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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Seven Words You Never Want to Hear: How to Be Sure You Won't by Denise Wilson is a Christian theology non-fiction self-help guide with a focus on widespread misunderstandings pertaining to salvation. Over the course of twenty-one interconnected chapters, Wilson uses a combination of scripture, scholarly cross-examination, stories, and anecdotes to paint a clear and compelling picture that simply “praying Jesus into your heart” is not enough to be welcomed through the gates of heaven and bow at the throne of Christ for all eternity. Living a Christ-like existence is so much more than lip service, appearing to have a relationship with Jesus when God can see your true heart. As a Christian, there is a call to walk the walk, count the cost, shed the sin and hypocrisy, leave the harmful self-aggrandizing ministry of megachurches, and move from the darkness to the light so one might never hear the words, “I never knew you; depart from me.” [Matthew 7:23]
It is really, really scary to be told that you've been doing something wrong for your entire life; that what you think is the way is not. Scarier still is the knowledge that without a change of priorities, redemption does not actually exist. With profound honesty and a conviction that is only strengthened by the scripture she builds on, Denise Wilson details in Seven Words You Never Want To Hear that there is hope if you are willing to put in the effort. The standout chapter to me is twelve, Those Who Counted The Cost, where accounts of torture and hardship under intolerant systems are highlighted in the sacrifice of true disciples of Christ, many of whom paid the price during our own lifetimes. Wilson then pivots to a sermon from another that reads, “And here’s all these American Christians standing beside them that couldn’t even find enough of anything inside them to even attend church on Sunday morning.” This is not an easy read and it is not meant to be, but there is still time. At the end of each chapter, Wilson provides a reminder and a series of questions to aid in rooting out all that holds a person back. One can only pray they listen.