Accept Jesus into your heart?

Jackson Campbell
2 min readJan 16
Photo by Josh Eckstein on Unsplash

Growing up in the evangelical world, I always heard that, in order to be saved and go to Heaven, each and every one of us must “accept Jesus into our hearts.” That statement alone is the most theology I got out of my younger years in the Church — oh yeah and the “its Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” thing. That’s about it.

At a young age, I did, in fact, accept Jesus into my heart. Many of you have. That’s completely valid and I still believe it to be a true way to connect with God. The problem with this Jesus in your heart thing, though, is that the Bible never says it. The place most folks get this idea is from Revelation 3:20, which says “Here I stand, knocking at the door. If any hear me
calling and open the door, I will enter the house and have supper with them.” Hmm. That statement could mean a lot of things. Plus, I’m pretty sure Jesus would have been much more straightforward about it being the only way to Heaven if that’s what he meant. Jesus was never quite straightforward with that kind of stuff.

Although.. he was pretty straightforward here:

Mark 12:28–31

“One of the religious scholars who had listened to them debating and had
observed how well Jesus had answered them, now came up and put a
question to him: ‘Which is the foremost of all the commandments?’
29 Jesus replied, ‘This is the foremost: ‘Hear, O Israel, God, our God, is
one. 30 You must love the Most High God with all your heart, with all your
soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this:
‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment
greater than these.’”

And Here:

Luke 17:20–21

“20 And when the Pharisees had demanded of Him when the Kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, ‘The Kingdom of God cometh not with outward show.

21 Neither shall they say, ‘Lo, it is here!’ or ‘Lo, it is there!’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’”

Wait.. The Kingdom of God is….WITHIN YOU?!? ALREADY?!?

Why didn’t I hear that message growing up?

The “Jesus in your heart” thing isn’t even in the Bible, but the “Kingdom within you” thing is.

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that there is no need to ask Jesus to have mercy enough to come into our heart and make us whole.

We are already whole. God is constantly doing a new thing in our hearts. God’s kingdom is already within you.

Accept Jesus in your heart? Sure.

I just want to tell you that he’s already there.

The Bible tells me so.

Jackson Campbell

Queer advocate & Minister | Union Theological Seminary in NYC