“Accepting Christ” (1 of 2)

Now the word ‘accept Christ’ to the astonishment of a good many people does not occur in the Bible – it’s not there. It’s this ‘accept Christ’ doctrine that I want to talk a little bit about tonight. What is it to ‘accept Christ’?

Now, I do not reflect on the words ‘accept Christ’ even though they’re not in the Bible. It’s possible to teach truth and yet not use words that are in the Bible always, because if what you say is the sum of what the Bible teaches on a subject then you’re teaching truth provided the people know that that’s the sum of the Bible teaching. So when you were told to accept Christ to bring us into saving relation to Him what the teacher was attempting to do is to say ‘believe and receive’ and ‘believe’ and ‘receive’ are Bible words though ‘accept’ is not a Bible word.

But accepting Christ has become the panacea all over the evangelical world and it has become fatal to millions! A whole attitude of accepting; the passive acceptance of Christ. This easy acceptance! A man will preach a tremendous sermon and then say “Now, what should you do? Accept Christ. Have you accepted Christ?” Or we go to the bedside of a dying man: “Have you accepted Christ?” And if he says he has, why, we pat his head and the next day or two we preach that he’s in heaven twanging a harp. Well, now I’m awfully afraid that there are millions of people who are perishing because they are being told to accept Christ and they don’t know what’s meant by it.

You see, to tell a man to ‘accept Christ’, while it is relatively right, it yet, if not carefully explained, makes Christ to stand hat in hand waiting on my pleasure; neatly awaiting my verdict on Him. It makes Him apply to me, instead of my applying to Him. It permits me to accept Christ by an impulse of my mind or my emotions and accept Him painlessly and at no cost and no inconvenience.

What Does it Mean to Accept Christ? – by AW Tozer

Therefore, repent and turn to him to have your sins blotted out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and so that he may send you Jesus, whom he appointed long ago to be the Messiah. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time of universal restitution, which God announced long ago through the voice of his holy prophets. 22 In fact, Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Any person who will not listen to that prophet will be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 “Indeed, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who followed him, also announced these days. 25 You are the descendants of the prophets and the heirs of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendant all the families of the earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning every one of you from your evil ways.”
Acts 3:19-26 ISV

When they arrived, they called the church together and told them everything that God had done with them and how he had opened a door so that gentiles would believe.
Acts 14:27 ISV

God turns us from our evil ways.

A few things:

  1. Both the Good News Bible and the New Living Translation use the word accept in John 1:12. Why the NLT does, I do not know. I don’t believe it’s necessarily inaccurate, I just think with the way most people think of this, as the quote says, receive is much better.
  2. I do not agree with all of A.W. Tozer’s theology. I like what he says here.
  3. Please see Part 2 of 2

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