J. D. Greear is lead pastor of The Summit Church, a multi-site congregation in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He holds an M.Div. in International Church Planting and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Greear also lived and worked among Muslims in Southeast Asia for two years and wrote Breaking the Islam Code. He and his wife have four children.
First of all, the title of the book is quite provocative and shocking. Why? I think it's because most of us are taught to say a sinner's prayer if we want to become a Christian. And that's probably the reason why the author chose this title :). J.D. Greear wants readers to know that merely saying a sinner's prayer will not save them and most likely give people a false sense of assurance. On the other hand, some Christians are not sure if they have been saved so they keep asking Jesus into their heart over and over again. The subtitle of the book is: "How to Know for Sure You Are Saved". That's really what this book is all about.
This book aims to help both those who have been saved but still doubt their salvation and those who may think they're saved but in reality, they're not. The author himself struggled for many years to embrace an assurance of salvation and eventually discovered that this doubt about assurance is not uncommon among Christians. He also addresses the issue of the Gospel presentation using a sinner's prayer formula which can sometimes be misleading. What does "asking Jesus into your heart" or "giving your life to Jesus" really mean?
The book answers many thought-provoking questions such as "Does God Even Want Us to Have Assurance?", "What Is Belief?", "What Is Repentance?", and "If 'Once Saved, Always Saved,' Why Does the Bible Seem to Warn Us So Often about Losing Our Salvation?". J.D. Greear clearly presents evidences that show authentic saving faith and advice regarding what to do when you continue to doubt. At the end of the book, you will also find Appendix 1: What about Baptism? and Appendix 2: The Indispensable Link between Assurance and the Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone.
I think the author handles all these sensitive yet important issues effectively with a Christ-centered approach, solid Biblical truths, compassion, honesty, and even a sense of humor. This is a small book but powerfully packed with gems! What an excellent resource for all new believer's classes! I personally love this book and highly recommend it to any Christ's follower (even if you're sure about your salvation, you can still use it as a tool to help unsure believers and non-believers). Would you like to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are going to Heaven? Check this encouraging & eye-opening book out! You can tell how much I enjoyed reading this book by how many great quotes I list below (trust me...I had to use restraint) :).
"Salvation is not a prayer you pray in a one-time ceremony and then move on from; salvation is a posture of repentance and faith that you begin in a moment and maintain for the rest of your life." (p.5)
"The Enemy--one of whose names in Scripture is 'the Deceiver'--loves to keep truly saved believers unsure of their salvation because he knows that if he does they'll never experience the freedom, joy, and confidence that God wants them to have. But he also loves to keep those on their way to hell deluded into thinking they are on their way to heaven, their consciences immunized from Jesus' pleas to repent." (p.6)
“Salvation comes not because you prayed a prayer correctly, but because you have leaned the hopes of your soul on the finished work of Christ.” (p.11)
"At the end of the day, knowing the moment of your conversion is not essential. What is essential is to know that you are currently in a posture of repentance and faith. Regardless of when you first assumed the posture, the fact that you are in it now assures you of your salvation." (p.90)
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~I received a free copy of this book via The A Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.