A Child's Salvation
Character begins to be formed in children from birth, through Biblical principles, long before the child is saved. In fact: the most important character forming period of a child´s life is from birth to five. Therefore, character forming can begin before: and without salvation. However, because most character traits are spiritual in nature salvation is necessary for the child to consistently carry them out in his life. Regeneration is the foundation to a life of godly character.
The salvation of children is a delicate, and difficult subject. Therefore, Approach it with care. It is a delicate subject because parents should diligently seek the salvation of their children, but great care must be taken not to lead, or allow children to make empty verbal professions of faith. It is a difficult subject because it is not always easy to know when children are saved. Just as there are no babies born with character, there are no spiritual children. Spirituality comes only with experience, and maturity. No child has these qualifications. Therefore, it is often difficult to determine by actions alone., if a child is saved.
Because true professions are not a problem let´s look at some common reasons for false professions:
1. Over zealous parents, and Christian workers who get ahead of the work of the Holy Spirit, and lead children to empty, verbal professions, and false assurance.
2. Children, who sincerely want to be saved for the right reasons, but are not being led by the Holy Spirit.
After all, who wants to go to hell? Young children often want to get saved because they want to go to heaven, but when questioned they have little if any knowledge or conviction of sin. In fact they, Love the Lord. Parents should be careful with these little ones who are safe, but not saved.
3. Children who make professions for the wrong reason: to please adults, to be praised, to join the crowd, or to get out of trouble.
Children are as intelligent as we are, and they will use getting saved as a way to escape punishment, and gain sympathy. Parents should use caution when dealing with a child who is in serious trouble, and suddenly wants to be saved. Many of these kinds of professions are attempts to get the heat off. and gain sympathy. Some are even sincere; but are made out of guilt, and shame, not conviction, and repentance. Often there is no way to avoid such a profession. The child, who is in trouble, and says he wants to be saved, should not be refused. But all such profession should be handled with care, prayer, and caution (not suspicion)
It is often difficult to determine if a child is saved because of their nature or the nature of childhood. Children are seldom saved out of deep sin, therefore, there is no dramatic change in their lives. Children who have been raised in a Christian home often express sincere love and belief in the Lord before they are saved. However, there are two good indications of salvation in children. improvement in attitude, and growth in character. Beware of the salvation of a child who continues to repeat the same sins over and over. According to experience,when children are saved there is an improvement in their behavior, and attitude, as well as some growth in character. Remember, salvation is the foundation of Christian character. Character can be formed in the lost child by Bible principles, but it can only be fully effective, and evident when the child is saved, and the good character traits redeemed back to God who gave them.
The salvation of children is a delicate, and difficult matter that requires patience.. and spiritual discernment. Here are some practical suggestions in dealing with children about salvation:
1. Keep the gospel, and the love of God continually before them. Keep them under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Young Samuel is a good example of this, (I Sam. 3:111)
2. Pray for their salvation, and never give up until they are saved! What parent ever ask the Lord Jesus to help their child and was refused? He is the same, Yesterday, today, and forever..!
3. Prepare yourself to lead your child to the Lord personally. Stay ready spiritually. Have your verses ready, and don´t miss the blessing of leading your child to Christ!
4. Answer all their questions about salvation, heaven, and hell truthfully and simply, assuring them of God´s love, and care.
5. Never discourage a child, who has sat under the Gospel, from making a SPONTANEOUS, profession of faith in Christ. However, if it is evident that they do not understand either personal sin, or salvation do not lead them to believe they have been saved. Assure them of God´s care, and His desire to save them in time. Wisdom is needed because, children do not need adult understanding to be saved. In fact t opposite is true, adults need t I understanding of children (Mat. 18:3). All anyone needs to be saved is real conviction of sin, a willingness to repent, a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the resurrected Saviour.
6. Follow the leadership of the Holy Spin in leading the child to Christ. There ar several indications of the Spirit's leadership. They are: favorable circumstances (spontaneous response to invitation, or sermon) , knowledge conviction and repentance of sin; concern seriousness, tenderness toward sin, and Saviour.
7. Always use an open Bible, and refer child to the verses you are led to use Ground the child´s faith in the Scriptures and not in the event. Never make the mistake of making a profession the reference point of security. Always make the Scriptures and a change of heart the basis of security. Never give a child assurance of salvation apart from these!
8. Let the child pray, and talk to God in his own words. Don´t put words in a child´s mouth. If the Spirit is leading the right words will come.
9. Lead the child who has accepted Christ to thank Him for salvation. Many times the Holy Spirit will witness to the child´s salvation by the spontaneity, and sincerity of the child´s prayer.
II CORINTHIANS 5:17
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.