Children, sin and salvation

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Isaiah40:28, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    In teaching our almost five year old son, I was wondering a few things.
    1) Do you(or did you) expect your children to confess a known sin to God and ask His forgiveness if they have not yet professed salvation? (i.e. you find them to have told a lie and confront them with the sin. If they confess the sin to you, do you then push for them to do the same with God in prayer?
    2) If your child does willingly confess a particular sin to God and seeks forgiveness from Him, do you understand that to mean that they are saved?
    3) If your child does not want to confess to God and ask forgiveness, what do you do?

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Makes sense. I teach our children the Law of God. They understand that breaking the Law of God is sin. I've seen the work of God in their lives, even at a very young age, but I am not necessarily convinced that it means they have been born of God yet. However, when a child seems to be sensible to their sins, broken in heart about it, and turn to Christ as they their only hope of salvation, I would believe they are saved.
     
  3. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    My children are a little younger, but I try and make sure that they say they are sorry to me or their mother, and then we hug and say we forgive them and love them no matter what. I believe that teaches them about how God will forgive them and love them no matter what they might do if they would turn to Him and seek forgiveness. I don't know at what age (I am sure it is different for each) that they truly understand about being separated from God because of their sin. I don't see anything wrong with teaching them to pray and to not only thank God, but ask His forgiveness even though they might be to young to completely understand.

    Just to give you an idea how their little mind works. Yesterday my oldest (almost four) said to me, "Jesus must have very big eyes", when I asked him why he thought that was so, he responded, "He has to if He can see everything". This was in response to the day before when we were playing under a blanket, and he asked if Jesus could still see us since we were under the blanket, when I explained that yes He still sees us everywhere, my son, said not in a deep cave he couldn't, and I explained that yes anywhere he does.
     
  4. russell55

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    I'm not sure. I think each case takes a bit of wisdom on the parent's part. For sure, I don't think I'd push a child who doesn't want to ask for forgiveness.

    What he really needs to understand is that he is a sinner and that there's no solution to that problem except for what Christ did on the cross.

    I remember that at five I was mortified by the lies I told, and yet I couldn't help myself. When it was easier to lie, sure enough, I'd lie. Just asking for forgiveness over and over didn't really give me assurance because I already had an inkling of the seriousness of my repeated sin in the face of a holy God. I was actually tormented (on and off) by my problem for a couple of months until I finally understood a little bit about what was accomplished on the cross. It was only that understanding of the once for all time nature of what Christ did on the cross that put my fear to rest.

    The process with each child is different, though, and each one grows in understanding differently, which means there's no cookie cutter answer. Try to find out what he believes and what he understands, and then try to lead him along in his understanding little by little. And pray for wisdom.
     
  5. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Thank you all for your responses.
    I have been concerned that if my son does not want to confess and seek forgiveness from us or God that would indicate that his heart was hardened at that point. We have left him in his room(5 minutes or so) to think about how dangerous it becomes to refuse confession of sin when confronted. After revisiting him two times, he finally began to cry and asked what he should say to God.
    Our son is quite sensitive to discord so he usually wants to make things right ASAP.
    I struggle with knowing if he just wants to please us or if he does understand God's holiness and saving grace.
     
  6. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I would say he is at that awkward stage of development, where he is beginning to understand that sin seperates us from God.
    Once he understands this, he is ready to be saved.

    Your job is to be an example of God, so that if he is trying to please you, when he understands what sin really does, he will not be afraid to go to God for salvation.
     
  7. convicted1

    convicted1
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    In regards to kids and baptizing them, I have always been leery of this subject. When a kid knows to do good and doeth not, to them it is sin. But here's the problem, how does any of us know when this is? Kids are pretty "notional" at times, and if you baptize them when they don't really comprehend what is going on, you cause them to settle short of the Saving Grace of God. I have read on here where some people have asked others about their salvation(or if they were CHRISTians) and they mention they were baptized when they were 5, 6, 7, or whatever age it was. Where was the mention of God saving their ever dying soul. They seem to hold to the water baptism, more than the Spiritual Holy Ghost baptism that MUST precede any water(I am not talking about on here, but when someone had asked someone out in public about being saved, and they say they were baptized at such and such age and were saved...I hope this clears this up a little). Here is what Apostle Paul states:

    Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (caps mine) WE ARE ALL BORN "ALIVE", BUT WHEN WE WILFULLY SIN(KNOW WHAT WE DID WAS WRONG IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, NOT JUST MANKIND) WE ARE THEN A SINNER.

    Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. WHEN WE DON'T UNDERSTAND TELLING A LIE TO MOM AND/OR DAD OR STEALING A COOKIE IS WRONG TO GOD, WE AREN'T GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD FOR IT. IT IS WHEN WE KNOW TO DO GOOD, AND DOETH IT NOT, THAT WE ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, AND IF WE DIE IN THAT CONDITION, THEN HELL IS WHERE WE'LL END UP.

    Now read Luke 15:11-24 and see how the Prodical Son had to leave Father's house before he could come back. He had to leave to be lost. Just like us. When we were kids, we were still in Father's house. It's when sin enters into our "Inner man", that we are held accountable. I don't want any of you to think that I am juding ANYONE in here, because you know what you experienced, and I didn't. I just think that things like this need to be handled with "kid's gloves".

    Willis
     
  8. abcgrad94

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    We never pushed our children to confess sin to God before they were saved, because we felt this should come from their own heart and should be genuine.
    Forcing a child to "repent" of a sin can cause a lot of confusion later on. My dad did this with us and it caused major problems. We thought we were saved because dad had "encouraged" us to pray and ask for God's forgiveness for sins. I would say please, please don't push your child into this. Let the Holy Spirit work in him. He's only 5 years old. When the Lord convicts him, you and your son will both know that it's genuine and he won't resent you later in life for pushing him or making him feel guilty about something he didn't fully understand at the time. Kids are eager to please, and my brothers and I all "obeyed" and "got saved" at an early age because my dad forced us to. Years later, we had to come to terms with this. One of my brothers now flat refuses to have anything to do with God or church.

    Teach him about sin and salvation, but don't MAKE him talk to God. Let it come in time. I'd say pray for his salvation, and pray for patience so you won't be tempted to rush this.
     
  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    I have three small children 7,8,10. I have painted a cross on a cork board. When they mess up and have been punished I have them write their sin on a small piece of paper and pin it to the cross. After they go to bed I take it away and clear the board.
     
  10. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    I understand what you're saying. I don't have any response at this point. I will consider your words and the words of the other posts.
     
  11. webdog

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    What a cool idea! :thumbs:
     

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