“That 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.” Romans 10:9
“and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15
“And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:40-47
Some churches and ministries and individuals count “decisions for Christ”, counting each and every person who declares he or she now believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible refers to “decisions for Christ” in the sense the numbers of people added to the church (the entire body of believers in Jesus regardless of the building or buildings or anywhere else for that matter in which they gather to worship the Lord), so clearly noting the numbers of people who commit their lives to Christ is an acceptable practice.
So what are dangerous decisions?
1. When we count so-called “decisions for Christ” based on pride and self-centeredness whereby we do so to show off our churches, ministries, and selves as though the more the better when it comes to people who make such decisions in our church buildings, under our revival tents, at our ministry conferences, etc. The Lord despises pride, and we need to avoid it at all costs and repent from it when His Spirit shows us we have it in our hearts and as a motive for our words and actions.
2. When we ourselves or others make “decisions for Christ” whereby we do not truly in our hearts believe Jesus is Lord and died on the cross and was raised from the dead and whereby we do not truly intend and truly do follow up our decisions with a lifestyle of living for Jesus according to God’s ways. If we find that we once made a “decision for Christ” but are still living the way we always lived rather than living to love, worship, serve, praise, honor, revere, and obey God almighty filled with God’s Spirit led by God’s Spirit according to God’s Word, we need to repent from being on the wrong path and solidly plant ourselves on the path of following Jesus.
I confess I have needed to repent on both counts. Long ago, I prided myself by taking the glory for what the Lord was doing through my heart and ministry work. And, even longer ago, I made a “decision for Christ” but for many years did not understand or put into practice that I needed to truly commit myself to Him, to study the Bible and live by it, to spend time with the Lord daily, to worship and fellowship with fellow Christ followers, and, more than anything else, to live for Jesus Christ who is forever Lord.
Note in the scriptures above from the book of Acts in the Bible that those who were added to the church didn’t merely say they believed in Jesus as Lord. Their decisions were followed with actions that showed forth their faith in that they turned from their sins to God and His ways.
The Lord is “rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4) and will forgive those who confess their sins to Him (1 John 1:9), and I encourage us all if we have received conviction from God through this message to seek the Lord’s forgiveness and to press forward in fully following Jesus as Lord forevermore with humble hearts and loving faithful adoration! AMEN!