The following were posted to a Yahoo! group I belong to. Issues discussed include infant baptism and assurance of salvation, so I’m sure at least the Catholic apologists’ ears will be pricked. 😉
Please respond with comments. I’ll pass them along to the group.
Subject: Saved Since Birth?
OK now how many of us believe that? Is it possible to be saved from birth? Can we know Christ from the womb?
Luke 1:39-45 states that when Mary came to visit Elizabeth (her cousin) as soon as mary walked in the house and gave a greeting the baby inside Elizabeth (John the baptist)jumped and she (Elizabeth) was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Well that would tell me that we can be saved from the womb and we can grow up never having admitted a confession of faith except to God, in the womb!
We need to have faith like the centurion in Luke 7:1-10 all we need to do is believe that God will come and help us and He will! I have run across "christians" that believe the strangest things and they can’t accept that God will come and help us WHENEVER we need Him to.
But back to my origianal question, Can we be saved from birth?
Your answers will help me alot. I think that it is possible! I mean that if John the baptist can be saved from birth then why not us.
Subject: Re: Saved Since Birth?
You know, there was a preacher at my (Independant Fundamental Baptist) Church, and he told of a time he did some radio preaching. He had a program in the early morning that he usually did live.
Just after one broadcast he went back to his office and the phone rang. A lady on the line asked if he was the minister just on the radio, and he said he was, and she said that they had just moved to the area and they had a six month old baby boy who hadn’t been baptized, and would he baptize him?
The preacher was just about to give his usual pat answer, No we don’t baptize infants. But the Holy Ghost held his tongue and led him down a different response. He said, "If he meets the Bible requirement for baptism, I’ll be very happy to baptize your son." To this the lady replied, "Oh I’m sure he will. He’s such a fine little boy."
"Do you have a Bible handy?" the preacher asked.
"It’s packed in a box right now." she said.
"Well go get it. I’ll wait."
So she went away for a few minutes and came back on the phone. And the preacher took her over to Acts 8, the account of the Ethiopian with Philip the Evangelist. And he came down to v.36b, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And v.37, And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
"So that is the Bible requirement for baptism", he said. "What you need to do is go over to your son and ask him if he believes with all his heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." To this the lady replied, "I don’t think you understood me minister: he’s only six months old."
"Oh yes, I understood you. But let’s give the little lad the benefit of the doubt. You go over and ask him."
So she went away from the phone and came back a few minutes later. She didn’t say anything, but the preacher could hear her breathing over the phone.
"So, what did he say?" he asked.
"He didn’t say anything. As I told you, he’s only six months old."
Then she said, "I didn’t know that was in the Bible."
"Well now, could I ask you then ma’am, if you died tonight would be 100% sure that you were going to heaven? Or would there be some doubt? Could I show you what the Bible says about that?" And from there he led her to Christ.
Can an infant be saved? I don’t think so. But even if one could, we have no way to verify it. This is one of those things that we trust God on, for they have not reached an age of accountability. The age at which they can go to Sunday School, and hear the Gospel and be saved is quite a long time before the real age of accountability. What that exact age is, I have no idea – I would guess somewhere around 10 or 13. If they’re old enough to go to Sunday School, they’re old enough to go to Calvary.
The point is, four year olds have been well known to grasp the Gospel unto their own salvation. And forty year olds refuse to believe it.
North Valley Baptist Church (nvbc.org) runs 17 busses all over San Jose, picking up children (with parental consent) anywhere they can, to bring them to Sunday School. They bus upwards of 900 children in every Sunday. And in every morning service a group is brought before the main church who have all accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and with signed parental consent, they are all baptized upon their public profession of faith.
A survey taken in England amongst active adult Christians found that more than half were saved before they were 12 years old. Most of the other half were saved in their teenage years. Only a tiny percentage were saved after age 21. So the popular notion, "Wait until he’s 21 and let him decide for himself." is obviously from the devil. The greatest impact on evangelism today is child ministry.
But why child ministry? Because we must all become as little children if we are ever to see the Kingdom of God. Children have not yet been polluted with the false teachings of the world. They have not yet been trained to think that man is god through evolution. But I think a large reason is that while almost every church has some kind of a child ministry for their own members, hardly any are into practical soul-winning. So many well-meaning churches are pro-worldly, and into false bibles and weak preaching, that how could they be soul-winning?
I have been out soul-winning with my church here, and it is just the most amazing experience. Yes, it is cold turkey knocking on doors. "Good evening sir. I’m Bill and this is Andy, and we’re from North Valley Baptist Church …" Almost everybody is polite and courteous. And to the question, "Are you 100% sure that you’ll be going to heaven when you die?" almost everybody says that they have some doubt, or they cannot be sure. And then my soul-winning partner pulls out a little New Testament and starts to take him through the plan of salvation. The first time I went out I saw two people saved. I was out last Tuesday and I saw another man saved.
And if you are saved and you’re not giving the Gospel to those around you, shame on you. None of us are professional evangelists. But I am now convinced that all Christians are to be soul-winners.