The teenager wept at the altar as I knelt by her. She said she wanted to be sure of her salvation. Although raised in a Christian home, she didn’t want to take salvation for granted.
We prayed, embraced, and she thanked me as the tears fell. This girl was now a child of God, without a doubt.
Later, I was called on the carpet so to speak by church leaders because this girl was the daughter of a long-time, respected deacon. Yet no one knew she had never accepted the Lord. Fortunately for me, I didn’t know her or who she was related to. But even had I known, we would have still prayed together.
Fast forward twenty-something years to another church service. Again, I was praying with someone at the altar when laughter erupted behind me. My husband sat on the front pew with one of our dearest friends—someone who had been a deacon, taught Sunday school, and served in church for over twenty-five years. His wife assumed he was a Christian. So did his children and all who knew him. He told us he had been pretending all those years, simply going through the motions. But he was tired of the pretense. He asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. From that day forward, there was no doubt.
Romans tells us that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The key word here is call. We’re not automatically saved because we go to church or because we were raised in a Christian home. Salvation is a personal, intimate experience.
My daughter once told me she could no longer believe what I believed just because that’s what I expected. She wanted to learn and know about God and His Word for herself. Instead of feeling threatened and worried, I was ecstatic. She was ready to seek God on her own and quit “riding on her parents’ coattails,” as she put it.
First of all, be sure of your own salvation. If you can’t remember a time when you invited Jesus into your heart, do it again. Be confident in what you believe. And then, never take for granted that someone has a relationship with the Lord. When He prompts you to talk to someone or pray with them, don’t hesitate.
Their eternity might rest in your hands.
(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)
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