Occasionally I have opportunity to go into Edmonton on business on a weekday morning, and on the Christian radio I catch programs by Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah and others, many of whom seem to claim that our salvation depends upon our making a decision to accept Christ as Saviour. I always wince at this because some may be given the false confidence that merely mouthing the words of a 'sinner's prayer' ensures their salvation. I'm afraid the greatest example of this is Joel Osteen, who tacks on, almost as an afterthought, such a prayer at the end of every program, then says, "We believe that if you prayed that prayer, you got born again..." I shake my head at such an oversimplification of regeneration. I think this is misleading counsel, perhaps devastatingly so. It is God who gives us new life. We do not regenerate ourselves. We don't have any more control over our second birth than we had over our first.
But the truly born-again Christian can indeed decide to follow Jesus, Indeed, he must, every minute of every day. We must choose right over wrong, good over evil, in every area of our lives, personal, spiritual, business or career. We must choose everything we do by what God says rather than by how we feel. The authority of the word of God must govern every decision to which it applies.
Those who do not yet know God cannot decide to follow Jesus on their own. Because the things of Jesus are foolishness to him. It is a decision the unsaved person is not equipped to make. But the unsaved person must be invited to seek God with all his heart, with God's promise in mind that all who seek will find.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.(Jer 29:13)
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.(Luke 11:10)
Which, LORD willing, will bring him to the point where, as William Wilberforce is reported to have said, "I didn't find God... He found me."