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The Counterfeit Salvation of Doubting, Uncertainty and Rededication, Frequently Accompanied with Asking Jesus Into The Heart

Updated: May 6



Not so long ago I listened through some testimonies of professions of faith from an Evangelical Mennonite Church where pretty much the same sad theme song was sung as each baptismal candidate shared their personal testimony of faith, one after another, as to why they should be baptized. (At least they were using the correct baptism mode, immersion, but its for naught when the candidates are actually unsaved). I won’t put up a link to the service/sermon, to protect the privacy of the young people giving their testimonies, for its not by their choice that it was posted publicly. You can find it on your own, if you want to see it really bad. This rebuttal of what is occurring in these neo-evangelical churches —and not there alone, but virtually in all professing mainstream churches today that align with evangelicalism or protestantism, even many Baptists —is not to make light or a mockery of someones profession. Not at all. We are merely exposing the insidious and dangerous false salvations that are being accepted as gold standard notes, making the victims, which are mostly young, two-fold children of hell. Most, if not all, of the young people provided a testimony that contradicts the scriptures as to how one is saved. What is crucial to salvation, missing. This is entirely normal in this environment, with very few ever expressing anything close to what the Bible describes as salvation, how God clearly says we are saved. But they have been comforted in their false "faith" that they are "Christians," more than likely inoculating them to the true gospel and the actual truth of they're unconverted estate. This is very bad, and sad, and our intention is to expose it so that it stops, seeing that eternal souls are at stake.


The testimonies expressed almost verbatim were childhoods in alleged Christian homes (when in reality they very likely were not, but rather a religious unregenerate home that imitates Christianity, in whom the same travesty occurred concerning “salvation"), having prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into their heart at some point early in their life, which subsequently produced nothing but the continuing status quo and zero assurance of salvation, eventually evolving into sinful and rebellious living and more doubting and uncertainty, and then at some point rededication of their lives subsequent to depression, anxiety, stress, problems, and the like, followed by some kind of come-back-to-Jesus moment. And now, here they are, ready to make the next commitment in their earthly walk with Jesus, having a dip in water that does not identity with what has occurred in their life. This is par for normal in Mennonite Evangelical churches, but its a con.


The counterfeit salvation that appears as doubting, uncertainty, and eventual rededication is an absolute massive problem everywhere today in Christendom. But where its epidemic rampant is in evangelicalism, reformed calvinism, protestantism, and denominational Baptists, which aren't true baptists by any sense of the title.


The cycle is the run of the mill. Its practically scripted. It goes something like this. They were taught right from wrong, and the awfulness of hell. (Thats good, but its not enough, and the false finish line that follows is not good.) They wanted to ask Jesus into their heart, because that is what they've been taught how to be a Christian, and that required praying a prayer, all of which occurs at some ghastly young age where they can’t even comprehend what true salvation really is or their true sinful nature before God. (Some will even admit that years later, they didn't understand. That is right. They didn't understand and they still don't understand, as they keep pushing the same heresy in their testimonies as truth.) Adventures in Odyssey plays an important role in this diabolical deception, where they learn elements of this false system that doesn't save. Then comes years of struggle and doubt. It continues. Uncertainty. They want to give up. There was doubt, almost continually, with uncertainty, depression, anxiety, but then walla, someone, usually a parent or pastor or friend or boyfriend, "vanquishes" the uncertainty by addressing their emotions and feelings (which is mostly by which evangelicalism operates), and by placing faith in faith or faith in facts, an extension of the Word Faith movement that runs neck deep in most evangelical churches, or through providing some form of false assurance in their unconverted nature. This is followed lastly by eventual rededication of their lives to God, as if they had ever dedicated their lives to begin with through the new birth.


This is not true Biblical salvation or Christianity. Nothing anywhere in the Word of God speaks to any of this, except to condemn it. This type of false salvation doctrine is sadly nothing new in the world of evangelicalism. It is the norm, and the truth is seen as an imposter.


What they have is not salvation but religion. Maybe not a pharisaical typical of false works religion, but false religion nevertheless. The former however is found much in these churches as well, but the false gospel of false grace I would conclude is more rampant in our day. Religion isn’t bad, when its true. The Bible speaks of true religion. I am referring to a form of godliness that lacks any godly power because it is not of God (2 Tim 3:5-9). It doesn’t have the indwelling Spirit of God and the sufficiency of Scripture but relies on the natural man, the flesh, mankind, making it man-centred and self-centred. It lives off of imitation and conformity, progressing through the ranks, laity, teacher, preacher, deacon, pastor, but in reality, false teacher, because there has never been the new birth.


In a broad category, false teachers have centred the gospel on man. You see this corrupt tendency in two different directions in scripture, either legalistic or licentious. Salvation is not by works, lest any man should boast, so it isn’t legalistic. When grace is an occasion to the flesh, turning the grace of God into licentiousness (Ju 1:4), that’s also man-centred. God’s grace teaches to deny ungodliness and worldly lust (Ti 2:11-14).


This is where it begins.


But it's outrageous.


Why?


First of all, the “salvation” these souls have been spoon fed all their lives is corrupt. Its not biblical. Its not what Scripture teaches. It boils true supernatural salvation down to praying a prayer or “asking Jesus into my heart,” or some other form of easy believism, where many important elements of the gospel are either denied or ignored, and Biblical fruit and evidence is also either denied or ignored, or simply not known, thus corrupting the gospel that cannot save anyone, but merely produces false professors and imitators. Many of the victims of this treasonous high crime against the King of kings are genuinely ignorant to the truth and are merely following the instructions given to them by misled and deceived parents or pastors or others, or worse, false teachers.


Secondly, its being tolerated by professing Christians and churches as being true salvation, the true gospel, when in reality its a counterfeit that damns the soul eternally. Lack of conversion leads to further lack of conversion.


I believe that the lack of true biblical preaching, the deficiency of true, actual exposition of Scripture has resulted in perverted doctrine. The doctrine of salvation comes from exegesis of God’s Word. Men are crafting sermons, using the Bible (or some perverted version of it, which certainly doesn't help their cause) but not preaching the Bible. Apparently many think this is how to use the Bible, like some kind of divining rod that yields messages not necessarily found in the text itself.


Thirdly, they have never actually been taught the true gospel/salvation (these terms are synonymous, so we will use them interchangeably), neither true evidence of salvation. Honestly, most wouldn’t know it if it ran over their house like a tornado. What they have been taught to do, usually at some ghastly young age of 3 or 4 or 5 or 6, is NOT Biblical salvation. Its a counterfeit that will damn their souls to hell, as noted with the said testimonies of “salvation.” Once they have reached the “dedication” or “rededication” phase, their fate is next to secured. Why? Because they now have to be convinced they are lost, while their family is rejoicing that they are now “saved,” and “baptized,” as is their church. Its a very difficult road out of that miry pit. So the one preaching the truth to them, like us, are deemed the enemy, the doubter, the thorn that must be ignored and shunned. Go figure. Love rejoiceth in the truth, not in error.


Much of this problem is caused by false teachers and false professing parents, who have raised their children in front of false teachers. They aren't true Christians but have some type of hybrid form of belief that yokes the world with Christianity, which the Bible calls spiritual adultery committed by enemies of God (Jam 4:4). The false teachers misidentify their audience. They see them as consumers to whom they market their message. Instead, they are sinners, and sin isn’t changed through sales type techniques. The needs of sinners are the ones God Himself identifies.  We don’t start with what sinners themselves feel or what they might feel, which is what these testimonies consisted of. Living by feelings and being upbeat. We start with what God says. When someone is so concerned with what his audience feels, he shapes his message to their feelings and that twists the gospel. The foundation of this corruption is not starting with the Bible and the teaching it reveals.  This centers on man again.

Wrong doctrines resulting in a wrong message from a wrong message exhibit faithlessness. In Matt 12:39, Jesus said,

“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.”

Mennonites love their signs. Feelings and emotions are signs. Happiness is a sign. They actually produce the "signs" that they seek after, regardless of the scripture and truth that must be denied, rejected or ignored. Then they say they must be right because they got a sign. The testimonies are almost always the product of an environment in which people feel like something spiritual is taking place, because signs are taking place. This is all faithlessness. The Bible is true whether lots of people believe it or not, whether the church empties because the truth is preached, or not. If we believe it, then we like it. We love it. We preach it. We’re not ashamed of it. We preach it to people like it’s the greatest thing, because we think it is. Most of the preachers at EBMC (including, especially, similar churches like EMC) do not actually love the real truth of God's Word. Outside of a the church setting they rarely talk about it. Next to never they preach it to the non-religious lost people. They definitely don't go door to door in their communities preaching the gospel (NOT inviting to church). They are ashamed of it. They are ashamed of the real truth because they are unconverted.


Signs were actually for unbelievers, because they didn’t truly or genuinely repentantly believe. True born again believers don’t need them, because they do actually believe. Needing them is again faithlessness, not true faith. God is pleased by faith, not by producing experiences as a means of self-validation, which also relates this to pride. Man is being pleased and he feels proud of what he sees. This relates to seeing and hearing the false testimonies of "salvation." Discernment is chucked out of the window, while most don't have it, and emotions take over. Feelings of goodness, regardless of its contradiction to Scripture.


Nothing in Scripture Reads Like this Counterfeit Salvation


The testimonies exhibited doubt, uncertainty and many missing elements of the true gospel. Nothing about true repentance or Christ's Lordship. Missing was any desire to surrender to Jesus as Lord because He is Lord and desires to reign over His children (Lk 19). The king and kingdom has come (spiritual thus far), but these won't receive the King. The doubt and uncertainty are the direct by-product of a false gospel/salvation, which is being preached by these churches.


Where was genuine repentance in the testimonies?


Where was submission to God through Jesus Christ as Lord?


Where was a poor, contrite and broken spirit?


Where was a humbled heart that understands how deceitful and desperately wicked they truly are?


Where was the evidence and fruit of conversion that immediately follows salvation and continues perpetually?


Its all absent, and honestly, most will scoff at it in some fashion (2 Pet 3:3) or corrupt it (2 Pet 3:16-17), or just ignore it. That won't help them on the day when they slam into eternity. They aren't heeding or hearing the words of God, which further establishes that they are not of God (Jn 8:43-47), but children of the devil (Jn 8:44). People just want to do what they want to do, which is following their own lusts, while Jesus resides in their back-pocket, a necessary crutch when they get too depressed or anxious. They don’t want to be like sheep that have gone astray (Is 53:6). They don’t see themselves in that light. They don’t see themselves as dogs, as deceitful sinners sporting a desperately wicked heart (Matt 15:26-27; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:10-19), an absolute necessity as a catalyst to the fear of God and true repentance/conversion (Pr 1:20-32).


Very often this type of “gospel” that they have been taught doesn’t expect the continuous obedience that marks the identity of a true believer. The endurance in actual Christian living is the biblical assurance of salvation. Their means of change will be similar to the false gospel, however, usually some kind of manipulation. In many cases, I’ve seen it to be one program, one human strategy, after another, that doesn’t then bear biblical gospel preaching either. Carnality just begets more carnality, as noted also in their false worldly worship.


The methodology propped up by these type of churches is mostly pragmatic. These churches with their pews of unsaved people depend on a certain amount of pragmatism. They reject true repentance and Christ’s Lordship, which is the true gospel of Jesus Christ that actually genuinely saves, and replace it with a severely watered-down, anemic, and perverted gospel that amalgamates easy believism, quick prayerism of 1-2-3 prayer-after-me, and asking Jesus into the heart, at the expense of critical elements missing such as repentance and Lordship and a life with Christ reigning over the saint as Lord. The end result is “receiving” a ticket to heaven on the back of a corrupted gospel while keeping his or her life for themselves in so many words. They think that Jesus has saved them, which now gives them a certain license to sin or be worldly (which they all are, in appearance, dress, language, entertainment, etc) and tolerant of error. The vehement ‘no’s’ to what I am writing here are non-realistic. Even a superficial examination of these evangelical churches, and others, will prove this to be true. Many times the sins are excused by the idea that dedication and discipleship and lordship comes later. There is freedom to live a carnal life until that later dedication experience, which occurs immediately preceding the baptism, which is where we are at here in this example, concerning the testimonies. Any expectation of perpetual obedience for the true believer is considered to be a front-loading of works and having salvation cost something, that is, it isn't a free gift, so it must not be grace.


The carnality that crafts external changes has resulted in numbers. The numbers bring a sort of validation, justifying the methods before men. They say it’s spiritual because things happened, but its actually they that made it happen. When things happen that they make happen, they proclaim that God did it. If God did it, they must be right, because God isn’t wrong. However, God’s Word sufficiently lays out the manifestations of true spirituality. God’s Word is the confirmation of whether it is of God. If you hear a false gospel, it’s still wrong, because it isn’t biblical — the same with false sanctification.


The effect of false teaching doesn’t make it true. Just because the churches continue to maintain large numbers or grow, doesn't make the error true. The numbers of people interested in false teaching don’t make it true. Numbers aren't the measure of truth. Even if it looks like its working. A lot of this relates to how we endure hardness and find joy in the Lord. Men look to results for their happiness when their actual joy is in the immoveable.


The lack of power in the preaching and apostasy that runs throughout the denomination leaves people with looking for a crisis or an event post-asking Jesus into their heart at some ghastly young age, that will bring about the "rededication," as if there ever was any dedicarion to begin with.


The method of Jesus was different. He expected everything right up front, which is the idea of "counting the cost." (Lk 14:25-33). In other words, Jesus didn't bait and switch, a common strategy in fundamentalism and evangelicalism. The methodology of bait and switch is incompatible with how we see Jesus operate, so those passages, which are many, where Jesus challenges the potential convert with what he can expect if he follows Christ, are turned into "discipleship" texts. EBMC, like essentially every other neo-evangelical church, reformed and protestant groups, and most Baptists, are guilty of this. For Lk 18:18-30 (Matt 19 and Mk 10) and these methods to fit together, Jesus is said to be doing something different with the rich young ruler than the verses say He does. That is how its been taught at EBMC. One preacher claimed that Jesus was teaching something completely differently here than the rest of the NT on salvation. Not much is done in making a connection between the words you read in the passage and the strategy Jesus is said to be employing. Jesus is allegedly doing something that looks nothing like what we read in the text.


If you were to take all of what I've described here and then plugged it into the rich young ruler passage, you would have Jesus commanding the typical evangelical or fundamentalist to sell, distribute, come, take up the cross and follow, and these false professors too would most likely say, "No." However, they're all still saved. The rich young ruler apparently got special treatment that cannot be applied to or repeated by any other single person in the history of mankind. You don't have to leave all, to forsake all (Lk 14:26-33) and follow Christ, like the apostles did (Lk 18:25-30; cf. Matt 19; Mk 10) to have eternal life in evangelicalism and fundamentalism. The requirement is a minimum of a supreme superficial profession of faith with the idea that maybe in the future it will grow into something more, but not necessarily. When someone makes a profession of faith that is never accompanied by perpetual righteousness, that doesn't mean he's unsaved. You can't judge that without being guilty of teaching salvation by works.


Unbelief and Doubt, Essentially Synonymous, are Symptoms of False Pretending “Believers”

The false professor doubts his profession of faith. And rightfully so. You can’t be assured of something you don’t have. Doubting an alleged salvation is a mark of a false profession. Doubt doesn’t come from God. Here is why.


1. Doubting salvation is not of God. It doesn't come from Him. Its not something He would convict a born again believer of. Those that doubt have never repented and been born again. It’s virtually impossible since the indwelling Spirit witnesses with the spirit of those He indwells that they are children of God (Rom. 8:16). It completely contradicts the faith that the just live by (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Heb 10:16).


True converts know they are of God (1 Jn. 2:3-6; 4:13; 19-20; Gal. 4:9) and live and abide in Him because they are born of God (1 Jn. 3:1; 5:1-4, 18; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-7; 15:1-16) and have been forgiven of all their sins (1 Jn. 2:12; Rev. 1:5), and the Holy Spirit dwells in them (1 Jn. 2:27; 3:24; 4:13; Rom 8:9-17). One would have to be dead not to know this work of God in your own life. That is what doubting and uncertainty does. The lost are dead indeed; dead in their sins and under condemnation of death (Rom. 6:1-23; Jn. 3:18, 36). Doubting salvation is not of God. The indwelling Spirit witnesses with the spirit of those He indwells that they are children of God (Rom 8:16), and He always leads them (Rom 8:14).


2. Nothing is said in scripture about it. I mean nothing, and for such an important subject, one that seems to occupy the minds of most professing believers, surely God would’ve made mention something about it. But nil.


3. No example exists in scripture. Not even one. Not even when true believers were disobeying Gods Word or wilfully sinning.


4. The philosophy goes against everything salvation is and does in the regenerated saint. Salvation loses all its power and glory under this philosophy, unlike what we read in Scripture, where the heavens rejoice over one sinner that repenteth (Lk. 15).


5. It is impossible because the Holy Spirit never stops witnessing with the spirit of born again believer that they are the children of God (Rom. 8:16). Even when we quench or grieve Him, He continues to witness to us and lead us, lest how would we know we quench or grieve Him?


Unbelief is one hundred percent of the time a state and condition of lost people. The one time it is referred to by Christ towards saved people in Mark 16, it is so stated with the idea that their behaviour is that of lost people. He even speaks of “hardness of hearts” which also is only a condition of the lost, noted throughout Scripture. In other words, they were behaving like lost people and Christ was treating them as such in that moment. This concept is not unbeknownst to scripture. Matt 18 for example, someone that professes Christ and as a member of a local church doesn’t repent, he is to be treated like a “heathen and a publican” (v 17)—a lost person in other words.


Read more Biblical proof why unbelief is always a symptom of the unregenerate illness called Sinfully Lost, here: "Unbelief" is Only a Characteristic of Unsaved People, Not the Saved.


Allowance for doubting is a dangerous teaching. It is this very philosophy that has brought so much terrible and damnable error into churches, producing the popular philosophies of “carnal Christianity” and “backsliding” and “lukewarm” and "unbelief," all the bread and butter of Keswick “theology.” Instead of expecting true supernatural conversions with immediate evidence and fruit and obedience to Scripture, this became the new standard. True Biblical Christianity expects continuous obedience which marks the identity of a true believer. The endurance of actual true Christian living (i.e., obeying the Word of God, walking and growing in holiness, righteousness and godliness), is the assurance of salvation.


But doubting and unbelief is always rooted in a counterfeit gospel.


This Counterfeit Salvation is Derived from Keswick Tradition and Unconverted False Teachers


There is a movement and tradition in evangelicalism and fundamentalism that separates salvation from obedience, separates Jesus as Saviour from Jesus as Lord, separates believing from obeying, separates justification from sanctification. It’s a disjointed emphasis and unbiblical distinction and it truly is a scandalous event.


The movement and tradition is typically a Keswick one. This short report is not enough to explain the Keswick influence, but you can read further here: A Warning on Keswick Theology and Why It‘s So Dangerous, in a Nutshell. Passages have been understood different than their actual meaning, according to Keswick tradition. Keswick theology creates two categories of Christians. First, you have the category of Christian who has only received Jesus as Saviour, but not as Lord. He has been saved but not sanctified. He has received salvation from the penalty of sin but not from the power of sin. He is a child of God, but not a disciple of Christ. He is still living in sin and disobedience until he reaches a later point of "dedication." Up to that point, if ever, he is a carnal Christian, living in perpetual disobedience, and yet still saved. Second, you have the Christian, who, most often long after he has been saved, surrenders to Jesus as Lord.


The rich young ruler passage is trouble for the Keswick tradition. Jesus had an expectation of the rich young ruler that Jesus would rule His life from the get-go, right from the point of conversion. The rich young ruler knew that right up front. Most people in evangelical churches don't know this, because they are intentionally not taught this.


Sinners are told that if they want to be saved and go to heaven, they just need to accept Jesus as their Saviour, accept that He died for them, they just need to ask Jesus to come into their hearts or invite Him in, or ask to receive the free gift, which are common and unbiblical phrases suited to a deluded gospel. These are not Biblical language. Well intentions and hoping for someone to be saved does not excuse the deluded gospel.


Those who hold to this position turn Jesus into a deeper or higher life teacher. Someone who is saying to people who allegedly are already saved, you need to come up and be a disciple that is you need to get serious and start obeying and then start denying. This is the second level of saved experience. When you get saved you are accepting Jesus as Saviour and He saves you from the penalty of sin (hell) and then sometime later on you start denying yourself and recommit yourself and then maybe even later or at that time you start taking up the cross and start following Him, at which point in time you might say you have been saved from the power of sin.


It’s a scandalous gospel that creates two levels of Christianity and two-fold children of hell. This distinction between salvation and discipleship makes them two different things. That is you’ve got salvation and then you’ve got discipleship. Perhaps nothing is done more to undermine the authority and accuracy of Jesus’ evangelistic message. Everything that takes that side strips Jesus of the evangelistic intent of what He says. This is no minor issue. If Jesus said that He came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk 19:10), then we oughta know what it was that He had in mind when He said it.


The call to salvation is a call to follow Christ. There is a lot of people who think they are saved, but they are not following Christ, that is, they are not doing what the Bible says they should be doing. They aren’t obeying. They see follow Christ in the Bible but do not believe that this is a prerequisite to being saved, for they have been taught that is something that occurs sometime after you are saved and that it’s not a prerequisite to being saved. So you don’t have to follow Christ to be saved. And you don’t have to deny yourself to be saved. Allegedly these are only for those people that already saved, down the road. We refute this dambanks heresy in our article In Mark 8:34-38, Is Jesus Teaching How to be Saved or How to be A Better Christian?


The great commission is to make disciples of Christ, that is to teach people to become saved (Matt 28:18). All saved people are disciples, for they became disciples at conversion. The call to discipleship in the Bible is always a call to salvation.


True salvation is when someone counted the cost, on good and receptive ground, not on stony or rocky soil, not thorny ground in love with the world and riches, and thus receiving Christ by submitting everything to His Lordship. The call of salvation is a call to full commitment, nothing knowingly held back, and there is no more definitive text than the one on the rich young ruler, along with others similar to this one (like Matt 10:32-39; Mk 8:34-38; Lk 9:23-26; 14:25-15:32; Jn 12:24-25). The true gospel does not exclude the cost or self denial or surrender.


There is likely no greater damage done to the gospel amongst evangelicalism and fundamentalism then corrupting salvation into sanctification, or changing gospel requirements into something post-salvation — coupled with wresting salvation passages into something post salvation, for practical sanctification. This happens to be the backbone of easy believism and quick prayerism. This is one of the great errors, one of the great false doctrines, that has created a tremendous amount of damage to where there is a lot of unsaved in evangelical and fundamental churches. Making salvation passages into something post-salvation severely diminishes the opportunity for someone who thinks they are saved but have not given up their life, to give up their life sometime in the future and be genuinely converted.


"Asking Jesus into Your Heart," Commonly Accompanied with this False Gospel, is Not Salvation


People that use this language do not understand what true conversion is, since no one in the Bible was ever saved by “asking Jesus into their heart,” a phrase noted frequently in evangelical and Baptist and Protestant bible preaching, and heard frequently in the preaching and teaching of the same denomination where the spurious testimonies took place, the Evangelical Bergthaler Mennonite Church (EBMC), such as this example:

We called out to Jesus and invited Him into our hearts and lives and He accepted our invitation.

This is not Biblical salvation. Apparently everyone at EBMC has received Jesus by asking Him into their hearts, since he uses the words “We” and “our hearts” and “our invitation.” All have been placed into this little nutshell but there is absolutely no place in Scripture that describes salvation in such a fashion. Not even remotely close. There are no commands or examples in the NT of Christ telling people to invite Him into their hearts and lives, and when they do that, He will accept their invitation. Nor are there any examples of the Apostles telling anyone to invite Jesus into his heart and Jesus waiting to accept the invitation. Someone who simply reads the Bible would never conclude that inviting Jesus into his heart is the way the lost are forgiven of their sins. This is a false gospel that damns souls to hell, and has made many a person a two-fold child of hell.


Some of the reasons why this teaching is false and no person can be or ever has been saved through asking Jesus to come into their hearts includes:


1. This is not the Biblical way to be saved, and it denies the absolute necessity of repentance and surrender. Since the plain truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that sinners become the children of God by repentant faith alone (Gal. 3:26; Jn. 3:16, 18, 36; 6:47; Lk. 3:1-16; 5:31-32; 13:1-5; 14:25–15:32; Rom. 3:28; 4:5; 5:1; Ac. 2:38; 3:19 & 4:4; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:20; etc), the teaching of Scripture makes it clear that you do not invite Jesus to come into your heart in order to be saved. When a repentant lost sinner (Ac. 16:29) asked the Apostle Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” the Apostle did not say, “Pray, invite Jesus into your heart and life, and He will accept your invitation, and you will be saved.” No, Paul said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Ac. 16:30-31). Saving faith involves diligently seeking Him, understanding the gospel, assent to it, coming to Him in true repentance and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 11:6, 13; Is. 55:6-7; Mk. 1:15-20; 5:31-32; Matt. 21:28-32; Ac. 3:19 & 4:4; Jn. 3:3-21; etc), but inviting Jesus into your heart does not require any of these things. Scripture commands the lost, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Ac. 3:19), and warns that “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3,5). Those that did “repent” in godly sorrow and turned from their sin and self and stuff, the meaning of “convert” here (Ac. 3:19), “heard the word” and “believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” (Ac. 4:4). Absolutely nothing even remotely close to inviting Jesus into your heart and life. True faith is founded upon true repentance but inviting Jesus into your heart does not require either.


2. This false teaching is an insult to the OT sacrificial system. The OT sacrificial system set forth the gospel in picture and pointed forward to Christ’s redemptive and substitutionary work on the cross. God gave Israel many extremely detailed instructions concerning the sacrificial animals and ritual so that the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving work would be properly pictured. Never once was there a command or a suggestion that any Jew was to invite into his heart the sacrificial animal or the coming Messiah the animal pictured.


The picture of saving faith employed by the Lord Jesus in Jn 3:14-16 of the Israelites looking to the brazen serpent (Num 21:6-9) is a beautiful picture of saving faith — the moment the Israelites looked at the serpent, they were healed, and the moment a sinner looks in faith to the once-crucified Christ, he is eternally made whole. The “asking Jesus into your heart” idea does not work well at all with the OT typology. Did the Israelites ask the brazen serpent (or the sacrificial animals they brought to the tabernacle and temple) to come into their hearts?


3. This false teaching confuses the means of salvation with the result of salvation. When a lost sinner repents and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is spiritually united to Christ, what Scripture calls being “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). He passes from death to life (Jn. 5:24), from being unrighteous to being justified or declared righteous (1 Cor. 6:9; Rom. 3:24), from being without peace to having peace with God (Is. 57:21; Rom. 5:1), from having no access to God to having direct access to Him through Christ (Rom. 5:2; 1 Tim. 2:5), from having no hope to having a sure and secure and steadfast hope (Eph. 2:12; Heb. 6:19), from being a child of the devil to being a child of God (Jn. 8:44; Eph. 2:1-3), from being without Christ to having Christ live in him (2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 2:20), from being without the Holy Spirit to being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16), and so on. He now has “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). One of the blessings of being united to Christ is that He does indeed make the believer His dwelling place (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10), but that does not mean that a person is saved by inviting Christ to come in, any more than one is saved by asking to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit or asking to have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. No, the lost must forsake their selves and sin and flee to God in repentance and faith in the gospel, in Christs saving work on the cross alone, and when they entrust and submit themselves to Him, they receive every good thing on account of their union with Him, whether justification, a sure hope, adoption into the family of God, the indwelling presence of Christ, direct access to the Father, or any of the other glorious blessings possessed by the children of God.


4. This false teaching denies the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in true salvation. All lost people are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1-3). Since sin has corrupted every part of their fallen nature (Jer. 17:9), they have blinded eyes, dull ears and hardened hearts and minds refusing to submit to God (Jn. 12:40; Rom. 8:7; 3:11). They are so utterly enslaved to sin (Rom. 6:17) and Satan (2 Tim. 2:26; 2 Cor. 4:3) that they are unable to truly repent or believe (Jn. 12:40) apart from God in His grace miraculously drawing them to Himself (2 Cor. 4:4). The Lord Jesus explained: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (Jn 6:44). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit must inwardly “reprove,” “teach,” and “draw” the lost (Pr. 1:23-24; Jn. 6:44-45; 12:32; 16:7-11); the Son must supernaturally reveal the Father to them (Matt. 11:27), and the Holy Spirit must “renew” them (Heb. 6:6) and produce faith in them through the Word of God (Rom. 10:17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25). Just as God took a world in darkness and miraculously and creatively spoke light into existence (Gen. 1:3), so believers can say, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). At the same moment a sinner is granted repentance (Rom. 2:4) and faith (Eph. 2:8-9) to believe by God’s mighty grace, he is born again (Jn. 3:5) and made a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). God miraculously shines His gracious light (2 Cor. 4:4) into his dark heart, enlightening him and giving him desire to come to Christ, granting him repentance and faith, drawing him to embrace Christ, and raises him from spiritual death to spiritual life in a miracle as real as the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus’ body from His tomb (Eph. 2:1-6; I Cor. 15:50-55). A lost sinner coming to Christ in repentant faith is an astonishing display of Divine power that brings the new Christian into living fellowship with God (Jn. 17:3; 1 Jn. 1:3), removes his fundamental bent towards sin and creates a new bent toward holiness (Ezk. 36:26-27; 1 Pet. 2:13-25), and leaves him radically and permanently changed (2 Cor. 5:17). On the other hand, nothing miraculous or supernatural must take place for someone to invite Jesus into his heart. And the terribly sad thing is, rarely anyone among “evangelicals” would even come to be expect it.


5. This false teaching is without example in Scripture. The OT records the father of the faithful, Abraham, being saved when he “he believed in the LORD; and [the Lord] counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6; cf. Rom. 4:1-5; Gal. 3:6). King David wrote: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Ps 2:12 — David’s salvation testimony is recorded in Ps. 32:1-6 & repeated in Rom. 4:5-8). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed salvation for those who believed in the coming Messiah, the virgin-born Immanuel, and warned, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” (Is. 7:9-14; 28:16). In Is. 55:1-3 he calls “everyone who thirsteth” to come to salvation, to “come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea come . . . without money and without price” to “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David” and vv. 6-7 tells us how that comes about: “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Nothing about “inviting Jesus into our hearts and live’s” — nobody in the OT ever invited the Messiah to come into their heart, promised blessing to those who performed this work, or warned of judgment on those who do not.


In the NT, the Lord Jesus repeatedly told people who had repented and believed in Him, but who had never even thought of inviting Him to into their hearts, “Thy faith hath saved thee” (Lk. 7:50; 18:42). While Christ was preaching “many believed on him” (Jn. 10:42) and were saved without asking Him into their hearts (e.g. Lk. 5:1-11; 7:36-50; etc). In the book of Acts, the Apostles preached that “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” (Ac. 3:19) and “whosoever believeth in [Christ] shall receive remission of sins” (Ac 10:43; 16:31), and while they were preaching people would believe and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit without ever inviting Jesus into their hearts (e.g. Ac. 10:44-48). The Bible records the Apostle Paul’s conversion (Ac 9) and the Apostle giving his salvation testimony thrice (Ac. 22 & 26 & Phil. 3), but never gives the slightest hint that Paul invited Jesus into his heart. There are no examples in Scripture of people who were born again when they invited Jesus into their heart, and many examples of people who were saved but never did any such thing.


6. This false teaching leads to the eternal lake of fire because of the false assurance and security it parades with. Since the Bible never promises salvation to a lost sinner if he invites Jesus into his heart, those who perform this human work and think that they are saved because they did it are almost surely just as lost as they were before. There are literally millions of people who have invited Jesus into their hearts instead of coming to the Lord Jesus in repentant faith. Yet they remain in the “congregation of the dead” (Pr. 21:16). They live spiritually dead lives because they are still spiritually dead, and then they spend their lives in the congregation of the dead. They don’t grow in grace, knowledge, wisdom and doctrine (Heb. 6:1-12), they just remain “stagnant” and followers of strangers (Jn. 10:1-5). They actually “backslide,” a term reserved in Scripture for lost but false pretenders, who slide away from the truth into apostasy, which the term actually means, and demonstrated in its use in the sixteen times found in Scripture, and illustrated in passages such as Heb. 10:38-39 and Jer. 7:23-24, a term used to described apostate Israel. They often become bitter towards the Lord Jesus (typically held inwardly) and His people (especially when someone questions and reproves their unbiblical testimony and/or unfruitful life), disillusioned with the Bible (which remains a closed book to them), and inoculated against the true gospel by the spiritual counterfeit they adopted, revealing they were the stony lost soil upon which the seed fell (Matt. 13:5-6, 20-21).


Some of them invite Jesus into their hearts over and over again, hoping that the prayer will finally stick and they will finally have freedom from sin’s dominating control. Others rely on the assurance given to them by the convert-maker (or their parents or someone else) who told them to ask Him to come in and conclude that they must be saved, although they are just as much in bondage to sin as they were before, because of the supposed Biblical promise that all who invite Jesus to come in will go to heaven (typically through the misuse of Re. 3:20). These often remain deceived and deluded embracing the false “hope of unjust men” until the day they perish and “in hell . . . lift up [their] eyes, being in torments,” hearing in horror from Christ, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Pr. 11:7; Lk. 16:23; Matt. 7:23).


Some invite Jesus into their hearts as little children and keep coming to church because their Christian parents enforce godly habits in their home. They continue to embrace Christianity through imitation and conformity, because of what must have happened when they were younger. They outwardly imitate true Christians and perhaps even go to Bible college and/or end up in the ministry, where they teach others to ask Jesus into their hearts just like they did—but having never themselves personally repented and trusted in the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross, they are just as lost as were the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is not one gospel for adults—repentant faith in Christ for salvation—and a different one for children, inviting Jesus to come into their hearts. A person who invites Jesus into his heart is fearfully likely to always think they are saved because they did what their church leaders or parents told them. The fear of man compels them to continue to embrace their false and self-deluded hope. Unless he rejects his false profession and realizes that he is yet a hell-bound sinner who must come to the Lord Jesus for forgiveness by true Biblical repentance, he will be eternally damned (Lk. 5:31-32; 13:1-5; Ac. 26:20; 19:17-19; Matt. 3:1-12; 21:28-32). Neither children nor adults grow into salvation—they must repent and believe the gospel after first understanding the gospel, and conversion happens in one instantaneous moment of time only (II Cor. 6:2).

Those who do this may be sincere, but God warns:

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pr. 14:12).

True Salvation is the New Birth, With the Reality and Fruit of True Conversion, Both Immediately and Perpetually


A professing believer may deceive others his entire life, yet be unsaved. We see that in Matt 7:22; Jn 2:23-25 and many other places. No spiritual fruit, disobedience to Gods Word, are possible without a true living union to Christ, without abiding or dwelling in Him, a state brought about by being unregenerate (Hos 14:8; Gal 2:20; Phil 1:11). On its own, “the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,” (Jn 15:4) for the unregenerate man cannot in any way please God (Rom 8:7-8; Heb 11:6). However, saints can and do bear fruit, for they do abide or dwell in Christ. The true believer will always abide (Jn 15) or remain faithful to Christ’s Word and commandments as a pattern of his life, and thus bring forth much fruit and good works by obedience to Gods will, the certain consequence of spiritual union with Christ (Ezk 36:25-27; Jer 23:3; Jn 8:31; 10:27; 12:24-26; 15:1-16; Mk 8:34-36; Matt 13:23; Ac 26:20; Rom 6:22; Gal 5:18-24; Eph 2:10; Col 1:6).


In Col 1:4-6 Paul makes it crystal clear that all the truly saved have fruit immediately, like the Colossians who were saved by,

“The word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and BRINGETH FORTH FRUIT, as it doth also in you, SINCE THE DAY ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:”

When someone is truly converted, God the Spirit indwells that individual. The life of God produces a lifestyle of obedience and godly fruit (Matt 7:15-20) immediately (Col 1:4-6; Matt 13:23). Jesus said in Jn 8:32-36,

"If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. . . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Continuing in God's Word doesn't mean putting on a face, pretending to be something you are not while going to "church," reading your "Bible," listening to CCM music, helping your neighbour, doing a good work for a widow, and on, but actually keeping and obeying the words of God in the Word of God. It means to "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." (Rom 12:9). It means to preach the gospel to every creature, and truly saved people have a burden for unsaved false professing "believers," while those who are actually unregenerate do not preach because they do not have the Holy Spirit led and driven conviction and burden. They don't obey Scripture such as Matt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:44-48; Ac 1:8; 2 Cor 5:11-6:2 because they do not "Know therefore the terror of the Lord," thus do not "persuade men," for "the love of Christ [does not] constrain" them, since they have never been made a new creature in Christ Jesus where old things are passed away and all things become new (which is why they continue to love the world, do not become godly and holy and righteous, and exercise no true spiritual discernment but rather continue on a path of apostasy), and therefore have not received "the ministry of reconciliation" nor unto them has been committed "the word of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:11-20). They are the ones in need of reconciliation, but they won't because they will not acknowledge and understand the "terror of the Lord" (2 Cor 5:11; cf. Pr 1:20-32), rejecting the reproof of God and the fear of the Lord and the true knowledge of God as simple, scorning fools, which you can read about in Pr 1:20-32, and their fearful end.


"Continue in my word" in Jn 8:31 means to walk in obedience to God's Word and not continuing in sin. "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." "Committeth" is present tense. If you commit sin as a lifestyle, you are a servant of sin, or in other words, you are not continuing in His Word. If someone is set free by the truth, he is set free from the bondage of sin. He won't be sinning as a lifestyle anymore because he doesn't has to. The power that dwells inside of him stops the desire and dominion and power of sin. The same idea with "Committeth" in 1 Jn 3:6-9, which is a present tense verb, so it is talking about continuous sin, sin as a lifestyle, habitual sin. It's why John didn't use the aorist tense. Tense of verb in the Greek is about kind of action more than it is about time. This doesn't seem hard to understand. People who believe in Jesus Christ will keep following Him, and they can, because it is grace, not works. God's grace enables that. If someone doesn't continue, He hasn't been saved, because He can't continue. This is how it reads all through the NT.


The epistles of John tell the same story, a lifestyle of righteousness results from the life and light of God in someone — it's how you know that you are saved. Imputed righteousness through justification produces works, good and godly works (cf. Jam 2:14-19; Ti 2:11-14; Ti 3:3-4; 1 Jn 2:3-5; Matt 7:21; etc). Read the first chapter of 2 Peter. The Bible is literally loaded with this truth. Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt 7:21). It sounds awful much like those who are obeying all of God's Word and thus doing His will (which is what "the plan of God is for your life," spoken of in one of the testimonies, and not how you can use God to pad your bank account or get your toys) are the ones getting into heaven. God Himself said that, although all of God's Word (the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus) He inspired, but I thought salvation was by grace through faith. It is, of course, but true repentant faith that saves ALWAYS produces godly, holy, righteous good works in line with God's will, which is according to His Word. The same grace of God that saves the sinner also continues to teach the saint to deny all ungodliness and worldly lust, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Ti 2:11-13). The grace of God doesn't stop doing that. You don't get "saved" and then continuing living for yourself. Rom 6, through the grace of God, we are dead unto sin. Sin doesn't have dominion over the born again believer any more. The saint has been crucified with Christ. Read all of 1 John, and then read this important article on Evidence of Salvation in John's Epistle’s. Read also James.


Passages that refer to salvation and the evidence there of, are dangerously wrested into an encouragement for someone doubting and in unbelief. Perfect peace is ours indeed, but not through living the Christian life (keeping our mind on the Lord) but through salvation alone. It comes at the very moment of the new birth. That is when it is received and all true born again believers have perfect peace with God that never leaves them nor do they question it (Rom. 5:1; 8:6; Ps. 4:8;  85:10; Jn. 14:27; etc). Unbelief is never said to be in one that is saved and has the indwelling Spirit of God and always refers to the lost (e.g. Matt. 13:58; Mk. 6:1-6; Rom. 3:1-4; 4:20-25; 11:18-23, 30-32; I Tim. 1:13; Heb. 3:7-4:11). Unbelief means atheism, skepticism, heresy, apostasy, infidelity, lack of religious belief, an absence of faith, darkness, you get the picture, and never refers to someone that is truly saved. Unbelief = unbeliever and is the antonym of belief. Every truly saved believer does trust and believe because the just live by faith (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:16-17; Gal. 3:12; Heb. 10:38-39). It is not faith in the promises that brings assurance (saved people don’t have faith in faith) but being born again in one instantaneous moment in time (2 Cor. 6:2) through repentance of sin/self/stuff/people and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ac. 20:21; Lk. 14:25-15:32; Matt. 10:32-39; 21:28-32; Mk. 8:34-38; 10:17-22; etc). Its at that moment of salvation that the promises of God are fulfilled in the repentant sinners life, who is now a saint. He doesn’t have to assure himself of them, but fulfills them and lives them. Doubt is not of God nor ever present in one that is saved. Those that doubt have never been born again. The same God Who saves (Jn. 1:12-13; Ti. 3:3-7) and indwells (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20; Eph. 1:13-14) and witnesses with the saints spirit that they are the children of God (Rom. 8:14, 16), does not and cannot cause doubt of that very salvation that He so freely gave!


Scripture is clear that we get not just the power of God, but God Himself, the 3rd Person of the Trinity, the moment we’re justified. We’re not lacking in power, which is absent in false professors (Eph 1:19; 2 Tim 3:5). 2 Pet 1:3-4 says we have all things that pertain unto life and godliness and are partakers of the Divine nature. Much of the NT establishes what a believer has in Christ. The problem is yieldedness but lack of complete and consistent yieldedness doesn't cause doubt and uncertainty of salvation. The person that knows he is born again, hasn't deceived him or herself, has a true biblical testimony of salvation with subsequential fruit and evidence of salvation, that keeps on going (Jn 8:31-36), of which godliness, holiness and righteousness is supreme, and does walk in obedience to Gods Word which is continuing in Scripture (1 Jn 2:3-5), does not doubt his salvation because he struggles in some area of the Christian life or is chastened of God (Heb 12:5-11; Pr 3:11-12).


You are unsure when you were saved or "saved" at some young age where you know nothing about true conversion or there was no change? The Bible teaches that a lost sinner must repent and believe at a particular moment in time. One who has been born again will know when it happened. If you have never seen yourself as lost, never genuinely repented (which is the foundation of salvation), and believed in Christ, you are yet dead in your sins, under God’s wrath, and headed for hell. Could you say with the Psalmist?

"Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul." (Ps 66:16)

Every single true born again Christian knows they are of God (1 Jn. 2:3-6; 4:13; 19-20; Gal. 4:9) and live and abide in Him because they are born of God (1 Jn. 2:27; 3:1; 5:1-4, 18; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-7; 15:1-16) and have been forgiven of all their sins (1 Jn. 2:12; Rev. 1:5), and the Holy Spirit dwells in them (1 Jn. 2:27; 3:24; 4:13; Rom 8:9-17). They do not doubt what occurred in their life when they were truly converted to Christ. There is no uncertainly. No need of "rededication" must occur, because its not Biblical to begin with. And they know that. But this is not something they drum up to convince themselves its real in their lives. No, its just real. Its simply a fact of their life, and they know the truth and reject the lies (1 Jn 2:20-21), by walking in the truth of God's Word, which is by obedience to Scripture (1 Jn 2:3-5; Jn 14:23-24).


Only would have to be spiritually dead not to know they have been born again. The lost are dead indeed; dead in their sins and under condemnation of death (Rom. 6:1-23; Jn. 3:18, 36).


Why Won't People Get Truly Saved, Instead of Accepting the Counterfeit?


The following are some reasons why someone might be happy with the counterfeit.


They want to hang onto their lives. A war started in the Garden of Eden and continues for the souls of men. God calls it a war all over scripture (2 Tim 2:4, Eph 6:10-18, 2 Cor 10:3-5). I'm saying it's a worship war, because the first act of worship, accepted by God, is the offering of one's soul to God by faith. He will restore your soul (Ps 23:3). Satan would have us hang on to (keep) our “soul” (psuche, translated life in Matt 10:39) for ourselves, which will result in losing our soul forever.


They won't repent. No repentance ties into hanging on to their own lives. This is the explanation behind what is occurring in Jn 3:19-21,

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

They are deceived. One major component of the first worship war is "giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim 4:1) The "god of this world" blinds men's minds (2 Cor 4:4), keeping the gospel hid to the lost (2 Cor 4:3). People stay lost because their minds are blinded by error, by false teaching, what are called "doctrines of devils." Satan uses men to spread a false message, so that God isn't worshiped.


There are more reasons, but these three are major.


Thus the Necessity to Evangelize Neo-Evangelicals, Reformers, and Practically of all Christendom Today


The false professors must respond to the call to truly, genuinely repent, which we describe in detail here: Repentance — The Foundation of Salvation.


When the true gospel is presented it inherently has a rebuke to superficiality, to shallowness, and outward hypocritical response, for the true gospel is an enemy to these false responses. Hence the lack of true conversions in “evangelical” and many fundamental churches. The heart and soul of the gospel is the offering of forgiveness of sins and eternal life to those whose faith is not superficial, it is deep repentant faith by evidence of self denial, cross bearing and submission in their repentance, as illustrated in Jam 2:14-26. In essence this reflects true Biblical repentance versus the false and superficial repentance that only changes the mind.


Only true conversion can permanently remove the doubt and uncertainty, and prevent such unBiblical and heretical philosophies such as "rededication," wholly absent of any Scriptural support.


The drastic difference between The True Gospel of Self-Denial and Self-Abandonment vs The False Gospel of Self-Fulfillment can be read at that link. The false gospel that doubts and denies and leaves out important elements really is the false gospel of self-fulfillment.


If you are interested in true salvation, how God truly saves sinners and makes them a new creature in His Son Jesus Christ, please read our gospel tract on How A Sinner Can Be Saved and Have Eternal Life!

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