Reviewed by Shawn Laughlin

Recently, a mother and her toddler attended a church service here in Grand Rapids. Shortly after the service ended, I engaged in a conversation with her and asked her how it was that she came out to hear the Word of God. She replied, "I heard that you teach that it is not right to ask Jesus into your heart and I want to learn more about it." I asked her if she had read the booklet "Seven Reasons NOT To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart"? She said that she was in the process of reading it. I asked her if she understood what she had read thus far? She replied, "Yes, but it is so hard to let go of something you have been taught your whole life."

Therein lied the problem. What a shock for her to find out that something that she was taught her whole life as the correct response to the offer of salvation is not found in the Bible! which is reason #1 in the book "Seven Reasons NOT To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart" by Pastor-teacher Dennis Rokser. She assumed that because she was taught this phrase as an appropriate response to the Gospel of grace at the Bible church she attended, that it must be in the Bible and that it must be true. She was confused. But unfortunately confusion is not the only thing at stake here. One's eternal destiny is also at stake, as reason # 2 states; "it is not how one is saved." While the initial reaction to this message can be one of disdain, careful reading of this booklet will show unmistakably that asking Jesus into your heart or life cannot save you.

This booklet is helpful for several reasons. First, it is Scripturally based, containing over 30 Bible verses written out for the reader and many more references. God has promised to bless His Word. The message we preach and the response we entreat is to be rooted in Scripture. Secondly, while only 40 pages in length, it not only clearly delineates why this popular cliche` is not Biblically accurate, but repeatedly explains what the Gospel of grace is and the one true Biblical response to the Gospel which is trusting entirely in Jesus Christ and His substitutionary payment made for all men and their sins on the cross. This booklet is a very effective tool for evangelism. Thirdly, the booklet is easy to read and very practical as the issues involved are explained in plain terms without theological jargon.

However, this book offers much more. Pastor Rokser explains that asking Jesus into your heart requires no understanding of the Gospel (reason #3); confuses the means of salvation with the results of salvation (reason #4); and how that asking Jesus into your heart either results in no assurance of salvation or a false assurance of salvation (reason #5). As these reasons are addressed, the reader will be shown why one must understand the Gospel, what the results of salvation are, and how the believer in Christ can have true Biblical assurance of his salvation. Included are several diagrams, illustrations, and personal examples to make the points exceptionally clear. The reader is also provided with a thorough exegesis of Revelation 3:20, a verse often used to support asking Jesus into one's heart. The reader is shown that this verse is not an offer for salvation to unbelievers, but rather an appeal for fellowship to believers. The 7th reason is perhaps the one that arouses the most reaction, stating that asking Jesus into your heart does not clarify the condition of salvation, but confuses it; especially with children.

To complete his discussion, Pastor Rokser effectively addresses 5 objections people raise in support of asking Jesus into your heart. The booklet concludes with several personal testimonies of those who had asked Jesus into their heart and never had the assurance of salvation only later to trust the person and work of Christ alone and have the assurance of their salvation.

In an age where widespread theological confusion abounds, a clear understanding and presentation of the Gospel is crucial and the proper response to the Gospel is paramount. This booklet is suitable for the searching unbeliever, the confused or hungry believer, and should be in the library of every pastor-teacher. This booklet is a mighty tool in the hand of the one who truly desires to honor God and His Word through a clear and accurate presentation of the Gospel of grace and the only means of receiving this good news faith in Jesus Christ.

Shawn Laughlin is a graduate of the Grace Institute of Biblical Studies and pastors the Itasca Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MN.

To order "Seven Reasons Not To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart," contact the Duluth Bible Church at the street or e-mail address on the on the form below, or call us at (218) 724-5914.


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