When I was eight years-old I made the most important decision of my life. I received Christ as my personal Savior. Ever since that day I have had the confidence that Christ paid the penalty of my sins and I am His! I know I’ll spend eternity with Him – not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what Christ did for me.
You get in bed after an exhausting day and just after you get all cozy, your front door pops into your mind and you can’t remember if you locked it or not. What will you do? If you’re concerned about your security, you will step out of your comfortable spot to get up and check the lock. It’s normal; we may have all done it at one time or another.
Your child was in your home and their young heart realized they were a sinner and they needed a Savior. While your heart beat wildly with joy, you opened your Bible and showed them the verses in Romans about their sin,God’s love, what they deserve, and how to gain eternal life. Then, in simple, child-like faith they prayed to receive Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf so they would have a relationship with God and a home in heaven. And you never forgot that day because it was one you’d prayed for since the day they entered your world!
However, one day, in their teen years they went to a Bible preaching summer camp and heard a message about salvation that Christ offers, and about hell for those who refuse. They have a foggy recollection of that decision they made when they were very young, but they’re unsure, and who wants to wonder if they’re ready for heaven? They walk the aisle and make a decision to be saved.
When they get home from camp, they share their decision with you and you’re startled. What should you do?
First, remember the need for security and assurance. If they had a doubt about their salvation, wouldn’t you rather they “check the lock” than to wonder about it all their life?
Rejoice with them. Assure them that that’s the wisest decision to make because eternity is too long to regret.
Humble yourself and resist the urge to say, “I was the one who led you to the Lord!” Or, “I know you’re saved!” It’s easy to feel a punch to our pride and feel wounded that we didn’t do a good enough job, but we must think the truth – we don’t do the saving! Christ does! If they’re doubting their salvation, then they don’t remember it.
Encourage them to record this decision in their Bible or journal.
Follow through with teaching them verses on security – for example,John 10:28 and I John 5:13. Also teach them I John 1:9 – that when they sin, they haven’t lost their salvation, but they’ve lost fellowship. They need to confess the sin and forsake it to regain fellowship with the Lord.
Should the fact that a teen or adult might need to check the security of their decision urge us to discourage a young child from being saved? Of course not! It shows their tender heart. They may never doubt their decision! But if they do, let them “get up and check the door!”
One more thought here – let’s imagine that the doubting comes to your child at home and he asks you about it and wonders if he is really saved? What should you do? Rather than telling him what YOU remember about he day he trusted Christ, I would encourage a child in that situation to go ahead and make sure. It won’t hurt to let them pray again! Then, again, as above, teach them about eternal security we have in Christ, and remind them of all Jesus did for them on the cross and His resurrection that assures us of ETERNAL life.
Has any reader needed to check your salvation’s security?
Have these posts brought up any other questions about bringing your child to Christ?
“My five year-old has been asking us so many questions about salvation, and about asking Jesus to forgive their sins, but we’re putting him off right now, because we want to make sure he’s ready.”
I have heard that statement so many times and I can’t tell you how it saddens my heart. I understand that the parent is fearful that the child won’t remember what he has done, and may have doubts later on, but as I mentioned in an earlier post here, I don’t have a problem with that at all. Read the post to understand why.
However, I have three reasons why I believe it IS right to allow a child to pray to be saved when they bring up the need to you.
Jesus said, Suffer the children to come unto me and forbid them not. Can it get any clearer? Don’t hinder them from coming to Christ! Bring them! Encourage them to do so. You will be obeying Christ’s command.
A child’s heart is soft when they ask to be saved, but it will harden as they get older. Why run the risk of them turning away from the Lord? What a tragedy it would be for a parent to put a child off who is asking to be saved, and then the becomes desensitized towards their spiritual need!
The sooner a person comes to Christ the longer they have to serve Him!
Think of two candles, one very long and the other very short. The long candle represents a child and the short, an elderly person. Often when we have an older person saved in a service we have a huge time of rejoicing, which is definitely worthy of joy to see this heart finally yielded to Christ! But when a little child gets saved, it’s often given a little nod. But think of those two candles. That short candle, representing the older person only has a little time left to “burn” for Christ. The child, however, has their whole life to make a difference for the Lord in this world! That reason in itself should make us realize the urgency in bringing little ones to the Savior!
I trust this helps every adult who can influence a child to have a heart for little ones coming while they’re young! Let’s obey Christ’s command, do it while their heart is soft, so they can use their whole life to serve God!
If you know a parent with little ones who might need this encouragement, feel free to share this article on your Facebook account or Twitter.