"

"What About Abortion?"

 

Other Stuff

   Other Beliefs

     Judaism

     Roman Catholicism

     Islam

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     Mormonism

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     New Age

     Christian Science

     Scientology

     Freemasonry

     Oneness Pentecostals

     Unitarian Universalism

     Rastafarianism

     Wicca

     Satanism

What I Believe

Theological Terms and Definitions

Belief Comparison Chart

An Eschatological Overview (End Times)

Good Quotes

Paul Washer Quotes

20 Logical Fallacies

17 Questions Every Christian Should Think About

My Prayer - I Have A Problem...

More Than A Holiday

Honest Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses

Honest Questions For Mormons

Questions For Skeptics

10 Reasons To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa

A View From The Life Boat

A Collection of Helpful Bible Passages

A Story About A Boy Named Mikey

Thoughts On The Doctrine Of Definite Atonement

Questions To Ask A Child Before Their Baptism

A Critique Of An Origin-Of-Life Article

No Hope In The Pope

Terrorism - What You Can Do About It

The Impact Of A Blind Elderly Woman

Evidence For The Resurrection - W.O.M.E.N.

 

Apologetics / Evangelism

What Is Apologetics?

Why Should We Do Apologetics?

What Is Presuppositional Apologetics? 

What Do You KNOW? 

What Is Evangelism? 

Why Should We Evangelize? 

Are Christian Doing A Good Job Of Evangelizing? 

7 Reasons People Don't Share Their Faith

The Question Of Evangelism - Words Or Works? 

Is The World In Which We Live In Today Tolerant? 

Preaching What We Practice and Talking The Walk

Man vs. God Centered Evangelism

 

Around the Web

44 Reasons Why Evolution is Just a Fairy Tale

The Scientific Case Against Evolution

Evolution: The Anti-Science

A Letter From An Atheist

Are You A Good Person?

Is This Your Life?

What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?

What's Wrong With The Sinner's Prayer?

An Important Aspect of Baptism

Must We Believe Jesus Is God?

Turn or Burn

Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church

10 Reasons Not To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart

10 Principles For New Christians

10 Pitfalls Of The Foolish Apologist

Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions

The Secret About How Some Christians Witness

Preaching God's Love In Acts?

The Gospel In Every Book Of The Bible

7 Key Differences Bewteen Protestant And Catholic Doctrine

A Different Perspective On Halloween

10 Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye

The Question After A Tragedy - WHY?

The Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoughts About Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner

A Pastor's Response To The Marriage Debate

Sin By Any Other Name Is Still Sin

Should a Woman Be a Pastor or Elder?

Wives, Submit To Your Husbands?

The Shack - Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment

Universalism - A Problem for Everyone

 

Audio / Video

    Original Sermon Jams

     Born Again - Paul Washer

     Does Jesus Know You? - Paul Washer

     We Got An A! - Paul Washer

     A Boy On The Street - R.C. Sproul

     Fearless - R.C. Sproul

     Hypocrites - R.C. Sproul

     Smiling Faces - R.C. Sproul

     Authorized Personnel Only - Tony Evans

     Drive-thru - Tony Evans

     One Flesh - Tony Evans

     Sex - Tony Evans

     The Satisfier - Tony Evans

     Who to Serve? - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     The Voice of Truth - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Transformed - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Where is the Love? - Pastor Ben Maxie

     He Claimed to be God - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Love is a Behavior - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Examine It for Yourself - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Perfect Love - Pastor Ben Maxie

     We Need Preachers - Mike Bongo

     The Sovereignty of God in Evangelism - Mike Bongo 

     I'm Ready - Mike Bongo

     Our Day in Court - Mike Bongo

     Examine Yourself - Mike Bongo

     Exclusivity - Mike Bongo

     Our World - Mike Bongo

     The Great Exchange - Mike Bongo 

     True God - Mike Bongo

    The One Minute Apologist

     Intolerance - Greg Koukl

     Legislating Morality - Frank Turek

     Intelligent Design and Creation - Bill Dembski

     Tolerance is Unbiblical - Josh McDowell

     Homosexual Forgiveness - Michael Brown

     What Must I Do To Be Saved? - Hank Hannegraaff

     Is Jesus A Copycat Savior? - J. Warner Wallace

     The Resurrection - Gary Habernas

     Contradictions In The Bible - Mike Licona

     Is It About Winning Arguments? - Mary Jo Sharp

     Does Christianity Oppress Women? - Dianna Newman

     Is Evil An Argument For God? - Brett Kunkle

   WWUTT (When We Understand The Text)

     Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner?

     Thou Shalt Not Judge?

     God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle?

     Do We Have To Prove That God Exists?

     Preach The Gospel, If Necessary Use Words?

     You Don't Have To Go To Church To Be A Christian?

     I Stand At The Door And Knock?

     God Has Already Chosen Who Will Be Saved?

     Spare The Rod, Spoil the Child?

     The Bible Says Slavery is Okay?

     Are Catholics Saved?

     God Foreknew Who Would Be Saved?

     Does The Bible Say Homosexuality is A Sin?

     Alter Calls And The Sinner's Prayer?

     Worse Than An Unbeliever?

    Kids Section

     The Gospel

     David Platt On Sharing the Gospel With Children

     For The Children: Are You Saved? - Paul Washer

     2 Amazing 11 Year Old Boys

   Other Audio / Video

     Rescue The Perishing

     Emeal Zwayne's Dialogue With A Homosexual

     The Big Questions of Life - Voddie Baucham

   Explore God

     Is There A God?

     Can We Know God Personally?

     Why Does God Allow Pain And Suffering?

     Is Jesus Really God?

     Are Christians Judgmental?

   The Bible Project

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 1 of 2 

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 2 of 2 

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Leviticus Overview

     The Book of Numbers Overview

     The Book of Deuteronomy Overview

     The Book of Joshua Overview

     The Book of Judges Overview

     The Book of Ruth Overview

     The Book of 1 Samuel Overview

     The Book of 2 Samuel Overview

     The Books of 1 and 2 Kings Overview

     The Book of Job Overview

     The Book of Psalms Overview

     The Book of Proverbs Overview

     The Book of Song of Songs Overview

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Hosea Overview

     The Book of Joel Overview

     The Book of Amos Overview

     The Book of Obadiah Overview

     The Book of Jonah Overview

     The Book of Micah Overview

     The Book of Nahum Overview

     The Book of Habakkuk Overview

     The Book of Zephaniah Overview 

Street Conversations

Street Conversations Disclaimer

Street Conversations - George & Paul

Street Conversations - Don

Street Conversations - VeeJay

Street Conversations - Joe

Street Conversations - Ralph 

Street Conversations - Charles

Street Conversations - Ed

Street Conversations - Ken

Street Conversations - Jessica

Street Conversations - Ida

Street Conversations - Earl & Evadel 

Street Conversations - Jim  

Street Conversations - Raheem

Street Conversations - Raheem part 2

Street Conversations - My Mom

Street Conversations - Eddie

Street Conversations - Renee

Street Conversations - Ron

Street Conversations - Rash

Street Conversations - Preacher

Street Conversations - Luis

Street Conversations - Keith

Street Conversations - Hippy

Street Conversations - Rich

Street Conversations - Hippy part 2

Street Conversations - Butch

Street Conversations - Scott

Street Conversations - Marcos

Street Conversations - Will & James

Street Conversations - Alexander and Valerie

Street Conversations - Jerry and Steve

Street Conversations - Blake

 

Me      

My Baptism

Parable Of The Talents  

Survey Says  

A Hard Lesson  

Talking About Jesus  

The Perfect Gift  

A Faith Worth Thinking About  

Stand Strong  

Peace At Christmas  

Resolutions From Revelation  

Takin' The Gospel To The Streets  

Responding Rightly To The Gospel Of Grace  

A Defense That Honors God And His Word  

Encouragement In Corinth  

The Dash

Surrendering To Win

The Gospel

The Laborers Are Few; Therefore...

Love Has No Labels - A Response

Faith That Works

Atheists: They Don't Exist

YOU Must Be NEW

 

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