The principle of reciprocity is involved when one accepts another, if there is to be mutual benefit. Many religious people take great delight in accounting the time when they “accepted the Lord as their personal savior.” First, “accepting the Lord as one’s personal savior” is not the language of the New Testament. Second, some questions are in order. What assurance does one have that he has been “accepted” i.e., forgiven, saved, added to the church, by the Lord? Good feelings and an emotional rise will not suffice! Then, what is meant by “accepting the Lord as one’s personal savior? Did Jesus authorize His apostles to preach the gospel with assurance that those who “accept the Lord as their personal savior” would be saved, or did He state the conditions of salvation in more precise language? The New Testament teaches, one “believes and is baptized” in order to be saved (Mark 16:15-16), and that one must “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” according to the authority of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). Finally, is it possible that one may mistakenly rejoice in the fact that he accepted the Lord as his personal savior, but has no Biblical assurance of salvation, only his feelings? One may feel that he has accepted the Lord Jesus, but has the Lord Jesus Christ accepted him? More precisely, has the Lord accepted you?
Consider some historical examples, Cain accepted God as the object of his offering. “But unto Cain and to his offering he (God) has not respect” (Gen. 4:5). Cain may have reasoned that since he was a “tiller of the ground” (v. 2) that God would accept the “fruit of the ground.” It was not so! Cain accepted God as the object of his worship, but God did not approve of Cain nor his worship.
Another example of God’s rejection is that of two priests. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord which the Lord commanded them not and there when tout fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Lev. 10:1-2). Observe that the priests made their offering before the Lord. They were not idolatrous. They simply offered what God had not commanded. Both priests and the offering were rejected.
Remember: Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Those who have submitted to the Lord by His conditions have been saved from sin and must continue to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) in order to remain “accepted” by the Lord.