Truth Is The Word

Say a little prayer with me

The evangelist is sitting in a coffee shop with a friend. A waiter comes up to him to take their order. The evangelist beams at him and says, “My friend, do you know Jesus?” The man, a good natured black African in his twenties, smiles a little uncertainly and says “no I don’t.” The evangelist asks him if he would like to know Jesus and the man nods, so the evangelist asks him to pray a little prayer with him, which he does quite happily. The evangelist turns to his friend and says “Praise God, another person saved into the kingdom!”

The friend is somewhat taken aback by all this so he asks the evangelist on what grounds he thinks the waiter is now ‘saved’. The evangelist looks surprised and says, “Acts 2:21 of course; ‘And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. He called on the name of the Lord when he prayed the sinner’s prayer with me so now he is saved!”

Let me give you another scenario. The evangelist you have invited to preach the Gospel in your church on Sunday morning has just used up all the time singing and ministering to the people by praying for healings, speaking out words of knowledge, and so on. He suddenly realises that his time is up and he hasn’t yet got around to preaching so he says “Now, is there anyone here who wants to accept Jesus into their hearts? Everybody please close your eyes and bow your heads…” He then proceeds to pray, and includes in his prayer references to repentance, the blood of Christ, acceptance of salvation, and so on. Then he says, “Now let’s all pray together” and he invites anyone in the congregation who doesn’t know Jesus as saviour to pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ silently with him. After this he says; ”now while all heads are bowed and all eyes closed, if you prayed that prayer with me just slip your hand up for a moment… thank you sir… God bless you madam…”

What’s wrong with either or both of these scenarios? Have the people concerned heard the Gospel? Have they responded adequately to the Gospel? Are they now saved? I will continue to explore this important issue in my next post.

Other posts in this series:

The Gospel and the response
The essence of the Gospel

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Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar. I have started a site called Classical Guitar SA to serve classical guitar enthusiasts in South Africa.