Easy Believism Versus True Salvation

, posted by jeremyo1610

Zacchaeus up in the tree, Paul’s conversion, the Philippian jailer. What do these stories have in common? In every case, it was God who took the first step towards man. As I’ve stated many times, if anyone is to be saved, God must take the initiative. So many today preach an “Easy Believism” gospel, and are satisfied if they can just get people to repeat a prayer.
Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree
What do I mean by “Easy Believism”? This is the idea that nothing more is necessary for salvation than an intellectual acknowledgment of the Gospel, and a verbal appeal (or repeating a prayer). Often, proponents of Easy Believism refer to the story of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16, where he asks: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”, to which Paul and Silas replied: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” But we must ask ourselves, would the jailer have had the desire to ask his question if God had not first performed the miracle of freeing Paul and Silas? Would Zacchaeus have had the desire to hang out with Jesus if Jesus had not first invited Himself to Zach’s house? Would Paul have desired to accept Christ without Christ first rocking his world?
Paul’s Conversion on the Damascus Road
While I totally affirm that one is justified by faith alone apart from any works, we often leave out the fact that one must be enabled to believe, and that true saving faith is a gift from God and not something that we can produce on our own. Attempting to get people to just “believe” by any means possible, and convincing them to repeat a prayer, without God actually drawing them (John 6:44) and giving them the faith to believe (Hebrews 12:2Philippians 1:29) only results in false conversions. Easy Believism produces a dead faith that is unable to produce any Godly fruit. How many people have walked an aisle and repeated a prayer, only to leave the altar and return right back to where they came from? Sadly, the number is countless!
The Philippian Jailer’s Conversion
Salvation is not merely an intellectual understanding and a verbal declaration of Christ as savior. Rather, it’s a work of God, one that He performs by reaching out to sinners with His prevenient grace and enabling them to respond (John 6:65) to His call.