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God's Not Mad at You
“Do I have to ask Jesus into my heart?”

“Do I have to ask Jesus into my heart?”

NOVEMBER 6, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / “Do I have to ask Jesus into my heart?”

Steve Brown:
Do I have to ask Jesus into my heart? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone, so grace is for all of us. But there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So here’s seminary professor and author Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hi. I’ve been waiting for this question to come up so I could finally get you to cross the line.

Steve Brown:
You know, we had, we had a guy in our, and I probably should say that when we talk about the question in our church, he became a Christian. He kept telling everybody, in his witness that he invited Jesus into his body. And I kept saying, it’s heart, Sam, it’s heart. It’s not your body. But then maybe he was better, was closer to the truth, but we’ll talk about it in a minute. That’s Pete Alwinson, and as you know, Pete comes in on Fridays and we love each other, so that’s clear, but I do this in order to share the guilt. When you write critical letters, I always say Pete said that, I didn’t say it. And it’s, it’s a ministry that Pete has given to me for a lot of years. We, we love to get your questions. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven and record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air, or you can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada. it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org. And those are touchpoints. If you can help us financially, we would very much appreciate it. And I promise, nobody’s getting rich from this ministry. Trust me. And we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And not only that, you become a kind of champion for your brothers and sisters in Christ who can’t help us. And if you, and if you can’t or don’t feel you should or led to, that’s fine. Say a prayer for us that won’t cost you anything. And we’ll appreciate that as much as your gift. Pete lead us in prayer and we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Father, thank you that on this Friday we could stop for just a few minutes and pray and think about thoughts that are important. We thank you that you have been with us all week, that you have watched over us, that you love us, that you will never leave us nor forsake us. And some of us right now at the end of the week need, hope, we need encouragement, we need your spirit to enliven our hearts, to open our minds, to help us to trust for what we face with work, with home, with kids or with health, all of these things. And so we come to you, we ask a father for healing for those that need it and strength and wisdom. So now, even as we look into these questions, Lord, we have a lot of questions. We have questions that have not been answered in our lives, and we pray that you would use this time to prompt faith and hope as we depend upon your Holy word. Thank you for Steve and Key Life. Be with our pastors and our leaders this weekend, as they lead us into the presence of your name. We commit our churches and this ministry now to you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen, Pete, this is a, this is an email. Do you need to ask Jesus into your heart and life to be saved? I thought I just had to believe. He is the son of God, that he has paid my debt and gave me new life through his rising from the dead. I want to be God’s child. And it pains me to be unsure.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, no.

Steve Brown:
I’d say first, you know, if it bothers you. Say, Jesus come into my heart or my body or whatever.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Like you were saying earlier, come into my body, come into my knee, I hurt my knee.

Steve Brown:
You all. We are making light of something and this is a serious question. And we get that, but you know, we have these phrases that have gotten traction over

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
the years and there are a lot of them. And by the way, don’t let anybody kid you, everybody has them, no matter what they believe, no matter what their politics are. There are just certain things that are said, because they were always said that way.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
And we Christians are the same way. And I don’t know if inviting Jesus into your heart, the Bible has some clear teaching on heart, doesn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
Ir does, a lot of teaching on the heart, the one word that seems to me to be the most, the closest to the invitation idea is in John, as many as received him, to them he gave the right to be called children of God. Now, how you take that, you know, by some has been well, if you’re going to receive him, you’ve got to invite him. And others, you know, it’s the acknowledgement as this person wrote

Steve Brown:
From Romans.

Pete Alwinson:
From Romans, it’s the acknowledgement of who he is and by acknowledging him and believing, you are saved, you’ve invited, you know, so it is the work of God. And it basically, our conversion is a work of God. And it basically is, yes God coming into our heart. What you said last week about the Ordo salutis though, it goes back to the sovereignty of God and that complicates this.

Steve Brown:
It really does. And even though it’s a very serious question,

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
We get that.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
My answer was not flippant. If this really bothers you, just say, Lord, this old guy and another almost old guy said on the radio that if, that I should just go ahead and say, come into my heart. So would you do that for me?

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
And then mark that date down and live in it and it’s okay.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And if you say I ain’t doing that, I already believe, that’s okay too.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Because salvation is something that isn’t us, it’s him.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. And so it’s not just one formulaic expression

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
of how that happens. We, I’ve had people that have been advised, that came to our church, went through our membership class, we explained the gospel over and over. And then when we asked them, tell me how you met Jesus. They just couldn’t explain the gospel,

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
as I wanted them to, and so I would read our vows and I would say, can you affirm this? And they would say, yes.

Steve Brown:
Of course.

Pete Alwinson:
I can affirm. But they just didn’t know how to articulate

Steve Brown:
Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
it themselves. They were believers, and they said, Oh those words fit. What is the truth in my heart?

Steve Brown:
Yeah. There you go. That’s a good answer, by the way. This is an email too. What is it like in hell? It’s like a worship service with heat. A dull worship service with heat. No, you got to, one thing. and then I want you to comment on that too, but you got to remember, there’s a lot of imagery in Scripture. There really is, a lot of metaphor. And when you know that God is sovereign and infinite, it’s understandable that he has to speak in metaphor and in imagery. And you gotta be careful sometimes that you don’t always describe the temperature of hell and make that your standard for what hell is, hell is separation from God. And that has all kinds of frightening imagery to

Pete Alwinson:
Right. Right.

Steve Brown:
it throughout scripture. It’s not a place you want to go to, it’s not something you want to fiddle with and you’ve been given away out, so take it. But be careful, we don’t know what hell is like. Nobody does, you can read C.S. Lewis and The Great Divorce. And he says that you become less and less real, the more you get away from Jesus. There are people who believe that hell is Dante’s hell and it’s got different levels and that some of them hurt more than others. And then there’s some people, and you know where our doctrine of hell comes from mostly?

Pete Alwinson:
Where?

Steve Brown:
Jesus.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Steve Brown:
It really does.

Pete Alwinson:
It really does. And the imagery, I love your teaching, your statements about the imagery of hell. Every one of them is, should be marshaled to say, this is awful. I don’t want to go there.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
I want to receive Jesus.

Steve Brown:
That’s right. That’s a good statement. You know, I had a friend who almost died in the hospital and I asked him how he was doing. He said, well better, when I came out of my coma, my feet were cold. So I knew I wasn’t in hell. And I think you can use that imagery in a funny way. What is your belief on the day of the Lord? The days of darkness? When does the three days of darkness occur?

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. So what three days of darkness?

Steve Brown:
I don’t know where this is coming from.

Pete Alwinson:
Right.

Steve Brown:
The day of the Lord is spoken of often throughout the Scripture. And it’s going to be, for instance, in Isaiah, in the 61st chapter, it’s going to be a day of vengeance, but, and that means that we’re going to win and they’re going to lose. And, but it has to do with the return of Christ, it has to do with end times and the way God wraps up history. And that’s the day of the Lord.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, that’s right. It’s used in different contexts, different ways in,

Steve Brown:
Yeah it is.

Pete Alwinson:
different contexts of scripture, so make sure you check the context, but that’s yeah, the days of darkness, read Matthew 24, the mini apocalypse, and you’ll see how the end times unfold.

Steve Brown:
Since God is in charge, another email. Let me see how much time. Well, okay. The answer to that question is yes, no, we don’t have much time. Since God is in charge, his will is perfect. And he’s already at work, should I pray?

Pete Alwinson:
Yes.

Steve Brown:
Yeah.

Pete Alwinson:
And in some mysterious way, our prayers connect into the sovereign plan of God.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
They make a difference. Prayer matters. We need to pray.

Steve Brown:
Do you know, you know what I, and I, I think I got this from Lewis. but if not, maybe from a professor I had that God takes into account your prayers, from the foundation of the earth, because we know that he’s outside of time,

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
and he knew your name before you were ever born.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And he knew your prayers. So it could be that God in preparing and putting things together and arranging a causal system, heard your prayer before, now that kind of satisfies me. I can think of that and think, well, okay. But basically. It doesn’t make any sense.

Pete Alwinson:
It doesn’t make human sense.

Steve Brown:
Yes. It does. Exactly.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s not against human reason. It’s just outside of human reason.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. That’s the difference.

Pete Alwinson:
A big difference.

Steve Brown:
A very big difference. And sometimes as I said in another broadcast, my father, I don’t understand thee, but I trust thee.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And if God says, that if he says pray, I’m going to say on my knees, or flat out on my face, but I’m going to pray because he says it’s effective. And I told you to do it.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right

Steve Brown:
Alright. Guys, we got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of the Key Life Network.

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