Salvation question? A time and a place.....

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Kara, May 15, 2004.

  1. Kara

    Kara
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    This is going to be long, so bear with me.

    I was in the car with my friend Renee, telling her that my friend Kim was about to leave for Korea in a week, leaving her life behind. Renee had asked me if Kim was saved due to her concern that if something were to happen to her she wanted to make sure Kim was saved. I said yes to her. She replied asking me when she got saved. I said, that I did not know, and that when I asked Kim that question she said she never remembered an exact point in her life when she accepted, but that she always believed and knew the Lord was in her heart, and gave testimony to that. Renee told me that a person has to know when they were saved OR at least where they were when they accepted Jesus. It had me thinking, and doubting Kim's salvation, and even my own salvation. I went home ready to ponder the question.

    When I was raised, I was raised a Christian. Now I know that word has little meaning today, but my meaning of a Christian is a person that believes Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose three days later and realizing we're a sinner, letting the Lord take charge of taking us to heaven. I believed all of this growing up, though, I never lived my life for Jesus, nor did I repent until I was 17, therefore I didn't consider myself a child of God until I repented when I was 17 and wanted to live for God. So, neither did I have an exact moment I was "saved". Just that I was on my bedroom floor, asking the savior to forgive my sins and cleanse me, and to take me back. The other day, somebody asked me that same question, when Kim was saved. And I said "she doesn't know" and he laughed and said, "she doesn't know?" So when I was reading my bible one night, I was in Romans and I came across verse 9 in chapter 10:
    "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Now that verse doesn't say, "If thou remember what day and place thou confess the Lord Jesus......." Renee told me that her daughter accepted Jesus one day and prayed to the Lord (her daughter must have been 4 or 5) I wonder if Renee's child, when she is an adult will remember the exact time or place she was saved, without her mother reminding her.

    Now I know that there are many of us that when we do get saved we do remember that exact place and time. I was raised being taught the truth, and I believed it as fact. I believed it in my heart my whole life, and I decided at one point to live for. I asked my brother, he said he also doesn't know an exact time or place when he accepted the Lord. And I know for darn sure my brother is saved, so I can't be insane. He told me there are many Godly people out there that don't have a time or a place. Every time Satan makes me think like that, I think he tries to weaken my faith. My question is: am I thinking wrong or right? What are the scriptural evidences, that says you have to remember a time or a place? Because if there are, I missed them.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Many people cannot remember an exact time/place when the "light of the Gospel" dawned on them. It may have been when you were 5-6 and you cannot remember that today.

    Not "remembering" does not change the fact that you were truly born again.

    Caveat: Some "assume" they are a Christian because of the way they were raised, their parents' faith, etc. It IS personal - you must be born again.

    You do not "grow" into this gradually. But at the same time, it does not have to be a "Damascus Road" experience of lights and bells and whistles! It IS a life-changing experience.
     
  3. massdak

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    focus on time and place is counter productive.
    the focus should be only on Christ.
    i do not like altar calls for the reason that i believe many people place thier faith on the event and not Christ. many people will give thier altar call experience as the time and place of thier salvation and the focus is on that event.
    i remember once i asked a preacher how to have assurance of salvation, he told me to drive a stake in the ground to show satan the time and place of my faith, but what a wrong focus.
    the preacher intentions may of been good (as far as arminian doctrine is concerned)but the error to me is now obvious
     
  4. Deacon

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    Yet God told the Israelites on many occasions to make an alter of remembrance...remember those twelve stones heaped after crossing the Jordan?

    Sometimes a physical reminder of a spiritual event can be worthwhile.

    Rob
     
  5. massdak

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    i would not use the old testament example in anyway other then to point and focus toward Christ. again the event is not a focus point and in fact a preacher or any person giving the gospel should only direct one to Christ and nothing else. driving a stake in the ground will do nothing but waste time and bring a persons focus away from Christ. are you wanting do do likewise?
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    Kara:

    Did you 'experience' your inception ?

    Do you know what you did as you went out of your mother's womb ?

    Did you initiate the pain of childbirth ?

    Yet you know you were born, and that the people you call Mom and Dad are your natural parents, right ?

    So, it is with regeneration. Read John 1:12-13, and then John 3:3-6.
     
  7. Deacon

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    For those who constantly wonder about whether their salvation experence was real or not, a memorial may be helpful, whether it is a stake in the ground or a date in their Bible.

    If the memorial is used to direct ones focus toward Christ and his saving work it can be beneficial.

    I can't remember when I was saved either (some tiem in my early high school days).
    I use an event as my stake. At a conference I attended as a babe in Christ more than 30 years ago the speaker used this same idea. While I never did "drive a stake", I used my baptism as my memorial (it applied very well because I was baptized at the conference).

    Rob
     
  8. massdak

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    For those who constantly wonder about whether their salvation experence was real or not, a memorial may be helpful, whether it is a stake in the ground or a date in their Bible.

    If the memorial is used to direct ones focus toward Christ and his saving work it can be beneficial.

    I can't remember when I was saved either (some tiem in my early high school days).
    I use an event as my stake. At a conference I attended as a babe in Christ more than 30 years ago the speaker used this same idea. While I never did "drive a stake", I used my baptism as my memorial (it applied very well because I was baptized at the conference).

    Rob
    </font>[/QUOTE]that is the same excuse catholics use for sacraments, an event should not confirm salvation.
    if a person is called to examine their self to see if they are in the faith, then looking to the event is the wrong focus. an event a stake a card or what ever is not real assurance, that would be called deception
     
  9. Daniel David

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    What is the proof of one's life? Is it the fact that they claim to be born or that they are breathing in front of you?
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Hebrews 11:1 - 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'

    Faith is the evidence of our regeneration, not the cause.
     
  11. Deacon

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    The idea of a memorial is not just an O.T. or even a Catholic idea. It's a big part of why we take communion, to remember. Communion is not just an examination of our life, it's a rememberance of what Christ has done for us!

    Rob
     
  12. PackerBacker

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    The idea of a memorial is not just an O.T. or even a Catholic idea. It's a big part of why we take communion, to remember. Communion is not just an examination of our life, it's a rememberance of what Christ has done for us!

    Rob
    </font>[/QUOTE]While it is true that communion is a memorial, it is a memorial of what? Christ's work.

    A "stake or date" is most often a memorial of what? The person's decision. Big difference.

    Assurance of salvation comes from having one’s faith in the correct object of faith (Jesus) and a life that shows signs of being a new creature.
     
  13. Su Wei

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    well, are you trusting in His blood to save you NOW? [​IMG]
     
  14. massdak

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    The idea of a memorial is not just an O.T. or even a Catholic idea. It's a big part of why we take communion, to remember. Communion is not just an examination of our life, it's a rememberance of what Christ has done for us!

    Rob
    </font>[/QUOTE]While it is true that communion is a memorial, it is a memorial of what? Christ's work.

    A "stake or date" is most often a memorial of what? The person's decision. Big difference.

    Assurance of salvation comes from having one’s faith in the correct object of faith (Jesus) and a life that shows signs of being a new creature.
    </font>[/QUOTE]good post
    i have read some of your former post, and i like what i read.
    i would like to see more post such as yours on the boards.
    God bless
     
  15. Deacon

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    Remember the opening post, they are still young Christians and may question at times if their decision "held".
    There is a problem with not "remembering" a past decision. It is that young Christian's constantly make and remake a decision with each sin they commit. I'm sure we have all seen this at one time or another.

    On this we can all agree, We all should encourage young Christians to have assurance in His Word.

    ...or you could say it is a memorial of Christ's work in me. It makes it very personal.

    Rob
     
  16. GeneMBridges

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    I would say it just depends on the person.

    In an ideal world, we could all point to the date and time when we were saved. Unfortunately, for many reasons that's not the case.

    Consider for a moment a man who prayed to receive Christ as a teenager. He was raised in a Christian home, but he did not know Christ. His father left him at an early age, and that shaped his idea of God for many years, so much that he found trusting God for even his salvation very difficult, so he was never sure he was really "saved." However, he knew Christian doctrine very well. His life, however, had always been very moral, so really, his life did not change. In college, he came to question his salvation, so much so that he found a committed Christian friend that led him to the Lord then. His life showed great change and commitment for several years. Then, in his twenties, he went astray and even spent several years addicted to drugs and leading a very ungodly, sexually promiscous life. All the while, he never repudiated the identity of Christ or even Christian doctrine. Then, there came a day when he said, "enough is enough," and he grabbed hold of the horns of the altar, as it were of his life, and told the Lord that he wanted to know for sure he was saved and that he wanted the Lord to take complete control of every area of his life. His life changed again, and he has never looked back since. In fact, he will tell you that the Lord completely delivered him from his drug addiction and showed him that he will never again deal with the issues of not being sure of his salvation or of addiction, and he has, indeed only matured in the Lord and can tell you about all manner of God-sized things that Christ has done in his life and through him, including repairing his broken relationship with his father after many years.

    He isn't sure WHEN he was saved. However, he knows He is. He'll even tell you that after that dark time in his life, the very first thing God did was show him that He speaks and how He speaks and then He did some things for Him that showed him very clearly that He had heard him. There is no doubt that his spirit and God's Spirit testify together that he is a child of God.

    He has kept a journal since that last time. He wrote down a lengthy description of the night he told the Lord the things he that were on his heart when he "took hold of the horns of the altar" and would not let go. He did it as a memorial so he would be sure, if ever unsure again, that he was saved, not because he needed to drive a stake, but because he'd figured out that because his Dad had left him as a child, he might have trouble trusting God for assurance later on. At that time, it was something he did need to do, not because he didn't trust the Lord, but because he didn't trust himself. I've seen that journal. Folks, in the first five months, he filled up a five inch binder that holds 1050 pages with writing from his Bible studies, prayers, some emails, and just the things he found meaningful each day from his fellowship with the Lord. That's just the first five months! That's not to boast in his achievements, it's just to show that, for him, he's creating a memorial, a running commentary of his life with the Lord to show himself and others in the hope that, one day, maybe somebody, somewhere, will find it and know that Jesus Christ really does change lives.

    When do you think he was saved? He'll say he thinks it was probably his college experience. Others have said it was when he found that little gospel tract at the age of 15. A few say it was at the time he told the Lord he would not go any further in life not knowing if he was saved and not living with Jesus as his Lord.

    The point here is that this person has, in his life, three different points of reference, each of which are subject to interpretation as his "salvation experience." However, when we look at Scripture, we really don't see men and women being led to Christ in a "sinners prayer." That's largely a modern phenomenon. There is however, a time when they decided to follow Christ, and it occurred when they heard the gospel. Their hearts were changed, they knew enough to be saved (the plan of salvation) and they believed it, and they were baptised. In my opinion, for them, their baptism experience was the way they benchmarked their conversion the same way that we use "the sinner's prayer" to do the same, even the majority of Calvinists among us, like myself.

    It's not important, however, WHEN the young man in this story became a Christian though, is it? The important thing is that he is a Christian and he knows he is and nobody can ever change that fact. The important thing is that he also learned from each of those experiences something very important. The important thing is that he has a relationship with the Lord right now.

    He may have been a Christian over half his life. He may have been a Christian for just under half his life. He may have been a Christian for a much shorter time. However, I know this man, and, both in that shorter time, and because of the way was raised in a Christian school and college (where he minored in theology no less), he's a lot more mature spiritually than some Christians I know who have known the Lord for much longer than he.

    What do you all think?
     
  17. PackerBacker

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    Making decisions until they hold or stick is popular terminology nowadays, but is it really biblically based, concerning salvation? If I understood the first post correctly it was about a person causing others doubts by telling them they needed to know when or where they were saved. I fear many have been lead to trust in a decision that “holds” them instead of a Lord and Savior that holds them secure (John 10:28-29). Paul was confident in WHOM he had believed, not his own decision (1 Tim. 1:12).

    Sadly, it is true that we live in a day when people remake decisions, as you described. The problem is not corrected by another decision or by accepting this as a normal Christian experience based upon what we see. Is the problem a result of faulty evangelism or is it just a common problem for young Christians as seen in the Word of God. To my knowledge the Bible is lacking of examples of new Christians that made new decisions for salvation whenever sin or doubts came.

    This we most certainly agree on.

    You could say that. It’s too bad that many don’t see it this way though. Can’t say I’ve ever once heard a testimony put that way. I see nothing at all wrong or out of place in remembering a time or circumstance, if possible, as a memorial of Christ’s work for me. What concerns me is the way the date or place is used as the way of salvation or assurance, as described in the opening post.

    God Bless,

    Steve
     
  18. superdave

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    Welcome back steve, as always on Soteriology, we agree.

    I can tell you one place where you hear that sentiment alot, my church.

    I can tell you that growing up in church and having made a personal decision to accept Christ as a young child, I do view that as my point of conversion, but I did not fully understand the ramifications of that decision until much later. It is amazing what God has done in my life to prepare me for the ministry opportunites that he brings into my life. Recognition that this is all the work of God has been an important thing in my growth. The decision time and place is less important that the results seen in the life, which in a child of Christian parents, the true fruit is many times not seen until later.
     
  19. IdahoLabs

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    Well...while a person may or may not remember the time or place where they were saved, there must be a certain time when they DID ask God for forgiveness and when they DID get saved. You aren't saved because your parents were, or because you went to church for a certain number of Sundays, or listened to a certain number of preachers, or gave so much money, or were baptized, etc, etc...you are only saved when you ASK God to save you. Very important point.

    While some folks were saved at 4 or 5 years of age, and they vaguely remember, for the folks saved later in life at older ages...I can't imagine not remembering that moment when one comes weeping to the Lord. How could anyone forget?

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  20. massdak

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    i used to believe as you do, that a sincere prayer and weeping to the Lord to save was salvation, but i never had assurance of salvation until i rested in the finished work of Christ.
    i believe a person needs to depend on Christ not their own sincere profession, this is a big difference and very deceptive diversion.
     

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