Is It OK to "Accept Jesus in Your Heart"?

I never liked the phrase "accept Jesus in your heart." Before I was a Christian, this cliche' was confusing. And when I become a Christ-follower and started reading the Bible, I never saw Jesus, disciple, or apostle use this phrase. At best, it is unhelpful; at worst, it is misleading.

Instead of inviting Jesus in our hearts, we should be believing and trusting in Him, and following His ways. And as parents, we need to making disciples of our children, not getting them to repeat a simple prayer.

On the other hand, a couple that mentored us (including  premarital counseling, parenting classes, and the husband and I having lots of meals together) did use the phrase "accept Jesus in your heart" with their children. In their perspective, they used this phrase as a part of how they taught their children to follow Jesus.

On the other hand (is that a third hand, or back to the first?), I agree with David Platt in the video below. Using this phrase is a dangerous path, that might give parents false assurance.

So while it is not inherently bad for some to use the phrase "accept Jesus in your heart," it may be dangerous for churches (and believers) to teach others to do that. We need to focus on helping others to respond biblically to the gospel and to the full glory of God.

What do you think? Do you think it's OK to say, "Accept Jesus in your heart"? Why or why not?

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**image courtesy of Elizabeth Thomsen via flickr

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