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Age of Accountability

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by APuritanMindset, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Craig you don't get the fact that a LOVING God if he WANTED to can and would provide a way for a soul that was in original sin to go to HEAVEN. Whether that soul was in the womb or an innocent baby or an mentally challenged adult.

    God is the author of MIRACLES. Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow!
     
  2. Craig by the sea,

    Since you like drawn out long answers, judging by your comments, here is my 21/2 cents with some different verses to defend the doctrine that babies DO go to heaven:

    Romans 7:9: "Once I was alive [zao in the Greek] apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died [apothnesko in the Greek]."
    In verse 9 (above), notice that Paul didn't say, "Once I was happy apart from law," and he didn't say, "Once I was at peace in my conscience apart from law," and so on. Paul said, "Once I was alive apart from law," and he went on to say that he "died" when he learned of the commandments. In verses 1 to 3 (above), Paul contrasted being alive and being dead, and then in verse 9 (above) he once again contrasted being alive and being dead using the same Greek words as in verses 1 to 3. When Paul said that he died, he obviously didn't die physically because he wouldn't have been able to write the above passage. So if he died, but he didn't die physically, then we tend to say that he died "spiritually," meaning that he would not have gone to heaven and would not have had eternal life with Christ if he had physically died in that state. Here's what a prominent Bible commentary says about this verse:
    "Evidently the apostle was speaking of his personal experience as a child and perhaps even a youth prior to his awareness and understanding of the full impact of God's commandments. ... The result was that the principle of sin within made its presence and power known (it sprang to life) in his violations of the commandment. As a result Paul died spiritually"
    According to Paul's example, we were all "alive" in some sense as children until sin "sprang to life" within us through an awareness or understanding of sin. At that point we "died."

    Now, here's something else to consider. Jesus said that we must become "like little children" in order to enter the kingdom of heaven:
    Matthew 18:3: "And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children [paidion], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
    Matthew 18:4: "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child [paidion] is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
    Matthew 18:5: ""And whoever welcomes a little child [paidion] like this in my name welcomes me."
    Matthew 18:6: "But if anyone causes one of these little ones [mikros] who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."
    Matthew 19:14: "Jesus said, "Let the little children [paidion] come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.""
    The Greek word for "little children" in these verses is paidion, which means "an infant, or (by extension) a half grown boy or girl; figuratively an immature Christian," according to Strong's Greek Dictionary. But notice that the "little ones" who believe in Jesus and who can be enticed to sin in Matthew 18:6 (above) are not paidion, but rather they are mikros, which means "least, less, little, small," according to Strong's Greek Dictionary. In this context, the "little ones" in Matthew 18:6 (above) are people who have humbled themselves and who believe in Jesus. Now, notice in the above passages that Jesus did not say, "unless you change and become like murderers, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." We would not expect Jesus to say such a thing because unrepentant murderers are excluded from heaven (1 John 3:15, Revelation 21:8, 22:14-15). Since Jesus said that we must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, the implication is that little children are not excluded from heaven for any reason.

    Here are several more interesting passages:
    John 9:41: "Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.""
    Deuteronomy 1:39: "And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad --they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it."
    Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."
    Isaiah 7:15: "He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right."
    Isaiah 7:16: "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste."
    2 Samuel 12:23: "But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.""

    The Bible does not explicitly tell us where infants and little children go when they die, but the Scriptural evidence leads me to believe that they all go to heaven if they have not yet reached an "age of accountability" (which is probably a different age for different children).

    However, this brings up an interesting question.

    If the Bible says that everyone must believe in Jesus in order to go to heaven, then how can babies go to heaven when they are too young to believe in Jesus? In order to answer this question, let's think about why we must believe in Jesus for salvation. Remember, Jesus died on the cross in order to atone for our sins, and when we put our faith in Jesus as our living Lord and Savior then our sins are wiped from our record. In other words, we need to believe in Jesus because God is holding us accountable for our sins. If we don't put our faith in Jesus then our sins (our sin nature) will send us to hell. But according to the above verses God does not appear to hold infants and young children accountable for sin. Therefore, since infants and young children have no sins on their record (because God is not holding them accountable), then they do not need to believe in Jesus in order to wipe their slates clean. Their slates are already clean until they reach an "age of accountability."

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MARK 3:28-29 says " Truly I say to you ALL SINS will be forgiven of man and whatever blasphemies they utter; BUT whoever blasphemes AGAINST the Holy Spirit NEVER has forgiveness, but is guilty of an ETERNAL SIN !

    Babies cannot blasphemy against the gospel. I don't know about you but I have never known a baby in the womb or a very young one who understood the human language, so how can he reject something he has never heard ? It is when a child hears the Gospel ( at whatever age that may be, my sons were 4 and 6 when they were saved ) and if he UNDERSTANDS the gospel and rejects it then he is held accountable.
     
  4. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    If Adam had never sinned, he would have lived forever in his natural body. Likewise, had babies not sinned in Adam, they too would live forever in their natural bodies. God is NOT insane! He is a holy and righteous God, and babies would NOT die if they had not sinned in Adam. The incontrovertible fact that very young infants die is absolute proof that they sinned in Adam for it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to sin otherwise until they are old enough to learn right from wrong. The Bible does NOT say that the wages of innocence is death; the Bible says that the wages of sin is death.

    You can believe all you want to that God is insane and that the large majority of New Testament scholars are insane and that the majority of Baptist scholars and pastors are insane, but . . . .

    I have personally found that even in the undergraduate university classroom we find a student or two who come into the classroom not for the purpose of learning the truth, but for the purpose of earning a degree or for some other purpose. And that is one of the very reasons why many university professors absolutely refuse to teach undergraduate students. I try not to have that attitude when I post on this message board, but . . . .

    Helen, the bottom line is that I shall no longer reply to your posts.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If the Bible says that everyone must believe in Jesus in order to go to heaven, then how can babies go to heaven when they are too young to believe in Jesus? In order to answer this question, let's think about why we must believe in Jesus for salvation. Remember, Jesus died on the cross in order to atone for our sins, and when we put our faith in Jesus as our living Lord and Savior then our sins are wiped from our record. In other words, we need to believe in Jesus because God is holding us accountable for our sins. If we don't put our faith in Jesus then our sins (our sin nature) will send us to hell. But according to the above verses God does not appear to hold infants and young children accountable for sin. Therefore, since infants and young children have no sins on their record (because God is not holding them accountable), then they do not need to believe in Jesus in order to wipe their slates clean. Their slates are already clean until they reach an "age of accountability."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MARK 3:28-29 says " Truly I say to you ALL SINS will be forgiven of man and whatever blasphemies they utter; BUT whoever blasphemes AGAINST the Holy Spirit NEVER has forgiveness, but is guilty of an ETERNAL SIN !

    Babies cannot blasphemy against the gospel. I don't know about you but I have never known a baby in the womb or a very young one who understood the human language, so how can he reject something he has never heard ? It is when a child hears the Gospel ( at whatever age that may be, my sons were 4 and 6 when they were saved ) and if he UNDERSTANDS the gospel and rejects it then he is held accountable.

    Helens done with you couldn't you tell ?

    COME ON CRAIG I'M STILL WAITING
     
  6. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    There are five basic schools of thought among Christian theologians regarding the human soul, its origin, and what it did or did not inherit from Adam. These five schools of thought are:

    1. Traducianism
    2. Generationism
    3. Creationism
    4. Emanationism
    5. Evolutionism

    As for #’s 3 and 5, please bear in mind that we are speaking here, not of the physical body, but of the soul, and these subjects have nothing at all to do with the creation vs. evolution debate.

    A study of these five schools of thought, and their strengths and their weaknesses, may help some individuals to better understand what Paul meant by the imputation of sin and how the sin of Adam is imputed to his descendants.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    RightFromWrong wrote,

    I most certainly do get that fact—that is, if you will allow me to restate the fact more accurately:

    A LOVING God, if he WANTED to, could and would provide a way for a soul to whom the Origin Sin has been imputed to go to HEAVEN.

    And, of course, this includes babies and those who are intellectually impaired. As I have posted elsewhere,

    Through the sin of Adam, we were all are made sinners by imputation; through the atonement of Christ on the cross, we are all made righteous by imputation.

    There is no age of accountability involved in any of this! The imputation of the sin of Adam knows no boundaries of age; and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ knows to boundaries of age. Age has absolutely nothing to do with imputation.

    Rom. 5:12. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--
    13. for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
    15. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
    16. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
    17. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
    18. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
    19. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Dear friend,

    You have totally misunderstood Paul! Paul was using the rhetorical first person singular, a very common manner of writing, especially in Greek literature, to help the reader identify with words of the speaker. We find the use of the rhetorical first person singular occasionally in English literature (I use it myself), but very much more often we find the use of the rhetorical first person plural. The personages that Paul describes in Romans 7 are nothing at all like the person of Paul as revealed in his writing elsewhere. Paul is speaking of the personage of the man who lived before the giving of law. Theologians debate whether that personage is meant by Paul to be Adam before he was told not to eat of the forbidden fruit, or whether that personage is meant to be the human race before Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. (See my other comments regarding Romans 7 in my post above in reply to Helen).

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    When Jesus said that we must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, which of the characteristics of little children did He have in mind?

    • Their size?
    • Their weight”
    • Their education?
    • Their bathroom habits?
    • Their humility?
    • Their simple trust?
    • Their imputed sin?

    Most certainly He did not have ALL of these characters in mind!

    And what was the point that Jesus was making?

    • Was He making the point that all little children go to heaven?

    • Or was He making the point that we, adults, need to humble ourselves and simply trust Him to save us?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Craig by the sea,

    Please read the verse Romans 7:9 in context with the rest of the paragraph and rest of the chapter to see what Paul meant.

    He was talking about the Law of God and apart from the law he would not have known sin. Verse 9 explains at what point he came to realize this, which was when he was held accountable to the law. I am not going to go over the whole explanation when you can simply re-read it again.

    As far as all of the other verses that speak of becoming as a child, since you do not believe that there is an age of accountability I can see why you are having difficulty understanding these verses.

    I looked at your profile and read “Jesus is the Son of God, God incarnate” while this may be true, it is not a statement of faith. Are you saved? Are you truly born again? There are many people who, sad to say, have attended church all of their lives, go to church every Sunday, even went to Bible school and still are not saved. It is nothing to be ashamed about, just get right with the Lord. Once you are saved you will have the heart of Jesus, love for others, and not having an academic or head knowledge, but the Holy Spirit to guide you compassionately towards your brothers and sisters. You will feel for the mother who has lost a child and wonders if that child is in heaven, you will be compassionate towards other Christians even if they disagree with you, You will listen to and be open to sound doctrine.

    If you are not saved please become born again today:
    Realize that you are a sinner. (we all are sinners no exceptions)
    Repent of your sins (this means turning away from your sins, not just being sorry for them)
    Believe that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected from the dead to pay the penalty for your sins and bring you into a right relationship with Him.
    Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior (You then become adopted into God’s family and your personal walk with God can begin)

    God commandment is to love one another.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Craig, you do not have to answer, and, as a matter of fact, have said that you won't answer me again, so I challenge you to keep your word.

    In the meantime, a few points:

    1. Majority does not determine truth. God determines truth. So saying that this or that many people believe this or that way means NOTHING.

    2. You do not know that Adam would have lived forever in his natural body. The option to death, however, may have been translation. And at that point we do not know what happens to the physical body, for the new creation will not be like this one.

    3. A baby, or any person dies as a CONSEQUENCE of Adam's sin, not because anyone but Adam was guilty of it. For example, an arsonist may burn down a house and people may die because of that. Only the arsonist is guilty, however. The people are victims. In this sense, we are victims of Adam's sin. However we are not perpetrators of it, which is what would make us guilty of it.

    The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Ez 18:20

    I will judge each of you according to his own ways. Ez 33:20

    4. ALL sins are forgiven in Christ. ALL. Automatically. Read Hebrews.

    But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor becuase he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. Heb 2:9

    Christ's work, to do the will of the Father who sent Him, was to die for our sins and then to conquer death, right? Hebrews 4:3 states that "his work has been finished since the creation of the world."

    ALL sin stood forgiven BEFORE Adam, in other words.

    It is what men and women have done with the Promise, who was and is the Messiah Jesus which makes the eternal difference, not how much they sin or the fact that they sin. He took care of that from creation and worked it out in time on the Cross.


    5. In Exodus 33:32-33 we have the interesting passage where Moses pleads for Israel, offering to have his named blotted out of the Book of Life for them. In verse 33, we read, The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book."

    One cannot be blotted out if one's name is not there in the first place. And yet we KNOW a born again Christian cannot lose his or her salvation. So the only way this can be reconciled is via Paul's explanation in Romans 7:

    Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

    This cannot be Adam, for Paul states specifically earlier that Adam was NOT deceived. The "I" first person is clearly Paul talking about himself, and the first person continues through the rest of chapter 7, talking about his own experience before salvation. Chapter 7 ends with his cry of victory in Christ over his sin nature. Chapter 8 opens with "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

    But both in Moses' words, and in Paul's there is clear evidence of spiritual life before spiritual death. Nor is this some weird Mormon thing. Spiritual death is separation from God.

    Jesus said the little children are HIS. That means they are spiritually alive, and not separated from God, despite their sin natures, for whatever sins they may have committed, were committed as a matter of their nature and not their choice, and are therefore covered by Christ's sacrifice doubly -- first because He was the sacrifice for all sin for all time, and second because part of His sacrifice was for unknown/unintentional sin.

    Therefore, until, as Paul writes in Romans 7, a person comes to know the law, SIN IS DEAD in them, and thus has no power to separate them from God. It is there, but powerless to affect them, because of Jesus and because of His sacrifice.

    According to Exodus, the age of about 20 is the deciding point for God. Interestingly enough, it has taken science a few thousand years to catch up and discover the brain is not mature for two decades and, in fact, the second decade, in the teens, the brain is literally, physiologically, unwiring some connections and rewiring new ones.

    But God knew that all along...

    Thus, there is a very real biblical possiblity that not only are the children His, but so are the teenagers, at least the younger ones. It is not until they understand the law and sin springs to life in them in addition to them having a sin nature, that they then, because of that nature, choose to sin against what they know they should do, and thereby die spiritually. It is that point they must choose to accept or reject Christ's salvation and Him personally. Before that, they were already His, for sin cannot kill anymore, especially when it is a simple result of sin nature and not of a deliberate rebellious choice.

    The fact of the matter is that we do all sin when we have that choice. That is the result of sin nature as well.

    It does not matter if we are conceived in sin or born under judgment where the law is concerned. Jesus fulfilled that law and sin is forgiven for every person ever conceived. Thus we are all born with our names IN the Book of Life. That deliberate sinning later, at some stage, is what erases it. However, God, because He does know who will choose what, does not have to re-write a name. Those who will choose Him evidently do not get their names erased in the first place.

    Every man gets the chance, however. Every adult man and woman who is not retarded or otherwise mentally severely handicapped and who is conscious is given enough truth in their lives (Romans 1) to choose to follow that truth or reject it. Those who choose to follow the truth will be led by the Father to the Son (John 6).

    It is clear when you read the whole Bible and don't just choose to ignore uncomfortable passages. It is simple. It is merciful. It is fair. It is loving. It is God's Word of both reassurance and judgment.

    6. The picture of entering the Promised Land is a valid one. The fact that the Israelites do die there has nothing to do with the picture anymore than the fact that the Ark probably rotted (or was dismantled by Noah for housing) has anything to do with the fact that the Ark itself is considered a type of Christ (get in or get dead). Every picture is limited, but that does not make the picture invalid.
     
  12. Gershom

    Gershom New Member

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    Helen,

    I enjoyed that post. Thank you.
     
  13. Yep saying the same things I have said ALL along only longer [​IMG]
     
  14. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Helen

    I will have to study your latest post before I can give it a hearty Amen, however, I agree with much of what you have said.
     
  15. APuritanMindset

    APuritanMindset New Member

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    So are you advocating that people are born good? If so, you are advocating heresy.

    This thread is digressing to appeals to emotions and "God wouldn't" comments, as I asked there not to be (just thought I'd let y'all know of that). Now my comments.

    Romans 3:23, which we all like to quote, says,

    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ESV Emphasis mine)

    Or let's look at this the way the Geneva Bible rendered it about 12 years before the KJV came out:

    For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 Geneva Spelling corrected for readability)

    If you interpret Paul by reading it how he wrote it, explain how the "all" in this verse doesn't apply to babies. "All" have sinned and are seperated from the glory of God. All. There isn't an exception clause in this verse. There is no "For all (except babies) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".

    "All" have sinned.

    But HOW have all sinned? I think it's Craigbythesea who's been saying it this whole time. In Adam. Check out Romans again:

    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19 ESV Emphasis mine)

    What we do doesn't make us sinful, it is what we are. And how did we get that way? Through Adam. Everything that people do and think is "evil" in fact:

    The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5 ESV Emphasis mine)

    Notice the word "continually". This means that it was always like this. His intentions are always evil. This hasn't suddenly changed either. Given various circumstances, we can all act on this evil tendency. It is only natural for us to act on this tendency. It is part of who we are, and this includes infants.
     
  16. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    If you are implying that anyone goes to hell because of sin, you are denying Jesus' work. And if you read my post before this, you will find that I am not saying anyone is born good (except Jesus Himself).
     
  17. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    One of His Sheep wrote,

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for your concern about me.

    My testimony

    I didn’t get saved until I was 25—because I didn’t need to be saved. I had never smoked a cigarette, I didn’t drink, take drugs, or swear—and I was a virgin because I knew that sex outside of marriage was immoral. I was studying to be a teacher because I loved people and enjoyed helping them learn.

    One night when I was almost 25, four teenagers—a 14 year old boy named Gary, a 15 year old girl named Jeanie, and two others—invited me to come with them to a Christian youth service. I felt very badly for these kids, since they were Christians, and went to the youth service with them believing that if I could help just one kid to escape the snarls of Christianity it would be worth my time.

    I had never been to a Christian youth service before, and boy was I surprised when I walked in the door! There were about 75 kids packed into the living room of an old house next door to the church—and they didn’t even have the courtesy to provide chairs—we all had to sit right on the floor. I found a spot along a wall where I could at least lean back and get some comfort, and I looked around the room. There was a fat lady about 40 years old sitting in the one chair in the room, and there was this guy about 37 years old standing up talking to some of the kids. I learned that his name was Ken and that he was in charge that night.

    After a few minutes, Gary and Jeanie and some of the other teenagers got into a little group with some guitars and tambourines and began to sing a song that went something like this:

    Shackled by a heavy burden,
    'Neath a load of guilt and shame;
    Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
    And now I am no longer the same.

    Refrain

    He touched me! He touched me! And O, the joy that floods my soul. Something happened, and now I know; He touched me and made me whole!

    Since I met this blessed Savior;
    Since He cleansed and made me whole,
    I will never cease to praise Him
    I'll shout it while eternity rolls.

    Refrain


    It was a cute song, but I certainly wasn’t underneath a load of guilt and shame because I was not guilty of anything, and I had nothing to be ashamed about.

    They sang some more cute songs, and since I loved kids, I enjoyed their performance—but then they quit singing and began giving their testimonies—and that was a bit much—especially when they cried half the way through them. They testified how sin had wrecked their lives and Jesus had saved them and put their lives back together—and I could tell that they were so brainwashed that they really believed the stories they were telling. As it turned out, I didn’t get a chance to say anything, and my being there was a waste, except that the refreshments were good and I enjoyed being in the company of the kids.

    I started going to a Christian coffee house several night a week where during the Bible studies I could occasionally express my ideas. I was very embarrassed to be in such a place, however, and when they asked me my name, I told them it was none of their business—and they named me Charlie Brown.

    I continued going to the Christian youth services at the Assembly of God church and began to get acquainted with the kids there. This one 17 year old girl, Laurie, was really nice, but I could tell that she was damaged goods. We got to talking one night and she told me that sometimes she can’t come to church because her parents punished her by forbidding her to go to church. I stood out like a freak, but the kids were really nice to me, except that I found out that they were praying that I would get saved.

    This went on for a few months—the kids were really nice to me, but some of the adults were beginning to show definite signs of hostility—and then it happened. On a Sunday night after the service, I found myself being physically escorted out the door by some of the adults.

    However, Ken, the associate pastor, who was also the leader of the youth group, came to my rescue and brought me back inside and told the others to pray for me. Before I knew it, the whole church was praying for me, and they continued to pray for me until a few minutes after midnight. Then the associate pastor asked me if I would like to accept Christ as my savior. I had enjoyed all of the attention, and listening to their prayers was a lot of fun, but as for getting saved—nuts to that idea. Jesus was no more real to me that the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

    A man and his wife with five kids gave me a ride home, and on the way home one of the kids said to her parents, “We have never stayed at church this late before!” I suddenly realized that the whole church had done something for me that they had never done for anyone else, not even one of their own. I was very much impressed by this, but I was not at all impressed by their Jesus.

    Another Sunday night came (I had better things to do on Sunday morning than go to church) and there I was again. And then another Saturday night youth service, and there I was, but after the service, Ken took me into the church and sat me down on the front pew and told me that he was going to read to me something from the Bible. Ken read a few verses from Romans, and I stopped him and told him that I had already read it (which was a lie), but he began reading again from Romans and made me a little angry.

    Gary, a blond-haired boy and one of the four teenagers who had invited me to the youth service months before, walked past us, and as he passed by us, I pointed to him and told Ken that Gary was one of the reasons why I was not a Christian—because Gary was a hypocrite. Ken replied, “You mean my boy?” and I answered, “No, Gary,” and pointed to him again. Ken told me that Gary was his boy. Both Ken and his wife had dark hair, and both of Gary’s brothers had blond hair like he did, and this all came as a very embarrassing surprise to me. To top it off, the senior pastor’s wife overheard my comments about Gary, and brought him over to me and told me to tell Gary what I said about him.

    I was trapped by my own mouth, and I told Gary that I said that he was a hypocrite. Gary, just 14 years old, looked at me for a moment, and then began to speak. He told me that he was not a hypocrite, that he got to school every day an hour early so that he could witness to the other kids as they got off the buses. Gary went on to tell me that because he did that, he didn’t have even one single friend in school, but that he loved his schoolmates and wanted them to get saved. And then Gary invited me to go out with him some of the kids from the youth group to their Saturday night hamburger joint, Bob’s BigBoy.

    I had thought that Gary was a hypocrite because he invited me to the youth service but from that point on had ignored me. And now that I had told his father that he was a hypocrite, he was reaching out to be my friend. The three letter word sin had never been a part of my vocabulary because I didn’t believe there was such a thing, and especially not in my case, but there was Gary sitting at the table with me, and I knew that I was a sinner.

    This guy sitting across the table from me, Jeanie’s boyfriend, started to witness to me and I became so angry that I picked up my full glass of ice water and through it into his face. That was the first time in my life that I had committed an act of violence—and I was absolutely shocked that I had done such thing—and in a crowded restaurant at that.

    On my 25 birthday I struck up a conversation with a young man and learned that his name was Ricky, that he was a U. S. Marine, and that he was a backslidden Baptist. We became friends and Ricky really wanted me to get saved—and he witnessed to me and witnessed to me—and one Saturday night he pressed me and pressed me to pray with him and ask Christ to be my Lord and my Savior. I didn’t want any part of it because I didn’t believe it, no, not really, but Ricky pressed me so hard that I told him that I would go to church the following night and answer the altar call.

    Ricky wasn’t going to church anywhere, and I went to the Assembly of God that I had been going to for a few months now. When the pastor gave the altar call, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake—I had made a very foolish promise—but I had given my word and I crept toward the altar full of embarrassment for doing something so foolish.

    The senior pastor’s wife came over to me and asked me if I wanted to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I told her the promise that I had made to Ricky. I had less faith in Christ than Abraham had in President Lincoln, but the pastor’s wife said a sinner’s prayer and asked me to repeat the words after her—and I did so—and the people in the church began to shout “Praise God! Thank you Jesus!” But I was just glad to get that over with.

    But while I was praying I felt a tender hand on my shoulder, and when I finished praying I looked up and saw that it was Gary by my side. He told me that he had been praying for me ever since that first day that he had met me, and then he took off. He came back a few minutes later looking like he had been in a windstorm—his blond hair was all messed up and his shirttail was out—and he handed to me a King James Bible and explained to me that the door to the church office was locked and that he had to climb in through a window to get me the Bible so that I would not go home without one.

    I didn’t drive, and the senior pastor drove me home, a very rare occurrence for him, and on the way he told me that he was very blessed by my accepting Christ. I told him that I was “going to try it for a few weeks,” and he dropped me off at my house.

    For the next three weeks I continued going to church and the Christian coffee house, but my life had not changed at all, nor had I changed at all. One night at the Christian coffee house, a young man asked me if I was a Christian, and I told him that I was not. He took out of his pocket a “Four Spiritual Laws” tract and began to share it with me while I didn’t say a word; but all of a sudden he stopped and looked at me and said, “I don’t know why you lied to me about not being a Christian, but I can tell that you are.” I was caught off guard, and I told him about what had happened three weeks ago. Someone overheard, and shouted out, “Charlie Brown got saved!” I was absolutely shocked and more embarrassed than I thought possible, and I got up and got out of that place.

    A few nights later I was walking down Broadway, the main drag in downtown San Diego, and as I stepped up onto the curb from 4th Avenue and began walking along the sidewalk on the south side of Horton Plaza, I noticed a young sailor standing near the southeast corner. I had seen him there before, and sensed that he was propositioning himself to other men, but that was very common on Horton Plaza so I hadn’t given any thought to it. But that night, something was very different—not about him—but about me! I wanted to just keep on walking, and even forced myself to do so for several steps, but I felt something inside of me forcing me to turn around. I tried to resist, but I couldn’t, and I walked right up to the young man and asked him if he was indeed prostituting himself.

    He told me that he was, and he began to cry, and then he took off like a rocket running down Broadway toward the bay. And there I went—running after him. He ran right through the red traffic lights dodging the cars, trucks, and buses; and I ran after him, right through the red traffic lights dodging the traffic. He finally took cover behind a large pillar on the front of a building, but I saw where he went, and I ran up behind him and felt my right hand being lifted up onto his shoulder, and heard Bible verses coming out of my mouth as he leaned up against the pillar with his face in his hands crying.

    After a few minutes, the young man turned around and told me that his name was Bob, that he was a Christian, that he was in the Navy, and that he was married and that his wife was expecting a baby, but that he was getting ready to go on a West Pacific cruise for several months and would be out to sea when the baby was born. He was extremely lonely, confused, and hurting inside—and he told me that he began to run because he was embarrassed, but that as he was running, he was hoping that I would care enough to pursue him and help him.

    Up to that point in my life, servicemen had been little more than scum in my sight, but here I was holding in my arms a serviceman, and loving him more than life itself. And then I knew,

    The hand of Jesus touched me,
    And now I was no longer the same.

    As the Holy Spirit ministered through me to Bob that night, I KNEW that Jesus is the Son of God and that He had died for my sins and that the Bible is the very Word of God. And I KNEW that I was a new creation in Christ Jesus because my thoughts and attitudes instantly changed and I threw all of my dreams and ambitions to the wind, got down on my knees, and surrendered myself to Christ and His will for my life.

    God gave to me an insatiable desire to be in His word and to understand it, and I learned what the calling of God upon my life was.

    [​IMG]

    [ September 13, 2005, 01:52 AM: Message edited by: Craigbythesea ]
     
  18. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    Can't one participate in a thread without being compelled to repeat his testimony whenever someone holds a view different than his own? This is absurd. Questioning another's salvation on a Christian message board is about as low as one can go.
     
  19. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon Member

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    1Ki 14:10 Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.

    1Ki 16:11 And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.

    1Ki 21:21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,

    2Ki 9:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel:

    There is no doubt that God snuffs out the lives of some due to the sins of others, e.g., David and his first child from Bathsheba; and cf. the verses posted above. This may beg the question, that if God can justly take one's physical life because of the sins of another, can he justly so take one's spiritual life? I hope that God is gracious with the little children who don't know right from wrong. It is a hope. This discussion should easily be a matter of election. What is the means of God's electing some to eternal life? Is there a special grace for those who don't/can't understand the general revelation given to them, or even the special revelation given to them? Is there a special grace for the children of believers, special enough to make the children "holy" (1 Cor. 7:14)? Are children of unbelievers therefore unholy? I think these are the things this discussion should focus on.
     
  20. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Actually, you are denying Jesus' work to imply that He failed in saving all those He died for. What a puny savior you must worship.

    What Paul is describing in Romans 7 is how he saw himself before his eyes were opened to the Law. We know that he was well educated in the Law from a very young age, but he was blinded by the perversions of rabbinical tradition. Instead of seeing his sin, which the Law is given to expose, he saw himself as alive, though in reality he was dead. But when the commandment came, that is, when it came to his heart, and he saw the true scope of the commandment with eyes of faith, it killed him. In other words, he saw himself as he really was.

    To take Paul's words here as meaning that ignorance of the Law is life is only the most perilous meaning one can impose.
     
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