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What is your answer to a child?

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by eldermike, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    Every possible connection to instructional text (how to be a Christian) and issues of salvation (belief) is made on this forum. My personal opinion is that someone reading this stuff would wonder how we call ourselves members of the same family. I would like to ask a simple question. If you want to answer it that is fine. If you feel you must post the entire bible plus all of church history to answer it, then you don’t understand it and I would ask you not to answer it. There are plenty of other threads where you can debate your fingers to the bone. A child can be saved, if a child can be saved then it’s not brain surgery, it’s simple. God did not hide his plan of salvation. I will not debate your answer unless you ask me to do so. I am just curious to know if you ever considered this.

    My question is: Read the posted text and then tell me what you would tell a child, if that child asked you; “If I believe in Jesus and love Him, am I saved”?



    John 3: 16-18 (NKJV)
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    Blessings
     
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  2. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    Yes. Just keep believing buddy! :)
     
  3. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +3
    Christian
    You quoted Acts 3:19, do you think a child needs to repent to be saved?
     
  4. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    Julie,

    I beleive that depends on the age of the child. And this one will shock some but here it is: I believe that repentances spoken of in Acts 3:19 is about non-beleif, not typical sins as we look at sin but actually rejecting the cross in a sense. I believe my sins are forgiven so I would also have to believe the same for the child. I would ask an older child, depending on maturity and not just years, that they should take any sin they had to Jesus and confess it, and leave it there. And also guide them to a person that has a gift of working with children and hope that a teaching relationship begins a real growth process in this child.
    I hope that answers your question
     
  5. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

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    Eldermike,

    I agree that salvation is very simple. Where many debates come though is how do we get to that faith? At least most of my debates here are that. But anyways no it is not very hard for a child to be saved and I do believe that a child needs to repent. maybe a child's sin does not seem to be very important or that bad but to the child it can be very serious. But I would ask anyone to turn away from their sin and turn towards God. But of course in different ways to different people at different stages of their lives. I know I was told to be sorry for my sins. Which consisted of things like hitting my brother, saying bad words and stuff like that but that was a huge deal to me. And maybe it should still be.

    blackhawk
     
  6. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    Blackhawk,

    I don't have much of an issue with the area of sin. I believe that to accept the cross as payment for sin is an act of understanding that we are sinners. The Roman road method is my favorite method of sharing Jesus with others because it first gives the reason Jesus had to die as He did.

    But the purpose of this was to make folks think on the basics just a little. I spent years learning things that actually have very little benifit in pratical use.

    The plan of salvation is clear to a child, they went right to Jesus.
     
  7. edpobre

    edpobre Well-Known Member

    +0
    The first question I would ask the child is what does he mean or understand by "believe in Jesus." The second question is how does the child love Jesus.

    Definitely, a child under twelve would NOT even know how to answer these questions WITHOUT any coaching.  It does NOT matter though because to them belong the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:14; Lke 18:16).

    But to a child over the age of twelve, my answer to him would depend on what his answers to my questions are. If the child truly believes in Jesus and loves Jesus the right way, there is a chance that he could be in the TRUE path to salvation and could be saved. Otherwise, the answer is NO!

    Ed

     
     
  8. Blessed-one

    Blessed-one a long journey ahead

    +169
    Protestant
    Single
    When my four years old cousin does something wrong, my aunt would say to him,

    "Do you think our heavenly Father would be pleased by this?"

    i think even a child, needs to repent before being admitted to heaven. Repentence has always been the key.
     
  9. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +19
    Jehovahs Witness
    Paul had some interesting things to say on this subject. He tells the married Christian: “The unbelieving husband is sanctified in relation to his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in relation to the brother; otherwise, your children would really be unclean, but now they are holy.” Through God’s regard for the Christian, his (or her) marriage relationship with his unbelieving mate is not considered to be defiling. The cleanness of the sanctified one does not sanctify the mate as one of God’s holy ones, but the relationship is clean, honorable.  (1Co 7:14-17) Because of the ‘merit’ of the believer, the young children of the union are considered holy, under divine care and protection.

    So children who are considered under the age of accountability by God have no need of repentance in the same way an adult would if at all. The child comes under the merit of the believing parent according to Paul. Nevertheless it goes without saying that the Christian parent would do his or her utmost to follow the advice of Paul again at Ephesians 6:1-4 "Children, be obedient to YOUR parents in union with [the] Lord, for this is righteous: 2 “Honor your father and [your] mother”; which is the first command with a promise: 3 “That it may go well with you and you may endure a long time on the earth.” 4 And YOU, fathers, do not be irritating YOUR children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of the Lord.

    As can be seen, children must play there part also by being obedient to the parent.
     
  10. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +3
    Christian
    Hay, that is interesting Lightbearer!
     
  11. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +19
    Jehovahs Witness
    Thank you julie for your encouraging comment.
     
  12. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    Promise Keepers gave out some statistics regarding the numbers of Christians within age groups (generations). 4% approx. of school age Children say they are born again Christians. However a much higher number (over 20%) of the parents of this generation profess that they are born again Christians. I don't want to debate the numbers, if they are even 1/2 right it's alarming. Look around in your church and see if it sounds about right to you.

    Is there something wrong with our message? Think simply for a moment. All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. In the mind of a child, what do they hear us say? Do they hear us say that God expects perfect sinless people. They know better, we don't live that way. What do they hear us say? What is wrong with our message? Do we speak of manna from heaven or earth?

    Blessings
     
  13. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Well-Known Member

    +1,229
    Christian
    I simply tell the child yes they are saved, because that is what saved is. I limited my discussion to the question asked. I think sure, after the salvation there is room for continued education and growth. Also, I have no doubt in my mind that when a child comes to the "age of consent" or whatever it is, where they are more capable of making independant judgements, they themselves will begin to feel the tug of adult temptations and so forth and will probably come to you asking about a baptism based on their conscience as an adult.

    All of this is beside the point of the question though, to my way of thinking. Kids understand right and wrong, and if they don't we teach them. We can use those teaching experiences to bring God further into their understanding. But salvation... Salvation is that first step of faith, stepping out onto the water in the storm because we see Jesus out there, so it must be possible. It's not about reason except inasmuch as since we see Jesus there we know it's possible.

    Ok I'm off the deep end for some of you. :) But still. You can't learn to swim till you get in the water. The profession of faith is the dive into the water. No sense telling the kid not to jump yet, in my view.
     
  14. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    Shane,

    I agree.

    Blessings
     
  15. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    If by "am I saved" you mean "am I then saved" I would tell my child the truth.  I would ask my child, "do you believe in, and love Jesus?"  If they said "yes" I would tell them we are not saved because we believe in, and love God.  We believe in, and love God because we are saved.  So, in answer, yes, you are saved.

    God bless.
     
  16. Reformationist

    Reformationist Non nobis domine sed tuo nomine da gloriam

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    By the way, not that it makes any difference with regard to their disposition regarding original sin, but I was wondering how old the child in your question would be.  I don't believe in "age of accountability."  But, I think there is a definite period of time, normally around the 12th year, that a child starts being able to grasp the concepts in the Bible and even be able to reason.

    God bless.
     
  17. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

    +276
    Christian
    If I believe in the Easter Bunny and love him, am I saved?

    I think you need to have an understanding of who Jesus is and how you can be saved through having a relationship with him. I don't think that just believing and feeling some emotion about him is enough. You have to believe he has the authority to save you.

    I have a friend who says she loves Jesus with her whole heart, but she has eight children by five different men, all of them after she "got saved." She does drugs and fornicates up a storm. She has sex in the house while the children are home, even once while her husband was at home. She says Jesus soesn't care how she lives, just so long as she keeps him in her heart. Is she saved just because she believes, or do her actions betray her real spiritual condition?
     
  18. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Veteran

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    I really do believe that salvation is very simple, and that we adults have a marvelous way of making things infinitely more complicated than it has to be. If my daughter were to take to heart the bible stories that I read to her and come to understand and know about Jesus, if she were to tell me that she understood and indeed loved the Lord, then I believe that she would have achieved salvation at that point in her life. As far as repentance goes, I believe that children should be taught to acknowledge where they goof up as soon as they are able. Children learn very early on when they are doing something that is wrong, and admitting it is very healthy for them in physical, emotional, and spiritual ways. Does that mean that I believe that a child is condemned if they are not old enough to fully grasp the concept of sin? Absolutely not.


    :) Jenna
     
  19. eldermike

    eldermike Pray Supporter

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    The purpose of this question was to take a moment and consider what is going on in our culture. The church is growing older, youth are leaving the church and children are not hearing the message that brings them home.

    Much can be blamed on the destruction of the traditional family and the busy nature of our lives.I personally believe that we need to make changes in our expectations of children and just lighten up. I am not alone in this thinking, Promise Keepers is working hard to get this message out. With 4% of school aged Children calling themselves Christian we are in a crisis.

    I believe God can change people and will be faithful to do so in His perfect timing. Even in the example that Lambslove used I believe God can change that woman if we are faithful to prayer and reserve our judgment and begin to serve people as Jesus would have us serve.

    This was a thinking exercise, not a debate.
    Thank you for posting your thoughts.
     
  20. DaveKerwin

    DaveKerwin Represent the Most High

    +125
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    lets not overcomplicate the gospel. believe and be saved. God will take care of the children, he loves children.
     
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