The Sinner’s Prayer, the Lamb of God and the Kingdom of Heaven
This is what the Prophet Jeremiah, around 626 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah), says in Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed, save me and I shall be saved, for you are the one I praise.” Could this be considered as an example of a Sinner’s Prayer?
There is no biblical reference for the term “ Sinner’s Prayer”. The term does appear to be a more recent development and the internet seems to be full of debate over this issue. But I tell you that such a prayer is full of power, praise and potency. Power because it is the Lord’s help we are asking for and who is more powerful than the Lord? Praise because as we turn to Him for help, we are acknowledging Him as our God, our Lord, our Creator and our King. Potency because when we say it sincerely, don’t you think our Lord will intervene in our lives and help and guide us?
Again Prophet Isaiah, 8th century BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaiah), says in Isaiah 35:3-6 which is about the Joy of the Redeemed
‘Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with a vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, the mute tongue shout for joy.’
And again in Isaiah 35:8-10 “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return.”’
You see that Isaiah prophesied about the coming of our Lord Jesus as he says in Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
And who is the redeemer? What does redeem mean? To redeem means to recover ownership of by paying a specified sum. Who paid the price? Any of the Prophets? No. No man or prophet in history has ever paid the price to be able to redeem us, only someone more than a prophet could do that. Someone who came of virgin birth could redeem us because of his authority. Our Lord Jesus had the authority and it was revealed to us by his virgin birth. Due to his virgin birth, he is both Son of God and Son of Man.
Now some of you will try to say that Jesus is God and some of you will say Jesus is not God. The Lord has not given me the answer to that question but all I can say is this: – Is the son of a bull a bull? Is the son of a dog a dog? Is the son of a cat a cat? Are dog’s offspring cats? Are cat’s offspring elephants?
Let’s fast forward to the Gospel where it is described of Jesus, Mathew 7:28-29 “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at this teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
Where did this authority come from? The Israelites did not give him the authority, neither did the Sanhedrin. His authority was not of man but of God because “because he taught as one who had authority” is what they saw in him. Why did the Lord God give our Lord Jesus all authority over heaven and earth? When the Lord God gave Jesus all authority over heaven and earth he was making Jesus the Way. After Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead he met with the eleven disciples on the mountain and told them, Mathew 28:17-18 ‘When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”’
Eight centuries before Jesus, prophet Isaiah had prophesied about Jesus. What does that mean? Is it relevant? Yes, it means the Lord God had a plan and during Isaiah’s time He already had a plan that was to be implemented 800 years later. Later, probably in another article, I will show you that the Lord God had a plan as early as 5000 years ago. Imagine this plan had to take into consideration that a descendant of Abraham and a descendant of King David would be King. We as human beings can’t even plan for tomorrow but here is the Lord God promising Abraham that he will be the father of a mighty nation and then many generations down the road He promises King David that the King of this mighty nation would also be a descendant of King David. Did you see how the Lord God is taking real world circumstance and wishes into account during the course of time and incorporated them into His plan?
These prophecies show that our King Jesus was already given authority, or rather pre-ordained with authority before he was born on earth.
Jesus was given the authority to redeem us because he paid the price. The price he paid was, being crucified on the cross with his innocent blood spilt – a blood sacrifice. He did not commit suicide as some non-Christians in Malaysians preach. These non-Christians are the false prophets that the Lord God had warned us about. They have blasphemed the Holy One of the Lord and their sin will be payable until the third and fourth generations. There is only one way out for them and that is to say the Sinner’s Prayer and call upon Our Lord Jesus for forgiveness because he has been given all authority over heaven and earth. That means he holds the keys to the gates of heaven and the gates of hell. And it also means that he controls everyone’s life on earth, which means that he can grant us peace, prosperity, health and happiness no matter what our circumstances are. How do you enjoy any of these if you are under the curse of the Lord God?
I will come back to the Sinner’s Prayer later, just to let you squirm in your seat just a little while longer if you are one of the false prophets. More importantly I need to explain what a blood sacrifice is so that the Sinner’s Prayer makes sense to you and then can you can say it with faith and belief and you, your children, your children’s children, their children and their children be forgiven for your sins.
In the olden days many people sacrificed a cow or a goat or a bird and offered it to the Lord God as a sacrifice or as some form of atonement for their sins. It sounds ridiculous but they did do such things and this occurred in many parts of Asia, South America and other countries. It does sound ridiculous to us because you go and sin, then kill an innocent creature and offer it to the Lord God. Truly, the innocent creature is paying for your sin and not you, right? So where is the justice in that? I suspect that to bring some air of respectability and credibility, they had rituals and ceremonies around such practices. They probably had some pompous airs of solemnity too.
Let me put it another way; you steal a million dollars from someone and then buy a bull for a thousand dollars and offer it to the Lord God as a sin offering. If it was that easy everyone would be stealing from everyone else, right? Why limit your selves to a million dollars, go for the big pie, go for a billion dollars, steal from the charities, the old folks homes, the hospitals, the nursing homes, and from children, orphans and widows. What if you were too poor to afford a bird or a goat or a cow? Were you allowed to steal two goats, one for the original sin and another for stealing the first goat?
But that was not the point; the point was this was a practice of the olden day’s people. Hence, the Lord God had to substitute this practice with something else. I’m not saying such practices are right or wrong because the Lord God allowed it and most probably because the hardship of the people those days was so severe that sacrificing a bull or a goat was probably equivalent to a few years income which is a real burden and makes it truly a big sacrifice on the part of the sinner.
This was the blood sacrifice practiced then.
The Lamb of God
The Lord God substituted all blood sacrifices with one sacrifice once and for all, with one person for all of time. That person was Jesus. Jesus was used as the sacrificial lamb, the Lamb of God. The Roman soldiers whipped him severely, they torn into his flesh bit by bit with stone & metal embedded whips, until his flesh bled without stopping and the muscles under the skin were torn to pieces. Then, under much severe pain, they had him crucified on the cross. The pain must have been too severe for any ordinary man to withstand. Jesus suffered for us; he was paying for our sins. The Lord God did not say “Jesus, the bull will stand in for you”, no Jesus had to suffer to pay for our sins so that we do not have to suffer for our sins. He paid the price and by paying the price he redeemed us, with his blood.
Jesus was the Lamb of God
Has anyone you know, done that for you? Pay for your sins? I don’t think that if you committed a crime, your parents or your friends or lovers will say “Let me go to jail for you.” Nobody does it because we are too selfish, we do not care for others, and we do not want the hardship. We do not want to look stupid if our friend committed another crime after we were in jail for him. But Jesus did just that, he paid for our sins and yet we still sin after the fact. Jesus has paid for all our sins, the sins of the past, the sins of the present and the sins of the future.
As Jesus was the Lamb of God and had shed his blood for us there is redemption in his blood. We can use his blood to cleanse away our sins. This works when you are in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus, the Lamb of God, talked about the Kingdom of Heaven many times and in parables because the Lord God did not want the wicked to be saved. The wicked and the evil could not repent and ask for forgiveness of their sins. Their names would not appear in the Book of Life but were written, just like hotel reservations, in certain places in Hell.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a place, a virtual place, where you are under the rule of God’s Law. It is like being in a country where Jesus is the King of the Land and all citizens obey his Word. There the Lord of Hosts has his mighty army of angels to guide you to peace, prosperity, health and happiness and to protect you from evil forces. The rule of law is the Ten Commandments and the Word of Jesus. Just like in a real country but this is a spiritual country, a virtual country superimposed on Earth. In a real country there are policemen and soldiers to protect us. In the Kingdom of Heaven there are many angels under authority of our Lord Jesus to protect us. When you pray the Sinner’s Prayer you are automatically come under the Kingdom of Heaven. Our Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, will appear to you or near you, seated on His Throne to indicate that you have entered the Kingdom of Heaven. It is like you have traveled from you own country to this new country and are considered an alien in a foreign land. You enjoy the peace, prosperity, health and happiness of this new land because you are in the midst of it. You enjoy the protection of the police of this land because they are there to enforce the rule of law of this land for all its occupants. But you are not yet a citizen of the land until you learn about their laws and ways, apply for citizenship and take an oath of allegiance to this new land. Citizenship into the Kingdom of Heaven is given by way of Water Baptism.
What happens if you sin when you are in the Kingdom of Heaven? I won’t answer that question but I will ask you another. If you are an alien in a foreign land or a citizen of your own country, what happens to you if you are caught breaking the law?
The Lord God says the prayers of the evil and the wicked are like a stench to Him. That means that if you are evil or wicked, the smell of your prayers is awful and the Lord God and his angels will move away from you. When the Lord God and his hosts move away from you, you are not under his protection and are exposed to other forces. The devils move in into your life and make your life a misery. You are no more under the Kingdom of Heaven. Do not blame the Lord God for your suffering when this happens. As mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-3 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear you. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.”
Furthermore, to our relief and God’s grace, in every country, the ruler, the King or President or Prime Minister has the authority to pardon you of your crimes but you need to plead your case and ask for forgiveness. And it is like that in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Sinner’s Prayer.
The sinner’s prayer is not a textually define prayer with any special wording. It is a prayer that comes from the bottom of your heart, out of earnest and sincerity for Jesus’s help and forgiveness of our sins. You are free to choose the words you use. Each man according to his ability, his understanding and his sincerity. But do say it out aloud as prophet Joel, between 9th & 5th century BC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_%28prophet%29 , says in Joel 2:32 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And Paul says in Romans 10:9-11 “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the scriptures say ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame’.” Therefore you need to confess the sinner’s prayer with your mouth and believe in your heart.
1. Here is an example of the Sinner’s Prayer from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinner%27s_prayer
Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against you and that my sins separate me from you. I am truly sorry. I now want to turn away from my sinful past and turn to you for forgiveness. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, that He was raised from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become my Savior and the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You and to convict me when I sin. I pledge to grow in grace and knowledge of you. My greatest purpose in life is to follow your example and do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
2. Here is an example Sinner’s Prayer from http://www.intothelight.org/answers/sinners-prayer.asp
“Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.
I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Him from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend.
I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.”
3. Here is a Sinner’s Prayer from http://www.bible-knowledge.com/sinners-prayer/
I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.
I now confess to You all of the wrong and sinful things that I have ever done in my life. I ask that You please forgive me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that You have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that You come into my life and live with me for all of eternity.
Father, Jesus – I now believe that I am truly saved and born again.
Thank You Father.
Thank You Jesus.
4. Here is a Sinner’s Prayer from http://home.swbell.net/cshann/index0.html
I come to you in prayer asking for the forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come in to my life and be my personal Lord and Saviour. I repent of my Sins and will Worship you all the days of my Life! Because your word is truth, I confess with my mouth that I am Born Again and Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus Name, Amen.
I personally, like no.4 as it covers Honoring the Lord God first, admission that Jesus died on the Cross, Kingdom of Heaven, the power of the blood of Jesus and the forgiveness of sins.
There are other version but understand the meaning and the wording so that you can pray for forgiveness with faith, belief and sincerity. Do visit the 4 websites I have mentioned.
May Our Lord Jesus forgive you of your sins and bless you.
The previous article is at http://bachutha.com/lords-justice/. I hope you enjoyed this article on The Sinner’s Prayer, the Lamb of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.