Does that statement shock you? Have you been told repeatedly that sinners need to just accept Jesus into their heart and/or invite Jesus into their lives for salvation? Well, in fact, that is not only wrong, it is the exact opposite of what is supposed to happen. Before you delete this or send angry comments, let me explain.

So what is wrong with inviting Jesus into your life? To start with, it puts the focus on you instead of where it belongs, which is on Jesus. The fact is that Jesus is inviting us into HIS life! The call to salvation is a call to die to our lives, in order to be resurrected to life in Christ. As Paul put it in Galatians:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NKJV)

Jesus himself said that if anyone does not pick up their cross daily, they cannot be His disciple (Luke 9:23). There is only one reason for someone to take up a cross — dying! So what we need to do is to give up our lives and enter into His life. It is only after we have given up our lives in exchange for His that He can make all things new. Just as Jesus “emptied himself” (Philippians 2:7) in order to become like us, we must also empty ourselves to be enabled to become more and more like Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

But what about Revelation 3:20? Doesn’t it say that Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts, and all we need to do is to let Him in? In fact, that verse is not talking about salvation at all. It is a tragic picture of Jesus trying to gain entrance into a congregation of Christians that have decided they have it all figured out and no longer need Him. Our hearts actually appeal to God for a good conscience when we obey the Gospel in baptism! (1 Peter 3:21)

Well then, how do we die and enter into the life of Christ? Paul spelled it all out in Romans 6:3-11.

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:3-11 NKJV)

So rather than do something as foreign to Scripture as repeat a sinners prayer, call on the name of the Lord by being baptized into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That’s the key; baptism is the sinners prayer! Don’t invite Jesus into your life. Accept His invitation for you to die to yourself and enter into His life!