Many have ardently come against what is often referred to a “Decisional Regeneration.” Decisional Regeneration, or decisional theology, is the belief that a person must make a decision for Christ, consciously accepting Him as Savior, in order to be saved. According to decision theology, the new birth occurs when someone 1) hears the gospel, 2) is convicted of the truth of the gospel, 3) understands the need for salvation, and 4) chooses to accept Christ rather than reject Him. Often, the decision to accept Christ is marked by an action such as walking an aisle, praying a “sinner’s prayer,” signing a decision card, or similar activity.
Regardless of what you think about making decisions for Christ, we must all acknowledge that a rejection of the Gospel message or a rejection of Christ Himself IS a decision. So, it begs the question, “If I can decide to reject the Gospel and Christ, then why can’t I decide to accept the Gospel and Christ?
Before my reformed friends barrage me with passages like Ephesians 2:1, Romans 8:8, John 6:44-45, Romans 3:11, and 1 Corinthians 2:14, I agree, the natural man can ONLY choose to reject God. In that sense it is a “decision,” but only because other choices are not available.
I would rather this not turn into a commentary on whether or not there is cooperation between man and God for salvation, but if you feel like you must include that in your comments, then by all means… Rather, I wanted to hear from those who defend asking others to “make decisions” for Christ.
In fact, If you do believe that it’s ok to ask others to “make a decision” for Christ, I’m going to give you a little ammunition to defend that position.
1. What many of those who hotly debate asking others to make a decision for Christ forget is that the Spirit of God might have gone before us and enlightened the heart or prepared it to receive. In this state, a person who is not yet “christian,” may have the ability to make a choice between rejecting or accepting. ” And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” The reason some are sent to preach is SO THAT those who are ready to receive can do so.
2. Sometimes people ask, “What must we do to be saved?” or “How can I receive Christ.” What kind of ministry is it when you answer the question, but give no opportunity to respond?
3. Even if you respond that the only decisions offered by Christ and His Apostles were to “Repent,” & “Be Baptized,” don’t those also qualify as a decisions?
Now, I would have to admit, that I am not a fan of sinner’s prayers, altar calls, and other such methods, but likewise, I would venture to say that most of us reading this came to know the Lord in exactly this manner. Since most of Christendom still uses these methods, I thought I would provide a forum to defend it. What would you say to someone who insists that calling for others to “make a decision” for Christ is unbiblical and should not be done?