When Believing Isn’t Enough

Q. My question is this. If a person does not have a definite instance in their life where they declare that they are a sinner and accept Christ as Savior by praying something similar to the Sinner’s prayer (i.e. a salvation experience) are they really a believer? It was a topic of conversation with a friend who has no such experience yet believes she will go to heaven and longs to see Christ.

A. Romans 10:9 states that there are two conditions necessary for salvation. 1) confess with your mouth and 2) believe in your heart. Verse 10 continues, “It is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:13 says that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

It sounds like your friend has believed in her heart. What prevents her from formally asking the Lord to save her? Does she understand that the word confess means to agree that she’s a sinner in need of a Savior, not to spout off a list of all her sins? The Lord already knows what all of her sins are. Now He’s waiting for her to ask Him to save her. She doesn’t need to do this publicly or even audibly, but she does need to do it.

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