Modern evangelism has taken salvation out of the hands of God and placed it in the hands of men.
A favorite Bible verse of modern day evangelism is Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him…” [ Note: Christ addressed this verse directly to the church at Laodicea, and not to sinners.]
Today’s evangelist presents a powerless Jesus standing at the door of the sinner’s heart unable to even turn the doorknob, waiting helplessly with his hat in his hand like an insurance salesman who’s come to your front door.
“Will you let him in or not?”
But in reality, when the Christ of the Bible saves a man, He enters in with authority and majesty.
Man cannot save himself. Salvation comes from God. It is God who regenerates the heart through saving faith. Jesus declared, “No man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him.” (John 6:44)
The orthodox [doctrinally pure] revival man of the 18th and 19th centuries knew:
- Salvation was of God.
- Man did not regenerate himself.
- Only God could transform the heart.
- God could give saving faith or withhold it and still be God.
But today’s evangelist has taken salvation out of the hands of God and made it something you can do. It is something you can have any time you want it. I’ve heard preachers say, “Just open your heart and receive Jesus and he will come in.”
Listen friends, a dead man cannot open his heart. Only God can open the heart of man through regeneration.
In Acts 16:14, we read of Lydia “whose heart the Lord opened."
God is sovereign in salvation yet we must not fail to call lost sinners to come to Christ. George Whitfield used to beg lost sinners to fly to Christ.