Good excerpt given:
Among the earliest of Christian confessions is, ‘Jesus is Lord’. One of the many ironies of our day is that the language of conversion which is in the Bible is at times exchanged by preachers and others for language that is not. For example, we sometimes mistakenly urge people to ‘accept’ Jesus Christ. This is a weak, and I must say defective, way of formulating what it means to become a Christian. Our interpersonal parallels make this obvious. We say of Mr So and So, ‘He just wants acceptance. He just wants to be accepted by you’. Mr So and So is cast into the role of victim by the language of acceptance. Poor fellow. He just wants to belong, to be one of the gang. It goes without saying, I trust, that such is inadequate terminology for conversion to Christ. Jesus is not passively seeking acceptance. He is not pleading that we let Him be a part of our lives. He does not have a psychological need for a place at our table. He does not need us at all. Rather He is actively demanding and commending submission.
Quoted from When Grace Comes Alive: Living Through the Lord’s Prayer
by Terry Johnson, Pages 108-109
I cannot agree more. It is always sad to see ‘so-called’ evangelical churches in Malaysia, ‘persuading’ non-believers in the wrong way by passifying the command by the Lord to repent. It is a command issued out, not a weak call. Unknown to the believers, it reveals how we see God Almighty.
How can we merely accept Jesus Christ, as if it is up to us (everything dependant on human will)? One of the oft used reaction to a person’s ‘rejection’ goes something like: Oh, God is so ‘hurt’ by your unwillingness to accept Him. He is crying, etc. etc. This is really a wrong understanding of God who is self-sufficient and not dependant on anything in this universe (relating to His omnipotence). We equate God as if He is a mere man, and nothing more; that is wicked.
The Gospel is simple yet clear. It demands submission and the acceptance of a broken, contrite heart that is God given. It is not wrong to use the expression “acceptance” if you give it the right context. The question is: would you take the time and care to do so?