I am about to sacrifice one of the Baptist sacred cows on the altar tonight….I don’t advocate using the Romans Road for leading people to Christ. A major problem with America today is lost and saved alike do not fear God. A major reason is everyone in America is “saved” but they were “saved” man’s way. They are not born again, they are still in their sin, and they are still headed for hell. But they had an emotional experience, or trusted something someone did for them, or are blindly trusting their church.
A major error many folks are trusting in for their salvation is praying something called the Sinner’s Prayer. The Roman’s Road to Salvation ends with the Sinner’s Prayer. It usually is a 5 minute quick and easy 1-2-3, repeat-after-me, 5-6-7, do-you-want-to-go-to-heaven, 8-9-10, I promise you are now born again gospel presentation. It makes grace cheap, and emphasizes going to heaven when they die. During the great awakening when men spent hours listening to preaching of the law and the holiness of God from men like George Whitfield and Charles Wesley, they did not have to be told what to pray. They clearly saw their offense against a holy God and saw they offended God by their actions. This naturally birthed repentance and turning to Christ and that supernaturally resulted in the new birth. A repentant adulterer will not have to repeat a Hallmark card to reconcile with his wife. His tears and trembling will shut his mouth. Where are the tears of repentance in today’s evangelism? Where is the fruit like the great awakening?
The church in general for the past 100 years has promised heaven but there is often no hint they met the God of heaven. Jesus will say depart for me for I NEVER KNEW YOU to MANY in that day. (Matthew 7). If modern crusades boast of hundreds saved and the FBI cannot find them a year later, something is amiss. Yet modern evangelism boldly marches on to it’s next victim to try and convert. Wake up evangelist! Wake up church! Wake up soulwinner! The statistics prove that the majority of your converts are going to wake up in hell!
Do you know if you died today, would you go to heaven? they ask. If they say Yes, then the presentation is unfolded like a expert sales pitch and it sounds easy and wonderful. It lets you get saved YET STAY IN YOUR SIN and it teaches salvation is in a prayer to anyone who will admit to being a sinner. That is the deal. If you admit you are a sinner and be willing to bow your head and repeat the master soulwinner’s words —and REALLY MEAN IT– then you can go on with your life and when you die that moment you once prayed is your permanent ticket to all the eternal enjoyment you could ever want, free of charge. The only problem is there is nothing Biblical about this presumptuous presentation and it is cheap and instantly turns people into 2 fold children of hell.
People may think I am mean about this, but these false methods need to be exposed and it needs to be rooted out of our churches. Jesus is angry with it because it makes a sham of the gospel, it makes conversions nothing to shout about, and it makes the gospel powerless and phony. Salvation is not to get everyone to heaven, it is to bring glory to God. Saved sinners who act lost bring embarrassment to the cause of Christ and is why most of the world thinks Christianity is a joke and won’t consider it’s claims.
Part of the major problem of America today is there is no difference between saved and lost alike because most of the saved are “saved” by a prayer only and will still end up in hell despite the false promises of this man centered repentance-less gospel. But everyone around them too is lost but prayed the prayer so we tolerate this and write it off as normal modern evangelism. We expect it not to work. We expect everyone to backslide. We expect 90% of the flock to fall away. Is that what the apostles expected? Is that what you see in the book of Acts? Is that what you see during the great awakening?
You know a tree by it’s fruit. 11 saved disciples turned the world upside down. Millions of professing Christians who prayed the prayer and have no other hint they truly know God have helped turn this once Christian nation of America into hell.
There is no power in the churches because there is no power in our evangelism. There is no power because there is false promises and false proclamations and false prophets and pastors giving false fake performances and sales pitches. We need to root this stuff out now!
As catholics wrongly trust their baptism for salvation, Protestants and Baptists trust praying a prayer and asking the Lord to save them. A frequent way they do this is through the verses in the “Romans Road” that produces a formula for salvation. We must examine everything 1) by the Bible and 2) by the fruit it produces. If something sounds too good to be true it just may be. Salvation is easy, but it is not cheap. Salvation is a person, not a prayer or performance. The Bible says in 1st John, He that hath the Son hath life. Modern evangelism says He that hath prayed the prayer.
Here are the issues with using the Romans’ Road and /or the Sinners Prayer I have found.
1. It is too generic. 99% of people will admit to being a sinner to get a free pass to heaven. People will crash planes into buildings to get to heaven, so people will be also willing to admit to coming short of the glory of God. What people can’t see is how wicked, and hell deserving and UnGodly we are before regeneration. We may admit to be sinners, but we don’t want our specific sin dealt with. God deals specifically with the sin. “Go and sell all thou hast and come follow me,” was Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler. Not “Do-you-want-to-go-to-heaven, then pray-this prayer”. The Holy Ghost deals with the person at the point of contention. Jesus is not a generic flu vaccine just in case we might be at risk to get sick.
Look at it like this. A man found his wife leaving him so he went to a marriage counselor in a last ditch effort to save his marriage. The counselor took out his big marriage book and said, “Bill, here is the problem. My marriage book says you are a bad husband. There is no good husband, no not one. What you need to do is admit to your wife you are not a good husband, tell her you’re sorry and mean it, and ask her to forgive you. Then my marriage book promises you a wonderful marriage.” See, that man is not convinced his wife knew what she was doing. He thinks he is Mr. Wonderful, and yet he wants his wife back. He will eat crow, and admit to something he is not convinced of for the return promise of a wonderful marriage. He will now feel entitled to a great marriage or he will feel ripped off. He better have a great marriage, after all he agreed to something he didn’t believe to get it.
I was with a soul winning booth at our Erie County Fair and saw this in action. They didn’t want you to mention hell, they didn’t want you to deal with their false religion. They merely wanted you to ask them if they knew if they would go to heaven and if not, if they would want to know. It was implied this was a 5 minute never worry about it again sort of flu shot thing. Get it over with and it won’t come up again. This is basically Christian Hinduism where you merely get a person to add Jesus to their collection of gods like we do with the latest shoppers discount card we put on our key chain. This one saves me on gas, this one saves me on my prescriptions, this one saves me from hell. Jesus is God and that gives him the right to rule. There is no hint of any type of repentance or teaching that once saved God will expect you to obey him. Not to be mean, but because before we are saved we obey the lust of the flesh and that is the path to destruction. Jesus came that we might have life, but it is a life controlled by Him.
2. It emphasises salvation is in a prayer not a person. Romans Road, 4 spiritual laws, asking Jesus into your heart, and the Sinner’s prayer are all recent developments in Christianity. They are not how men were saved in the Bible, and they were not how men were saved in the Great awakening! Our evangelism today is why the church is still asleep!!!!! People can respond emotionally to a powerful presentation, but that doesn’t mean their conscious was awakened. A wonderful salesmen came to our home and sold us a $2,000 vacuum. After he left I felt hood-winked. Anyone can sell you anything. It is what happens after that proves if it was just an emotional decision or something permanent.
I like to explain it like this. The Bible says salvation is faith and repentance. Evangelist prayer letters will boast about hundreds of people “saved” during their ministry. What they mean is hundreds of people made a profession and either asked the Lord to save them or prayed a prayer. We are like a burned wedding cake. Our hearts are black and wicked, and the bible says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Hatred is murder and lust is adultery. We are wicked and you just have to think of the wicked thoughts you had the past 7 days or think about how you feel about the person who cut you off in traffic or was promoted over you, and be honest with God.
When you get saved, you are born again. It is like God rebakes your heart. You can’t rebake it, and it takes a miracle. You are brand new. Now once the cake is rebaked, it is ready to decorate. If you decorate it before you are rebaked, it does no good.
Religion is decorating the cake that is still burned. Looks good to man, tastes terrible to God. Now modern evangelism is the icing. Praying a prayer, asking Jesus to save you, asking Jesus in your heart are things one can do but they won’t save them. They are saved when they repent and believe the Gospel. After they may pray a prayer. If your convert is saved who happened to also pray a prayer, don’t take credit for it. A prayer cannot save. The prayer was the icing. God already rebaked him. Evangelism today takes credit for the icing.
3. It is man made, and worse it is something that came out in the last hundred years, which is the time of compromise and collapse of Christianity. The bible says there will be a great falling away and warns of false prophets and teachers. Jesus said Follow me and I will make you fishers of men….it is not learn the secret sales tactic and see how wonderful you will look to the brethren! A good salesman can sell something that someone doesn’t need, but as soon as he is gone, the person wakes up and regrets the purchase. Especially when the person receives the bill.
That’s what modern evangelism does. It makes heaven sound like a 5 minute flu shot, just in case you are headed for hell, pray-this-prayer! It sounds wonderful and you don’t have to lift a finger. I’m not talking works for salvation instead, but i am against this method that tempts God to save us in our sin, not from our sin. Again, it is fruit not works, but if we are new creatures after and the sinner’s prayer produces folks who want nothing to do with God there is something wrong.
4. It makes salvation “unconditional”. That sounds nice, but it is not biblical. A gift can have conditions. Son, I will buy you your first car as a gift when a) get your driver’s license and b) turn 17. God’s 2 conditions for the free gift of eternal life are A) Saving faith and B) Biblical Repentance. If you skip either of these, God will not give you eternal life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to go to hell. It doesn’t matter if you want to go to heaven.
It doesn’t matter if you will ask the Lord to save you. You can ask all want but until you meet God’s conditions, you won’t get the gift of God. It is like someone who is drowning in a polluted lake saying, “Lifeguard save me!” and then the lifeguard rows over in his lifeboat and the person drowning refuses to get in the boat. He wants to be saved, but he enjoys the filth he is swimming in too much.
It is not a works based salvation, it is not something you grow into, but that criteria must apply. We instead give intellectual agreement now to 4 or 5 select verses and get a head knowledge of everything the old men of God preached on for hours and think that produces true converts. It doesn’t.
After doing some research on it….I found this article:
“How do I know Jack Hyles originated the Roman Road to Salvation? Because he said he came up with it. Jack Hyles was a Independent Baptist preacher and evangelist who had churches in East Texas and DFW area. I ran across a Sunday morning sermon that Dr. Jack Hyles did at Hammond First Baptist Church on June 28, 1970 which he entitled the sermon “There Remaineth Yet Very Much Land to Be Possessed.” He states in this sermon that he originated it and termed this plan of salvation the “Roman Road.” Sarah this is what he said as he is addressing the congregation of Hammonds FBC and the sermon has been written down. And I quote (Jack Hyles is speaking to the congregation at Hammonds FBC): “By the way, you folks who don’t come on Wednesday night don’t know this, but about twenty-two years ago, in a little East Texas Church, I came up with a little plan of presenting the plan of salvation called “The Roman Road” whereby you take Verses contained in Romans and show people how to be saved using Romans 3:10, and Romans 3:23, and Romans 5:12, and Romans 5:8, and on and on. I termed it, “The Roman Road,” and from the “Roman Road” I wrote the little book, “Let’s Go Soul Winning.” Over one hundred and thirty-five thousand copies of that book have been printed. It has been translated into several languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, French, and others, and has literally gone around the world.”
You may like some of Jack Hyles stuff, but it is time we break away from his evangelism techniques because most of the soulwinning churches today are blinded by decisions!!!!! His methods have produced more cult than church and he was more of a cult leader enthralled with numbers and getting men to worship him. Many of these mega-bible colleges practice a doctrine of unquestioning loyalty, which meant no one had a right to judge him.
Please know I am not slamming Jack Hyles, but so many people would rather defend him than examine his teachings. I am not picking on Jack Hyles, but due to how much influence his teachings have had across America and beyond we have a Biblical command to question them. Are we blindly following the blind? Are we really following the Bible or are we just following a man, hook, line, and sinker, and assuming that he must be following the Bible?
The Bible commands us to prove all things. No matter who is the originator, we should not look to a decision-geared method generated in the 1900’s just as we wouldn’t trust a Bible translation in the 1900’s….these are the lukewarm, shallow, stony-ground hearing generation and not the most fruitful time to take our techniques from.
We like these methods because they are easier than all the prayer, labor, sowing, and tears that produced the GREAT AWAKENING. And it’s not as negative or harsh sounding, and it is more positive to tell people how wonderful heaven is, vs. telling them they have offended a Holy God by their actions. But folks, we must examine the fruit of what we are producing.
In summary, the verses of Romans Road may be in the Bible but the method is not biblical because it makes salvation a PRAYER and not a PERSON and it is too shallow and allows a false watered down repentance or no repentance whatsoever. We need to see it is a dead end street because the Romans Road is being paved with two fold children of Hell.