Wednesday, May 23, 2018

It's amazing to see people transformed by the Gospel.  My friend Zac is one of those people I've watched over the past several years blossom because of the Gospel.  He has a desire to know who Jesus is and obey what Jesus has for him.  I pray this post from Zac encourages you and points you to the saving power of Jesus Christ.

 Recently, I have found myself wanting to sing older songs in Church and corporate worship.  Despite my being only 30 years old, I have found a new passion for older hymns, many of which are far older than me.  I have been growing in the Lord, and He has blessed me with a deep love and passion for gaining a deeper understanding about who He is.  I have grown to love theology, Biblical Doctrine, Covenant Theology, Soteriology, Eschatology, you name it! Praise God for His willingness to change our hearts, open our eyes, and to give us new passions.

In these somewhat newly bestowed passions, I have also become somewhat of what some call a “Heresy Hunter”.  And this is where our story begins:

This past weekend my wife and I were in agreement, & decided to attend a more “traditional” service at our local church to see what it was like.  We enjoy the contemporary service as well, but I wanted to participate in a more traditional setting, and sing some great theologically sound hymns about who God is.  I know there are contemporary songs that do that as well, but it seems historically Hymns have paid much closer attention to making sure their lyrics are Biblically accurate.  Too often today we have these “Jesus is my boyfriend” type songs that just seem so man-centered and based on faulty emotions. I grow weary of hearing songs that talk a whole lot about feelings and make emotional allegorical claims, but not enough about our risen Savior and all-powerful God, the creator of the Universe!... but that’s not what we’re getting into today.

My wife and I really enjoyed the service.  As expected, I loved the hymns, which had powerful messages based on Biblical realities, many of them directly quoting Scripture, of course, proclaiming WHO our God is, and how GREAT He is, and what He has done for us as His people!...that is powerful!  We loved the sermon as expected, and I for one was thinking “hey, this is great, I want to do this again for sure!”

Then came the invitation time.  For those who don’t know, this is the time of the service after the sermon where the Pastor calls people to prayer, repentance, and asks that anyone come forward if they need to pray, or if they feel the convicting of the Holy Spirit, etc.  The thing that then hit me like a ton of bricks?... the song choice for the invitational.  The music minister did a song that I had never heard, so I had to look it up.  (Insert snarky comment about how I’m a youngin’ and that you are in disbelief that I’ve never heard this song) - I found it in the Church bulletin’s order of service, and it was called “The Savior is Waiting”.  Within the first 8 seconds of the song, I was compelled to dive into study… and to write this blog.

For quick reference, here are the lyrics: (Can you spot the Biblical inaccuracies?)


The Savior is waiting to enter your heart

Why don’t you let Him come in?

There’s nothing in this world to keep you apart

What is your answer to Him?

Time after time He has waited before

And now He is waiting again

To see if you’re willing to open the door

Oh, how He wants to come in

If you’ll take one step toward the Savior, my friend

You’ll find His arms open wide

Receive Him, and all of your darkness will end

Within your heart He’ll abide

Time after time He has waited before

And now He is waiting again

To see if you’re willing to open the door

Oh, how He wants to come in

Oh, how He wants to come in

Immediately, I was taken aback by what the song was conveying and how it was making my God sound SO SMALL!  I thought to myself: “This kind of unbiblical theology is being sung in a hymn? I thought hymns were known for having sound Biblical doctrine! Who wrote this?!”  My wonderfully observant and sweet wife saw my reaction and clearly identified the issues with the song right away. She then, of course, tried to offer me some comfort by putting her calming hand on my back.

Now, I don’t know where you as the reader of this blog stands in regard to your knowledge of Calvinism vs Arminianism, Reformed Theology, the Doctrines of Grace, Sovereignty of God, The Atonement, Soteriology, and other Doctrinal subjects. We’re not here to argue these things and decide who is “more right”.  We’re here to hold what this song says up to the perfection and inerrancy of Scripture.  We are here to be noble Bereans, and to examine the Scriptures closely, and hold things accountable to the truth.

If I may, I want to point out a few things line by line:

VERSE 1: “The savior is waiting to enter your heart, Why don’t you let Him come in?”

Contrary to what is taught in MANY churches throughout America these days, this is blatantly Arminian and false doctrine, and a complete misunderstanding of the Biblical teaching of Salvation.  This paints Jesus as a poor, helpless, impotent savior, just moaning… longing… aching to get in… but oooh the omnipotent power of our free will.  How he longs to enter, but we just DON’T…LET HIM.  This is utter nonsense, and a misrepresentation of God and who He is. What a small God it is that is “unable” to enter or do anything with our hearts, unless we “allow” or “let Him”.

Folks, I got news for you.  That’s not what the Bible teaches, and it is certainly not what Jesus taught.  We do not need to give an Almighty, Immeasurable, Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator of the Universe ‘permission’ to do anything.  He is the Alpha and Omega, the starter and finisher of all things.  His purposes are true and they WILL be accomplished, with… or without you. When God wants to save, and calls His sheep to Himself at the time of His choosing, HE DOES IT. He changes hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).  Miraculously opened are the ears, eyes, and heart of the sinner (without their permission I might add) by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, regeneration occurs, and the person is SAVED and CHANGED and given a new heart with new desires!  God is both the author and finisher of our faith, repentance, salvation, adoption, sanctification, and ultimate glorification!  This is what the Bible teaches. (See John 1,3,6,8, & 10; Romans 8 and 9; and many others we can’t even list them all!)

I can’t stand it when the Biblical truth is distorted and misunderstood, and the egregious risk that can cause others to have a warped view of God, and His sovereignty in Salvation and our “free will”.  We play NO part in our Salvation and our being born again, just as we played no role in our human birth from our mother.  It is of God, and God alone.

“You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary”

 --Jonathan Edwards

VERSE 1: “There’s nothing in this world to keep you apart, what is your answer to Him?”

Really?... To be clear, sure I agree: there is nothing that can keep you from the Almighty hand of God the Creator.  However, this line ironically, seems to contradict the first 2 lines of the song, because apparently there IS something in this world that can keep you apart… and that’s your “choosing” whether or not to “let Him come in” (again, an Almighty God requires no permission or invitation from a puny creation).  This may in fact not be what the writer intended. Sure, we DO have to answer to God, but the vagueness of this lyric in my opinion leaves too much room for misinterpretation.

CHORUS: “Time after time He has waited before-And now He is waiting again-To see if you’re willing to open the door-Oh, how He wants to come in”

OK there is ALOT going on with this verse, but let’s try to unpack all of it:

The first line “time after time He has waited before” is utter and complete nonsense.  Romans 3 is clear that there is none good, no not one, no one seeks for God, there is NO GOD SEEKER.  This verse of the song yet again affirms the idea that it’s all on you; poor old helpless God is just waiting and hoping that you’ll come to Him, but goodness He’s just powerless because of your will. This is Blasphemy.

“Willing to open the door” – I’m assuming this is in reference to the time and time again misunderstood verse in Revelation 3:20. This verse is NOT about the figurative door of your heart.  Anyone who reads and understands the context of this verse knows the following: This is the door of THE CHURCH on which Christ is knocking, calling all that is His back to Himself, reconciling the TRUE Church to its final state.  It is not the door of your heart through which he “cannot enter” without your permission. That is what we call poppycock.

Oh and of course let’s drop that reminder one more time “Oh how He wants to come in”. (Still unbiblical)

Now a quick side-note: I of course DO acknowledge that not all of the elect of God become regenerate and experience that true heart change the FIRST TIME they hear the Gospel.  I totally get that!  Some people hear it preached several times before they become truly regenerate, and are raised from spiritual death to spiritual life (Ephesians 2). But it’s important to remember this is not a weakness on God’s part, or a strength of the human will “thwarting” God’s purpose, that’s nonsense.  When God wants to save and rip out a heart of stone, and crush the old, making way for a new creation, He DOES IT, irreversibly.  If you do not believe in election, see the chapters noted above (and the entire Bible).

VERSE 2: “If you’ll take one step toward the Savior, my friend-You’ll find His arms open wide-Receive Him, and all of your darkness will end-Within your heart He’ll abide”

More of the same.  IF YOU do ‘something’, step towards God and THEN He’ll act.  This perpetuates a false, works-based Gospel!  While I agree that in a sense, God is waiting patiently, drawing and calling all of the elect to Himself over time, it is still HE that sovereignly calls His people unto Himself. He is not simply waiting for random people to seek Him. This completely takes His sovereignty out of the equation!  God is purposeful.  He is meticulous, and everything He does is in accordance with His decree and His ultimate purpose, which is PERFECT. This verse of the song yet again puts far too much power in the hands of man (see Romans 3).

“Receive Him and all of your darkness will end” … really?... ALL my darkness?  While I’ll agree of course that God gives us a new heart with new desires and the ability to now please Him in our regenerate state, we still have darkness.  We still have the constant, ongoing, persistent battle between our flesh and spirit as we go through our life-long process of sanctification.  Scripture is clear that we WILL encounter trials, problems, tribulations, disappointments, depression, persecution, and torment… some even death. Scripture also affirms that these trials and tests are often not only allowed, but sent by God! (See Job)  I understand the sentiment of what that phrase in the song is trying to convey, but it is vague at best and could lead one to try to make an unrepentant emotional decision, thinking “Oh maybe I should come to Jesus so all my darkness and problems disappear.” That’s what the “seeker churches” do, and look at those results.

If you get nothing else out of this post, I hope I can help you grasp this.  What we sing, and how we choose to worship God – MATTERS. Please understand that I’m not just picking one song and “attacking” just for the heck of it; that is NOT my intent.  There are many songs sang in the modern evangelical church that should be more closely examined, and I think avoided altogether in church services.  Some might say I’m being a bit “nit-picky”, some might say “You’re thinking too much, just sing the song and love Jesus!”. You’re missing the point - I am loving Jesus.  I love Him so much that I cannot bear to hear songs sung that are vague, and even worse, unbiblical. We as believers should all care about the songs we sing, the messages that are preached, and the words that are used to represent our God.  He deserves to be worshipped in Spirit, and in TRUTH. (John 4:24)

There is a vast wealth of wonderful, theologically and biblically sound music out there encompassing the genres of hymns, contemporary, and hybrids of the 2 (hymns with modernized band tweaks for example).  With this wealth of GREAT music out there, I personally believe that we have no excuse to sing songs that are not biblically rooted and backed up with Scripture.

In closing I give you a quote from an article linked below, which was also written about this particular song, as well as pop culture’s misuse of Scripture.


“Is Jesus the Savior waiting and waiting for us to let him in of our own accord? This picture of Jesus the King of the universe as a helpless Savior begging a sinner to let him in is a total absurdity. This is the consequence of making the human will sovereign over God’s sovereign will. On account of man’s inability and unwillingness to save himself, this poor Savior would really be waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting, since no one would open the door to let him in of their own will alone (John 8:47, 10:27; Rom. 3:11, 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14).

Is the Savior waiting to enter your heart? No, the Bible nowhere says that a person will be saved by letting Jesus “come into my heart.” Regeneration is never described in Scripture as Jesus entering a person’s heart, but as God softening a hard heart (Ezek. 36:26) or the Lord opening the heart of a sinner (Acts 16:14). Thanks be to God for his great salvation!”

Article URL Source:

Thank you for reading, and God Bless you.


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