Are Your Children Saved?

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One of the great tragedies of religion is the failure to identify and deal with the truth of biblical conversion. As I think back to my life before salvation and the different churches I had attended I was never once asked when and how I was saved. I guess it was assumed that being in a church meant I was saved.

Why would this presupposition be any different with children today?

I believe there is major deception among Bible believing churches and church attendees that don’t know how to deal with this subject. I can tell you that I didn’t know how to deal with it.

First of all, I didn’t even know that I wasn’t saved, until my salvation was challenged.   If you’ve ever asked someone about their salvation and they become offended I’d really wonder why? Isn’t this a legitimate question for Believers to ask of one another? Isn’t God brought the glory He deserves when we discuss how He saved someone?

Salvation is a super-natural work of God where He takes a dead, God-hating soul and regenerates that heart into a heart that has all new desires. It’s really here that this topic begins. We must first understand it’s a work of God. In order to be saved we must recognize we need saving.   We were, or still are, spiritually dead.

Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…

If we don’t understand the significance of this verse, there is no understanding of the doctrine of salvation. Paul is writing to the saints (those set apart for service and worship of God) and he is telling them Christ made them alive. Why? Because they were DEAD!

Secondly, we must understand that God does it.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote about this super-natural work and we can see the purpose and reason behind salvation. Do we benefit from salvation? Most certainly, but is it primarily for our benefit, absolutely not.

Ezekiel 36:22-23   “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the LORD God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but my My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the LORD God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

This is God exalting, pride crushing, man debasing theology at its finest. “IF” you are saved, if your children are saved, it’s by the grace of God to bring Him glory. If you think that your salvation is about you then you need to read this again and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.

It’s important to quickly note that Israel is not the nation state of Israel. Israel is Believers; God’s chosen people, not just Israelites, although some are included in this group. See Romans 2:28-29, 9:6-13, 1 Kings 19:10-18.

Ezekiel 36:24-25 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

Do you recognize your filthiness and your idols? When I think about mine before salvation and what God rescued me from, I’m overcome by the work that God has done in my life. Do you ever look back and think, “that was me, but for the grace of God?” When you go into a large public gathering do you look around and see the idols and the filthiness? Do you ever wonder who will be saved? Does it break your heart for the lost?

Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Did you have anything to do with your salvation? Did you lead your children in a prayer or manipulate them into asking Jesus into their hearts? This verse could not be any clearer. Jesus affirmed this in John 3 when He challenged Nicodemus with his salvation.

Ezekiel 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loath yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.

Jesus said it this way “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3

If you have no recognition of your past, and your offenses against God, if you think that your children are relatively decent or well behaved children, you don’t understand the holiness of God. Without this recognition there is no chance for them to be saved.

God saves those of a humble and broken spirit (Psalm 51, Matthew 5:4, James 4:9). Broken and humbled over their sin and their offenses against a holy God; recognizing their filthiness. This applies to you, it applies to me, and it certainly applies to our children. Jesus told us the path that leads to life is narrow. Salvation is not decisional, it’s recognition of your sin, repenting and living in a manner completely different to which you were.

If we, as parents, can understand the gravity of salvation there is a much better chance for our children to be saved as we accurately present the gospel. In the end there is nothing more important.

Kevin

A Sure Guide to Heaven – Part 3 – The necessity of conversion

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

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This statement is every bit as shocking to people today as it was to Nicodemus at the time Jesus spoke these words.  John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”  Here was a leader of the Jews, a religious man, with lots of training and he missed the simple fact that he needed to be converted to enter the kingdom of God.

Conversion is necessary.  That is exactly what Jesus is telling us today, just as He did when He walked this earth, just as Joseph Alleine is explaining to us in this remarkable third chapter of his book.  There is a “disconnect” among evangelicals today about what it means to be converted.

Conversion is radical and violent.  It comes at a great cost because there is pain involved, pain at the recognition of your sin.  Imagine your heart being ripped out of your insides and being replaced with a new heart.  This is major surgery and without anesthesia.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

The conversion described is not a high attainment of some advanced Christians, but every soul that is saved undergoes this change…

What is it that you count necessary?  Is your bread necessary?  Is your breath necessary?  Then your conversion is much more necessary.  Indeed, this is the one thing necessary.  Your possessions are not necessary; you may sell all for the pearl of great price, and yet be a gainer by the purchase.  Your life is not necessary; you may part with it for Christ, to infinite advantage.   Your reputation is not necessary; you may be reproached for the name of Christ, and yet be happy; yes, you may be much more happy in reproach than in repute.  But your conversion is necessary; your salvation depends upon it; and is it not needful in so important a matter to take care?  On this one point depends your making or marring to all eternity.  But I shall more particularly show the necessity of conversion in five things. Page 50-51

Does this resonate with you today?  If not I plead with you to read it again and meditate on these words.  It is all that really matters.  Your conversion is necessary.

1: Without conversion your being is in vain

Verily you are in vain, except you are for God.  It were better you had no being than not be for Him.  Would you serve your end?  You must repent and be converted; without this you are to no purpose; indeed, to bad purpose. Page 51

Did he really say that?

What a blow to our self esteem…

This is a reality check…

2: Not only man, but the whole visible creation is in vain without conversion

O dreadful thought! That God should build such a world as this, and lay out such infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness thereupon, and all in vain; and that man should be guilty, at last, of robbing and spoiling Him of the glory of all!  O think of this.  While you are unconverted, all the offices of the creatures are in vain to you. Page 54

3: Without conversion your religion is vain

O soul! Do not think when your sins pursue you, that a little praying and reforming your ways will pacify God.  You must being with your heart.  If that is not renewed, you can no more please God than one who, having unspeakably offended you, should bring you the most loathsome thing to pacify you; or having fallen into the mire, should think with his filthy embraces to reconcile you. Page 55

4: Without true conversion your hopes are in vain

The hope of comfort here is vain.  It is not only necessary for the safety, but comfort of your condition, that you be converted.  Without this, you shall not know peace (Is. 59:8) Page 56

Spiritual sloth is but a scurvy in the mind, and carnal security a mortal lethargy. Page 57

Now, to say God is merciful and to hope that He will save us without conversion, is in effect to say, ‘We hope that God will not do as He says.’  We must not set God’s attributes at variance.  God has resolved to glorify His mercy, but not to the prejudice of His truth, as the presumptuous sinner will find to his everlasting sorrow. Page 58

5: Without conversion all that Christ has done and suffered will be, as to you, in vain

That is, it will in no way avail you to salvation.  Many urge this as a sufficient ground for their hope, that Christ died for sinner; but I must tell you, Christ never died to save impenitent and unconverted sinners, so continuing.  A great divine was accustomed in his private dealings with souls to ask two questions.  What has Christ done for you?  What has Christ wrought in you?  Without the application of the Spirit in regeneration, we have no saving interest in the benefits of redemption.  I tell you from the Lord, that Christ Himself cannot save you if you go on in this state. Page 59

It would be dishonourable to God to bestow His choicest riches on them that have more pleasure in their sins than in the heavenly delights that He offers.  God would lose the praise and glory of His grace, if He should cast it away upon them that were not only unworthy but unwilling. Page 61 & 62

Are you unwilling? 

Hear then His own words; ‘Except ye be converted, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.’  ‘Ye must be born again.’  ‘If I was thee not, thou hast no part in me.’  ‘Except ye repent ye shall perish’ (Mt xviii 3; Jn iii 7; Jn xiii 8; Lk xiii 3).  Page 63

These are powerful words.  Very few preachers say these things anymore because it seems so harsh to the listener.  Yet imagine if your child was playing on the train tracks and a train was coming.  How would you want me to communicate the impending disaster that was coming his way?  Should I do it in a gentle easy tone or scream at the top of my lungs to “GET OUT OF THE WAY!”  So why would those living a life that will condemn them to hell be any different?

If you don’t have testimony of your conversion, maybe you aren’t converted.  Do you know when God removed your heart of stone and placed in you a heart of flesh?  Do you know the day you were born again?  If not do something about that.  I suggest get on your knees and beg Him to show you your sin and then beg for His converting grace.  This is sorrow not to be regretted.

Kevin