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Accepting Jesus Into One’s Heart

Member
Not-particularly dogmatic atheist am I. I come here for conversation with the faithful about topics I think interest us both.

Those conversations routinely come to a point where one or another Christian suggests I have not yet found faith because I have not “sincerely accepted Christ into my heart,” or some formulation of that concept. Always stipulating I should “ask” or “invite” or “accept” God or Jesus Christ into (very specifically) my heart.

I admit, for a long time I have responded precisely as I have seen other atheists do confronted with the same advice. “What does that even mean?”

I say it in honest exasperation, but I know it’s taken as being dismissive. That the concept of “accepting” the presence of a physically intangible entity into one’s “heart” may be more squishy and vague than other, more doctrinal disagreements I have with Christianity.

When that moment arrives, I admit, I throw up my hands and say to myself, “Here we go again,” and I let that thread of the dialog wither on the vine, figuring there’s nothing to be gained belaboring it further.

I admit now that posture has been inconsiderate and needlessly (though not intentionally) dismissive. I apologize. I should never shut down conversation over a point that so consistently surfaces in any conversation about the Christian faith.

So, rather than have “Sincerely let Christ into your heart,” be the death of an enjoyable conversation, I’d like to make it the main topic of one.

I honestly don’t know what it means to “Ask God to enter my heart” sincerely. I think I have done this (with no success). But I can’t know for sure if I have since I don’t actually know what the process entails.

If “Sincerely ask Jesus to make himself manifest in your heart,” is the sort of advice you’d give to someone like me, or if it’s a precept you understand and with which you agree, could you please give an example of some other thing, anything, which I might already so accept, something that might in some small way resemble admitting Christ into my heart so I might have some idea of what this acceptance would feel like?

I’d be grateful for any thoughts you can share. The only caveat I’ll make is, if “accepting Jesus into my heart,” is a euphemism for, “first BELIEVE in Jesus, THEN you’ll discover he is real,” that proposition is dead on arrival with me. Not because I reject that belief. I simply do not possess it. And I can’t “make” myself take it onboard. The closest I can come is to pretend I believe or, to coin a phrase, “make believe.”

Sorry to run on so. Thoughts?
 
Active
@Kirby D.P.

You are creating a discussion that can only lead to your exasperation and frustration. Belief is key. That is why we Christians are called believers. You are correct in that you cannot pretend to believe or make yourself believe. We who are Christian truly believe.

All of the phrases that describe one who comes to Christ, such as 'accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour', or 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ', are true. All are based upon 'belief'. If you don't believe it, then there is no phrase that you can possibly find and try and say that will work.

The 'closest' that you come is an eternity in distance apart. All we can do is give the Gospel. (Acts 8:37) (Acts 16:31). Believe.

Quantrill
 
Member
@Kirby D.P.

You are creating a discussion that can only lead to your exasperation and frustration. Belief is key. That is why we Christians are called believers. You are correct in that you cannot pretend to believe or make yourself believe. We who are Christian truly believe.

All of the phrases that describe one who comes to Christ, such as 'accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour', or 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ', are true. All are based upon 'belief'. If you don't believe it, then there is no phrase that you can possibly find and try and say that will work.

The 'closest' that you come is an eternity in distance apart. All we can do is give the Gospel. (Acts 8:37) (Acts 16:31). Believe.

Quantrill
Okay. But, then what am I to make of the suggestion people make?!? Are people just trying to be nice?

I’ll point out I have not always been atheist. As a child, I was taught God was not easy to “know,” but he was always there. As I matured I gradually came to understand and became convinced the difference between a cold dark world in which God is ineffably “there,” and one in which God simply does not exist cannot be discerned. Ever since, I have been waiting for some gimmick that convinces me to come back to belief.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Greetings Mr Kirby,


I don't wish to distract you from your interaction with Quantrill, but i noticed an old thread from the 2009 mark and thought it may be of some interest to you. Contains a few links that you may wish to look into?


Bless you ....><>
 
Active
Okay. But, then what am I to make of the suggestion people make?!? Are people just trying to be nice?

I’ll point out I have not always been atheist. As a child, I was taught God was not easy to “know,” but he was always there. As I matured I gradually came to understand and became convinced the difference between a cold dark world in which God is ineffably “there,” and one in which God simply does not exist cannot be discerned. Ever since, I have been waiting for some gimmick that convinces me to come back to belief.
If the suggestion is to 'accept Christ in your heart' then you are to understand they are giving you the Gospel. Just because they give it doesn't mean you are going to believe it.

God doesn't do 'gimmicks'. If you are unwilling to come to Him by faith, then no gimmick will cause you to come either. This is the deception of the atheist and agnostics. By deception I mean whereby they deceive themselves. They convince themselves if God would just do this then I would believe. But it is a lie.

Of course yours is an old story told by atheists. 'I used to believe but now I just can't.' It is hogwash. You do not understand faith when you say that. If you are an atheist, you never were a believer.

Quantrill
 
Member
Greetings Mr Kirby,


I don't wish to distract you from your interaction with Quantrill, but i noticed an old thread from the 2009 mark and thought it may be of some interest to you. Contains a few links that you may wish to look into?


Bless you ....><>
Thanks Br Bear!
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Teach me Thy way, O LORD; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name.
Psalm 86:11

Thanks Br Bear!
bless you, as always.


You are correct in that you cannot pretend to believe or make yourself believe

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

However, the wisdom of the world, or better put perhaps, worldly wisdom, is only that.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Corinthians 2:14

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Corinthian 1:18

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
Proverbs 19:3


we need to be able to honestly say,
O God, Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from Thee. Psalm 69:5, knowing that The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (Psalm 53:1) and that we really don't want to go on continuing in folly.


'Today' there is much about 'choice'. Free Choice, Pro Choice, etc and a lot is about, 'you get to choose'. Not many are seriously interested in the most important question of all, though. They get serious minded and determined about nearly every other topic, issue or question especially regarding their own life, rights, thoughts and possessions and future, etc.
The choice we need to consider is, Do we want to perish, or not? Considering the consequences of our decision, it would be totally foolish to not bother seriously meeting the challenge of that question and then seek out the Way to not perish.

Before i believed, you couldn't, nobody could, convince me a dot about all this. And quite a few tried. I understand some of the mental journeys one takes in order to make little of it or to 'prove' the 'error' or come up with one's own 'this is how it is' theory.
It is when we start to consider the Way, honestly, and openly, and stop being the hero of our own imagination, that we begin to see how absolutely beautiful He is.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

John 14:6


Bless you ....><>

He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4
===========================
p.s. @Kirby D. P.
have you read the Book of Ecclesiastes? Even if you have, may i recommend that you read it again?

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.
1Chronicles 28:9
 
Loyal
For my part, I squirm when Christians talk of 'inviting Jesus into your heart'. I can't find anything in the Bible that sounds like this.

The good news is that Jesus is lord of all in heaven and earth, not just the narrow confines of my heart. In light of that, the proper response is to love and follow him unreservedly.
 
Active
For my part, I squirm when Christians talk of 'inviting Jesus into your heart'. I can't find anything in the Bible that sounds like this.

The good news is that Jesus is lord of all in heaven and earth, not just the narrow confines of my heart. In light of that, the proper response is to love and follow him unreservedly.
Yet , one may squirm to your proper response of loving and following Jesus unreservedly. Where doe the Bible say that?

As to 'inviting Jesus into your heart' it is an acceptable phrase. See (John 1:12)

Quantrill
 
Member
Teach me Thy way, O LORD; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name.
Psalm 86:11



bless you, as always.




But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6

However, the wisdom of the world, or better put perhaps, worldly wisdom, is only that.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Corinthians 2:14

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Corinthian 1:18

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD. Proverbs 19:3


we need to be able to honestly say,
O God, Thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from Thee. Psalm 69:5, knowing that The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (Psalm 53:1) and that we really don't want to go on continuing in folly.


'Today' there is much about 'choice'. Free Choice, Pro Choice, etc and a lot is about, 'you get to choose'. Not many are seriously interested in the most important question of all, though. They get serious minded and determined about nearly every other topic, issue or question especially regarding their own life, rights, thoughts and possessions and future, etc.
The choice we need to consider is, Do we want to perish, or not? Considering the consequences of our decision, it would be totally foolish to not bother seriously meeting the challenge of that question and then seek out the Way to not perish.

Before i believed, you couldn't, nobody could, convince me a dot about all this. And quite a few tried. I understand some of the mental journeys one takes in order to make little of it or to 'prove' the 'error' or come up with one's own 'this is how it is' theory.
It is when we start to consider the Way, honestly, and openly, and stop being the hero of our own imagination, that we begin to see how absolutely beautiful He is.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.
John 14:6


Bless you ....><>

He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4
===========================
p.s. @Kirby D. P.
have you read the Book of Ecclesiastes? Even if you have, may i recommend that you read it again?

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever.
1Chronicles 28:9
Please don’t think I mean to oversimplify, but I take the main thrust of your counsel to suggest what I have to do to know God is to first believe in him.



As I’ve admitted I don’t “believe” in him. I don’t know how to fix that. I certainly don’t “deny” or “renounce” him.



I contend I don’t actually “believe” in anything. I am “convinced” in the existence of many things. A lot of those convictions may be mistaken. There are many things the existence of which I am not convinced. Again, I may be mistaken there as well.



For a long time I was convinced UFOs of extraterrestrial origin are real. I am not convinced they are anymore. One thing I realized when I jettisoned belief in their existence is my “belief” in them matters not a jot as to weather they actually do or do not exist. So I have been and still am ready to resume a conviction of their existence again if my understanding so warrants.



I don’t feel expert enough about God to claim to know much about him. Here’s one thing I CAN say with 100% confidence: God’s existence in no way depends upon my belief or conviction in his existence. That’s not to say he doesn’t CARE whether or not I am convinced he exists. By all accounts, if he does exist, he does care. And I have no reason to dispute it.



But this is a bit of a rehash of a situation in which I often find myself. Getting back to the brass tacks of my initial question, I have been told again and again I will come to faith if only I sincerely open myself to belief. I wonder if there isn’t some other thing in my life we can agree to which I have opened my heart and, so doing, accept them. Preferably some entity with whom I have some relationship, as belief in God is so closely bound up with one’s relationship with him.



The first candidates which spring to mind are my wife and children. There is nothing I love more in my entire experience. I don’t “believe” they are real. (I don’t “believe” they are not real.) But I am definitely “convinced” of their existence.



But my conviction that they exist depends upon me first experiencing them. So, one way or another, they are not the right fit.



Am I looking for some special life event? A particular emotional state? I experience joy and am confident of its existence. I don’t personally know anybody with more wonder for the beauty, grandeur, and majesty of the universe than I. I have wept over it.

But these all seem to suggest, if there is such a thing, I lack the right “antenna” to “accept God.”



It wouldn’t surprise me. Those Magic-Eye images drive me up a wall! I’ve never seen what I’m supposed to see. I’ll sit there staring for HOURS, until my eyes bleed and I get a migraine. Nothing. Someone will walk by and I’ll ask, “Do YOU see anything in that?” They look and say, “You mean the downhill skier?” Then I have to throw them through a plate glass window. It’s a whole mess. :smile:
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Greetings Mr Kirby,

how are you?

I have been thinking about you of late and wanted to simply say that it is about God sending His Son, something that some folks have a lot of difficulty with/believing. You may understand that more than others.

There is lots more to say, perhaps one day, but whatever happens, remember this, God has sent His Son.


Bless you ....><>
 
Member
Greetings Mr Kirby,

how are you?

I have been thinking about you of late and wanted to simply say that it is about God sending His Son, something that some folks have a lot of difficulty with/believing. You may understand that more than others.

There is lots more to say, perhaps one day, but whatever happens, remember this, God has sent His Son.


Bless you ....><>
Thank you, Br. Bear. I will keep this in mind as I continue my journey.
 
Loyal
As I’ve admitted I don’t “believe” in him. I don’t know how to fix that. I certainly don’t “deny” or “renounce” him.
Faith (believing in God) does not come from you, it is something God gives to the person who decides he wants faith to believe. (Romans 10:17)

The only thing you have to do is "chose' to believe!

It is easy to fix just chose you want to believe, and God will give you his faith to believe in him!
 
Moderator
Staff Member
“I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see—
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

My terrors all vanished before the sweet Name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In Thee I shall conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This “watchword” shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.”
― Robert Murray McCheyne
 
Loyal
Greetings @Kirby D. P.

Your journey is not unique, so many people go through the stage you are going through, but we all go through it, and every Born Again believer has been where you are my friend.

The good thing is, you have a searching heart and God loves a searching heart, if your heart wasn't searching there would be little chance for you. Why is your heart searching? Because God is calling you, believe it, God is calling you.

You see most people think they have to do something themselves to find God, many are looking for a feeling or experience, although there are some things you do have to do, they are small things, and not the ones people initially expect. So often they say, I have done this or said that and I don't feel any different, you won't, we are not to look at self, but look to Jesus.

Firstly we have to accept, as scripture says, God calls us we do not call Him, God makes the first move, why does God make the first move, He does so because He Love us my friend, God loves you. He loves you so much He allowed His one and Only Son, to die for your sins, my sins, the sins of the whole world, He allowed Jesus to die on the cross, shed His blood, so that through Him, you can come to God and you can have Everlasting life.

May I ask Mr Kirby, do you consider yourself a sinner? Most none believers don't, I never used to, until I knew what sin was, then I saw just how much of a sinner I was.

God calls you Mr Kirby, you do not call Him, He is doing so right now. Jesus died for your sins, so that through Him you can come to God and be forgiven, but although God calls you, and you maybe don't realise it 'yet', Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and knocking, I cannot hear Him knocking you may say, that is because at first we look at worldly ways, we are not really listening to Jesus knocking, we are programmed to look to the world, and because we are not really open hearted enough to know or accept God at this stage. FAITH it is a journey my friend, and you are already on that journey, Believing and Trusting is coming.

Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
20 Behold, I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Notice we have to hear his voice in our heart, also notice God has called us but we have to open the door, God is Love, He doesn't force anything on us, He knows things take time, but He also knows who will accept His Son and when we will accept Him.

The trouble is that in life because we have lived and belong to the world, we do worldly things, we say worldly things, we think as the world thinks, we are like sheep without a shepherd and the door of our heart is closed to anything we cannot see.

But 2000 years ago, thousands actually saw Jesus, scripture records clearly the amazing things He did, the amazing things He said and taught, even a Roman Centurion said Matt 27:54 “Surely he was the Son of God!”

All scripture is God given, He initially spoke through His prophets, then Jesus and then through the Apostles.

2 Peter 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Why did God give prophesies, scripture tells us, "so that when they happen we know God said they would and we may believe."

You have probably heard Christian's say, The Truth is in the Word, All Christians are doing is sharing God's Word with you, sharing Jesus with you. The Truth is in the Word, all we have to do is open our hearts and 'believe'. It is that simple it is to simple.

I do not believe in co-incidence, but I do believe in God-incidence, it is no surprise you are asking questions my friend, though it doesn't make sense to you, yet, it will, the Holy Spirit is working on your heart, and scripture is being revealed to you.

There is nothing any one of us on here or in the world can do to bring you to salvation, there is nothing you can do to be saved except, come to Jesus as you are, repent of all your sins, from the heart, and believe your sins are forgiven. Pray my friend, pray to God through Jesus, seek forgiveness with a repentant heart, say it with your lips and mean it. Tell Jesus you know now that He died on the cross for your sins so you can be Saved, when it truly comes from your heart, then you will know, not because there is any feeling, though you may feel at peace, but because you 'believe'.

Romans 10:9-13 (NKJV)
9 If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart
that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

May the Lord Bless you

Jesus loves you, we do too.

In His Love

brother-paul
 
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