Q. What is the difference between believing in your heart when praying the sinner’s prayer and just telling Jesus that you believe? Or is there a difference?
A. If we’re like most people we don’t always say what we mean and we don’t always mean what we say. And the more pressure we feel, the more likely it is that we’ll say what we think the people around us want to hear. Therefore, there’s a big difference between just saying something and actually believing it.
When it comes to asking Jesus to forgive us, it isn’t enough just to say the words. We have to really believe in our heart that we’re a sinner in need of forgiveness, that His death has already paid the price for all our sins, and when we ask him to forgive us He will do it. The Greek word for believe means that we act like our life depends on it, because in the eternal sense it does.
The Lord knows the motives of our heart better than we do (1 Cor. 4:5). If we have asked in faith He will respond with a sense of peace that surpasses all human understanding. We’ll know in our heart that the matter is settled, and nothing anyone can say or do will persuade us otherwise.
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).