DO I NEED TO MAKE A “PROFESSION OF FAITH?” MUST I WALK A CHURCH AISLE OR SHAKE A PREACHER’S HAND TO DEMONSTRATE MY SALVATION?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Is it true? Do you have to walk up an aisle and shake a preacher’s hand in order to show that you are saved, that you have trusted Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour? Must you go before a local church assembly and “make a profession of faith?” Let us see what the Bible has to say, and let us not blindly believe something simply because we have heard it all of our lives.
It is quite clear what Jesus said: “ Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). But, before we grab this passage and follow it, to whom and about whom was Jesus speaking? (This is the context and it makes all the difference in the world, but, unfortunately, religion usually ignores the context because it has an agenda other than what God has!).
Matthew 10:32-33 is often used to force (intimidate) people to stand before a congregation so they can publicly claim to have recently trusted Christ as their personal Saviour. Some may even go so far as to deny your salvation if you refuse to get up and give that testimony! However, the context demonstrates that this is unnecessary: these verses refer to people living during the Tribulation period (Matthew chapter 10 is actually Jesus Christ commissioning Israel’s 12 apostles). And, they are not giving a “testimony” before saved people; they give their “testimony” before lost people!
Read Jesus’ comments made just before He uttered Matthew 10:32-33: “ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”
What Jesus meant in Matthew 10:32-33 was that those Jews during the seven-year Tribulation who will confess Him before men will do so by publicly rejecting the mark of the antichrist (Revelation 12:11; Revelation 20:4). Those Jews during the seven-year Tribulation who will deny Jesus Christ before men will do so by publicly accepting the mark of the antichrist (Revelation 14:9-10). Israel’s believing remnant will be brought before crowds of lost people and persecuted, humiliated, and even killed; this is what Jesus meant in Matthew 10:32-33. Jesus Christ is testing these Jews whether they will be true to Him or not! Again, they are not giving a “testimony” before saved people; they will give their “testimony” before lost people! Why these verses are used today to make saved people give their testimony before saved people, makes no sense, since these verses teach the opposite.
“Walking the aisle” is nothing more than a work of the flesh, a denominational invention, designed to praise the “goodness” of a man when he performs a religious duty. It is a mishandling of Matthew 10:32-33, and God’s Word is not being treated with respect. Aisle-walking invites people to hang their soul salvation on something they did, and walking an aisle does not keep anyone out of hellfire! Furthermore, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul condemned works of the flesh performed in religion in order to boast in people’s performance: “ As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.  For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh” (Galatians 6:12-13). Our performance is not the issue; if you must boast in something, boast not in making your profession of faith by walking an aisle, but boast in what Jesus Christ did at Calvary’s cross to keep you from going to hell! “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).
While we should tell other Christians when we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit through Paul never instructs us to make a “profession of faith” before a local church assembly. Again, our performance is not the issue. What matters is what Jesus Christ did to secure our salvation, not what we do to prove our salvation. We are not required to join a local church, but if we do find a sound grace church, we can become a member if we so desire. The main thing to remember is that church membership is not salvation, it will not bring us any “closer to God,” and it will not result in “greater blessings from God.” We are “complete in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:10). We lack nothing in Christ! We need to do nothing to “enhance” or “complete” our Christian life. Jesus Christ did it all, and we rest in what He did!