Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved

4.4 7
by J. D. Greear

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 “If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for ‘amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,’ I’m pretty sure I’d be a top contender,” says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and eventually learned he was not alone. “Lack of


 “If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for ‘amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,’ I’m pretty sure I’d be a top contender,” says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and eventually learned he was not alone. “Lack of assurance” is epidemic among evangelical Christians.

In Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, J. D. shows that faulty ways of present- ing the gospel are a leading source of the confusion. Our presentations may not be heretical, but they are sometimes misleading. The idea of “asking Jesus into your heart” or “giving your life to Jesus” often gives false assurance to those who are not saved—and keeps those who genuinely are saved from fully embracing that reality.

Greear unpacks the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point and is maintained for the rest of our lives. He also answers the tough questions about assurance: What exactly is faith? What is repentance? Why are there so many warnings that seem to imply we can lose our salvation?

Such issues are handled with respect to the theological rigors they require, but Greear never loses his pastoral sensitivity or a communication technique that makes this message teachable to a wide audience from teens to adults.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Warmly personal. Immensely helpful. Wonderfully practical. Thoroughly biblical. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to every Christian who longs to know, experience, and spread assurance of salvation in Christ.”
David Platt
Senior Pastor, The Church at Brook Hills
Birmingham, AL
"Salvation is a serious issue.  Scripture commands us, on the one hand, to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" and, on the other, paints beautiful pictures of believers walking in great assurance.  J.D. helps us see what conversion really is and what it is not.  This book will be a help for those who wrestle with their position before God and a wake-up call for those with false confidence.  I recommend it highly."
Matt Chandler
Lead Pastor, The Village Church
President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
"Outstanding! This is a truly useful book. It's readable, engaging and packed with scriptural insight. It not only gives hope to Christians struggling with assurance of salvation, it will equip any Christian to better share the gospel and guide others toward genuine repentance and faith in Jesus." 
Joshua Harris
Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church
“Every Christian struggles with doubt about salvation. The comforting passages of Scripture, assuring believers of their hope in salvation, were written to build up faith in the face of doubt. Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart guides readers through both assurance and perseverance in a life-altering way. Greear’s work is both an affront to easy-believism and a spotlight on the promises of God’s Word. A comforting wakeup call.”
Ed Stetzer
President of Lifeway Research
“So much emphasis today is on the power of personal persuasion in sharing the gospel. What to say, how to say it. Reasons to believe, proofs for the authority of scripture, methods for gaining credibility blah blah blah. Pick up a copy of my friend, J.D. Greear’s book and learn the marks of a person saved by Jesus Christ. I commend it to you.”
Dr. James MacDonald
Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel and author of VerticalChurch
"A sensitive conscience can be a curse from Satan or a blessing from God.  Does your conscience drive you from God, or to Him?  In this book, J. D. Greear gets the Gospel right.  And the Gospel is the way from conviction to salvation.  This book should help you know how to place your conscience in the Lord's hands, where it can be a tool greatly used by God, as it was in Augustine's life, or Martin Luther's."
Mark Dever
Pastor and author of 9 Marks of the Healthy Church 

J.D. tackles an incredibly vital topic in our time, but from the front lines of ministry as one who stands unashamed to call people to follow Christ. Read this book and understand with fresh eyes and a hungry heart the wonder of biblical conversion.

Alvin Reid, Ph.D.
Professor of Evangelism & Student Ministry/Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“I wore out 2 Sharpies worth of ink writing “Amen & WOW” in the margins of this new book.  Chapter after chapter I was encouraged, rebuked, discipled, and compelled to be a better minister of the Gospel.  Thank you J.D. for this gift to the church.”
David Nasser
“I have to admit the title of this book made me uncomfortable.  It sounded to me like a tract against the so-called ‘sinner’s prayer,’ and I find it biblical to cry out ‘Lord have mercy on me, a sinner!’  But as I read this book I found that is not what it is about at all.  In this volume, J. D. Greear, one of the most dynamic and brilliant pastors in evangelical life today, addresses a common problem among Christians: the sense that we can never get assured enough that Jesus hears our sinners prayer and receives us, just as we are.  This book throws the spotlight on Jesus as a welcoming, merciful Savior who joyously receives all who come to him.  This book could help free you, or someone you love, from the nagging fear that Jesus is trying to keep you out of his kingdom.”
Russell D. Moore
Dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and Triumph of Christ
 When I first read the title, I was caught off guard—because I am an evangelist who continually urges hearers to repent and ask Jesus into their heart. Once I began to read, however, I began to understand the big idea—praying a prayer of repentance and salvation ought only to mark the beginning of a lifetime of repentance and faith. J.D. wrestles with a tough subject here and does a tremendous job of helping the church come to grips with a salvation not anchored in a one-time prayer but the finished work of Christ.
Clayton King
Teaching Pastor, NewSpring Church
Campus Pastor, Liberty University
This book is similar to John Stott's Basic Christianity in that it lays out with clarity and reasoned arguments the path to Christian belief.  Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart is especially helpful in answering many follow-on questions, too. Faith seekers and faith sharers alike will benefit from J. D. Greear's clear thinking on what effectuates and evidences true salvation in Christ.
David A. Spence
An Executor of Dr. Stott's Literary Estate

“Improper methodology and sloppy theology have paralyzed at worst and confused at best many of our churches today when it comes to evangelism. J.D.’s book is not only timely but crucial.
Mike Calhoun
Executive Assistant to the President
Word of Life Fellowship Inc
Author of Where Was God When: Real Answers to Hard Questions 
“This is a very helpful and needed book.  Untold numbers of people are thinking of themselves as true Christians when really theirs is a false assurance; while others are true Christians but lack a solid assurance.  The book spells out how to teach the Gospel in such a way as to help avoid these tragic results and how to help deliver those who are experiencing them.  The emphasis on clear presentation of the meaning and evidence of repentance and faith is exactly what is needed.  Also the difference a genuine assurance of salvation can make in one’s life is brought out. I highly recommend this book!”
Frank Barker
Pastor Emeritus
Briarwood Presbyterian Church
Birmingham, AL
“Don’t let the provocative first half of the title scare you away from reading this important book! Emanating from his own personal and pastoral experience, yet with feet firmly planted in the sufficiency of Scripture, Greear is far more interested in helping us have genuine biblical assurance of salvation than anything else. He rightly reminds us we must emphasize the absolute indispensability of repentance and faith as necessary for salvation. Though I might quibble over a few things I would express differently, the vast majority of J. D.’s book I wholeheartedly endorse. Timely, engagingly written, and thoroughly practical, it deserves a place on every pastor’s shelf. Buy it! Apply it!”
David L. Allen, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Theology
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“This is a book I wish was available when I turned 20 and had a terrible season of doubting my salvation. By God’s grace and the truth of the gospel I was able to settle  the issue. I have lived in the full assurance of my salvation in Jesus ever since. God wants us to experience the joyful truth that we are eternally secure in Jesus. This book can help take you there. I will be recommending this book often!”  
Daniel L. Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"As someone who works with young people, I often see the pitfall that my friend J.D. Greear explores in Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart; How To Know for Sure You are Saved. I have sat with many 18-24 year olds that say they had no clue what they were doing when they repeated a prayer with someone as a young person. As next generation leaders, we have to focus on true life-change, really direction change rather than just a spiritual transaction. I am thankful that J.D. was willing to take on the hard discussions related to salvation and discipleship in this new book." 
J. Roger Davis, President, Student Life
"Stop Asking Jesus into your heart" by J.D. Greear is a biblical clarification for the assurance of salvation to the Christian based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ.  The invitation to eternal life is more than a prayer! It is a living, breathing, real, relevant, relationship with God through Jesus Christ while being sealed by the Holy Spirit.  The Gospel saves and Sustains! Read, Reflect and Rejoice in the ability to know of the assurance of your salvation!”
Ed Newton
Bible Communicator
Memphis, TN

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B&H Publishing Group
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Meet the Author

J. D. Greear is lead pastor of The Summit Church, a multi-site congregation in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He holds an M.Div. in International Church Planting and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Greear also lived and worked among Muslims in Southeast Asia for two years and wrote Breaking the Islam Code. He and his wife have four children.

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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You Are Saved 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
aprilreynolds More than 1 year ago
Do you ever wonder if you are really saved? Do you hope that the prayer said long ago is enough to get you into heaven? If so, you’re not the only one. Join Pastor J.D. Greear on his own personal journey to find assurance of his salvation. You will discover what Jesus really did on the cross for you. You will explore belief, define repentance and see how it all works together to produce faith. With humor and honesty, Pastor Greear sets us straight on the issue of salvation and shows us how we can have the assurance we need to follow Jesus with abounding courage and reckless obedience.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
I am so glad I got the chance to read this book. It was a simple, straightforward book targeted at people just like me who grew up in the church and got the idea that maybe you needed to keep asking Jesus into your heart to be sure that you are saved. And I suppose that this would help anyone struggling with the issue of whether he/she is truly a Christian. I probably heard an "altar call" message practically every Sunday that I was growing up. I made the decision to "walk the aisle" and "ask Jesus into my heart" when I was about six or seven. I knew that I understood what I was doing, and there was a genuine change within me. However, as per normal, I heard that "altar call" message again, and I began to doubt my salvation. I don't remember how many times I "prayed the prayer" just to be sure that I was going to heaven. This book addresses these and other topics such as losing one's salvation, "once saved always saved," and more. The book is easy to understand, i.e., it is written in English rather than "church speak." Although these are things that I long ago understood, so it was more of a review for me. But it is nice to read a book like this with solid theology and well-organized thoughts. I would recommend this to anyone who may be struggling with his/her salvation. The author puts forth a Biblical solution to your worries and concerns. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have struggled in every way this book mentions. I cannot express how informative this book would be to new believer as well as an old and confused one.
BradSarian More than 1 year ago
Have you ever questioned whether or not you were truly saved? Maybe you prayed the “sinners prayer” when you were 5 years old or walked down the aisle at a youth summer camp, but still occasionally wonder whether or not it was a genuine profession of faith. If you are a Christian, you have probably been through a season of your life when you have wondered whether or not Jesus will truly let you into heaven when you die. If that is the case, “Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart,” is just the book you need to read. Greear starts “Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart,” by empathizing with most Christians by writing, “If there was a Guinness book of World Records for ‘amount of times having asked Jesus into your heart,’ I’m pretty sure I would hold it.” While growing up in a Christian family, Greear battled with the question of whether or not he was truly saved until he was in college. Greear spends the majority of the book assuring the reader that they can absolutely have assurance of their salvation because their salvation rests on Christ’s finished work, not their unfinished works. It is a refreshing and necessary thing to be reminded of what Christ did through His perfect life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection. Greear explains that we are saved once and for all by repentance and belief in Jesus, and he even devotes an entire chapter to each one of these words: repentance and belief. The second chapter was my favorite because Greear explained that not only could you know for certain that you are saved, but “God wants you to have certainty about your salvation.” God is not some angry cosmic force in the sky that wants you to fear your entire life a judgment that may or may not be coming for you. He is a loving Father that desires us to know with certainty that His Son’s sacrifice was enough for salvation. Greear paints the picture clearly by writing, “A faithful father does not leave his kids wondering whether or not he loves them.” A loving father assures his kids of his deep love for them, and it is the same with our Heavenly Father. After reading “Gospel” by J.D. Greear, I became an instant fan of his writing and preaching. Any book that is drenched in the grace of Jesus’ finished work is well worth spending time with, and this is one of those books. 
ShawnM More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. Others have written on this topic, but JD Greear presents his thoughts on soteriology (the study of salvation) in a style that makes this book the best one I've read on this topic. It's easy to read, though scholarly, and is a relatively short read so that you can remember what the author said. There are only 8 or so chapters which makes this an easy book to re-read so that you can really understand the topic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is joy to have this tool. The church will benefit from this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that this book is a clever attempt to smuggle reformed theology into the minds of mainstream Christians under the guise of providing assurance of salvation. I don't recall the author telling the reader how to become a child of God, nor did the author seek to provide assurance of salvation by pointing to a definite time in our experience when we chose to believe in Jesus for eternal life. It does seem to carry the marks of reformed theology.